A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!
"We've suffered enough at their whims," snarled Magorian to his herd. "No more. We will let the humans massacre their own kind." He jabbed his bow into the ground with enough force that it almost splintered.
"And if the survivors come after us?" Ronan prompted.
Magorian made a low guttural sound in the back of his throat. While he respected Ronan as his council, sometimes Ronan got under his skin, playing devil's advocate. "Then," the centaur commander stated, "we might finally leave the forest."
Others in the herd gathered before him to shout their dismay. The Forbidden Forest—the Black Forest, as the centaurs had always known it—had always been their home. Even when those four had come—the four known as Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff—to make a peaceful pact with the colony when they first found the area and planned to build the school nearby, the centaurs had already been around for perhaps a millennia. The centaur race was older than that of men, or at least just as old.
"That's insanity," Bane said, pacing off to the side but not looking at any of the others. "This is our home."
"And there may be another home out there for us," Magorian said. He looked out into the sea of his warriors' faces. "Regardless, prepare for battle. We must be ready for the worst of possibilities." He motioned to Ronan, who trotted over for orders. "Alert the Centaurides. Have them move the foals far away from the castle. After, they should gather food for the centaurs and prepare for healing." His face was grim as Ronan nodded and cantered for their settlement to alert the females.
Bane still paced in the same spot, and he didn't stop even when Magorian cleared his throat. "I'm angry. Can't you tell?"
Magorian sighed and nodded. "I'm angry, as well. But you've got to let go of your anger."
Bane snorted. "You've spent too much time in Ronan's company, going soft on me."
"At times like this, a gentle reprimand will do, I think."
Bane shook his head and scratched his black beard. "Yes, that's better. Better than that oaf calling me a—a coward!" He whinnied, drew an arrow from his quiver, and shot a nearby tree.
Magorian waited until Bane had lowered his bow. "The half-giant Hagrid does not always think. We've learned that in our dealings with him. But he never intends us any harm. He—" Magorian huffed, hating the truth. "He's almost a friend to us, Bane."
"He was right."
Magorian raised his eyebrows. He couldn't believe his hearing, but he waited to see if Bane would elaborate.
"I am a coward. I was the first to shun our own brother, Firenze. I was the first to hurt him. I was the first to leave the scene when he sought the castle as a haven. Even if he never left to see us, he stayed close by in the hopes things would change, and I never tried to hear him out. I—" Bane stopped, his breaths heavy as his shoulders sagged. "I have to wonder how right Hagrid is, and how wrong I—we have all been. There is a monster that has shown up at our threshold, but maybe I am too cowardly to face him." His knuckled paled to gray as his dark hand gripped the shaft of the bow.
"Leave them be, Bane. Let go of your anger and leave them and Firenze be." Magorian grimaced. "Once upon a time, I would've thought exactly your thoughts. But you cannot doubt yourself and change your opinion now. Doing so… You can get hurt that way."
"And if I do not fight, then Hagrid will have been right, and I am nothing better than the humans with whom he sides."
Magorian's eyes widened. "Bane—"
Bane faced him. "I'm going to fight. I'm going to at least do something, and prove Hagrid wrong."
"Not if I have your help," the black-skinned centaur insisted, his eyes alight with a kind of manic excitement. "Think about it, Magorian. You, me, a few others of our most skilled warriors—we could make a dent in those coming after Hagrid and the students and their elders. We could do it swiftly and easily and then leave the premises, having done enough."
"What would be enough, Bane? Losing one of our own?" Magorian shook his head. "No. I cannot allow it."
"Fine. Then I'll go by myself. I'd bet a thousand prophecies that Firenze is fighting from his side—"
"No!" Magorian grabbed Bane's wrist and pulled. Bane resisted, but Magorian seized his other arm, as well. It took nearly all of his strength trying to get Bane to calm down, and Magorian had to hold Bane against him before Bane finally thought straight. "Bane, I… You can't go."
Bane groaned and shivered. "Don't. Please. Don't do this to me."
Magorian rested his chin in the crook of Bane's neck. "If it will keep you here and keep you safe, then I will."
The older centaur growled gently, allowing the thrum of his voice to reverberate through Bane's skin. He nipped gently at the part where shoulder became neck, and Bane shuddered against him. Magorian smiled against Bane's jaw before hovering his mouth over Bane's, but their lips never touched. "I knew you as a new recruit to the first guard," Magorian said so lowly it was a mumble. "You were anxious to protect the colony, and so antsy that you were willing to proactively take out threats. I admired that in you. I saw in you my old spirit, and I was jealous.
"But I realized that that energy was yours and yours alone. I simply wished to harness it. When Firenze left, you were devastated, and you deflated as that energy left you. He was your closest friend, I know," Magorian added when he felt Bane's shoulders sag once more, "but that old energy, the old you has only recently returned with the conflict of the humans.
"It sounds terrible and it sounds selfish, but if their conflict gives me back my Bane, then am I wrong for wishing to change nothing of it?"
With his speech finished, Magorian waited for Bane's response. As Bane remained quiet, Magorian said one more thing:
"Weren't you the one who reminded Firenze years ago that it was our job to read the skies but not change them? Don't change them now."
Bane seized the chance to break free from Magorian, but his anger was under control now as he shot his commander a stern look. "If we do nothing, Magorian, then we may never even see the stars again."
Magorian knew a losing battle when he saw one; he hadn't been the herd's offensive commander for nothing. He sighed again and slid his bow over his head and across his chest. "All right. You win. But—" he warned Bane with a halting hand "—don't go anywhere just yet. I should rally the troops."
Bane genuinely grinned, but he did as instructed and waited for Magorian to return with about four dozen of their comrades.
"Your orders are to charge. Break the frontlines. Those dressed in black—they are the ones who threaten our way of life. If you wish to see your wives, your children, your brothers—" he looked to Bane, and to Ronan "—then be quick and be wicked against the black-robed ones. They will not show us mercy. Not as Hagrid and his people have."
Bane raised his bow. "Charge!" he bellowed.
The sound of their hooves in unison was deafening. Magorian led the charge, Bane at his side, and they covered the ground between the forest's boundaries and the school grounds immediately. Several of the black-robed ones turned and fled at the sight of them. A few dared to throw spells their way, but the centaurs mostly dodged them.
Some of the evil humans were trampled. Others met an end with the centaurs' deadly aim. A handful of the centaurs that were skilled with swords maimed and killed more that way. On and on they went, pushing their way deeper and deeper into the keep.
"Head for the sounds of war!" Magorian ordered.
The herd stampeded into the heart of the castle, where hell had broken loose long before the centaurs had arrived. Many events had already transpired, but they broke the black-robed ones' ranks. Doing so engendered hope in Hagrid's humans, and the battle was an easy one.
By Magorian's count, he took out five of the black-robed ones. Another three he at least knocked unconscious. Every few seconds he would turn his head and do a headcount—still forty-nine of his brethren he saw, including Bane. Every time he spotted Bane, it gave him a moment's comfort, after which he could continue the fight.
Not long after their appearance and after two of the centaurs had fallen (many more wounded), Magorian came to a slow walk in a large hall at the center of the castle. The other humans had formed a perimeter around a spectacle—one black-robed one and a young male were face-to-face and taunting each other.
Bane appeared at his side. "Three dead," he reported. "Half of us are wounded, and half of those cannot fight anymore." Bane moved to continue, but then he recognized the young foal facing the odd black-robed one. "By Chiron…"
"What is it?" Magorian asked.
"Firenze was right. That one—" he pointed to the young male with the messy black hair and wand with glowing red tip "—is the Potter child. The same one that Firenze saved all those years ago."
Magorian's jaw went slack, and even his attention was drawn back to the scene. In the very next moment, the two humans were done talking, and there was a great shout as they called out their spells—and then there was a great explosion of light…
…and that black-robed one was gone.
There were only a handful more skirmishes, but the battle was done. Magorian didn't look Bane in the eye; he knew Bane was trying not to gloat about Hagrid's humans having needed their help. Instead, Magorian took one last roll call of his troops, hoping to head home soon.
"We did a wealth of good," Bane whispered to him as they surveyed those centaurs willing going and healing the humans they could further help.
"I suppose we did." Magorian glimpsed Bane's profile. Bane was generally unhurt, though his right cheek was scraped. Magorian reached up to wipe away the debris dust that mingled with his drying blood. "I'm glad you're safe, Bane."
Bane nodded his affections in response.
The two watched things a little longer before heading for outside. As they went that way, Ronan caught up with them, his face grim despite his smile. "Magorian," he said. "We—we found Firenze."
Magorian glanced at Bane, whose face had lost its color. "And?" Magorian inquired.
"He's alive. He's badly hurt, but he's alive."
Relief had come full circle. Where just hours ago there had been despair, there was now hope and joy for the future. Magorian nudged Bane's shoulder. "Go check on him," he suggested.
Bane shook his head, though he was smiling. "No, it's fine. I trust Ronan to take care of him." He nodded to the light-coated centaur. "Thank you, Ronan."
"Of course." Ronan left them, and Magorian resumed his trek to the outside. Bane followed.
"You don't have to stay," Magorian told him after several minutes of silence. "I know you wish to see him."
"It's been a while, true," Bane retorted. "But I'd like to stay here a little while longer, if that's all right with you." He moved so that he walked side-by-side with Magorian. After brief hesitation, Bane reached for Magorian's hand, playing with his fingertips before linking their fingers.
Magorian couldn't fight his smile as he took comfort in the warmth, the life of Bane. "You were right."
"It's not so bad, changing the skies."
X3 *dies* Okay, so I think I've been converted from a FirenzeBane–RonanMagorian shipper to a FirenzeRonan–BaneMagorian one, dammit. ;P And just when I thought FirenzeRonan had only teased me… AGH! Just gimme more of all of them, please. (And if you write F/R, B/M, M/R, please note that they're M&MWPs, so some credit would be nice, thanks.) This also makes me wonder what the centaurs really did think about the final battle…maybe this really happened! ;P Lastly, "Centaurides" is the term for female centaurs because, c'mon, they have to exist for these guys to exist. :O And the "By Chiron" curse I wrote is akin to wizards and witches taking Merlin's name in vain—it works, I think.
Thanks for reading, and please review!