Harry Potter / Warcraft Crossover. A Weapon. A Hero. And now… a loose end. Harry Potter resolves to destroy the enemies who betrayed him on his terms, only to find all his plans torn asunder when he's summoned to a new world plagued with the enemies of his own.
I don't own Harry Potter in any way. JKR has those rights... Also, Warcraft is owned by Blizzard Entertainment, etc etc.
*Author's Note *
Yes, that's right. 70k+ words posted in just two weeks time. This chapter is long, but I really wanted this all knocked out at once so I could plant a flag and declare Earth 'done'. It also helped my collaborator never failed to keep me on task on this one, much to the detriment of her own writing.
She's awesome, isn't she? (She's actually clinically insane. And Fleur is all her fault!)
Finally, this chapter marks the transition to TBC events. I may occasionally revisit some Level 60 content going forward, but for now it'll be 60 to 70 stuff in Outlands getting some loving.
Inspirations: The Black Scorpion by etincelle047
Collaborator and Co-Author: kathryn518
Chapter First Published: 2014-06-17
Chapter Last Update:
Chapter 17 – Koona t'chuta Solo?
"I'm curious, Mr. Potter… " Nicholas began and then paused with a wry grin, "Or do you prefer to be called Mr. Han Solo?
"The Third." Harry emphasized impishly.
There was a cough from the woman next to Nicholas, the first noise she had made and it was obvious she was attempting to cover up a laugh.
Nicholas grinned and nodded, "Of course. My apologies, I failed to pay tribute to the storied and illustrious family name of Solo."
Harry outright laughed, "You can just call me Harry."
Some of the tension he had been feeling easing up. He had taken two massive gambles. The first was that the Flamel's were indeed alive. Harry wouldn't have put it past Dumbledore to have actually allowed them to die or more likely outright killed them for his "greater good."
Ironically it was Dumbledore's own actions that caused him to suspect that the Flamels may have still been alive. Harry had long ago learned that anything Dumbledore said was at most a half-truth, if not an outright lie.
During his years at his family Manor studying and training he had learned far more about history than had been in that needlessly oversized and bulky tome that Hermione had found their first year. It had only mentioned that Nicholas was a famous alchemist and was the only known creator of the philosopher's stone.
Harry's library was far more extensive and had included a biography of Nicholas and Perenelle, though one that was a little dated at almost 80 years old. It had talked about a great many of the advancements of modern potions and alchemy being pioneered by Nicholas himself. Less publicly known was the fact that he had also contributed a great deal to the modern fields of chemistry and biochemistry.
It had also given nearly equally the amount of detail into his wife Perenelle, who was to rituals and their effects and consequences what Nicholas was to potions and alchemy. Harry had learned after the fact that it was some of her more obscure research that guided the goblins in how to remove the magical "leech" that was infused into his scar.
Harry's other gamble was less about being wrong about something, and more of a personal one. His other issue was that to the public, Nicholas Flamel had been regarded as a friend of Albus Dumbledore. Harry was very concerned about that connection. He had no desire to tangle himself with someone who might have a lot of the same beliefs and views that Harry's former headmaster had.
Harry had been somewhat relieved when he recalled discovering in his library that the Flamels and the Potters, while not staunch allies by any stretch, were historically friendly. He remembered the odd footnote that out of the half dozen apprentices Nicholas Flamel had taken, at least two Potters, ironically twins, had actually apprenticed under Nicholas Flamel, though that was over 300 years ago. Nicholas' greeting had eased the majority of his fears.
Nicholas nodded his head and smiled politely, "Nicholas, and as you have surmised, this is my wife Perenelle."
Harry nodded politely at Perenelle though before he could take the time to introduce his own companions, Nicholas continued.
"I have to admit we almost decided not to come. But your inquiry was just enough to make us wonder as to how you were so certain we were alive. Most people thought we died nearly 20 years ago, and the few who knew otherwise assumed we didn't survive the Demon War." Nicholas asked.
Harry shrugged his shoulders and spread his hands, "Well, it started when I realized that Dumbledore was a bloody bastard. I long ago decided to just assume he lied to me about anything he told me."
Nicholas nodded slowly, "So few people see through the persona Dumbledore crafted through his gathering of power. I take it you were one of the people he stepped on in his quest?"
Harry shrugged a little bit, "I'm probably Dumbledore's biggest mistake. And one that came back to haunt him."
Nicholas nodded slowly, looking at Harry thoughtfully. However it was Perenelle that spoke up next, "Do you know why your inquiry intrigued us so much Mr. Solo?"
"Aside from my wife being a major Star Wars fan…" Nicholas interjected with a grin.
"Please, call me Harry." he replied with a chuckle.
Perenelle smirked and then nodded, "It caught our interest because you are the first person in nearly two hundred years to send an inquiry wanting to hire me, much less both of us." At Harry's curious expression she continued, "We get thousands of requests every year, or we did before the Demon War. Now it's more like 100 or so a year. But they can almost all be sorted into three categories."
Perenelle began to tick off her fingers, "First and the clear majority, a request for the Elixir of Life to extend someone's life or fend off old age. Second, are requests for my husband to take on an apprentice from this or that budding potioneer. Or thirdly, we get the occasional request for my husband to speak."
Harry nodded looking thoughtful, he could imagine people doing just that.
"So when your inquiry looking to hire, something most offers tend to ignore, and most specifically looking to hire both of us, if possible… and if it wasn't possible then prioritizing a consultation with me… well. That was something that beared investigating." Perenelle nodded firmly.
Nicholas picked up almost as soon as she finished speaking. "Our friends the goblins have told us of your forthrightness in dealings with them, as well as the fact that you're a man of your word. Though they could only speak in general terms of course, what they told us interested us enough to at least meet with you."
Perenelle picked up almost immediately,. "I have to admit we're both skeptical, despite our curiosity, we're capable of making our own gold, what possible interest could we have in being hired for anything?"
Harry noticed several of his companions jerk slightly in surprise at the mentioning of making their own gold. Especially Jessir, hidden under the glamour Harry had applied to look human. All of his girls were under a glamour except Onyxia who was watching with undisguised interest.
Nicholas followed it up, "And how do we know that this isn't a convoluted measure to get your hands on my most famous creation?"
Harry had prepared for this, and after glancing at Jessir, reached into his pocket and in an offhand manner, slid her Philosopher's stone across the table where it skidded to a stop in front of the Flamels.
Both of the Flamel's were staring at the stone. Nicholas spoke first as he removed his wand from his sleeve. "May I?" he asked looking toward the head of the table where an intimidating goblin who had been introduced as Ironwork had remained seated and silent.
Ironwork didn't say anything, merely nodding watching the interactions with curiosity.
Harry didn't say anything, merely watched as Nicholas cast several diagnostic spells at the red stone in front of him. Afterward he sat back looking surprised. "It's a genuine philosopher's stone. Albeit a very very crude version of it."
Harry could see Jessir scowl out of the corner of his eye as he tilted his head curiously, "What do you mean?"
Nicholas looked up seeming rather surprised, "It's… almost identical in make up to one of my very first successes. Before I refined and improved it to it's current state. I doubt this one would manage to create more than a dose of the Elixir of Life before it disintegrated… and if I recall, making gold was torturously slow with that stone."
Nicholas paused and looked up, "Still, based on the skill level I have come to expect from the majority of the wizarding world now, I'm amazed that there's any other in existence. I must applaud your efforts Mr. Potter."
Harry chuckled a little bit, "I hope you can see that we do not have any intention of attempting to steal your inventions." Harry was thankful that the girls had all agreed to let him do the talking initially to navigate the conversation. Though Jessir's glare promised retribution for him treating one of her possessions so casually.
When Nicholas nodded a little bit, Harry continued "And you're absolutely right. You have no need of money, I was hoping to appeal to your academic interest and the possibility of a challenge that would likely require both of your skills."
Harry smiled a little bit, seeing that he had the attention and interest of both of the Flamels with that statement. "My official request is that I would like to hire Perenelle Flamel to modify a ritual that works under one circumstance to make it applicable under similar circumstances."
Both Nicholas and Perenelle frowned at that, but Nicholas spoke first. "There are several things wrong with that statement, foremost though I fail to see how that requires my own participation."
Harry chuckled a little bit, "Your participation would be fairly peripheral, looking at a potion involved in the ritual and see if there were easier ways to modify it. However if you managed that I believe I have other areas of interest that would catch your attention."
Nicholas looked very curious now, and after a glance at his wife he settled down in a chair at the table, "I believe you have our interest enough for us to listen to your pitch at least."
Perenelle followed suit and took a seat next to her husband. Once they sat, everyone else in the room sat down at the table as well, save for the goblins who remained vigilant and on guard, minus the silent Ironwork at the head of the table.
Perenelle spoke up first, "I would also like to hear more about this ritual you have that you want me to attempt to modify."
Harry nodded, "You'll have to bear with me a little bit, its a rather long story that requires a bit of exposition." When he got a nod from everyone at the table Harry relaxed into his seat and began his tale.
He didn't go into major detail in a lot of places, just shared with the Flamels and the goblin present the abridged version of what had happened to him in the past year or so. When the story reached their introduction with the Forsaken, he focused most of his discussion on description of the plague and what it had done to the Forsaken, trying not to leave any detail out in that area.
When he finished his story he could see the disbelief on the faces of the Flamel's but before they could say anything he held up his hand. "I believe I can provide proof if you'll allow me to use some magic?" Harry directed his question to the goblin at the head of the table.
Ironwork did not have a disbelieving expression on his face, he merely was watching Harry with a penetrating gaze before he nodded.
Harry removed one of his wands and with a gesture to his companions he hit all of them but Onyxia with a finite spell dispelling their glamours.
When he did a thought occurred to him and he wondered whether a powerful enough finite would cause the Ysondre and Onyxia to revert to their dragon forms from whatever other forms they chose to use. Not something to be tested in the middle of a goblin bank.
The goblin seated at the table was looking at the newly revealed women with interest. Harry surmised that his account manager must have informed him about Arko and Jessir when they had accompanied him to the bank.
Nicholas and Perenelle were both staring at the newcomers in shock. Harry could see a second jolt of shock when their eyes passed over Kudrii, though Harry was impressed that they didn't say anything.
Perenelle's gaze had circled the room and then gone to her husband's stunned expression, and then she burst out laughing. Nicholas just seemed to remain stunned.
Perenelle had a wide grin on her face when she turned to look at Harry, "I must say you have quite the flair for dramatics… a trait you share with my husband. I have to congratulate you though, it's not often I get to see my husband stunned speechless."
Harry grinned a bit, glad that his approach had worked out rather well. "I would like to introduce you to my companions." Once Perenelle nodded, and Nicholas seemed to half heartedly nod, still looking at the alien features of the girls.
Harry gestured to the side, "This is Jessir Moonbow. She's a Night Elf, and incidentally that Philosopher's Stone you just examined was her creation."
That seemed to snap the alchemist back to his senses, he immediately began to speak, "I'd love to pick your brain about how you created it! How many attempts it took. Did you-"
Harry held up his hand to cut Nicolas off. "You might be further interested know that apparently the Philosopher's Stone like that one is a common creation on their world."
Nicholas turned to regard Harry with disbelief, when he attention was pulled back to Jessir as she spoke, "Anyone with any experience in alchemy uses one for transmutations and the like… however ones like the one you see are considered of the highest quality we can produce. I have not heard of anyone attempting to refine them further."
Harry nodded in agreement, and added, "However they have also never even heard of the Elixir of Life before."
Nicholas looked like someone had just waltzed by and told him black was white and that gravity was a suggestion.
Harry nodded seriously, "They have a whole different form of potioneering there. Some potions that are incredibly complicated for very little, or even comical effect, and some that are very simplistic but have very powerful effects. As a matter of fact, with a few minor exceptions, there's very little crossover on potions between the two worlds."
Harry shrugged a little bit, "I will admit, my own lack of understanding isn't that much of a surprise. I've never been good at potions, though having a bigoted immature bastard of a teacher for the first four years didn't help."
Harry felt he had Nicholas' undivided attention, so he turned to Perenelle, "And this is Sylvanas Windrunner, Colette Blaumeux, and Anya Eversong, they are Forsaken. They, and their people, are the reason that I've reached out to hire you."
To anyone who didn't know them, the three introduced last would have seemed stoic and cool. However Harry knew them well enough that he could see the nervousness in two of them and the slightly defiant lifted chin of the second, as if waiting for judgement to be passed upon her.
Harry waited until Perenelle's gaze came back to him curiously. "I'm looking for a way to restore the Forsaken to life, rather than the living dead state they find themselves in. Rituals are not my strong area by any stretch of the imagination. I know of one ritual that I'm am reasonably certain could be modified to restore them, though it is also relatively dark. I'm hoping you might be able to come up with alternatives for their specific situation."
Perenelle was now looking at the three Forsaken thoughtfully, she stepped out of her seat and pulled out her wand with a glance at Ironwork who nodded to her unspoken question as she walked around the table, stopping beside Anya. "Miss Eversong, do you mind if I cast some diagnostic spells on you?"
Anya shook her head, "As long as you don't try and turn my hair bright green like Harry did to Disidra the other day."
Perenelle smirked a little bit and glanced up at Harry for a moment, "Yes, I think you and my husband would get along marvelously… or declare war on one another. I'm not entirely certain." She didn't wait for a response before turning back to Anya to begin casting diagnostic spells on her.
Harry continued with his introductions, more for Ironwork and for Nicolas than Perenelle who was focused on her casting. "Next we have a member of the Draenei race, a holy-magic using priest named Kudrii. Please note that Draenei are not demons, and more specifically, they are not members of the Burning Legion." Harry said the last bit for emphasis as much for the Flamels as for the goblins present who had all been gripping their weapons tightly with most of their stares directed at her.
"I understand you may have seen 'demons' allied to the Burning Legion that looked similar to Kudrii. To understand why that is, you need a history of her people. 25,000 years ago, the planet Argus was home to an extremely long-lived race of beings named Eredar. Their world was ruled by a triumvirate of three extremely power mages and strategists. Their names were Kil'Jaeden, Archimonde, and Valen."
"Somewhere along the line, the fallen Titan, Sargeras, who is the leader of the Burning Legion, discovered this world. He offered them power in exchange for loyalty to his war machine. Two of the three leaders agreed, causing Valen to flee with a sizeable portion of their population. For twenty five millennia, those exiles have been hunted across the cosmos, until they arrived on a planet named Draenor, and named themselves Draenei. Meanwhile, the two who joined the legion, became the number two and number three ranking members of the entire Legion."
"So, sometimes the Legion recruits instead of outright killing everyone?" asked Nicholas as gazed between Harry and Kudrii with an unreadable expression.
"Yes, she's been already fired upon once by an over enthusiastic cursebreaker in Egypt who was wearing pseudo-mage-sight glasses and broke the glamour she had been wearing. But, she's not going back down and be afraid to go out into public because of it." Harry replied.
Harry had been surprised himself when Kudrii had asked to come along on the trip to the bank. But she had seemed very keen to be present for the whole event so Harry hadn't objected. He saw that, as she continued to be around this group, she seemed to be increasingly comfortable asking for what she wanted. Harry had wondered if it was who she was or just determination to be something other than the shy Draenei he had seen when he first met.
Harry smiled inwardly, he wondered what the guards who were bullying her when they first met would think if they saw her now. Clearly the fact that she spent most of her time among veritable legends of Azeroth and was beginning to learn how to hold her own among them, had rubbed off on them. Not to mention that she was now wielder of the staff of Medivh, one of the more powerful weapons of Azeroth.
"Next we have Onyxia." Harry gestured as he shook himself out of his musings on Kudrii.
Nicholas was looking at buxom platinum blonde and spoke doubtfully, "Human…?" his voice trailed off, clearly sensing that there was something more.
Harry shook his head, "She's a dragon actually."
"Dragons?" Nicholas echoed.
Onyxia made a disgusted sound at the back of her throat. "Harry took me to see a reserve of the beasts you consider dragons on this world. They're no more related to us than you are related to a Stranglethorn Ape."
Ironwork spoke up and it was the first time he had done so while utilizing anything more than two words, a nod, or a grunt. "I had my doubts when you had us drop the dragon wards initially. However she does register as a dragon… if only barely."
Onyxia nodded in agreement, "I'm not surprised at all. These dragons are feral with no conscious thought, only instincts. They've got only enough magic to sustain their existence. And they're ugly."
Onyxia didn't consider herself overly vain, at least in comparison to her fellow dragons. But all dragons on Azeroth were proud of their dragon forms. These beasts didn't even have the ability to think let alone have enough sense to be proud of themselves. When Harry had taken them to the reserve, she had had a brief flash of foresight that had shaken her badly.
For just a moment, she saw the majority of her Dragonflight devolving into creatures like the ones in front of her. Mindless, feral, and not even worthy of the title of being called a dragon. She couldn't help but wonder if that's what they might have spiraled down to if Harry hadn't intervened by having the audacity to ask for parley from her on that day so many months ago. An action that had changed the course of both her life and that of her Flight.
The idea that she might one day be as mindless as the ancient Proto-Drakes that still roamed the wilds of Northrend simultaneously terrified and disgusted her.
Harry nodded and turned back to the male Flamel, "I could have her show you, if you really wanted, but I'm not sure the goblins would appreciate it at the moment."
There were quick shakes of their heads and Ironwork spoke, "No, I believe we can take your word for that Mr. Potter. She may have only barely registered as a dragon, however she registered as very powerful magically."
Onyxia looked disappointed to miss the opportunity to show them what a real dragon looked like.
Nicholas had an expression on his face that looked like Christmas had come early and had brought his birthday along for the ride, and he wasn't sure who he wanted to talk to first.
Perenelle had a look of deep concentration on her face when she called out, "Nicholas, come and have a look at this. I want your thoughts."
That seemed to draw Nicholas out of his bemusement and he hurried over, wand out to cast diagnostics of his own.
Perenelle turned to regard Harry thoughtfully for several moments, "Harry… you said you thought you knew of one ritual that would restore them to life. I'm curious as to which ritual you're aware of."
An expressionless mask fell over Harry's face as he nodded a little bit, "I'm not sure what it's called but it uses a bone of the father, unknowingly given to renew a son, flesh of a servant willingly sacrificed to renew a master and-"
"Blood of an enemy, taken forcibly to resurrect a foe." Perenelle finished as she nodded grimly, her mouth set in a firm line. "Not a pleasant ritual."
She regarded Harry thoughtfully for several moments and her eyes widened slightly as realization struck "I have very little doubt as to how you're aware of that particular ritual, despite how obscure it is, or what part you likely played. Especially since I doubt you're likely to have children in need of this ritual and you don't strike me as the serving type."
Harry nodded, but didn't say anything else as Jessir reached over and squeezed his hand gently.
Perenelle looked thoughtful for a moment while Nicholas continued to scan Anya. "I… could see how that ritual would work. I believe it would in fact work, but… I can also see why you want our help. I would never encourage anyone to use that ritual."
It was Sylvanas who spoke up to ask the question, "Why?"
Pernelle frowned, "Rituals… are delicate and can be influenced by a lot of factors. The very nature of that particular ritual is steeped in darkness. It's all about taking, 'unknowingly given', 'willingly sacrificed', and 'forcibly taken'. That's not about restoring life. That's about subjugation and power. That specific ritual would return someone to life. But it would be twisted and bent by hatred. It would not be truly living. "
Onyxia spoke up with a look at Harry, "So it's like Harry told me when we first met. Intent behind the magic is huge. Willingly given versus forcibly taken can lead to dramatically different results. Intent means everything."
Perenelle nodded with a smile, looking pleased at that interpretation. Harry blinked and managed a smile, it seemed a lifetime ago when he had said those words to her when talking about Arko's sword during their first meeting, when he and his companions at the time had all had portkeys firmly in hand to flee at the first sign of aggression.
He watched as Nicholas and Perenelle returned to their diagnostics of Anya, who was looking a little bit self conscious at simply standing there while the two Flamels waved sticks around her, and flashes of light with numbers and symbols appeared in the air, far too fast for even Harry to follow.
Both Flamels finally broke off and pulled to the side for a whispered conference.
Harry could see the nervousness in Anya, Colette, and Sylvanas though they tried not to show it, and it was only obvious in the tenseness in their expressions. Harry himself was feeling nervous for them. The Flamels were really his only option for a solution that wasn't likely to take decades if not longer.
Harry was only adequate in potions, and only out of necessity. Snape was an utter bastard, but he did say impart one accurate bit of knowledge in all his years as a teacher. Potions was a subtle science and an exact art. It required a gift of talent as much as it required knowledge and hard work.
However, in comparison to his knowledge of rituals, Harry was practically a master in potions. The only rituals he knew anything about involved runes and wards, and he only knew of the rituals and that they worked, not how they worked and some of the far reaching implications. As more and more rituals fell into disuse the study of them drew less and less people. Harry knew that Dumbledore hadn't started that trend, but he certainly hadn't done anything to reverse it.
Perenelle Flamel was quite possibly the only person in either world who could help them.
That's why, when they both turned to look at Harry, he quite literally held his breath.
"We accept your proposal." Both Flamels said in unison.
Harry exhaled softly, and was gratified to see a bit of relief on both Anya and Sylvanas' expression. Though he knew that relief was tempered by the fact that no guarantees could be made.
Harry nodded and allowed a relieved smile to cross his face. "Wonderful. We can get you whatever supplies and materials you need brought here, probably even set up a portal to allow us to send anything you need without delays, though we'll need to restrict access. I can set up wards for that, and obviously your compensation is pretty much anything you w-" Harry had started to talk quickly once he had their approval, but he was interrupted by a quick shake of their heads.
"That won't be necessary. None of that will actually. We have only one condition to taking on this task." Nicholas interrupted.
Harry tilted his head cautiously, he had gotten overly excited. He definitely didn't want to blow this, so he took a breath and then nodded for them to continue.
"Our only request, and our compensation, is that we want to go there." Perenelle stated firmly.
Harry blinked in surprise.
He had no idea what to say to that, he had not expected that request. He had been prepared to share the Potter Library, and prepared to share any and all of his warding and rune knowledge with the Flamels to entice them with knowledge.
It was Sylvanas that spoke up, her voice was curious and polite, "Why?"
Nicholas and Perenelle exchanged a look, though it was Nicholas that spoke up, in a voice tinged with excitement, "The challenge was enough for us to try and help you, but the chance to see a whole other world? One with beings different than us? Cultures we've never seen! WIth knowledge that we don't have? That's… impossible to pass up!"
Perenelle's expression was more solemn as she replied, "It also comes at an ideal time for us. We were considering ending our… lives soon."
It was Kudrii that spoke up with a shocked voice, "Why?" Despite her growth and some of the callousness she had displayed to the deaths of enemies it was obvious the idea of voluntarily ending one's existence was outside her process for understanding.
Nicholas smiled a bit bitterly. "It's the blessing and the curse of the Elixir of Life. I set out to create it, and that's exactly what I created."
Harry sat forward with a gasp, his expression showing the sudden comprehension that had just came to him. "It only requires one dose, doesn't it?"
Nicholas tilted his head and smiled sadly at Harry's insight. "That's correct. Requiring a supply was just a fiction that a poor alchemist guessed, which the wizarding world heard then ran with. We simply never bothered to correct them of their presumption. With the handful of people that we ever shared the Elixir with, we required an oath of secrecy."
Kudrii spoke up again, "How many people did you share with?"
Nicholas shook his head, "Only a handful, it doesn't matter now. They're all dead."
Perenelle showed a pained expression, "Killed, or chosen to end it themselves. We haven't shared in 400 years."
There was silence at that statement, before Perenelle picked up again, her voice was very quiet. "While the challenge is part of it, there's also not much left for us here.. Any friendly acquaintances we had were killed in the Demon War, and all of our contemporaries are long dead."
Harry nodded slowly before he smiled a little bit. "Well, that brings up a point I guess I hadn't mentioned. It might interest you to know that in this room alone that there are 3 people older than you."
That had both Nicholas and Perenelle look up sharply, shock on their expressions, "What do you mean?" Nicholas was the first to ask, looking like he beat his wife by only a second.
"Well, I have never asked for exact ages, but Jessir has mentioned being friends with another friend of mine for over two thousand years, and Onyxia was flying in the skies of their world over 15,000 years ago. Sylvanas, if she isn't older than you, is very close. Actually.. when I think about it, I'm the youngest member of this group." Harry frowned looking thoughtful.
Anya grinned a bit and spoke up, "Harry apparently has a thing for older women."
The Flamels were actually stunned speechless, even as the women that surrounded Harry began to quietly laugh at Harry's expense.
Harry shrugged a little bit as he struggled to hide a blush that crossed his face. "So yes, there are several races that are functionally immortal in that world and are ancient even by your standards."
He saw the excitement at that thought crossing both of the Flamel's expression and he held up his hand to temper the excitement, "I don't want to try and discourage you. But there are other things you should be aware of."
Nicholas and Perenelle both looked at Harry, knowing he was being serious. He spoke firmly, "Their world is not like our world. Magic isn't hidden; it's everywhere. So you won't have to hide being magical, but they don't do our type of magic either, so there are a lot of differences. And more than that, they're world isn't some paradise. I will be happy to do my best, but I can't guarantee your safety. As a whole, their world is still under active threat from enemies like the Burning Legion, and the faction that caused the plague you're trying to cure is still very active as well."
Seeing that he had their attention he continued, "There are multiple warring races, that have combined into two factions, the Horde and the Alliance, all divided along racial lines. Ones that are constantly at each other's throats."
Sylvanas interjected at that point, "Harry has been slowly helping, and blurring those lines since he arrived. But you should know, despite the Forsaken's status as one of the smallest factions, we're the least trusted, and we're almost universally hated by the Humans that live there. If you help us, those of your own race on our world will probably mistrust and ostracise you for it if it receives widespread accolades."
Nicholas and Perenelle both glanced at Harry. Harry shrugged a little bit, "I haven't actually had much interactions with the Humans of Azeroth…" He trailed off and then chuckled, "Honestly, excluding those incidental ones that occurred in the past week as we've travelled, I've had exactly two conversations with Humans in the past year and this is one of them."
Jessir chuckled a little bit, "Harry has made a habit of crossing lines and boundaries just by being who he is. He doesn't seem to care about your race… only your actions. Sylvanas is right, other Humans, especially the leadership, will probably not look too kindly on you helping us."
Nicholas and Perenelle shared another glance before they both shrugged in unison at that, "We've had 600 years with Humans, and we've seen the full range of their highs and lows as a species. I hardly think we're going to miss their company anytime soon, especially with so many other cultures to experience and learn from."
Harry regarded them thoughtfully for several seconds before nodding, "We can set you up in the home we're making. It would probably be safest…" He trailed off when he saw them both shaking their heads.
"Actually, if it's possible we'd like to be as close to the Forsaken as possible, at least initially while we work out the cure… after that…" Perenelle replied.
Sylvanas leaned forward toward the two, the expression on her face was clearly one of disbelief, "You would want to stay at the Undercity?"
"If that's where your people live then we'd like to be there as much as possible. I assume it would be relatively safe." Perenelle replied, "The more study and observation we do for this, the better chance for our success to be achieved quickly."
Sylvanas frowned and nodded, "It would be possible for you to stay in the Undercity, especially if my people found you were trying to help them return to life. Though… to be safe I think I will talk to Ghost and make sure that you have guards at all times."
She looked at Harry a moment, then turned back to the Flamels, "In the interest of full disclosure, a coup was recently put down in the Undercity. One that Harry helped uncover. Agents of the Burning Legion turned quite a few residents to their cause, and without Harry's warning, it could've turned out quite bad for us."
Nicholas smiled and said, "Life requires a touch of risk every so often. If you believe this Ghost will protect us while we work, then we're still fine with it."
Harry looked at them thoughtfully and then chewed his lip for a few moments. "Okay, that will work, but I'm still going to set you up a house for your use near our settlement. You can ward it individually however you wish, but we'll have it under the protection of our main wards." Harry took it as a measure of respect that no one immediately started questioning him, and waited for him to explain.
He shrugged a little bit, "Consider it a precaution, or a place to be ensured some privacy. But sometimes you might just want some fresh air, otherwise using bubble head charms might be necessary."
"What do you mean?" Perenelle asked curiously.
Harry glanced at Sylvanas and Anya and frowned a moment. Thankfully it was Sylvanas that spoke up.
"Some Forsaken are in a worse state of decay than others. Because of this, and the fact that it's underground so air is trapped, it makes our city smell of death and decay. There is a toxic sludge that flows through a portion of the city from the Apothecarium, where they conduct experiments hoping for a cure. A great many of our race don't have a sense of smell anymore, so those of us that are lucky enough to have retained this sense have learned to deal with it without complaint." Sylvanas explained, her tone was a bit apologetic and a bit defensive for their race.
Nicholas was frowning thoughtfully, "Honestly… that shouldn't be too much of a problem. I mean… potioneers here almost all work underground. It's a safe and stable environment. We long ago developed wards that cleanse an area of fumes and particulates so minute remnants from one experiment don't ruin another, and it takes care of smel-"
He was interrupted by the loud sound of Harry smacking his head on the table in front of him. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Everyone turned to look at him curiously.
Harry sat back with a sigh of exasperation, "Honestly… that didn't even occur to me. I know the wards that would do just that, I've even tinkered with improvements on them." At the still raised eyebrows around the table he shrugged a bit, "At my family manor I wanted to be sure I wasn't vulnerable to a gas or biological weapons attack from muggles if it came down to that."
He turned to look at Sylvanas and Anya, "Honestly the reason I never thought of it was because I didn't want to offend you or your people by suggesting anything like that for your city."
Sylvanas and Anya exchanged a glance before they both regarded him neutrally, "I think we would be most interested in you setting up those wards. If not for us, than for our people."
Harry sighed a bit as he added one more thing to his list of things to do, before he turned his attention to Ironwork.
"What about you, sir?" Harry asked curiously, with a bit of a smirk on his face. He noted that Jessir and Onyxia were both regarding Harry suspiciously now.
The Goblin looked confused, a rare expression on their face. "What do you mean? What do I care whether or not their city smells? We've been dealing with humans for over a millenia and almost all of you smell in one way or another to us. I'm sure we do the same to you."
"That's not what I mean. I mean what do you think of what you've heard of Azeroth?" Harry shook his head, his grin becoming wider.
Jessir was the first to speak, and this time it was her head who hit the table repeatedly. When she stopped, she groaned, "Oh no."
Nicholas looked at Jessir with his brow twisted in confusion. "What's the matter?"
Onyxia however was trying to hold back very undignified giggles for a dragon, "Disidra was right… he had that expression on his face again before he left and she caught it. She knew he was going to pull something like this!"
"What expression?" Nicholas asked, still looking puzzled, though his wife was starting to smile in amusement and understanding.
Jessir raised her head with a look of theatrical exasperation. "The expression he gets when he has a stupid idea that causes the heavens to tremble and changes our entire world. Things that I then get to explain to my people's leadership after the fact, and always includes the phrase 'it seemed like a good idea at the time'."
The entire room turned as one to look at Harry who was trying and failing utterly to look innocent.
"Well, It occurred to me that there are other problems that I might be able to help with… without becoming directly involved." Harry said, continuing to try and smile innocently.
Jessir coughed something lightly that sounded an awful lot like "fat chance"
Harry's innocent expression dropped off his face and he turned to regard Ironwork, with a serious expression. "I was wondering how the world as I described it appeals to you."
Something in the expression of the goblin twitched slightly but otherwise remained impassive, his voice turning cautious. "Why do you ask?"
Harry kept the smirk off his face. The twitch in the goblin's expression was a fairly significant tell. "Well, according to the information my account manager shared with me, your people are currently under siege and they're attacking you where you live through rather insidious means."
Ironwork regarded Harry impassively, as the silence stretched out for over almost half a minute. "It is true. This is one of half a dozen goblin bank locations that remain open. Our Egyptian location will likely close within the month due to the losses they've incurred. This location will likely be closed within three."
"Why?!" It was Perenelle who allowed a gasp to escape her throat, though Nicholas' expression matched. The goblin bank had been around as an institution longer than they had. It had been one of the few solid and unchanging things in their world.
Ironwork shrugged, though it was clear he was deeply unhappy from the anger present in his voice. "After the Demon War, the mundane Humans have become adept at finding magical places and attacking them. In general, they don't like magical beings, and they lump us all in with demons. The human magical community doesn't care for anything but themselves, and their own greed. If we were to die, it's simply one less 'beast' species to deal with for them."
"What if I offered you someplace else to go?" Harry asked.
Ironwork looked surprised and then shook his head resolutely, "I'm sorry Mr. Potter, though you show your own honor by offering your friend's refuge, I doubt myself, or your account manager, would accept. No goblin warrior would run away merely to be safe, leaving others to face their end."
Harry shook his head, his grin back on his face, "No, sir, you misunderstand. I'm not offering an escape for a select few. I'm offering an escape for all of you. For all of your people."
Ironwork's eyes widened in surprise though a bit of sorrow etched in his face. "Goblins do not take well to charity… however given the circumstances I must at least listen to what you have to say. I do not wish for my people to die out either."
Harry shook his head, he was well aware of the goblins and their culture, but it just reinforced him that his odd thought might work out, "This would most certainly would not be charity. It won't be easy either."
Seeing that he had everyone's attention he continued gesturing to Onyxia as he did, "Recently we assaulted a mountain fortress that Onyxia's elder brother had been using as a base of operations where he was running experiments on living beings."
He noticed that no sorrow seemed to cross Onyxia's face at this point at the mention of her deceased brother.
"The upper mountain is relatively secure, or it was, and I warded it well enough that I doubt anyone in Azeroth is going to break into the upper areas. Also, none of the other factions have asked me for entrance through the various means I left for them to contact me, so I have to assume its empty." Harry shrugged a bit at the speculative look from Onyxia.
He had secured the area before they left as best he could. He had later offered the area to Tyrande, since it had been his group that had cleared it out, with assistance from the Night Elves, but she had deferred on the offer, saying that the area wasn't right for Night Elves. So, as far as he knew, it was still secure and unoccupied.
"That being said, there is still the lower mountain, and the active caldera beneath it. Right now, it's occupied by malevolent dwarves who have been enslaved and do the bidding of what they call an Elemental Lord. They summoned the creature partially into their world as their stronghold was about to be besieged. Instead of helping the dwarves, it enslaved them instead. Somewhat of an instance of poetic justice, the enslavers and precipitators of that conflict became the enslaved." Harry frowned, he actually wasn't certain what an Elemental Lord was, but assumed there was some official designation for it.
Harry focused on Ironwork again, "Would your people consider taking over the mountain? As I said… It would not be charity, you would be fighting for control of the mountain and the resources found within it. Against enemies who will fight you physically and magically."
The Goblin was now regarding him with an absolutely blank expression.
Harry assumed he was either shocked or was waiting for everything. "I also truthfully have no idea if you will be able to counter the Elemental Lord. I'm guessing it's presence has contributed to the constantly active but not erupting state of the volcano."
Ironwork nodded slowly at this, "We long ago learned magic to control elements like that. The Burning Legion tried to use volcanos and earthquakes during the war. They were not successful mostly due to our magic."
Harry nodded, though he hadn't actually known that bit of information. He knew that goblins weren't likely to boast about things that hadn't happened. "And even if you did subdue the elemental, the mountain would then be yours to defend against other races of Azeroth who will want what you possess, especially given it's strategic location."
Harry shrugged a little bit, "It may not sound like the best deal out there, but with this your people could withdraw from Earth entirely. And like I told the Flamels, you will be one of a dozen sentient magical races."
Ironwork nodded slowly, "If we did this… what would you ask in return?"
Harry frowned and stopped from the reply on the tip of his tongue, that he would ask for nothing. He knew that the goblin pride wouldn't take that well. He hesitated before he grinned slowly. "I would ask a few things."
"Once you got there and settled, if your people still were interested in such things, I would ask that you continue to be my bank. I don't necessarily trust all the back and forth between factions that exist upon Azeroth. Besides, several of my companions have stated that carrying around millions of galleons with me is a tad foolish"
"Secondly I would ask that you don't teach any of your magic to any beyond your own people. At least without consulting me first." Harry asked. He wasn't really worried about it since he doubted that the goblins would immediately trust anyone anyway, but he wanted his bases covered.
Harry frowned thoughtfully before nodding once more "Lastly, but most importantly I would ask for your friendship, and the friendship of your people. I am forging friendships and connections with many races and. I would like to have you represented equally among those allies."
Harry nodded, "Oh, one more thing. This world already has a race called goblins…"
Ironwork's eyes narrowed fractionally, "Are you asking me to change what we are?"
Harry shook his head, "No sir, but from what I understand they resemble house elves with even more annoying voices. I just ask that… if you encounter them… just… try not to gut them on general sheer principle. From what I've heard, it will be difficult not to."
Ironwork actually grinned at that before his face took on a more serious. "May we have… three days for me to consult with others before I give an answer? Even as King, I cannot make a unilateral decision such as this without consulting my advisors and the clans."
Harry coughed, completely unaware that Ironwork was the King of the goblins. "Of course, Your Majesty."
Harry left the meeting at Gringotts and a portkey whisked his entire group home to his safe-house. He found those who had been left behind were eager to hear about the meeting. Onyxia was practically bouncing with eagerness to share, while Jessir was just shooting Harry exasperated looks while muttering about having report Harry's newest idea to Tyrande.
Harry took the gentle ribbing he received at the table in good humor, though he was somewhat distracted.
It was Arko that noticed his distraction first, "Harry, what's the matter?" Her question had the effect of the entire turning their attention more seriously onto him.
Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. The problem with being around people who knew him and were concerned with his welfare like his budding family was… they were able to read his moods. He pushed himself up from the table, "Just making a decision."
"Uh oh." Jessir mumbled playfully.
Harry shook his head, "No, nothing that is going to change your world."
"Is that possible?" Disidra asked dryly. Her comments drew snorts of amusement from around the room.
Despite his sigh, he couldn't help the smile that crossed his face at their playful banter. "I've got an errand to run. I've sort of been putting it off."
That drew some concerned looks from around the table, Arko spoke up first. "What kind of errand?"
Harry chuckled, "I'm just going to pay a visit to an old friend."
"Do you want company?" Disidra asked curiously.
Harry tilted his head thoughtfully, initially tempted to say no and then reconsidering it. "Sure, but only two of you, and only if you promise not to stab or otherwise hurt anyone unless you're provoked." Harry paused and re-evaluated that statement for a moment, "Let me clarify, unless you're provoked with some sort of assault."
That drew confused expressions all around, Harry didn't offer to further elaborate. In the end he decided to take Jessir and Arko with him.
Once that was decided Harry quickly created a portkey out of a piece a rope. Well familiar with the process by now, Jessir and Arko took the portkey. Harry glanced at the two of them, "Fair warning, this might be a bit bumpier, I'm not sure if he's changed his wards."
Jessir had just enough time for a shocked "What?" before the portkey hooked at their navels and sucked them away.
Despite Harry's words the portkey touched them down in front of a large stately manor without incident. Harry and Jessir both took a moment to stretch a bit. Taking three international portkey in the span of a few hours still caused some aches and pains.
Harry took a step forward to enter the manor before he paused. "Zippy?"
There was a small pop and a house elf popped in front of the group, looking up in surprise. "Mister Harry Potter! You is being Alive? We's not expecting you!" The house elf did a brief double take as she glanced at the two night elves accompanying him.
Harry shook his head with a gentle smile, "That's okay, it's a bit of a surprise visit. Is your master around?"
Zippy nodded her head quickly, "Yes! Master is in greenhouse! Do you want me to get him?"
Harry chuckled softly, "Some things never change. No that's okay Zippy. I can fetch him myself."
Zippy nodded and then tilted her head, "Do yous be wanting refreshments Sir?"
Harry shook his head, and smiled. "No Zippy, though if we change our mind we'll be sure to call you."
The house elf grinned and bounced at that prospect before disappearing with a pop.
Harry gestured to the two night elves to follow him as he headed along a path around the side of the house out to where there was a large greenhouse. Harry was slightly startled to see that the greenhouse he remembered had more than doubled in size since the last time he had been here.
As they approached the greenhouse, Harry palmed his wand. He learned long ago it was better to be safe than to be sorry in greenhouses, and he had no idea how his friend would react to Harry suddenly turning up out of the blue after being "dead" for over a year. He really didn't want to have a spell fired at him before he had a chance to talk.
"Be careful about what you touch inside. Some of the plants can be lethal if you get too close," he whispered as he reached for the door.
He entered the greenhouse and glanced around. He spotted his friend almost immediately, and predictably hunched slightly over as he packed dirt around some plant in a pot with careful precision.
"Hello, Neville." Harry spoke quietly, knowing they made enough noise on their approach, that they weren't going to sneak up on him unless he was just completely oblivious.
The figure straightened from the pot he was and turned to face Harry. His eyes narrowed for several seconds, staring Harry down without saying anything. Harry noted that his friend hadn't changed much in the five years since he had last seen him. In fact, Neville had seemed younger than the last time Harry saw him. Though perhaps not younger, merely far less stressed and weary. Neville most certainly looked far more carefree than Harry had ever seen him.
Much like Harry, Neville had grown up since they had first met. While Harry was taller, Neville wasn't short by any stretch of the imagination, topping out two inches shorter than Harry at 6'4. While Harry had a more wiry build, Neville was more muscular and probably physically stronger. A bear of a man would be an apt description for how large he was.
Harry really had no fear of his friend. While Neville was no longer the shy stuttering first year who couldn't perform a single spell without it backfiring, he had never become the warrior Harry had. He had become competent, and had fought his share of battles, but it didn't suit his nature.
When Harry had disappeared from the wizarding world after his fourth year. Neville had been one of the few people he trusted enough to keep in contact with albeit discreetly. Neville had always been honest with him and kept him abreast of some of the internal workings in and around Hogwarts.
He had also informed Harry when Dumbledore had begun to try and force Neville into a public and frontline role against Voldemort. Something Neville was ill-suited for. Thankfully, Neville's grandmother had seen through Dumbledore's manipulations. The woman may have had her faults, including expecting her grandson to take the place of her son. But she valued family above all else and cut Dumbledore off at every turn.
Harry's attention was drawn back to the present as Neville called his name and took several strides toward him stopping right in front of him.
"Harry Potter. You've got a lot of nerve coming here. After what you pulled." Without warning he twisted and punched Harry right in the jaw, staggering Harry from a combination of the force and of the surprise.
Harry's eyes were wide, he had not expected that, and only his outstretched hand prevented the two girls with him, ones that Neville seemed to be ignoring, from retaliating on his behalf.
He didn't have time to try to keep the hurt off of his face, he didn't even have time to straighten up as Neville grabbed his arm and pulled him into a hug as he broke into laughter, "Damn, it's good to see you."
Harry coughed a bit at the hug, describing Neville as a bear wasn't an exaggeration, his hug was threatening to crack Harry's ribs as his two girlfriends looked on in complete confusion.
Once Neville set him down, Harry ran a hand along his jaw, coming away with a faint trail of blood from his lip. "What the hell was that for?" He demanded.
Neville grinned looking completely unrepentant, "I haven't seen you in over four years. And the last time you actually visited me here, that prank you pulled ended up with me sleeping in the guest bedroom for a month."
Harry shrugged a bit, a smile pulling at his face, "You looked like you could use the rest."
Neville grinned and nodded, "Best sleep I had since I got married."
Harry frowned again, still rubbing his jaw, though this time was relieved when he didn't come away with more blood "Then why the punch?"
Neville shrugged, unabashed "I figured given your fondness for that movie, you'd appreciate a re-enactment of a scene. I've had years to plan that. You're the one that made me watch that series at your manor."
Harry frowned, "How did you know I'd show up? I was supposed to be dead."
Neville snorted and rolled his eyes, "I admit I wasn't sure whether or not you decided to go down taking the old bastard out… at least until the Ministry uproar about your will reading. You were incredibly generous, donating all of your earthly possessions and money to a Mr. Han Solo."
"The Third." Harry huffed indignantly.
Neville grinned a bit, "I figured it out right then. You're lucky almost all of the muggleborns are dead, because your cover would've been blown instantly."
Harry shrugged, "Hey I have plenty of legitimate documentation giving me that identity."
Neville rolled his eyes and shook his head, "I've just been waiting for you to turn up ever since."
He finally seemed to realize that Harry had company because he started slightly and turned his eyes to look at the two night elves who were still standing in the doorway. Arko was still looking surprised, while Jessir had gotten over the surprise and was looking around the greenhouse with undisguised interest.
Harry gestured to the two night elves. "Neville I'd like to introduce you to Jessir Moonbow and Arko'narin. They're… part of my new family."
Neville hesitated for only a moment before offering his hand to the two ladies, his manners coming to the fore, "Neville Longbottom."
After both women had shaken his hand somewhat hesitantly, Neville turned to Harry with an even wider grin. "Oh I can't wait to hear this story."
"It's a long one. Do you have the time?" Harry asked, suddenly serious. "I know what Hannah's like, and I want to do this without her around. In fact, I prefer she not even know I'm alive."
Neville snorted and shook his head, "You don't have to worry about that. She died near the end of the war."
"I'm sorry." Harry said, more out of obligation than anything.
Neville rolled his eyes. "No you're not. And neither am I. She was a total bitch."
A satisfied sigh of relief escaped him, and he said with a smile "You married her."
Neville rolled his eyes, "You know I had to. Fucking marriage contract. Lucky for me she was stupid enough to venture into Diagon Alley on a day they attacked… all because she wanted some new dress robes. She couldn't dare be seen in the same thing twice."
Harry snorted, well aware of how unpleasant Hannah could be at times. Neville had been forced into it because his Grandmother had signed it as the house regent before Neville came of age, thinking to help her shy grandson.
Neville chuckled softly and pulled out his wand, quickly conjuring several stools for everyone present. "So, let's hear that story."
Harry chuckled and settled easily onto the conjured stool. This was one of the reasons his friendship with Neville had blossomed. Almost anyone else would have taken them inside to the rich trappings of a manor house, if only to show off their opulence. Neville never cared about that, and he was always most at home among his settled down after both Arko and Jessir took seats as well.
Harry frowned a bit, "From the last time we talked? Or from me blowing up Dumbledore and his sycophants?"
Neville shrugged a little bit, "Probably from blowing up Dumbledore. I can pretty much guess that you spent the intervening years setting up your fall back, and every so often trying to drown yourself in firewhiskey."
Harry laughed softly, as much from the statement as how accurate it was. "Okay… well, I had just blown up Dumbledore-"
"Feels good to say that doesn't it?" Neville grinned.
"You know… it does, a little." Harry said with a perfectly straight face that he managed to hold a whole two seconds before laughing. "Anyway, I was being transported by magic when my trip was interrupted by another magic."
Neville crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.
"Seems a Burning Legion Nathrezim on another world, got it in his head to try and summon and subjugate 'the most powerful foe of the Burning Legion' he could." Harry said dryly.
"Oh. I bet he regretted that." Neville laughed, not even bothering to disbelieve his friend on the outlandish statement of another world.
Harry laughed softly, and continued his story. Telling about his killing of the Dread Lord, and his meeting with Arko and then Jessir, gesturing to each in turn. Then he outlined in broad strokes everything else that had occurred to him in the past year.
He made no attempt to hide the extent of his relationship with his family, and Neville made no attempt to judge him for it. His only reaction was a smirk.
"- and now I'm back on Earth. Tying up some loose ends here and there."
Neville just regarded him silently for several moments before he burst into full out laughter. It took him almost a minute to calm himself before he shook his head at Harry, tears of amusement coming from his eyes, "You realize of course that that could only happen to you."
Neville suddenly narrowed his eyes in anger, and snapped "Don't!"
Harry looked taken aback before he realized that Neville wasn't looking at him, but just past him. He turned his head to see a thick vine, covered in spikes, that was apparently frozen in mid air but clearly had been reaching for Harry.
"Back." Neville snapped authoritatively. Harry was able to feel the magic in the command and the vine seemed to shiver slightly before it slunk back away from the group. Harry was completely unsurprised. He had seen Neville's command and connection to plants before. It was similar to his own connection to the shadows.
Jessir and Arko on the other hand were staring at the retreating vine in shock. Harry suppressed a grin, if nothing else this trip was worth it for the constant looks of surprise on the two Night Elves' faces. He turned to Neville with a small smirk and forced nonchalance. "So that's my story. What have you been up to?"
Neville gestured to his greenhouse with a bit of a smile. "With Hannah gone there was nothing really stopping me from being out here as much as I want."
Harry nodded, looking entirely unsurprised, "And the wizarding world?"
"I haven't been out in it since your will reading. Maybe only three times since the end of the war. Minister Weasley is as much of prick as his predecessors." Neville's expression was one of complete disgust.
"Percy always did have a stick up his arse." Harry snorted.
Neville nodded in agreement, "I've received a few owls about neglecting my 'duty' on the Wizengamot. And you'd think that the death of Voldemort and the Demon War lasting longer than a decade would change how things are run. But no. It's pretty much the same, only without the Statute of Secrecy to worry about. If anything they're worse. Stupid bastards. Last I heard they're trying to subjugate the Goblins."
"That makes this so much easier." Harry's grin was wide. "The Goblin part is true. And they're losing badly. I was told I would likely need to find alternative arrangements for my vaults within a few months. Do you know where you would keep your family's more valuable pieces of legacy if the Goblins went under?"
The idea of the Goblin's folding seemed as shocking and abhorrent to Neville as it did to the Flamels when they heard. The large man worked his mouth for a few moments before he finally shook himself out of his stupor.
After a pause to collect his thoughts, he said, while shaking his head, "I wouldn't know. And I would expect the various ministries to be watching the banks to see who goes in around the times the branches fold in order to try and rob them blind afterwards."
"How you feel if I asked you to join me on Azeroth? At the very least it's an interesting place, and I've got a few things that maybe could use your particular... touch." Harry asked bluntly as he glanced around the greenhouse for emphasis.
"Hell yes! Do I have enough time to pack up my greenhouse?" Neville responded immediately.
Harry blinked in surprise. He had expected that Neville would take some convincing, and had planned to dangle the opportunity to see Teldrassil in front of him. Harry was hoping that Neville's connection with plants might be able to help in some way. It caught him off balance, "Um… well yeah. I… actually envisioned this conversation to be harder."
"You always overcomplicate things." Neville said blandly, a grin on his face before his expression turned more serious. "There's nothing left for me here. I've mostly been entertaining myself by breeding new plants in my greenhouse. I keep waking up in the morning and expect another war to break out between magicals and muggles."
Harry nodded, the disgust in Neville's voice was evident. Harry knew that Neville didn't object to fighting but he abhorred senseless violence and violence caused by stupidity.
"You should know… I can't promise you'll like many of the humans that you find on this world. From what I can tell they're like the purebloods." Harry warned his friend.
Neville rolled his eyes, "Stop trying to talk me out of it." He flashed Jessir a grin when he heard her snicker at him before he turned his head slightly. "Flippy!"
There was a small pop, and the little house elf appeared, "Yes, Master Neville, sir?"
"Flippy I need you to get the other elves to help. I want everything packed up and fit into trunks. We're leaving." Neville said, his voice gentle.
Flippy looked shocked at the order, "Everything, Master Neville?" It was a sign of how well Neville treated his elves that the little elf felt the confidence to question her master's order.
Neville nodded, "Everything, don't plan on ever coming back here. Take all that you can." The house elf nodded a bit and then popped away from the group without saying anything more.
He turned back to Harry and asked, "They'll have that done in the next hour or so. When can we leave?"
It was a very busy and hectic three days for him. In revenge for Neville's little prank with the punch, after portkeying back to his house with Neville and all Neville's elves in tow, Harry had announced to his girls that they should get to know his friend. With that statement he pulled Sylvanas and Anya aside and then promptly disappeared, which left Neville to the tender mercy of an interrogation by his girlfriends.
He didn't feel guilty about it at all. Neville had pulled off a masterful prank, however brief. Revenge was practically expected.
Besides Harry had remembered another promise that he needed to fulfill.
Harry left with Sylvanas and Anya back through the portal to Azeroth. Sylvanas had inquired briefly as to what they were doing, and Harry explained that he assumed she'd want to go to Undercity and arrange for everything with Nathanos, and while she did that he had a promise to keep and also wanted to add some of the wards he had thought of to the city itself.
Sylvanas had instantly agreed, she was no more fond of the oppressive smell of decay and waste that permeated the city than anyone else. She had just long ago learned to live with it and ignore it.
So they had ventured right to Undercity from their home in Azshara. Sylvanas had lead the three of them to the throne room. A quick consultation with Nathanos had Harry granted permission to add some wards. Harry wasn't sure but he thought he saw a momentarily pleased smile flit across Nathanos' face.
It took almost an hour of walking as Harry wandered aimlessly through the city, Anya and the Dark Ranger Kalira, who had been part of their expedition in the Plaguelands, accompanied him while he walked, while Sylvanas had stayed back to consult with Nathanos. Harry stopped on a regular basis to take time to inscribe a slightly complex series of runes onto walls, floors, and in odd nooks and crannies. Any place where air could stagnate or be blown. Anya and Kalira followed him along without question or complaint.
When that was concluded, they returned to the surface above Undercity, and wandered off of the beaten path amongst the ruins of the former royal city of Lordaeron. Eventually, they came to an overgrown park in the Northwest quadrant of the former capital of the northern Kingdom. Harry was still reminded of the idea he had upon his first visit of the need to repair the walls here and magically reinforce them.
The park had a few former signs of the beauty and tranquility that once existed here, and he hoped what he was about to do would aid in its return. He waved his wand a few times to transfigure the overgrown and now dead grass before him into a flat surface, then asked Anya and Kalira for a bit of space.
Harry sat cross legged on the ground and worked in silence as he placed hundreds of the small diamonds onto the semi-hard ground one by one, taking time to etch a few runes into a face of each diamond with his magic as he did so. He made no comment to Anya, Kalira or the other Dark Rangers who began to gather as they patrolled the upper ruins and saw what they were doing. The group watched in solemn silence as he worked, as they were well aware of what the diamonds had formerly been..
Many of them had been present when he had insisted on cutting all the bodies down from the trees, and then had made them into diamonds so that neither the Plague nor the Scarlet Crusade could dig up the bodies.
Harry continued to work, and ignored the growing crowd that had gathered as he labored. The slowly rising mound of carefully placed diamonds attracted their attention as much as the presence of the Human in their midst. Harry ignored the whispers that came from the Dark Rangers as they repeatedly explained in quiet rasps exactly what the diamonds he was using were from.
When Harry had removed and placed the last diamond from his pouch almost an hour after he had started, he stood up, and pointed at the ground in front of him. With a soft murmur he transfigured the ground to create a raised dias. Harry gestured at the base and words seemed to carve themselves into the grey stone as if from an invisible pen. Multiple times the same were inscribed in all tongues that Harry had learned since he came to Azeroth. Common, Thalassian, Orcish, and the crude script the Forsaken had adopted that represented Gutterspeak.
Then with another gesture of his wands at the hundreds of diamonds that surrounded him, the diamonds lifted as one and floated on of the dais. Suddenly there was a very faint sound, as the diamonds moved together slowly and scraped against each other. Harry twisted his wand and controlled their movements as a whole, and as he poured more magic into what he was doing, the diamonds slowly all began to change color as part of the runes he had burned into each one.
When the diamonds finally stopped their movement, they had transformed into the shape of an obelisk twice his height. Upon each face was the coat of arms that the Forsaken had adopted to represent themselves, which they had so often proudly displayed upon their heraldry Harry had seen within the city.
The backdrop of the embossed symbol was easily identifiable as being a raven, one of the universal symbols of Death. Atop it, were two arrows crossed in the four cardinal directions, along with a third, pointing northeast, which was symbolically broken. Atop the arrows, was ¾ of a broken mask, which whenever Harry had laid eyes upon it previously, usually reminded him of Sylvanas and her defiance before hardship.
Now, shaped in diamonds, the weeping mask gave an even stronger impression of the iron will that the undead people around him possessed. No matter how much the world threw at them, they would not quit, and they would endure, even as thin silent tears rolled down their faces.
Harry paused to inspect the figure he had created for a long minute before it met his approval. Taking a deep breath he braced himself and began to pour magic into the diamonds. Harry knew it was going to take a lot out of him, but one thing that always angered Harry about war and combat was all the innocents that got hurt in the crossfire and how often those innocents were quickly forgotten about. This was a chance to make sure that so many innocents weren't forgotten about.
With that in mind Harry continued to pour magic into the diamonds, activating additional runes he had etched ,and as he did, each diamond seem to begin to glow in soft light. Sweat began pouring down Harry's face as he continued pouring his magic into the construct, activating rune after rune. Finally the last diamond in the now solid obelisk activated, and for just a moment, the entire object flared a bright white, and a wave of magic washed outward from the construct, before it returned to emitting a soft glow.
After the flair of magic, Harry dropped his arm, swaying on his feet for just a moment before his legs gave out on him. He would have collapsed but Anya was suddenly there slipping under his arm with ease and holding him up. "I've got you, Harry."
Harry blinked spots out of his eyes several times as he took deep breaths. He had pushed himself to exhaustion again, and knew that he'd be sleeping like a log tonight. It took him several breaths to realize that he was breathing fresh air. Or at least fresh in comparison to the stench of death and decay that he had become used to in the Undercity and part of the surrounding countryside that vented to the open air above.
Anya finally tore her eyes away from the glowing statue, easily twice as big as she was, to look at the words at the base. She recognized it as something Sylvanas would whisper to herself in the few moments of doubt she experienced over the years whenever she felt no one was watching. She realized Harry must have heard her say it, but turned it around to capture the ultimate mentality upon which her entire people now lived by.
"Slaves to this torment we may be, but yet we stare back defiantly at all who would forsake us." Anya read quietly aloud.
Harry nodded a little bit as he caught her eye, "Seemed appropriate."
Anya nodded a bit before she turned, realizing just how much energy Harry had used because he was leaning on her so heavily. She didn't comment and she certainly didn't mind. Harry was surprised to see the number of Forsaken who gathered around, and their looks were torn between him and the monument.
No one said anything as Anya helped him slowly away from the statue. As far as Harry was concerned they didn't need to. The monument was the right thing to do, and he had included runes and wards to make the whole city safer. Harry missed the looks on the faces of the Forsaken as Anya guided him away from the group.
A small drink of mage water, once they had returned to the throne room, had Harry up and moving under his own power, if not slightly energetic. Harry knew he could probably top off again with the water but preferred not to. He had already noticed that mages here seemed almost religiously reliant on this conjured water; always having it in stock and drinking from it.
Harry, Anya and Sylvanas left the Undercity back for the home in Azshara not long after to return home.
When they stepped through the portal back to Earth, Harry couldn't help but smile, he was feeling pretty good about himself. The Undercity would be slightly more hospitable when Nicholas and Perenelle showed up, and he had kept his promise to those who had lost their lives to religious zealots.
Harry was idly wondering if Neville had holed himself up in a room somewhere to escape the rowdiness that could be his girlfriends. Harry thought that Onyxia and Jessir especially were blunt and unrestrained enough to frighten him.
Instead Harry discovered to his shock that Neville and all of the girls were still around the large dining room table. Harry's gut started to sink a bit when he realized that all the girls were laughing helplessly at something Neville had just finished telling them.
The way all of them turned to look at him before bursting into laughter again as he entered, told him all he needed to know.
It was Jessir who looked at him with a wide grin, "Neville was just telling us about some of your school experiences!"
"Oooh! What did I miss?" Anya asked with an eager grin.
"Oh just about Harry killing trolls, and spider colonies. Neville was just about to tell us about Harry's first dance."
"...and I'm going to bed." Harry stated dryly, leaving the room as laughter erupted. He gave Sylvanas' hand a squeeze as he passed, since he knew today likely had been a bit stressful for her. He made it upstairs and didn't even bother to take off his clothes as he collapsed face first into the bed, completely dead to the world.
Harry didn't awaken until nearly noon the next day. He looked around his bedroom blearily. He knew he was joined at some point by a few of the the girls because he was completely naked in bed, and far more of the bed had been upturned had he been the only one sleeping in it.
It most certainly hadn't been one of the Elves who had undressed him. It had only taken one occurrence for Harry to forbid Dobby from undressing him. The house elf was very devoted, but Harry drew a very firm line there.
Harry made his way back down to the kitchen, where he noticed many smiling faces.
"Morning sleepyhead!" a cheerful Arko laughed and gave him a firm kiss good morning.
Harry grumbled a good morning back but that didn't stop him from deepening the kiss for a few seconds before shuffling to the table where Dobby had breakfast appearing in front of him in an instant. None of the girls felt like sharing anything Neville had told them from the night before. Despite several attempts from Harry to get them to talk.
Neville's grin however told Harry all he needed to know.
Harry spent the rest of the next day recuperating and making arrangements with the house. After some internal debate Harry decided to move the graves of both Tonks and Susan to a remote part of their new home. It took several trips, because he insisted on moving the two graves and statues alone. There was a sense of finality to the trip, because that more than anything signaled that Harry had no intention of returning to Earth
After he had move the graves and the tombstones, Harry finally asked Neville to help him with the final piece. Harry didn't know of any way to get the tree up from the ground without destroying it. Neville merely laid his hand on the trunk of the tree for several moments. Harry felt the surge of magic without able to really figure out what exactly was done.
The entire tree seemed to shudder as it shifted, the roots pulling themselves from the ground before Neville waved his wand and levitated the tree.
Neville repeated the process in reverse after stepping through the portal. Setting the tree down right next to the graves, in nearly the exact position it had been on Earth, and then whispering softly to it, Harry watched as the roots dug themselves back into the ground with a shudder.
His only regret was that he couldn't move the graves of his parents to this world. Voldemort had long since desecrated them to raise their bodies as inferi in time-forgotten raids which Harry had stayed away from. He honestly didn't know what he would've done had he faced the animated corpses of his parents in battle.
When they had returned to Harry's increasingly empty house, Harry finally explained to Neville what he wanted him to work on in Azeroth.
Harry nearly had to resort to taking a wizarding oath to convince Neville he wasn't trying to prank him with descriptions of a tree the size of Teldrassil. Harry wasn't entirely certain what Neville would be able to do, if anything. But given that he'd never come close to replicating magic like the kind Neville had with plants, Harry assumed if anyone could it would be Neville. At the very least he knew Neville would enjoy himself.
Harry was honest enough with himself to admit there was a bit of selfishness to his actions. Having Neville in Azeroth would effectively sever the last remaining tie he felt to the planet of his birth. He had already started thinking of the home he was building with his girls as "home."
The last day before meeting up with the goblins again, Harry undertook his most dangerous and exhausting excursion since his return to Earth. Something Neville absolutely refused to join him in doing.
"No way. I'll happily follow you to battle, or to another world, but that is out of the question." He had stated definitively.
So Harry had braced himself and took his girls shopping.
Harry made sure glamours were fully in place, and portkeys were present and then they went on a whirlwind excursion that had them shopping for everything from furniture to clothes to weapons. One thing that had surprised him was that commerce had seemed to pick up a great deal so there were a great many more stores than the last time he checked. Nothing like what it was pre-war, but far better than it was right when the war ended.
Harry found an archery store for Sylvanas and Jessir to explore. He ended up buying out half of their inventory. Between their interest in the compound bows that they had never seen before, and different arrows and other exotic bows. Harry was surprised they escaped the store. They merely wanted to experiment. Harry hadn't batted an eye. He promised if they found the bows preferable he would enchant them, but he was relatively certain that most of them were purchased out of curiosity or in Jessir's case to show them off to the other Sentinels.
Kudrii and Anya both seemed to take to furniture shopping with a vengeance. They went to multiple stores but Harry was certain that all told they ended up with a stores' worth of inventory to help furnish their new home.
Onyxia and Arko had explored a sword shop in Asia and left after less than two minutes after seeing how low the quality of the work was there. They had then joined Kudrii and Anya shopping for furniture. Harry was there when they discovered the concept of a waterbed. Something they all seemed to love.
Harry did not foresee that ending well, but wisely kept his comments to himself. He mentally made notes to figure out a runic method to accomplish the same thing with water itself, since he envisioned the bed lasting mere days with the kind of women he surrounded himself with.
Disidra and Colette had to be stopped from trying to purchase an entire bookstore. In the end Harry had cheated and hadn't spent a dime. Harry had simply created duplicates of their entire stock inside a shrunken trunk. He had done this for several different book stores to be safe. The entire process left the contents of the trunks an unorganized mess, but the prospect of organizing the books only seemed to egg the women on.
Those simultaneous trips had Harry jumping all over the place into the early afternoon before the group got together for a late lunch.
Harry only made one quick shopping trip for himself. After he happened to see a small selection of dvd's at a store, he remembered the girl's reaction to the various movie nights in his tent over the past year. He proceeded to hop to a couple of different stores and simply went the expedient method of taking their entire collection of dvd's and leaving behind a large amount of money and a powerful confundus charm.
The group decided to stay together and with what Harry would later would swear was a hive mind, agreed in unison to go clothes shopping.
The group didn't arrive back home until well after dusk. Harry didn't even bother keeping track of all the clothes they purchased. He was relatively certain that the clothing would probably be enough for them to go several years without repeat.
There had been a minor distraction when Jessir had inadvertently discovered an "Adult Store." After Harry had reluctantly explained exactly what that meant, Jessir had promptly told Onyxia and they had grabbed and dragged Ysondre, Arko and Kudrii with them. Anya followed "out of curiosity, which meant Sylvanas and Collette followed."
He didn't want to know what they purchased in that store. Each of them had a large bag with them as they left, and Jessir had three. House Elves were summoned before Harry could even ponder to ask what was in them.
Harry had sent everything they had purchased that day along with most of his belongings and most of the House Elves through the portal to the new world lead by Dobby who was eager to be the first house elf to have traveled to another world.
Harry was relatively certain that the dwelling they would see when they got through would only bear a passing resemblance to the one that stood now. He had also given Dobby instructions to prepare three or four of the outer buildings as possible houses for the Flamels. Harry wanted them to have a choice though he was well aware that each of the houses was spacious and luxurious by any standards so he didn't expect any complaints.
After one last night sleeping in the house, he and all of his girls returned to Gringotts the next morning as scheduled.
Three days after the second meeting at Gringotts, Harry returned. This time he returned with just Jessir, Onyxia and Kudrii, and he found himself escorted by a guard of goblins to a different room.
Upon entrance to the room Harry froze, for just a moment. They had been lead into a much larger room this time. It could barely be considered a conference room, it was practically an entire auditorium given it's size and scale. Ysondre, and Onyxia could both fit in the room twice over with room to spare.
The table in the center was relatively small given the rest of the space in the room and Harry found himself confused and wondering why they were meeting there. At the table sat Ironwork at the table's head, along with 10 other goblins, all replete in shining heavy armor. The other goblins all eyed the new arrivals with interest.
Also seated at the table were two humans, neither of them looked familiar. Harry stopped, looking puzzled. The two gave him a friendly wave and his confusion grew. Then he blinked and nodded, "Mr. and Mrs. Flamel, right?"
"That's right." Nicholas replied with a grin.
"So are these your real faces?" Harry asked curiously.
Perenelle chuckled a little bit, "We almost always wear glamours when we're in public. It's a safety precaution. Aside from the goblins you're the first to see our real faces in quite some time."
"That's a shame." Harry replied with a wink. He was gratified when both Nicholas and Perenelle laughed at his remark, but it was the truth.
Nicholas looked like he was in his late thirties or early forties. His dark hair had a bit of grey in it, and his face was a bit worn. Harry could see the lines on his face, but could tell they were laugh lines rather than signs of significant age. Perenelle looked even younger. She seemed like she was in her early thirties, her dark brown hair had no sign of grey, and her dark brown eyes were alight with amusement.
Both of them were practically vibrating with childlike excitement. A picture that was further enhanced by the backpacks both had sitting on their laps. It was almost enough to make Harry laugh out loud. He could only imagine what they had squirreled away inside them, as they very likely contained everything the couple owned.
"Ah, Mr. Potter thank you for joining us." Ironwork said bringing the attention back to the meeting and the matter at hand, as he gestured to the rest of the seats at the table, leaving four empty seats.
Harry sat down and nodded, followed by his three companions. "Greetings, Your Majesty. Have you made a decision concerning my offer?"
Ironwork nodded slowly, "Yes, Mr. Potter, we have. Your offer met with near unanimous approval."
"That's good. I think this will be a beneficial opportunity for you. How many total goblins do you have?" Harry asked.
"We have close to 6,000 warriors and equal to that number in non-warriors, including children and elderly" Ironwork replied.
"Well, assuming you intend to use more than just your weapons, I'm optimistic that you will have a successful campaign. Though I have no idea the number of Dark Iron Dwarves or other beasts you will likely be facing." Harry said thoughtfully.
Ironwork snorted a little bit, "Mr. Potter, a warrior who does not use every weapon at their disposal is not worthy of their name."
Harry nodded in agreement, "So will you shut down your caves and tunnels here?"
"No. Ten of the twelve goblin clans have decided to take this opportunity no matter where it may lead us. These goblins joining me are all the heads of their respective clans." Ironwork gestured to the goblins sitting at the table with him, all of whom gave small nods of agreement.
Harry raised an eyebrow, "What about the other two clans?"
Ironwork gave a feral smile, "Those two clans have elected to stay behind. Most of their families have been taken in by the other clans now in hope that they may survive. When the majority of our people are safe on the other side, I believe that they will attempt to redress some of the wrongs that have been inflicted upon our people."
Harry frowned a moment before he nodded with understanding. He really didn't want to start another war, but he couldn't exactly tell the goblins to just forgive and forget either. He was hardly the poster boy for pacifism. Besides, its not like he was going to be around to see the chaos.
"We do not take attempted genocide with good humor. I'm sure you understand." Ironwork said blandly.
"I do understand. I would pity them, but they've brought this on themselves. Those who would try to exterminate another species merely for greed or avarice, or blind hate do not deserve mercy." Harry replied, his voice hard. He took a moment to calm himself before he continued, "When can you be ready to go?"
At this statement Ironwork looked hesitant, "We could be ready to go entirely within an hour. We have also agreed to your terms, we will continue to provide banking services However there are a few... complications we were hoping you would be amenable to discussing."
Harry frowned and tilted his head curiously. He saw Onyxia lean forward slightly and narrow her eyes suspiciously. He wondered what the issue was. Because he had acted honorably to the goblins, they had always been incredibly honorable in their dealings with him. So he had no fear that they were trying to swindle him. In fact Ironwork seemed a bit nervous to be bringing up the topic.
"I'm always willing to discuss things, as my account manager Shatterhand, can tell you. Though that doesn't mean I'll agree. But I'll always listen." Harry replied noncommittally.
Ironwork nodded, "Shatterhand has informed me, that's why I am bringing this to your attention."
"And you have it," Harry nodded and gestured for him to keep speaking. Whatever the goblin wanted to talk about obviously was serious enough for him to bring it up despite the risk of alienating Harry and risking this opportunity for his people.
"This offer you have presented to us, you did not offer it merely to have us take out these crazed enemies that inhabit the mountain did you?" Ironwork asked bluntly.
Harry felt Jessir stiffen in anger next to him, but his hand on her thigh stopped her from saying anything. Harry didn't take offense to the question, he knew it was merely the goblin's way of establishing facts before presenting their argument.
"No. I won't deny that if you are successful, you will eliminate a problem for me. However, I looked at it as a chance to help you as my friends who have always done right by me. I have no more interest in seeing you wiped out by suicidal wizards with no concept of what they actually are doing, than you do. This just...kills two birds with one stone if you will." Harry shook his head.
Ironwork nodded, his expression seemed to appear like Harry's answer affirmed his suspicions. "Would you have interest in helping others who are in similar or in truth, in even more dire straits?"
Harry froze for a moment and then frowned, "What others are you talking about?"
"There are currently three magical species that hover on the very brink of extinction and are being actively hunted by both humans and wizards. Two of those species we have been harboring as fugitives in our caves." Ironwork replied.
Harry closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. He heard Onyxia snickering next to him and that definitely did not help matters. "It depends on what and how many we're talking about. I don't have the capability to transport the entire magical world of this planet somewhere." Harry said flatly. "More importantly, I don't have the interest in doing so."
Ironwork shook his head, "Believe me, the majority of the magical world is now the wizards, and we have no interest in bringing them."
Harry nodded warily, "Okay, as I said, I'm listening. But no promises."
Ironwork nodded quickly. "The first group is the one we are in regular contact with, but are not sheltering in our caves. However they are nearing the point of extinction. The war decimated the Merfolk populations, and humans have not helped things. There is a single colony left. Less than 300 members. With two thirds of them children."
"What are Merfolk?" Kudrii interjected curiously.
Harry frowned, he did not have fond memories of the Merfolk, but his only real interaction with them had been for a minute or two in the Black Lake during the Tri-Wizard tournament. "They're like Naga only with more humanoid upper bodies and they live entirely underwater."
Seeing the expressions that crossed the face of his three companions, Harry quickly shook his head. "The similarities are only superficial at best. They keep almost entirely to themselves. They don't tend to initiate wars with people. As a matter of fact I've never heard them instigating any sort of conflict with anyone, magical or non-magical... ever."
Harry paused and frowned, "Though they did stick a trident at my throat one time, so they're not entirely pacifists." Harry glanced around at the glares from his companions and shook his head, waving away their concerns. "No, they were part of that tournament I was forced into, and they were just doing what they were told to protect me from taking more than one person from the bottom of the lake."
"They've always been quite small in population as well. Given the glacially slow rate at which they reproduce, if they suffer more losses, their species will certainly die off soon." Ironwork added, in his best attempt to be helpful.
Harry sighed a bit. He shook his head slightly, "How long will it take to get a meeting with them? I had not planned to be on Earth much beyond today. We are politically and strategically connected to numerous races on Azeroth, and we need to get back soon to tend to those alliances and help build them further."
"We informed them of our plans yesterday, they communicated with us this morning to see if a move was feasible for them as well. They empowered me to discuss and negotiate with you if necessary." Ironwork interjected.
Harry drummed his fingers on the table while he considered. "They could probably occupy the underwater ruins near the home we have established. They're clear of Naga for the moment. But the Merpeople should be aware that I can't guarantee their safety forever."
Seeing the curious looks of both the goblins and the Flamel's, Harry expanded a little bit, "There is a similar species that live underwater and along coast lands of Azeroth. Their race is known as Naga, and they are very hostile to all landwellers. Though our wards will provide some protection from them, the Merfolk could be hunted by the Naga if those wards were ever breached."
Ironwork nodded, "We have already informed them that safety could not be guaranteed. They have stated that they understand the risks. They have also acknowledged that they do not have much in the way to offer in trade, so if you allow this, they will owe you a great debt."
Harry waved his hand in the air, pushing aside the idea of a debt. His mind had already moved on to the logistics involved in this. He glanced at Onyxia, "I have no idea if a portal can be created underwater. That might be a challenge."
"If you can create a portal in our caves to the location we can arrange full transportation from their home to the portal with two hours notice." Ironwork replied quickly.
"That would probably work. Worse comes to worse, I create a portal in your cave to right above the water so they have a small drop when they go through. A foot or two at most and very limited exposure to the surface," Harry replied.
"So, you are amenable?" Ironwork asked to clarify.
After a moment's hesitation and a glance at his companions, all of whom were smirking at him, amusement on their expressions, Harry nodded.
"I will notify them so they may begin preparation to move at once." Ironwork gestured to one of the goblins who stood on the wall of the room. The goblin nodded and then darted out of the room.
"Okay, what about the other races?" Harry asked.
"The second group has sought refuge with us, but has asked that we discuss and negotiate possibilities with you." The goblin replied.
"They must trust you a lot if they're in your caves and still want you to negotiate." Harry said speculatively, through narrowed eyes.
Ironwork nodded. "Their leader said, and I quote. 'The last time we saw the stars they foretold only that our path to the future is uncertain. Nothing more.'"
"Centaurs." Harry identified instantly.
"That is correct." Ironwork replied.
"Absolutely not! We have centaurs on Azeroth. We have enough problems with them as it is. They're nearly mindless aggressive brutes." Jessir blurted out, smacking her hand on the table in front of her for emphasis.
The goblins were surprised by her sudden outburst, but Harry cut her off with raised hands. "The centaurs on Earth are different than the ones on Azeroth. I won't deny that some can tend towards territorialism, but they are absolutely peaceful unless provoked. And they spend more time gazing at the stars than they do caring for what's happening around them. That's very likely what led them to incur much of the losses they've experienced."
Jessir looked like she was still going to argue the point, when Harry's voice dropped and he continued softly. "One of them helped protect me from a teacher possessed by Voldemort when I was eleven years old. It's entirely possible that I would be dead if it not for his rather timely intervention."
That seemed to take all the wind out of Jessir's sails as she seemed to deflate. "How many are we talking about?" She asked quietly.
"There are 143. They are all that remains, and they are the last herd that formerly occupied the Forbidden Forest." Ironwork replied.
Jessir nodded a little bit at that, glancing at Harry. "It's your call." Her expression turned a touch more amused. "You are going to be the one to explain this to Tyrande, though!"
Harry nodded, "Fair enough. I am not certain where would be best to set them up, I assume they would prefer a forest area?" Harry asked looking at Ironwork.
"Centaurs are most comfortable in a forest, that is correct." Ironwork replied.
Harry tapped his fingers on the table as he considered that. "Unfortunately the home we have doesn't have much true forest around it." He paused while he considered, and was about to ask the others for their opinion before he changed his mind.
"If the Forbidden Forest was ideal, then it's possible they would fit perfectly in the forests around Dark Shore. They would probably help take care of the Naga problem as well." Harry said glancing at Jessir.
Jessir froze for a second and then nodded slowly, albeit reluctantly, "You're definitely explaining that one to Tyrande."
Harry chuckled a little bit and nodded, "If not, I wonder if Prophet Velen would object to company around the Exodar. Given their proclivities for reading future events from the stars, they might get along really well with the Draenei."
Kudrii frowned a little bit and then nodded, "That might work. Some of my people might not like it, but I doubt there would be strenuous objections."
Harry turned back to Ironwork, "I assume they can be ready to go shortly?"
"They are slightly nomadic by nature. They're prepared to move at a moment's notice. That will not be an issue." Ironwork replied.
"Tell them yes. Though I will have to discuss it with my allies on Azeroth to place them in an ideal environment, otherwise they might have to get used to living somewhere besides a forest." Harry told Ironwork.
Ironwork nodded a little bit, "They will be indebted to you as well."
Harry shook his head, "In this case, I already owed Firenze for saving my life."
Ironwork grinned in a wide toothless smile. "Their leader in fact is Firenze, who said that you might say that. His response is, "One life can sometimes be worth many. That is not the case in this circumstance. The stars long ago foresaw a debt to you and he was merely paying a small part of it back in advance."
Harry groaned and ran a hand over his face. He hated dealing with any sort of prophecy or foretelling. He also knew it would be pointless to argue. "Very well. Make sure that they know I have no intention of collecting on any debt and wish they didn't feel that way."
Harry noticed the Flamels seemed pleased by that statement. The goblins all exchanged a look at that statement but said nothing.
Ironwork however nodded, seeming to have expected that response from Harry. "The last group is here and wishes to discuss and negotiate with you for themselves, if that is acceptable."
"That's fine," he said, though he muttered under his breath, "as long as it isn't going to be giants…. or trolls..".
Ironwork gestured to another goblin on the wall, that goblin nodded and quickly left the room while he turned back to Harry, "We can leave if you would like us to give you privacy for your discussions."
Harry shook his head, "No need, I'm not hiding any of my dealings from you."
The goblin that had just darted out of the room, returned. A dark haired, and very beautiful woman followed close on his heels. It only took a moment before Harry's confusion to manifest, as several more women whose biggest difference seemed to be different hair colors, followed the first into the room. The file continued until almost two dozen filled the room, though only the dark haired woman moved forward to take a seat at the table.
Harry watched the procession with a puzzled expression before a suspicion formed in his mind and he furrowed his brow in thought.
All of the women seemed to be staring at Harry and his companions with a range of emotions from shock, to milder surprise. A few wore blank expressions, while others seemed to have suspicious looks.
Harry glanced at his companions, Jessir and Kudrii were both surprised, while Onyxia wore a look of puzzlement as if she was trying to figure something out.
"I thought you said three other races were in danger. How are humans in danger?" Kudrii asked with a confused expression on her face.
"They're not human, at least not entirely." Onyxia said, "Though, I'm not sure what they are." Her own senses had identified something distinctly different in them.
"You're Veela, aren't you?" Harry asked the woman who had taken a seat at the table but had yet to say a word.
The woman nodded, her face still impassive. "That is correct Mr. Solo. My name is Corazon. I'm the leader of the Veela remnant."
"You look human… what are Veela?" Jessir asked with a frown on her face, half directing her question at Harry, and half at the woman in front of her.
Corazon face flashed with slight anger and suddenly, Harry felt a wave of magic hit his group. Harry immediately recognized it as the allure, albeit more powerful than he had experienced on average in the past. He guessed that it wasn't just the allure from Corazon but likely some if not all of the Veela that were with her.
Harry was completely unaffected by it, but a glance sideways showed him that not everyone was the same. Kudrii was staring at the woman, though she was shifting subtly in her seat. Jessir was slightly worse, as she had leaned forward and gripped the table as the wave of arousal hit her.
A glance at Onyxia, sitting next to Jessir showed that she was aware of the magic, and either completely unaffected or hiding it very well.
Harry turned back to Corazon, who had a cold look of satisfaction at the sight of both Kudrii and Jessir's reaction, but Harry's reaction changed the smirk to surprise before she had her furrowing her brow in consternation.
"Sorry, your allure doesn't work on everyone." Harry said dismissively.
That seemed to have the effect of waving a red flag in front of a bull. Many of the expressions on the Veela's face narrowed and Harry felt a wave of magic much more powerful sweep across the room.
Once more Harry shrugged off the wave of magic as it swept over him. This magic now pressed against his will, didn't even rate on the scale when compared to the pressure of a Burning Legion summoning ritual. Especially when that ritual was specifically designed and employed to enslave the will of the person summoned that had originally dragged him to Azeroth.
However his companions weren't as unaffected as he was. Kudrii was stiff backed in her chair and was clenching the chair so hard that her hands were beginning to make an imprint in the wood. She was fighting it, but was clearly affected and seemed to be losing the battle slowly but surely.
Jessir was far worse. She was outright panting as her eyes were clouded in lust. Harry was relatively certain that she was a hairsbreadth away from leaping across the table and pouncing the Veela out of the chair. The only thing that seemed to be stopping her was that Onyxia had reached over and gripped Jessir's leg with her superior strength, holding her in her seat.
Onyxia still looked unaffected merely looked over at Harry with a raised eyebrow.
Harry met Corazon's eyes steadily for several long moments. "I give you five seconds to stop that. After which I begin retaliating with lethal measures." His voice was absolutely cold and filled with menace.
The allure remained for another moment before she seemed to relax slightly and the allure seemed to gradually ease up as the Veela who were focusing seemed to ease up one by one.
Harry watched Jessir slump in her seat still panting softly from the aftereffects. He contained the tide of anger that was boiling inside him. These people were hoping from a favor from him? "If that's how you intended to negotiate for safe passage to a new world where you won't be hunted, I believe this meeting is over."
He glanced at the goblins and noted the disapproving scowl worn by Ironwork as he regarded the Veela, though he kept his silence. The goblins looked like they had been unaffected. Harry glanced at the Flamels, and noted that Flamel seemed frozen in place, and wondered if Perenelle had silently petrified him.
"My apologies. Mr. Solo." Corazon said quickly, still looking surprised that Harry had withstood the assault. "The goblins said you had a strong will, and were trustworthy. High praise from them, however we have learned to be cautious and verify things were we can."
"Your allure may not be able to affect me. But try it again on my family and the discussion is over. As is the life of anyone doing so." Harry stated flatly, ignoring the looks of surprise on the faces of people when he said family.
"What in Elune's name was that?" Jessir blurted out, cutting off a reply from Corazon. She still panted softly, and Harry could see the flush on her face.
Harry's expression eased up a little bit, despite his anger at Corazon, he had to admit Jessir's reaction was at least a little amusing. "Veela's are sexual creatures by nature. Beyond their natural beauty. They have the ability, through magic, to enthrall beings who find the female form attractive. The allure brings that lust to the surface."
Corazon nodded and met Jessir's eyes, "I apologize to you as well. Our allure affects almost everyone. That much focused allure should have been able to enflame a rock." Her eyes swept over Onyxia and Harry speculative. "Unless of course there is absolutely no attraction to the female form."
Jessir glanced at Harry and Onyxia for a moment before she let out a gasp and started to laugh hysterically. A moment later Kudrii started to giggle as well, though hers was slightly more restrained. Harry and Onyxia both sat with smiles on their face.
Jessir was practically gasping for breath, and every time she seemed to calm down, she would glance up at Corazon and break out in a fresh wave of giggles.
"I fail to see what's so funny." Corazon replied. Anger was the reaction she had expected to deal with, and that was what she had gotten from harry. However she was definitely not prepared to deal with full blown laughter.
Onyxia grinned wickedly, and her eyes visibly turned reptilian as she spoke, "Trust me, his attraction to women is definitely not in doubt. Neither is mine for that matter."
Corazon frowned, looking more than a little shaken "I don't understand. That much allure should have at the least dazed him."
Harry snorted, anger and annoyance clear in his tone. "Don't flatter yourself princess. I mean sure, you're not exactly ugly. And I'm sure you're pretty hot stuff around your friends. But trust me when I say you've got nothing on my girlfriends."
He didn't want to add that years of having his mind violated to the point that he had to erect occlumency barriers that were second to none.
Harry turned his attention back to Jessir who seemed to have calmed down a little bit, completely ignoring the look of utter shock that was on the face of most of the Veela in the room. "As I was saying... they're sexual beings. They have some relation in their ancestry to birds, legend has it that the ancestry even includes phoenixes."
Onyxia interjected again, and she either realized the negotiations seemed to have completely fallen apart, or she flat out didn't care, "Well that Allure is a neat little parlor trick to amuse people, but if that's all they're good for I hardly see any point in offering assistance."
One of the Veela standing behind Corazon and slightly to the left seemed to snap at that comment. "I'll show you parlor trick!" She arched her back and with a cry her arms sprouted feathers and her features took on an avian look, and a fireball appeared in each hand.
"Idira no!" Corazon turned shouting desperately, and even as she turned, two Veela on each side of her grabbed her arms and forced her back and away from the table. Though Idira seemed far beyond reasoning with at the moment and seemed hellbent on attacking their group.
Finally one resorted to pointing her wand at the incensed Veela. She didn't stun her but looked like she was ready to at the slightest provocation.
Corazon turned back, looking more than a little disappointed with her subordinate, she managed a smile at Onyxia, though her tone had a trace of condescension. "As you see, we've got a bit more than a 'parlor trick.'"
Harry tapped his fingers against the table. He glanced at Ironwork, and gestured to Onyxia. The Goblin King arched an eyebrow, and gave a subtle nod of permission and slightly bared his teeth. Harry turned back to Corazon and said, "It's funny. Some of us have parlor tricks of our own. Onyxia… if you wouldn't mind undoing your parlor trick and returning to your natural state?"
Onyxia had a feral look on her face as she stood and backed away from the table.
Within three steps, a large Black Dragon had replaced the vivacious blonde in the auditorium like space. Onyxia was initially revealed in profile, then turned her head to stare down the Veela opposite them.
There was stunned silence all around. The transformed Veela instantly stopped her struggles and her features slowly morphed back into that of a beautiful dark haired female as she gawked at the giant dragon that now faced down the last remnants of her people. Her expression was mirrored across the entire group as they stared in utter astonishment and abject fear.
The Goblins were staring in awe at the majestic form of the Dragon in front of them.
The Flamels both appeared like it was Christmas morning, and they had just opened their first present.
Harry just smirked, having not moved or twitched while he casually leaned back in his seat.
"Would you care for me to show you some of my other parlor tricks?" Onyxia asked, her rumbling voice filling the auditorium like space. She didn't so much as say the words as release them as part of a roar. The very ground upon which all stood vibrated at the power issued forth just from her voice.
Harry glanced at Kudrii as Jessir leaned over and whispered, "I like being on this side of her roars instead of how it was the first time."
"She didn't roar at us the first time. We were smart enough not to piss her off." Kudrii corrected primly.
Jessir added in a whisper, "Plus you were already talking about using your silver tongue on her. Nixy's got her priorities, and these Veela haven't figured out that a woman has needs. Their negotiation style isn't nearly as persuasive as yours."
"I don't know, it seemed like they were doing just fine at persuading you." Kudrii retorted with an impish grin on her face as she reached over and rubbed the inside of Jessir's upper thigh.
Meanwhile, Corazon, who sensed the meeting had gotten away from her and had almost reached the point of complete failure, stood and held her hands up, "Non non. I'm sorry. Can we please stop? I didn't intend for it to go this way. Please give me a chance to explain. I beg of you."
"I'm still listening. Though my patience is wearing exceedingly thin." Harry said bluntly. One of the things that was sure to piss him off was any attempt to manipulate his mind. And they had opened the meeting with that.
Corazon nodded and swallowed looking up at the dragon for a moment, a dragon that seemed content to watch the events even as minor whiffs of smoke began to emanate from her nostrils. "First let me apologize for Idira's actions. She received confirmation this morning that her sister, the last member of her family, had been killed by wizards."
Harry glanced at the Veela who had her head down and was being watched closely by two others. He nodded slowly and realized that the Veela around the one in question had instantly reacted to her attempt to attack them. So their actions had bared that out. "Apology accepted."
Corazon took a breath and nodded, "As to the allure. For the past four years we have had to use our allure to befuddle and control before being attacked. During the war, Demons and wizards alike enslaved us anytime they could. Since the end of the war, with our numbers decimated, they've taken to killing us to rid the world of 'Dark Creatures'."
"Well, the use of the allure upfront today certainly doesn't seem to suggest that the Ministry may be wrong." Harry replied dryly with narrowed eyes.
"We've done what we had to survive!" Corazon shot back, her tone defiant.
"Even violate Goblin rules of negotiation?" Harry said dryly, glancing over at the goblins who still sat at the table, who had made no move to interject or interrupt.
"The twenty-three of us you see before you are all that is left of my people." Corazon said as her shoulders slumped. While her tone still held a trace of defiance, she seemed to give up her pride in that one moment. She realized that she was lucky that the Goblins hadn't intervened already and had them executed.
Harry frowned and then nodded slowly. "Okay. I can't argue that point. Though I think you're going about this entirely the wrong way."
Corazon nodded, "Obviously. For a meeting of such import, I'm not sure it could have gotten off on a worse foot. Can we start over?"
Harry tilted his head thoughtfully. Either Corazon was a truly phenomenal actress or she had decided to put aside all artifice in order to deal with him honestly and directly. "Let's cut straight to the point. What is it you want?"
"We…" Corazon hesitated a moment, and then seemed to discard what she was going to say for something more heartfelt. "We want to be able to live without constantly being on the run and fleeing for our lives. We want to live without the threat of being enslaved or killed because we happened to step outside to enjoy a fresh breeze. We want to be able to not have to huddle in caves fearing for our safety because someone is magical enough and astute enough to realize we're Veela."
Harry nodded, it was obvious she had spoken honestly there. "You understand that there is never a guarantee? That Azeroth is not some sort of Utopia where there are no dangers?"
"The Human society of Azeroth seems to be no better than magical Britain. However, they just don't happen to be the only major civilization. They're just one of ten actually. Albeit one of the more populous ones." Harry finished bluntly.
"I understand, Ironwork has explained that much to us." Corazon replied.
Harry sighed a little bit. Despite the horrible way that the meeting started off, he could at least understand their actions. During the war he had done many things he wasn't proud of. However he had justified it as being in the name of survival. "If you had started the meeting out that way, this meeting would have gone a lot smoother."
Corazon nodded a little bit. "I apologize again, we've gotten used to not showing weakness or being in any sort of deferential position. We approached this wrong."
She took a deep breath, "I take full responsibility. But… I beg you... please do not hold the rest of my kind responsible." Her voice came out in a plea.
Harry nodded, he could see the statement for what it was. Corazon was willing to sacrifice herself for her people by taking the fall for the meeting, despite the fact that none of the others would have likely done any better. Further, for such a proud woman it must have been nearly unbearable to actually plead.
Harry took a breath, and let his anger cool for a few moments. "You have apologized. Provided that it does not happen again, I accept your apology. I also hardly believe that Jessir is traumatized for life. Though she may seek you out to see if a Night Elf can learn to do that." Harry said with a smirk in Jessir's direction.
Harry chose to ignore the snorts of amusement from both Jessir and Kudrii, though the same snort of amusement from the large dragon that loomed over all of them was somewhat to feign ignorance of.
Corazon nodded, "Do you think you could find a place for us on this new world?"
"We have established our own home. Thankfully, it's in the former ruins of a city that was destroyed ten millennia ago. There will be plenty of space for you to make homes there under the main wards. The only people who have access to those outer districts are the Flamels, my best friend, who I'm fairly certain likes plants more than people, and of course myself and my girlfriends, who are under far more extensive wards and protections." Harry replied.
"And what would you ask in return?" Corazon asked.
"I assure you I have no need of money. When the Goblins asked, I asked for them to remain as my bankers. I asked that they not share their magic with anyone not of their race. I also asked for their continued hand in friendship in hopes they would eventually open themselves up for treaty negotiations with the allies I've already gathered on that world," Harry replied honestly.
"And what would you ask from us?" Corazon persisted.
Harry sighed a little bit, "Pretty much the same, minus the banking part."
Corazon looked unhappy with that and looked thoughtful, "Can we have a few minutes to discuss this?"
Harry nodded covering his confusion well, "Of course."
Coarzon nodded, standing up and nodding politely first at Harry and then she turned and exited the room, the entire group of Veela following her.
"Well, that was interesting!" Kudrii said once the last Veela had exited the room.
"We're going to need to work on Jessir's susceptibility to mind magics if they're going to be around," noted Harry.
"I thought they were fun." Onyxia said with a smirk as she shifted back to her blonde human form and retook her seat.
"And I'm not so sure that Jessir is as vulnerable to these mind magics you mention as she is to attractive women. She tends to have a one track mind." Kudrii added with a giggle. Jessir looked shocked that Kudrii would engage in the banter as well.
Ironwork bowed his head a little, finally interjecting into the conversation, "I'm sorry Mr. Potter. I ask that you don't judge them too harshly. They were attacked at their last refuge less than four days ago. They trickled to our branches in small groups for the next two days. So it's been a rather harrowing time for them. They were found in their latest home despite its protection under the Fidelius. We suggested they let us discuss and negotiate for them on their behalf, especially given their emotional state. But they were unwilling to do so."
"It's hardly your fault if you offered and they turned it down." Harry said as he shook his head, "Was that truly all that was left of the Veela?"
Ironwork nodded, "Every colony they had was attacked and destroyed during the Demon War, though it is up for debate if the Burning Legion truly was behind those attacks or it was Wizards taking advantage of the situation. Any conclaves that remained after the war have been systematically attacked and destroyed in the past few years."
Harry nodded looking thoughtful, but he didn't reply, though he found Onyxia staring at him. He met her eyes, and she just raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'm kind of wondering what they could have to talk about right now. The deal Harry offered seemed incredibly generous to me." Jessir said curiously, and a little bit wistfully, drawing Harry's attention from Onyxia.
Ironwork chuckled a little bit, "If I had to make a wager, I would estimate that they are likely discussing what else to offer you in return. They do not think your requests are equal to the value they are getting..."
Onyxia started to laugh softly. When Harry looked at her with a puzzled expression she just shook her head and waved him off, though a mirthful smile was on her face. Politics and negotiation were something she enjoyed far more than fighting, and Harry was reminded of her keen political mind as she had obviously just realized something and intended to keep quiet on it for now.
It was several minutes later when the Veela returned to the large room, following their leader. Harry looked up at them expectantly.
Corazon settled back in the chair, and then she began to speak, "We have decided that we would like to join you on this new world. We also agree to your requests, however we do not feel like you are getting fair trade and we do not wish our race to be in debt to you."
Harry sighed as he saw the smug grin crossing the face of the goblin king. He also saw that Onyxia's grin got wider though she didn't make any noise. "What are you suggesting?"
"We would offer one of our number, in whatever role you deem. This would be a fair trade. There would be no debt for transporting us to this new world." Corazon stated without any trace of humor.
Harry's jaw dropped, of all the things he had expected that was not one of them. He was somewhat relieved to see that he wasn't the only one that was shocked. Both Jessir and Kudrii also seemed to be surprised. Onyxia on the other hand seemed to have already guessed.
"This changes much of our negotiations," said Onyxia aloud before Harry could speak. "Previously, we were merely providing you transportation, and a safe place to settle, very similar to what we have agreed to with the Goblins, Centaur, and Merfolk.. We would have also provided you all the ability to travel around this new world in relative peace."
She leaned forward, her elbows resting on the table as she cupped her hands together and placed her chin atop them, "Now though, you wish to intrinsically anchor your group to ours. You are linking someone to us who could influence our group to provide further support to you if you find yourselves in trouble."
"Also, if it were to become known that one of your people was part of our group, and one of your people decide to make… poor choices while abroad in Azeroth, some could come to believe your decisions are representative of our beliefs and political stances."
Harry leaned back in his chair, letting Onyia take over speaking. He knew that while she was many things, above all she was a keen political mind with cunning in spades. He was still a bit shocked from the surprise offer, and she had stepped in seamlessly.
While it was every teenage wizard's dream to have a gorgeous Veela who practically oozed sex at their beck and call, reality was an entirely different matter. And its not like there were a shortage of women who 'oozed sex' around him anyways.
Onyxia spoke again, which drew his attention back to what was now a full fledged negotiation. "I can safely say that our group does not need an additional female presence, offering unknown services to be rendered. We have House Elves for cleaning, cooking, and upkeep of the restored city."
She hesitated a moment before continuing, "I'll reveal something personal and say there are currently six women sleeping with him, including myself, with three more likely to be added as soon as…" and here she glanced at the Flamels, "...complications are resolved."
"Your offer simply isn't needed," she finished before she leaned back once again, and glanced at Harry, who nodded his appreciation at the words.
Corazon looked caught off guard by Onyxia's blunt statement, but she also looked simultaneously relieved and somewhat embarrassed by the statement. "I hadn't intended them to be some sort of whore. No matter what the rumors or perceptions of our race are."
"I know nothing of your race," stated Onyxia firmly. "I merely presented the implications of your offer and how it could potentially affect us. Harry agreed to provide your group with a safe haven because he believes it is the right thing to do. There is no further debt to be paid for helping you. You merely must swallow your pride and accept the help."
After a few moments silence, in which many of the Veela looked both surprised and thoughtful, Corazon had begun to nod slowly when a lone Veela from the group that stoically lined the outer wall stepped forward, "Then I would like to propose the repayment of an older personal debt."
All eyes turned to an attractive blonde women. She was clad the same as the rest of the Veela, in a grey robe, and like all the other it emphasized her bustline, along with vertical silver lines that made it hard to decipher where her silver hair ended and the battle worn robes began.
"I was the one who had originally volunteered to join you… 'Arry Potter," The blonde woman said with a nervous expression on her face.
He felt the eyes of his three companions upon him at the familiarity which the woman addressed him.
All of the Veela present whipped their heads from looking at the Veela who had spoken to looking at the dark haired wizard in various combinations of shock and even a few expression of fear, as they seemed to finally realize exactly who it was they were dealing with.
He could only stare at the familiar looking woman with a puzzled expression on his face. It took him almost twenty seconds to search his memories before it struck him, "Fleur? Fleur Delacour?"
The blond nodded, seemingly pleased that he had remembered her. "It has been a long time."
"Almost twenty years…" Harry trailed off as he counted, though Fleur looked like she was perhaps twenty at the oldest. He shook himself out of his memories, "Look, if this is because I pulled your sister from that lake, we both know she wasn't in any real danger."
Fleur shook her head and gestured over her shoulder toward another blonde Veela who was standing next to the spot she had vacated, "No, if that were the case it would be my sister's debt, not mine. I'm talking about something you did several years later during the Demon War."
"I… honestly have no idea what you're talking about." Harry's expression was confused as he wracked his brain. He was drawing a complete blank. He had encountered Veela occasionally during the war, but he couldn't remember doing any specific service for any of them.
"You killed the... rouge dirigé bâtard that had enslaved me." Fleur practically spat before she visibly calmed herself.
"I'm afraid that… doesn't really narrow it down any. I killed a lot during the war. Humans and demons alike." Harry said somewhat sheepishly.
Fleur smiled, only it wasn't a pleasant smile, it was a vicious smile. "You had his head delivered to his family with a message calling Dumbledore a Dark Lord."
Harry blinked, realizing exactly who she was referring to. "Bill Weasley."
Fleur nodded, ""When I realized he was dead and I was free, I cast fiendfyre within the house and apparated out."
Harry blinked in surprise, that was not something he had expected. He couldn't resist asking "Did you get any of them?"
Fleur nodded, "I got the bitch of a mother and the tall stupid one who ate everything in sight. And of course it took out their house as well. "
"Couldn't have happened to a more deserving family." Harry snickered a little bit in spite of himself.
Fleur's smile drained of humor as she looked down, "Perhaps. However it backfired when another Weasley became Minister, and has done all he could to exterminate my people."
"So… Perfect Percy is the reason behind the Veela's trouble as well?" said Harry calmly as he watched another veela put a reassuring hand on Fleur's shoulder.
"He's certainly part of it. But he's definitely not the only reason. His Undersecretary, Umbridge, is every bit as bad as he is. It's likely that whoever was chosen as Minister after the war ended would have done the same." Corazon interjected, her tone making it clear that she didn't hold Fleur to blame.
"Wizards are idiots." Harry shook his head, and for a brief moment debated the merits of a repeat of his first and last Wizengamot meeting, before shaking his head slightly. This wasn't a battle that he wanted to fight. He had a new home. One that he felt far more connected to than his old one. The magical world would get exactly what it wanted and he gave it even odds that it wouldn't survive the next decade.
"Look Fleur, as happy as I am to have freed you. I didn't kill Bill to free you. I killed him in revenge for killing my fiance. I'm not some storybook hero either." Harry said, pointedly ignoring the coughs from Kudrii and Jessir. "It was revenge plain and simple. He killed someone I loved so I made sure he took a really long time to die before I sent his head back as a message."
"I don't care why you killed him. You did and you freed me; and I've wanted to say thank you for a long time. I'm simply offering whatever assistance I can be to you and your… companions on this new world." Fleur replied. Seeing Harry about to protest Fleur pushed on. "There's another less individual, though no less personal, reason."
Harry tilted his head curiously, allowing her a chance to explain.
"You're going to be taking us to a new world. We can't live in isolation forever, we have to learn about the world, and get a feel for it's denizens." Fleur paused a moment to allow her eyes to trail over Harry's three companions slowly and pointedly. "According to the Goblins, you have made quite the range of friends there. If you allowed me to join you when you travel, this would be an opportunity for one of us to see the world and what we can find in it. In the process I can help you, as well as help my people"
Harry opened his mouth to argue but was cut off by Onyxia smoothly, "She makes a valid point."
"What?" Harry blurted out before he could help himself.
Onyxia grinned, and Harry could see the amusement in her eyes. "Her people will need to see the world to understand it. They look human and only some magical beings would be able to tell otherwise. But if they were among the Human population on Azeroth, the same dangers would present themselves."
"You know our group will resume our travels at some point. She will be protected from the general dangers of our world. Further our group may benefit from another individual who understands some of the magic you use." Onyxia continued, well aware that all the eyes in the room were on her, but she kept her gazed fixed on Harry, knowing he was the one that required convincing.
"Rightly or wrongly, she also believes she owes you a debt. While you may disagree, I'm more inclined to agree with her on that. Truthfully whether she's right or wrong is immaterial. With that belief she would be a companion we could trust who is unlikely to betray you." Onyxia turned her head to stare at Fleur piercingly.
"I wouldn't. I would even offer an oath!" Fleur interjected quickly sensing that Harry was considering Onyxia's words.
Harry sighed and ran a hand over his face. He met Onyxia's eyes for several long moments before he turned his head to look at Kudrii who nodded slightly a small smile on her face. Harry barely glanced at Jessir who was shaking with the effort of keeping her laughter contained, but did nothing to hide the wide smile on her face.
"Very well… we'll make the oath later once we've decided wording that protects my family." Harry replied firmly, before running a hand through his hair. Then he realized something before turning to Corazon, "I will expect a lesser oath from all of you as well, I want to be sure that you won't attack my family."
"Of course if you break your word, I get first dibs. I may not have my brother's sadistic tendencies, but you still tend to pick up quite a bit over the course of fifteen millennia." Onyxia interjected in a bland tone.
Harry chuckled and didn't bother to correct Onyxia to tell her that the oaths would extract their own punishment if broken.
Blackrock Mountain had been disturbingly silent in the months since Harry's group had laid waste to the forces that occupied the Upper Spire. With Nefarian's forces vanquished inside the mountain, Harry thought forces would've moved in to take down the Dark Iron Dwarves that had infested the mountain's lower depths.
However, two unrelated occurrences prevented this from happening.
The first event that was explained to him by Disidra who had read all of the history surrounding it, was the loss of Gnomeregan which occurred within a year of the end of the Third War. With so many refugees within Ironforge, and many of its denizens constantly assigned to resource acquisition and refugee relief, the city was simply unable to mount any sort of cohesive battle plan which would simultaneously allow them to continue to support its displaced residents as well as fund the supply lines needed for a strike against the Dark Irons within the Searing Gorge and then Blackrock Mountain
The second occurrence was less explainable. For some reason that Harry couldn't figure out, the Humans of Azeroth seemed to have focused zero attention on the area in the past year. He had warded the spire of Black Rock Mountain with a few quick wards to the entrances, as well as the entrance to Nefarian's former home.
He hadn't expected anyone to get past those without some concerted effort, however he had expected the other races would make progress into the depths. Instead there was absolutely no presence. The dwarves hadn't made much progress either, pushing a little further up the inside of the mountain, but only a little. Harry assumed that they weren't able to figure a way through his wards.
These circumstances left Blackrock Mountain, solidly between the Dwarven city of Ironforge to the north and the Human city of Stormwind to the south, completely ignored in the time following the death of Nefarian.
That is… ignored until a massive Mage Portal opened at the south end of of the central molten span within the inner cavern of the mountain. The portal stabilized after a moment, and out stepped one solitary Human, who wore battle dress entirely unfamiliar to any resident of Azeroth who had ever stepped foot upon this particular place previously.
The Human looked around quickly, checking his surroundings carefully to ensure he was alone, before he reached into a pocket of pants and retrieved a mirror. He spoke softly into the mirror, and waited until the rough hewn face of an Earth Goblin appeared in the mirror's reflection. The Human, upon seeing the face, whispered four words.
"Operation is a go."
Not a second later, a hundred Goblins dressed in full battle armor were discharged from the portal and spread out to post sentries at all points of the mountain they had identified to set patrols and watches.
Harry had visited the mountain prior to the invasion, and had flown around to do reconnaissance. In the process he had inspected as much of the cavern and lower levels as he could without attracting himself. It had been a bit odd flying around on his broom within the mountain trying to scout while not being seen and not accidently falling off his perch and into patches of lava.
The memory of this flight, as well as the entire assault on the Upper Spire that had occurred months earlier was shown to the Goblins, who developed the entire strategy to be used on the campaign in less than an hour.
Once these Goblins had reported they were in position, the vanguard of the Goblin's army began to spew forth from the Portal. Some of these Goblins began to lay foundational wards that would be the basis to take control of the mountain itself, while others moved to the south to make additions to the massive stone bridge that was the only an adventurer could enter the mountain. The bridge passed over more than two mile's worth of molten lava fields. The Goblins modified the bridge with animation charms, which would dump any army stupid enough to invade their new home directly into the lava if necessary.
Thirty minutes after the first Goblins had first stepped foot on Azeroth, nearly 2000 Goblins had passed through the portal. Harry Potter had not spoken a single word since he had ordered the operation to start, and stood in stony silence amongst the guards at the portal itself.
He knew he didn't really have to stay here, however all of his girls, save for Jessir and Onyxia were currently in Azshara working with the house elves in getting everything set up.
Harry very much did not want to get caught up in the chaos of seven women and suspiciously eager house elves hard at work setting up their own individual areas and community areas of their sprawling house… manor… palace.
Harry wasn't actually sure what their home qualified as now, so he had just resorted to calling it home as a catch all.
Neville had avoided the chaos by the simple expediency of wanting to set up in his own small house, before their planned trip to Teldrassil. He had several of his own house elves helping him set up the greenhouse already, and Harry knew that nothing sort of a bludgeoning spell to the head, was likely to get him away before that was finished.
Onyxia and Jessir had also avoided the chaos. Onyxia had worked a bit with the goblins as she was far more familiar with magic that they might find in the area than Harry was. And Jessir had instantly volunteered to work with the Veela in making sure they were prepared. She was downright insistent, forcefully so, much to Harry's amusement.
Harry had noticed that she had spent some time talking to Corazon, and was somewhat mollified by the fact that the woman had been very apologetic to Jessir regarding the use of the allure. He also noticed that several of the Veela seemed just as taken with Jessir, or they were just continually stunned by another magical race. He had also noted that, while Jessir took time to talk to all the Veela, that she and Fleur seemed to converse frequently. They had still been talking when he'd created the portal from the goblin's territory to the inside of Black Rock Mountain in Azeroth.
At this point, drawing Harry's attention back to the present, the Goblin King Ironwork came through, surrounded by his personal guards and the Clan Heads who had decided to journey to Azeroth. The Goblin Leadership looked around the cavern that would now be the center of their new home, and all smiled fanged grins appreciatively in approval.
Ironwork took a deep breath of the warm air and closed his eyes, "By my ancestors… this place is saturated with magic." He took several moments just breathing the air with his eyes closed. Harry noticed more than one of the other goblins nodding in agreement.
When the King finally began to look around at the goblins surrounding him one goblin stepped forward and passed on messages that had been given to him by other goblins that bustled back and forth "Scout Force Alpha to the south has reported the bridge has been secured, and they've been successfully able to apply the animation runes. They foresee being able to apply them to the entire bridge and return within the next few hours."
Ironwork nodded in acknowledgement, and Harry merely listened as the goblin continued his report.
"Scout Force Beta forced the Dark Iron doors shut that provided access to the mountain from the north. The doors took a little longer than expected because of some unknown magical damage. But they have been secured and they are laying in traps and defensible positions to prevent incursions from that direction." The goblin glanced down at another note, "They believe that they will be able to begin warding within the hour."
At this point, the last vestiges of the Goblin Army were pouring forth, and all were travelling straight into the Depths of the mountain which was controlled by the Dark Iron Dwarves. The King watched approvingly as his forces moved forth, a gleam in all their eyes as they anticipated fighting foes without the limitations of not being seen by non-magicals or treaties against Humans for the first time in their memory.
The King turned to Harry, his entire bearing one of pride. "We'll annihilate the Dwarves from here. Assuming all goes as planned, we will spend some time fortifying our positions and checking for any hidden entrances. We don't want the dwarves outside the mountain to launch any sort of effective counterattack. Except at places of our choosing."
Ironwork seemed to savor the idea. "After that is accomplished, we can move on to take down this Elemental Lord you've warned us about."
"Are you sure you will be able to handle the elemental? It's enslaved a large number of another race. It may be better to kill it's minions and try and seal it away or something." Harry half asked, half stated, keeping his voice neutral.
Ironwork waved a clawed hand generically down to the volcano's active furnace below them, "They obviously had no idea what they were dealing with. It's apparent that it will be a fire elemental of at least moderate strength. We enslaved a powerful elemental being back on Earth millennia ago, then kept it as a pet to fire our furnaces."
The King gave a truly frightening grin, then said, "The Council and I agree that its time to give it a companion. If there are truly dimensional rifts to other plains of this world here, we may even give it a few brothers or sisters to it as well."
The absolutely evil laughter that came forth from the Goblins made Harry wonder at his sanity for bringing them to Azeroth. But, what was done was done.
Once he had settled, Ironwork's face took on a far more serious expression, "You have given us a chance here. We are taking it. We will not leave an enemy within the borders of our new home only to fall victim to him later. We will enslave him or if that isn't possible we'll destroy him or die in the attempt."
Ironwork continued, "We'll contact you when the vaults are set up and your gold is secure. Or on the off-chance we still need to send someone back to Earth to retrieve something vital."
Harry couldn't help but offer, "Or dump the elemental lord on top of the British Ministry of Magic?"
"That too," said the Ironwork, to the raucous laughter of himself and his companions. Harry saluted the Goblins, then returned back to Azshara to begin the next phase of the migration. He had provided the Goblins the means to save their race, and to start over in a place where a warrior race would thrive.
Black Rock Mountain was of great strategic value for a plethora of reasons. Now the goblins had their claws in it and Harry had very little doubt that they would be successful. When it happened, he wondered what the reaction of the leadership of the major cities would be.
He had a feeling that Azeroth wouldn't know what had hit it, and the idea of pranking an entire world that had been slow on the uptake appealed to Harry Potter greatly.
The moving of the Merfolk was far easier, and took less than ten minutes. They had been portalled in within feet of the shore of the Bay of Storms. The Merfolk were giddy, even ecstatic as they swam through the new water. With the translation charms on, Harry could tell that their commentary was similar to that of Ironwork. The water was filled with magic and it vibrated through their very beings.
He had gone out and transfigured floating red buoys similar to ones he had seen within some muggle beach to signify where the massive wards produced by the Temple extended out into the lake. He had been a little surprised when it had provided over one mile of territory for the Merfolk to settle in, and additional ward stones could be provided to them later to extend their territory as their population slowly recovered.
When he had finally managed to calm one of the giddy Merfolk, and stop them from swimming rapidly in circles or leaping out of the water and into the air in joy, he managed to get some sense from them. The Merfolk had agreed to search their new home and excavate any magical items of power they discovered from the Highborne Elf civilization that had once occupied the sunken ruins they would slowly reclaim from the wild sea. He had given a merman who seemed to be the nominal leader a mirror in case he needed anything in an emergency.
However, Harry didn't stick around long. He still had far more to do, and figured there wasn't much help he could be to the merpeople in setting up anything. Not to mention spending significant time around giddy merpeople was more than enough to drive him insane. It was like there were 300 some children, all of which went on a simultaneous sugar high.
The transport of the Veela was also done without much trouble. Harry had referred to it as a migration only once before Onyxia swatted him over the back of the head. However it took longer than expected.
When Harry had portalled back to the goblin tunnels Jessir and Kudrii were waiting there, hands on their hips and expressions set with determination. It was enough to send Harry's finely honed danger sense into overdrive.
Proving his danger sense was rarely wrong. Jessir and Kudrii instantly accosted him and demanded they go shopping. Jessir had insisted that after a brief conversation with the Veela she had asked how long it would take to pack, and had discovered that they were wearing everything they possessed. They only had their robes. Most had their wands, though apparently three of them had lost those as well.
"And none of them have those fancy trunks on necklaces that you had!" Jessir told him in a huff.
Harry had groaned and put his face into his hands for several seconds, wondering when he had signed up for this. His distress was even worse when Jessir responded to his question about what sort of supplies they needed with a sniff, telling him that Kudrii had a list. A list currently on the stack of paper in Kudrii's hand that seemed half an inch thick.
Obviously the Veela couldn't go out and get it themselves, and Harry wasn't about to send his girlfriends into a world still mostly unfamiliar to them, where wards to prevent portkeys and any other sort of magic was present. So Harry had once more found himself shopping with Kudrii and Jessir for a group of 23 Veela.
He honestly didn't even pay attention to the shopping they did. Harry did find himself questioning their intentions when he ended up shrinking bag after bag and box after box. In the end, additional shopping only took about four hours.
He also thought that he may have been coerced into emptying a whole warehouse. At that point he had gotten so used to "Point. Shrink. Pack." that he had done it on autopilot and hadn't questioned it until after the fact. Harry thought they were being rather indiscriminate in their purchases.
When Harry had made a comment to that effect, it had been Kudrii who fixed him with a pointed stare that promised him much pain, or a long dry spell in his future. It had the effect of shutting him up and silencing all further complaints around the shopping.
It had been with much relief that they had returned to the Goblin tunnels and opened a portal to Azshara for the Veela. Making sure they knew it was safe, Harry, Kudrii and Jessir all stepped through first.
If anything the reaction of the Veela to stepping on Azeroth was even more extreme than the reaction that Ironwork had displayed. When they stepped through the portal they each seemed to shudder. More than one fell to their knees and seemed to shudder several times.
Harry was somewhat distracted from the sight by Kudrii and Jessir stood next to him watching the spectacle.
"Wow… I wonder if that's what they look like when they- ow! Hey!" Jessir's statement was interrupted by a firm swat on the back of the head from Kudrii.
"What was that for?" Jessir demanded petulantly, without any real heat in her voice.
"It was pre-emptive. I know what you were going to say." Kudrii said primly, though she hadn't looked away from the arriving Veela.
Jessir opened her mouth to protest and then actually blushed. "Yeah… okay."
Harry sighed and rolled his eyes a bit at Jessir's one track mind. Once the Veela were all through, the portal closed behind them with a wave of Harry's hand.
Corazon approached harry with eyes that were nearly glowing and she had a beaming smile on her face. "The magic of this place… it's fantastic. You can feel it everywhere!" Her voice was oddly breathy and excited.
Harry closed his eyes a moment, and once more ignored the giggle from Jessir, though thankfully she restrained herself from making any of the salacious comments that Harry was certain had flitted through her brain. Apparently the few hours with the Veela had both sides for more at ease with each other's presence. This was the last stop before he was going to gather all his family and head to Teldrassil.
Arko had already warned him that he likely would need to do some explaining when he got there. So Harry was at least a little nervous about the meeting.
Discussions with the Veela had taken a bit longer because he had to extract some specific oaths from them. Harry did not want their type of magic to get all over Azeroth without some type of control and demanded that they not share their magical knowledge with anyone beyond any immediate family they may eventually have.
Harry also made them swear an oath similar to the goblins that should the opportunity arise for them to learn to create portals, none of them would create portals back to their old world for any reason. In the extremely unlikely event that they needed anything from Earth, Harry insisted they go through him. It was a relatively small concern, but Harry did not want one of them to travel back to Earth, get captured, and then be forced to show how to create portals to Azeroth.
Harry did not hate his old world, but he was growing to love Azeroth as his new home, and if the wizards from Earth managed to create a portal to Azeroth, Harry stated unequivocally that he would not hesitate to slaughter anyone else from Earth who attempted to settle on Azeroth.
He had honestly expected more protests from them, but Corazon had assured him that they had no intention of returning to Earth.
Finally, Harry insisted that they swear an oath that at no time would they attempt to harm or put in motions events to harm himself, or anyone he considered his family. That oath, above all others Harry had insisted on.
He had already seen that quick spells like the Killing Curse worked on humans of this world; he had no idea if it would work on his companions. He suspected that it likely would on the Draenei. The Night Elves were more complex since part of their beings were tied into their tree, however shaky that connection may be after the damage it had taken in the last war.
Harry suspected it would work on them as well. Harry doubted it would work on any of the Forsaken, since they were already dead. He also doubted it would work on Onyxia. He knew on Earth that it could take more than a dozen killing curses to bring down a dragon; and Onyxia was so much more.
Regardless, he did not want a Veela who may have less than ideal intentions trying anything with that or any other curse.
He didn't expect it, but Tonks' death had taught him that just because someone shared a common enemy, didn't mean they wouldn't turn on him if the opportunity arrived.
The Flamels had stepped through hours earlier, and wasted no time in picking a site to set up a house. They were adjacent to Neville's settlement, on the opposite side of the city district from the Veela. Their reaction wasn't quite the same as the Goblins or the Veela, but they were both practically bouncing with excitement as they took their first steps on the new world. They had two house elves and all of their stuff backed into a bunch of small trunks.
They had both told him they wanted a day or so to get settled before traveling to the Undercity to really begin their work.
Harry had wandered past the house an hour ago, and it seemed like they were well underway in unpacking, especially since he could see Nicholas applying various wards meant to reinforce the structure of the building they had erected. Harry could only assume he was focused on that one area because of the sometimes volatile nature of potions. Nicholas had paused briefly to greet Harry before returning to his work.
Perenelle was completely oblivious to his presence while she busily concentrated on runes she singlemindedly inscribed upon a stone. Harry was curious enough to watch for a few moments before he realized she was inscribing heating runes into the stone. Something he was very familiar with.
He left the Veela to their own devices, though he was easily able to tell that they now felt safe enough to remove much of their combat and protective gear, as the more revealing outfits they now donned caused Jessir to disappear for hours at a time to 'survey their property for security flaws.'
That afternoon found Harry a bit weary from all the hopping around he had done during the day, but he knew he couldn't delay a trip to Teldrassil. Tyrande had been his first major ally on Azeroth, and he knew she would need to be briefed on the actions he had taken.
He also was hoping that he had banked enough favors that she would approve him relocating the herd of centaurs to Darkshore, as well as possibly consent to allow Neville to examine Teldrassil as a whole. Harry wasn't sure what could be done, but if anyone could help with a plant, Neville could. He wasn't above asking for Neville to be able to examine the remains of Nordrassil either.
He just needed to present and ask everything in the right order.
Harry had initially planned on just going with Jessir and Neville. However Arko had insisted on going to pick up a few items from her home it seemed to open the floodgates. In the end several of the girls had asked to go, and Harry had relented. Jessir had also insisted that Fleur be offered a chance to accompany them, for her first chance to meet the Night Elves. Many felt the eternal draw of Darnassus' Auction House, and so many actually wouldn't even attend the meeting with Tyrande.
In the end the only ones that stayed behind were Kudrii, Disidra, Anya and Collete. Kudrii remained behind to help put the finishing touches on different areas of their home. Disidra couldn't be dragged from the library while she had so many books to arrange.
Anya and Collette made sure that one of them was nearby the Flamels at all times to answer questions. They also decided that, as relations between the Forsaken and the Kaldorei were at an all time high, not exacerbating the situation would be helpful.
So Harry made a portkey for each individual to go right into the city of Darnassus right next to the pink shroud that was the teleporter exiting the city. Jessir and Harry activated their portkeys first.
The guards nearby had reacted instantly, drawing their weapons before recognizing Jessir and Harry. Harry was somewhat grateful that he'd made enough of a connection with the Night Elves that they quickly resheathed their weapons. Though two of the guards took off, going in separate directions. One was clearly headed toward the Temple of Elune, while the other was headed in the opposite direction.
Jessir and Harry were followed shortly by Arko, Onyxia, Ysondre, Sylvanas in quick succession.
There was a short pause and then a moment later Fleur appeared right next to Sylvanas.
There was another pause and then a large splash as Neville arrived in the middle of one of streams that ran through the city of Darnassus. Neville came up sputtering, wiping water from his face. There was only a moment's hesitation before Neville cried out, "Harry James Potter!"
Harry blinked at Neville with an expression of utter innocence on his face. "Whoops. Small mistake with the portkey. My bad." There were several snickers, even the guards seemed amused at Neville's plight.
Neville just glared at Harry.
"Really Nev. Coulda happened to anyone!" Harry said.
Neville maintained his glare, though he trudged out of the water, his clothing sopping wet. "Potter. You realize of course I will get you back for this."
"Don't be such a baby, Nev. Admit it, your life was way too boring without me." Harry rolled his eyes, but couldn't keep the grin off his face.
Neville scoffed but his reply was cut off as he looked around for the first time, his mouth actually hanging open. A look of awe on his face.
"Maybe in the future you'll think twice about sharing embarrassing stories about my first dance." Harry snorted. However Neville was far too distracted to pay attention to Harry's comments.
Harry shrugged a bit and turned turned to lead the group toward the temple. He frowned slightly when he noticed that Neville's expression seemed to have gone from awe, to the slightly glazed expression that was currently on his face.
He almost expected that Neville was under the effect of Veela allure. But his gaze wasn't focused on anyone, it was focused on some point far away. He managed to follow the group but seemed like he was barely aware of his surroundings.
They had just reached the white marble bridge to the temple with their guard escort, when Jaelyn arrived at a bit of a jog with a grin on her face. She nodded respectfully to Onyxia, Ysondre and Sylvanas before turning to look between Harry and Jessir
Jaelyn's grin was definitely naughty, "Welcome back! You've been gone more than a month! Are you here for more… information from the archives?"
Jessir met Jaelyn's grin with a matching one of her own, "Not at the moment, we're here to talk to Tyrande."
Jaelyn nodded and fell into step beside the group, though her attention was quickly on the two unfamiliar faces. She couldn't seem to decide who interested her more, the beautiful blonde who was turning her head constantly, trying to see it all at once. Or the unfamiliar water logged human who had a dazed expression on his face and seemed oblivious to her presence. She seemed to settle on the stunningly attractive blonde with the demeanor of a tourist.
Harry waved away her unspoken question, "I'll handle introductions in a few minutes."
Jaelyn looked at Harry suspiciously for a few moments as they walked. "You did it again didn't you?"
"Did what?" came Harry's befuddled response.
"Something that's going to have a major impact on world politics?" Jaelyn responded immediately.
Harry huffed and rolled his eyes as they entered the temple. He completely missed Onyxia and Jessir both nodding firmly to Jaelyn's question.
As they reached the balcony of the second level, Tyrande was reclined against the couch, and Malfurion was standing nearby, watching their arrival.
"Welcome back Jessir Moonbow, how was your 'vacation'? Did you have a pleasant and relaxing time clearing out the ruins of a huge city overrun by Naga?" Tyrande's voice was more than a little amused.
Harry ginned but said nothing allowing Jessir to step forward and bow respectfully. "We successfully cleared out a majority of the Ruins of Eldarath from both an occupying Naga force, as well as banished numerous Banshees of Highborne mages who were still in the area. We have taken possession of what remains of Eldarath and have claimed it as our home."
"And what condition is it in?" Malfurion spoke up curiously.
"Well… compared to the sketches and blueprints in the archives the majority of it has sunken into the sea, however a decent size portion remains on land, and that's the area we have claimed." Jessir replied.
Tyrande looked pleased at this, and exchanged a glance with Malfurion who nodded slowly. Tyrande turned back to Jessir. "As those ruins once were a city belonging to the night elves, I believe that it is fully within our right to determine what to do with them, now that they are no longer overrun by naga."
Her gaze moved from Jessir's confused expression to Harry's narrowed eyes before she continued. "Harry Potter, in recognition of the service of yourself and your companions to my people, we grant you full rights of possession to whatever remains of the city of Eldarath and the surrounding areas."
Harry blinked a little bit in surprise before lowering his head respectfully, "Thank you Tyrande. For myself and my companions, I am honored." For just a moment, his paranoid and suspicious side had suspected that she might try and claim the ruins from them after they had gone to the work of cleaning them out, and repairing them.
The Night Elves had been nothing but honorable; but old suspicions and more than thirty years of experience don't disappear completely. Old habits die hard.
Harry may not have the political senses of Onyxia but he understood well enough what Tyrande was doing. While no one else may have inhabited the ruins, Tyrande had prevented any others from making claims to them from her own race.
There was a pause and Harry took a breath, "There are some other things we would like to update you on, or make you aware of if you have a few minutes."
Tyrande glanced first at Malfurion, then considered the presence of another priestess and a Draenei who stood attentively nearby.
"This is Astarii Starseeker," she said indicating the green haired priest, "and this is Valustraa from the Exodar. She is Prophet Velen's personal emissary. They are both privy to information here." Tyrande stated as she gestured for Harry to continue.
"To start with, I have learned to create portals. After learning how to create a portal directly to Shattrath, I created a portal to Earth, the planet of my birth." Harry nodded at the raised eyebrows on both Malfurion and Tyrande.
"To make a long story short, I'm no longer the only one from Earth on Azeroth anymore. I've brought a handful of friends and some refugees back with me." Harry summed up.
"What sort of friends and refugees?" Malfurion asked, his tone curious more than suspicious.
"Well, I brought two people who are very gifted with alchemy and rituals respectively. They came over mostly for the challenge of curing the plague and restoring the Forsaken to life." Harry said.
"Restoring them to life? Do you think it's possible?" Tyrande asked, disbelief filling her voice as her jaw dropped.
Harry shrugged a little bit, "I believe so yes. They even have some ideas to work with. I actually expect results sooner rather than later if you want to know the truth."
Tyrande nodded slowly, looking up at Sylvanas who stood silently at Harry's shoulder. "This would be good news for your people."
"This would be everything for my people." Sylvanas replied bluntly, and a rare bit of emotion filling her voice.
Tyrande nodded slowly in agreement before turning back to Harry with a raised eyebrow, waiting for more.
"Well, there were four races on my world that were in danger of being wiped out. Three of which I brought with me. The fourth I wanted to speak to you about before I do anything." Harry replied, deciding to plunge right into it.
"Four races?" Tyrande looked surprised and then horrified as the idea of four more races as populous as her own suddenly in the picture. However after a moment she visibly calmed down, and gestured for Harry to continue.
Harry looked a bit relieved at being given the benefit of the doubt. "In order of impact I think they might have. One of the races I brought over is the Merpeople. They're an underwater race from my world. They almost never interact with people on the surface and the population of them is always low. The Legion's invasion, plus increased pollution has drastically thinned their numbers on my planet."
"Their entire population now numbers just under three hundred, the majority of which are adolescents. They're now living in the Bay of Storms under the portion that's protected by our new home's wards that extend that far out." Harry explained.
Once Harry received acknowledgement from both Tyrande and Malfurion Harry continued. "The second group is by far the smallest of the four."
He gestured for Fleur to step forward, which she did nervously. Harry gave her a reassuring smile before turning to Tyrande. "This is Fleur Delacour. She is a Veela. Twenty three Veela now live in one small district of our city. Fleur is… sort of her people's emissary to the outside world and will likely be spending time with me and my companions."
He saw both Jaelyn and Jessir's smirk since he was looking in that direction, and just rolled his eyes. His thoughts about their dirty minds were interrupted by Tyrande.
"I'm sorry Harry, but could you explain what a Veela is? I can sense something different about her but aside from that she looks human to me. No offense intended,." Tyrande spoke quietly, her words and tone designed not to offend.
Harry hesitated a moment before he gestured to Fleur urging her to speak for the first time since they arrived.
After a moments hesitation Fleur spoke, "I'm sorry Miss Tyrande, I don't know how I'm supposed to address you."
"Tyrande is fine. And your name is Fleur?" Tyrande responded with a polite and pleased little smile.
Harry blinked and then actually blushed a little bit. He had never worried about how to address. He knew she was High Priestess of Elune and revered by her people, but he'd never actually asked how to address her.
Fleur nodded before she continued. "Veela are a race of beings who resemble humans most of the time."
"Most of the time?" Malfurion asked, his curiosity piqued.
Fleur nodded "When we are enraged we shift to a different form. It's that form that shows our distant avian ancestry. The legend among my people is that we are descended from a phoenix. A very rare and powerful bird of fire." Fleur did her best not to glance at the feathers sprouting from Malfurion's arms, so similar to their own transformations.
Tyrande and Malfurion both looked thoughtful at this, but didn't say anything so Fleur continued. "Veela as a rule are all very beautiful and very sexual. We also have an Allure which can enthrall or at the very least enflame lust in anyone with even the most minute attraction to women."
"Can you demonstrate this allure for us?" Tyrande asked curiously.
Fleur looked startled and then glanced around. "I.. uh… I'm not sure that I should."
Onyxia snickered softly and spoke up, "It's an interesting effect. I had to physically restrain Jessir from leaping across the table in a fit of lust." Jessir blushed at that statement, and a glance at her mentor's face had her blush even further.
Tyrande raised an eyebrow, "I see."
"Sex is a part of our magic and part of our very beings. We're very good at it." Fleur said, not at all embarrassed and quite proud of it, in fact. "Because of this, for ages we have been prize targets for people to take as concubines or slaves."
Fleur coughed delicately, well aware of several pairs of eyes on her, before continuing. "Alternatively because we are not entirely Human, at times we have been labeled as Dark Creatures who should be destroyed. The twenty three of us that Harry brought here are all that's left of our race."
"What do you hope to do now?" Tyrande asked, her tone filled with sympathy.
"Right now? We will likely remain in the homes Harry has helped provide us. We will likely spend quite some time recovering before we will need to search for mates." Fleur said quietly.
That caused raised eyebrows from Malfurion and Tyrande, so Fleur expanded a little. "Veela only have female offspring. And we will eventually need to focus on replenishing our numbers. I don't foresee that happening for some time, and when it does, I believe we will be very cautious."
Tyrande looked thoughtfully at Fleur for several seconds before nodding, "On behalf of the Night Elf people I welcome you to Azeroth."
Fleur looked surprised, and then she smiled shyly, "Thank you, Tyrande."
There was a brief pause before Jaelyn stepped forward, a bit of a smirk on her face. "I would like to volunteer to be a representative and liaison to the Veela, High Priestess."
Tyrande raised an eyebrow at Jaelyn, before a very amused smile crossed her face. "I don't know, Harry Potter seems to be the… ideal representative if my information from the archives is correct."
Jaelyn blinked and then actually blushed. It wasn't often Tyrande made jokes, but Jaelyn had to give her that one.
"I will consider it." Tyrande said before she finally turned her attention to Harry once more, she didn't say anything, she merely raised an eyebrow expectantly.
He coughed to hide his embarrassment over the news that their activities in the archives weren't as secret as they thought, "Well, the third group is one I wanted to talk to you about." Harry hedged a little bit. "This particular race has an equivalent here on Azeroth, and even share the same name, though they are nothing alike."
"When I was first introduced to them, the person who did so told me 'they aren't interested in things closer than the moon. They're star-gazers. Reading prophecy, signs, and portents all from the heavens. More often than not, their interpretations guide them to policies of non-interference. The ones from my world are only violent if people encroach upon their territory without just cause." Harry stated, wanting them to have the complete picture first.
After a few moments silence, Malfurion posed the question, "You obviously described this species first without naming them so to not bias our opinion of them. At first glance, I see nothing wrong with what you've described."
"They are Centaurs," he said simply.
Tyrande's eyes flared at the name, while Malfurion held himself incredibly poised. The only impact the name upon him visible was merely a subtle uncomfortable shift of his body.
Harry continued, "Jessir has informed me how the Centaurs of this world are little more than marauding, nomadic bandits. Completely uncivilized and without mercy."
"The Centaurs from Earth, are seen more as shepherds of whatever forest they've chosen to live in. Like the other races though, they did not fare well during the invasion from the Legion, nor during the post-war anti-magical hysteria that's swept most of our world. The last 143 of them alive seek asylum on your world. This particular tribe lived near the castle that served as the school of magic I attended. It was a rather dark, forbidding forest, and they did their best to keep the true darkness that occasionally wandered into it from gaining a foothold and attacking the school of children nearby."
Reluctantly, and extremely slowly, Tyrande nodded, but she didn't give in yet, "And where did you feel they would have a good fit? There are few forests my people control that can simultaneously be considered safe."
Jessir spoke up, "Dark Shore is the only forest that he's actually seen to be able to suggest. I agree with him on that aspect. There are certain wild and occasionally evil things that venture into that territory, and their presence could potentially offer relief to our Sentinels who had been tasked with the job of ferreting the problems out."
Tyrande looked to Jaelyn, who had her helmet removed and brow furrowed deep in consternation. At a look, Jaelyn expressed her opinion, "There are a fair number of resources that could be redeployed elsewhere if an outside party could be trusted to patrol and keep those forests healthy and secure. We've had a fair number of inland incursions by Naga. This could be our solution to that."
The High Priestess turned back to Harry, "Where are they now? I assume you haven't simply dumped them somewhere in our territory and told us this afterwards?"
Harry flinched visibly, and said, "No I would never dream of dropping them off in your territory without consulting with you first. They're still on Earth waiting to hear from me. If you are against it, I will simply let them stay in Azshara until I find a more suitable place for them."
Harry tilted his head toward Emissary Valustraa, "If you prefer not to have them, my next option is to reach out to the Prophet Velen to see if he would allow the small herd refuge on his forest isle."
She considered her options a few moments, obviously weighing multiple options before she spoke, "They are in danger on Earth?"
"They are being hunted by both the magical governments, who see them as unthinking beasts, and the non-magical ones, who would likely nothing more than to eradicate any magical race from the planet. Unlike the merpeople who have at least a little protection in the water, the centaurs have to live on land. And unlike Veela who can occasionally get away with passing for human, the centaurs can never just blend in."
A few seconds passed before Malfurion posed another question, "143, you said?"
It took a few more moments, but Tyrande eventually reached a decision, "We can work with them, along with the Sentinel leadership to find an ideal place for them to establish themselves, and then ultimately be given responsibility over some distant corner of our domain. If it doesn't work, we can always look at alternatives."
She once again turned to Jaelyn, "Gather some of the Sentinels most familiar with Harry's group, and brief them on the situation." She briefly stared out one of the windows, lost in thought for a few seconds before she continued, "We'll create a refugee camp outside the city, where they can be transported and stay for a few days until we identify a more appropriate and isolated place for them to live where they can take another portal to reach."
Jaelyn nodded, and gave a brief salute, before she turned to leave, but not before she winked at Harry, and threw a flirtatious grin at Fleur.
Malfurion frowned and raised a hand, "You said four races. That was only three."
Harry nodded and sighed, he had gotten permission for the centaurs, but this was a whole other matter. "Yes, we have a race on Earth called goblins. But they are not like goblins of this world. Actually, truth be told, goblins of Azeroth sound alot like House Elves from earth."
"House Elves?" Tyrande echoed with narrowed eyes.
Harry winced and then sighed a little bit, he hadn't really thought about introducing the house elves, but he decided he better, "I guess if you want to get technical I have five races…. Dobby!"
There was a moment's pause and then a small crack as Dobby appeared in front of Harry with his back to Tyrande and Malfurion. "Yes Master Harry Potter sir!" Dobby said eagerly.
Harry gestured down at the eager house elf. "This is my friend Dobby. I can honestly say without him I never would have likely been killed by the manipulations of an old man. I certainly would never have been able to come here."
Dobby turned around to face the way Harry gestured and then let out a little "Eep" sound when he looked up and up and up at Malfurion. He backed up against Harry, while Harry met Tyrande's incredulous and somewhat accusing expression.
"In my defense, I didn't name them. Long story short, they're chaos imps, and they need to be bound to someone to survive and not go insane They're incredibly helpful and you'll never have a more loyal friend." Harry explained the history quickly.
Dobby swelled a little bit at Harry's praise before he looked up. "Master Harry, need anything?"
Harry shook his head, "No Dobby, go ahead back home. I promise to call if I need you." Dobby nodded and then disappeared with a small crack
Tyrande still seemed speechless after meeting the diminutive creature, so Malfurion spoke first. "That is very similar to most goblins I have seen, and yet that's not what you were talking about?"
When Harry shook his head negatively, Malfurion gestured, "Will you be introducing us to a goblin from your world then?"
"Uh… not at the moment, no. They're all a little busy." Harry said deprecatingly.
Tyrande's eyes narrowed suspiciously, "Doing what?"
"Well, you'll be happy to note they don't need any sort of living accommodations or anything within your territory!" Harry said brightly.
"Where are you going to house them then? Azshara as well?" Malfurion asked.
Tyrande was still looking at Harry suspiciously, "You didn't answer my question, what are they busy doing?"
"Well, last time I checked they were currently cleaning out and claiming Blackrock Mountain as their new home." Harry said, with an innocent expression.
"They're… what?" Malfurion echoed in disbelief. Tyrande was silent, but Harry thought he saw a small tic at the corner of her eye a few times.
Harry shrugged a little bit, doing his best to remain nonchalant, "The Goblins of my world live underground, it's where they're most comfortable. By trade, they are smith's, warders, and bankers. But above all they're warriors. I thought they they could claim an underground sanctuary that no one seems to want. And from the small amount of time I was there with them, Blackrock Mountain is very appealing to them."
When Harry was met with silence he continued. "No one seem to be taking advantage of the fact that we cleared out the mountain of Orcs and Dragons. The Dark Iron Dwarves were left to their own devices and would have claimed the whole mountain for themselves if my wards hadn't kept them out."
"The Goblins too were under threat, though their population was far more numerous than the others. They are magical beings under threat from the mundane and the magical world alike. They have always been honest and trustworthy to me, and have helped me in the past." Harry explained calmly.
"Black Rock Mountain is of immense strategic value. It sits right there in the middle of the continent. The only thing that kept the orcs and the dwarves from launching offensives at the surrounding areas was the fact that they were utterly focused on one another. Even with that focus, both were in the process of establishing presence outside the mountain in surrounding areas." Harry looked around at the startled faces regarding him,
"If the forces of the Burning Legion got that mountain and entrenched themselves? It would likely take a full mobilized army from multiple races to unseat them from that spot, and the cost to do so would likely be huge." Harry said, his voice carrying a little bit of heat.
He glanced around and then shrugged, "So I decided to kill two birds with one stone. They will clear the mountain of the mindless and crazed dwarves and everything else that's in there."
Tyrande was massaging her temples while Malfurion looked grave. "There is supposed to be an Elemental Lord in there, plus whatever other monstrosities may be loose in the depths."
"I know. I told them." Harry shrugged a little bit, "They didn't seem overly concerned. Their King, Ironwork, said they already had one, and that, if they can't capture it, they'll eradicate it or die trying. Personally, I'd put my money on the Goblins succeeding. They claim to already have one they captured on Earth thousands of years ago, which they use to light and heat their furnaces sometimes."
That left everyone their stunned. Harry bit his bottom lip tightly when he glanced at Tyrande, where the tic had become a full blown twitch.
It was Jessir who broke the silence and she did so by bursting out into gales of laughter.
"Look, I took a calculated gamble. In the unlikely the Goblins fail to take the mountain then they will have died as warriors. Something they might not get the opportunity to do on Earth." Harry spoke logically.
His tone turned a little defensive, "If on the other hand, I'm right and the Goblins do take the mountain, then a location of immense strategic value will be secure. And it will be inhabited, not only by a race that I know values honor, but one that would certainly be willing to open trade and dialogue with races that are friendly with me."
It was almost a minute later when Jessir had gained control of herself. Malfurion spoke up. "What's done is done. Though I wish you had consulted us first."
Harry shrugged not really having a reply for that. He wasn't used to checking with people before making decisions. But he knew he had been a little bit impetuous. "I doubt it will come up again, I don't intend to return to Earth. Azeroth is my home now."
Harry was oblivious to the fact that that brought smiles to every one of his companions. "I also believe that once they've cleared out the mountain, the Goblins would be very happy to make allies with your people. They are no friends of demons."
That seemed to mollify Tyrande somewhat to hear that, though she seemed mostly unsurprised at the fact.
"I do have one other that I brought with me to Azeroth." Harry said, his demeanor brightening considerably as he tried to change the topic.
Tyrande seemed to restrain a sigh, "Another refugee?"
Harry laughed a little bit and shook his head, "No, actually I brought some assistance to help you… or more specifically you, Malfurion."
That caused Malfurion to tilt his head curiously as he regarded Harry curiously. "Me?"
"I brought someone who might be able to help you with the problem you have with Teldrassil." Harry replied bluntly.
"What assistance do you bring?" Malfurion asked curiously, his interest obvious.
Harry grinned and stepped to the side, "Let me introduce my best friend, Neville Longbottom."
Neville, who had manners and protocol beaten into him by his grandmother, knew exactly how to address the two before him, "High Priestess, Lord Archdruid. It is a pleasure to meet you both."
The both nodded, and Malfurion stated, "It is a pleasure to meet you as well. How do you think you can help us?"
Harry idly noted that Neville must have used some drying charms since he no longer looked waterlogged, and interrupted before Neville could speak, "If I may? Neville is probably one of those gifted herbologists on my home planet. If there is any knowledge that exists on my planet that concerns how to cleanse this tree, there is a good chance his family has a record or documented process for it."
Neville finally spoke up, but when he did his voice was filled with a sense of awe. "Can you hear it? The tree is alive."
Malfurion frowned and nodded, "Yes, the tree is alive, it replaced the last world tree."
Neville shook his head a little bit. "No.. I mean it's alive. I can hear it. It's like a soft murmur, too soft for me to make out. It's like nothing I've ever heard or felt before."
Malfurion was regarding Neville intently, "The druids examining the tree have said they felt the same thing from time to time."
Neville seemed to shake off his dazed state, looking abashed. "I'm sorry. I'm certain Harry has shared my fascination and skill with plants."
"Harry was just telling us how you might be able to help cleanse our home of the demonic taint that has pervaded it since it's creation thanks to one of our people's traitor's misdeeds. He was just telling us that if anyone could help us, you can." Malfurion said quietly.
"Truthfully, if it were anyone but Harry telling us, I doubt we'd pay attention, but Harry has proven his worth in many ways since his arrival. So if he says that you might be able to help us. We trust his word."
Neville glanced at Harry and chuckled a little bit, "No pressure, eh?" Harry grinned and just shrugged in response.
Neville turned back to look at both Tyrande and Malfurion, "Well, I will be the first to say that I don't have Harry's flair for the impossible happening. But if there's one thing I know, it's plants."
Neville looked around at the temple and grinned, "And Merlin, this is one freaking enormous plant!"
"That's what I said the first time I was here… when I saw it several miles away," said Harry dryly.
Neville met Malfurion's eyes, "If you are willing, I would be happy to help you heal this tree."
Malfurion regarded Neville intently before nodding, "What would you need to help us?"
"I learned a lot about demons and what they could do to plants during the war on Earth. I saw how the taint of the energy they use could affect them and have learned that it's possible to cleanse some plants. What I need is information mostly." Neville replied immediately. "Creation, any research you have on it's development and makeup, any historical precedent and relevant information that you think might pertain to the demonic taint."
"You should probably take him to Hyjal as well," added Harry. "The last world tree would certainly go towards precedents, and… I'm not quite sure that tree is beyond saving either."
"I think we need to start in the archives and see where we go from there." Malfurion said as he glanced at Tyrande.
Tyrande nodded a little bit in response, "I agree, I'll summon a Sentinel to guide him down there."
Malfurion shook his head, "This is a priority of our people, I will take him. If that is amenable to you, Neville Longbottom."
Neville glanced at Harry for confirmation, who shrugged, "You have a portkey back to Azshara. Though, knowing you I doubt you'll be coming back home anytime soon, Nev."
Neville rolled his eyes, and turned back to Malfurion, "I shall follow your lead."
"Follow me Neville Longbottom." Malfurion said as he lead Neville down the ramp.
Harry heard his reply as they left, "You can just call me Neville, everyone else does. Except Harry. He calls me 'Nev.' Bloody irritating."
"Until you get stuck with a moniker like "The Boy Who Lived", you will never get sympathy from me for that nickname." Harry called out.
Harry turned back to Tyrande who was watching the byplay with a smirk, before she looked at Harry with a serious expression. "If your friend figures out a way to cleanse the taint from Teldrassil, then I take back all objections to the Centaurs. I would let them move in next door for that feat."
Harry laughed a little bit and shrugged, "Like I said. If anyone can do it from my world, then its him."
Tyrande regarded Harry curiously, "Did you have more news that might change our world?"
Harry shook his head, an amused grin on his face, "No, I'm all tapped out for the moment. I was actually hoping you'd have news for me."
A puzzled frown crossed Tyrande's face, "News about what?"
Harry shrugged, "News in general really. We've been out of touch for nearly a month. Even before then, we were deep in the Plaguelands for an extended period of time as well, so we're not exactly up to speed on things."
Tyrande looked thoughtful at that and nodded, "There isn't a lot of news to pass along, though I do I have one or two tidbits of interests." She turned to the two Draenei from the Exodar and said, "While our people are allies and share information freely, I ask that you give this next bit of information to no one other to Velen, if anyone at all."
Harry gestured for her to continue, letting her knew she had his full attention.
"The first bit of news should be of particular interest to you Onyxia, and somewhat to you as well Ysondre." Tyrande stated, fixing the two dragons with her full attention.
"Stormwind had sent even more legions to Kalimdor, as their hunt for Onyxia has intensified tenfold. The repeated failures of the raiding parties he commissioned had enraged Stormwind's King, Varian Wrynn, and the promised riches the raiders would have received if they returned with the Broodmother's head never materialized."
"This has left many angry mercenaries who were less inclined to continue the expeditions, as the King has now begun to follow a trend when it comes to hiring of people not directly employed by Stormwind: he refused payment for the base commissions of every expedition."
Harry's brow furrowed at the news, "That's what he did with the stone mason's that restored Stormwind after the last major attack upon it by the Orcs in… the Second War, right?"
Onyxia nodded, "Yes, he truly didn't even need me nudging him along while I was undercover there. His sense of entitlement knows no bounds."
Tyrande's lip quirked sardonically, "Well, regardless of your previous role in the, uh… 'cutthroat' politics of Stormwind's nobility, it has truly escalated this time. Open rebellion is now brewing in Elywnn Forest., and the King will not likely survive its fallout this time. At the best, he will fall in a silent coup, and Stormwind itself will not suffer many losses."
"At the worst," she paused before continuing, "there could be a fully-fledged civil war amongst the humans of the southern Eastern Kingdoms."
Onyxia shook her head in disagreement, "No, I know Varian Wrynn. He won't fall in a coup, unless an assassin's blade manages to reach him. Given his constant guard, and his own not inconsiderable skills. I highly doubt an assassin will be successful."
The buxom blonde frowned in thought, and others present allowed her time to think. "If I had to guess, and this is just a guess mind you, Varian will violently put down the rebellion before it can result in civil war. He won't make friends with his subjects with that approach, but he'll essentially end all protest with the silence of the grave."
Tyrande watched Onyxia thoughtfully, "If that happens, what do you think is his next move?"
Onyxia looked at Tyrande for several long moments, "I could see a couple of things happening. It kind of depends on what Varian views as likely to have the largest pay off."
The Black Dragon crossed her arms in thought. "One option is that he continues to pursue me. I have no doubt that I remain on his mind despite the trouble the mercenaries he failed to pay are likely to cause."
She began to tick off her fingers, "The second option is he turns his full attention to a major enemy to raise morale amongst his people, either devoting resources to fight the Burning Legion in Outland, or taking a massive risk and venturing towards Northrend. There's also the outside chance he could attempt to reclaim Lordaeron, while selling it to his people that he's reclaiming it in the name of their now deceased Royal cousins. This would give his people and soldiers an enemy to fight. Distracting people from their anger at him."
"I think that's unlikely." Tyrande interjected, "It doesn't benefit him enough personally."
Onyxia nodded and then looked around at the other people with a sigh, "I'd guess he tries to push into Outland half heartedly."
"But if I had to place a wager…" Onyxia looked pensive as she considered something. "I'd say that Harry becomes a target, sooner rather than later."
Harry had leaned back against one of the pillars with his arms crossed, just listening to the conversation and considering what he was hearing. "Me?"
Onyxia nodded and looked around, "Let's face it, you've been walking around like a Storm Giant since you entered our world. Changing it left and right as you go almost without trying."
Harry simply raised an eyebrow waiting for her to continue.
She took a breath, "You immediately made an impact on all factions. Jessir said that when you visited Jaina Proudmoore, she knew of you and your group."
"That's right, because of the documents you recovered from that Dreadlord you killed when you freed Arko. Documents that you then had delivered to both Horde and Alliance faction heads." Jessir nodded and interjected.
"That's my point. Harry's name was already on people's radar. Now he's traveling in a group with myself, even if I don't look anything like the Lady Katrana Prestor. This group also includes Ysondre, and has added Sylvanas." Onyxia stated plainly.
"Even if my identity somehow remains secret, something I doubt given the fact that I've shifted to my dragon form many times in front of witnesses…" Onyxia continued,
"You only shifted forms around my Sentinels, and Lady Sylvanas' Dark Rangers. My Sentinels won't gossip about something important like that after they were briefed on the Alliance between the Greens, Blacks, and us.
"And… forgive me Sylvanas for speaking out of turn," Tyrande said apologetically, "but the loyalty your Dark Rangers have for you is the stuff of legends. I don't see them leaking this information either."
Sylvanas merely nodded her head in agreement.
Onyxia waved her hand at the argument, "Even if that's true, who's to say no one has seen us or heard us. There are times in our adventures we weren't exactly subtle, and Varian has spies everywhere, if for no other reason than they're required to keep track of the number of people he angers. All it takes is one. Let's not forget, Varian does travel with a Night Elf druid acquaintance from his Gladiator days."
"What are you saying?" Harry asked plainly.
"I'm saying that I would be stunned if Varian hasn't heard about our group already. Especially with Sylvanas as part of the group. And a group that has accomplished so much in our relatively little time." Onyxia replied bluntly.
"So? He's heard of us, so what?" Harry countered, with a puzzled expression.
Tyrande's voice was thoughtful, as she regarded Harry. "No, she's absolutely right. A Human leading a group that consists of Night Elves, Draenei, Dragons and Forsaken, is going to draw attention, especially if tails of your magic are passed."
"Since you are human, it's likely Varian will demand you present yourself to him, despite the fact there are actually multiple Human kingdoms, ignoring the fact those other kingdoms are in disrepair. You are Human so anything you do should reflect glory upon him. If and when you present yourself to him, he will see what use he can make of you." Onyxia stated plainly.
"It's part of the reason Jaina Proudmoore stays so far away from the capital and his influence. She can't stand him, and fears if they spent too much time in one another's presence that it would inevitably come down to a battle. And while Jaina may hate him, she will not commit regicide." Sylvanas stated, "At least that's what Thrall has shared with the Horde leadership."
"And if Varian finds my involvement with you, he will demand you kill me, or may try and simply execute you as an accessory and traitor." Onyxia said, her eyes on Harry. "Sylvanas too for that matter. She and any Dark Ranger or Forsaken that travel with us will be in the same boat."
"Well, he can demand all he wants. I've never sworn a vow to him, the King of Lordaeron, or whatever Warlord is in charge of Arathi at the moment. He can just piss off for all I care. I'm not his subject or anyone else's." Harry replied, apathy in his voice.
"You would stand against the most prominent active Human King, and quite possibly the power and fury of his armies?" Sylvanas asked, her raspy voice filling the quiet.
Harry turned and met Sylvanas' crimson eyes. "I chose to stand with my friends and allies. I will stand against any force that wants to harm my family."
Sylvanas eyes never left his, and they burned with intensity. "I have done horrible things. Committed horrible crimes in the name of my people. I'm sure Onyxia would say the same. Whatever you think of us from the short time you've known us, we are the beings who have done horrible things. We are not good."
Harry shook his head. "What you both are is my family now. That's not going to change as long as you're not out committing pointless atrocities. If some arse wants to challenge that, he's welcome to try." For just a moment, Harry's green eyes flashed.
Silence greeted that proclamation, and no one could fathom any sort of response to Harry's statement. Though Onyxia and Sylvanas both seemed to be somewhat relieved and somewhat embarrassed by the statement.
"That attitude won't make you many friends in Stormwind." Tyrande finally warned, breaking the silence, though her expression didn't seem at all displeased.
Harry simply shrugged, "Well, then I guess we won't be stopping by Stormwind anytime soon."
"That would be wise," Tyrande stated.
"It's not like I can't spend my gold elsewhere. Oh darn, I'll have to outfit the Centaurs, Veela and my own group with supplies bought from Darnassus instead of Stormwind," he said with a complete lack of sincerity.
"And that position is appreciated by our economy, I assure you," responded Tyrande with a smile.
"You think its good now? Wait till the Goblins get fully settled and need to begin purchasing food and supplies," he added with a twinkle in his eyes that faded and grew more serious. "Was there anything else?"
She nodded, "The War that is brewing in the south of this continent has progressed. A Champion managed to reassemble the legendary broken Scepter of the Shifting Sands in order to unlock the barrier the Dragon's placed upon Ahn'Qiraj after our last war with them concluded millennia ago."
"Has it progressed beyond entry into that cursed place, M'Lady?" asked Jessir
"According to our intelligence gathered by the Cenarion Circle, champions have swarmed their external and internal defenses, and are even now fighting an Avatar of the Old Gods deep within the main Temple. C'thun has apparently partially broken the bonds placed upon it by the Titans and is almost loose in the world once more."
"What about the Red Dragonflight?" Harry asked, changing the subject. He didn't even want to imply that he was interested in joining up in an all out war effort against an Old God.
"They have tentatively sent feelers to us through outside channels. No official diplomatic contact yet though. They are likely waiting to see how long Onyxia holds true to her current course of action."
Onyxia nodded at this, "Perfectly understandable. It's a long term game we're now playing with the other flights."
Tyrande looked quizzically at Onyxia, "How is that long-term outlook fairing?"
With a glance at Harry first, Onyxia began to speak, "The new hatchery on the border of Ashenvale and Stonetalon has been a blessing worthy of the Titans. It's isolation, in tandem with the incubators Harry devised for the eggs I've laid there, have reduced the whelp mortality rate considerably. The need to not be wary of Nefarian's or my father's machinations has allowed much of the hatched whelps to grow without fear of death for no reason as well."
"Maybe in ten or more years we can successfully challenge the remnants of my flight and return to our proper duties as Earth Warders," she concluded.
Tyrande turned back to Harry, "There are two last things we should report, though they are more conjecture, fed by rumors. Kael'thas Sunstrider has apparently truly gone mad. The remnants of our distant arcane using kin that followed him to Draenor are rumored to have now fully allied with the Burning Legion."
Sylvanas held her hand up to her face at the news, which had been undiscovered by the spies of Undercity yet, or Nathanos had not briefed her on it. The second was extremely unlikely, so she had to assume the first.
"He's really done it," she said aloud, which drew everyone's attention. "The bastard actually joined the Demons?"
Tyrande nodded, "Apparently they've taken to consuming the fel-energies of demons to stave off arcane withdrawal symptoms.
Sylvanas looked physically ill at the thought, and placed her head back in her hands. With the cowl of her hood pulled up, it was impossible to see her face, but it was easy to tell the news had shaken her to her very core. She quickly raised her head, and those glowing red orbs now looked lost.
"He was supposed to find a way to sate their addictions. He was supposed to be their savior, not lead them to damnation," she half mumbled to herself. "The Forsaken High Elves persevered, knowing that the remaining living Elves worked to find a way to guide our people to something that didn't require themselves to gorge on magic."
Her eyes flashed, "...and now? Now he's consuming Demons to sate his lust for Magic? His father, Anasterian, would be rolling in his grave."
Tyrande turned back to the group and continued, in an obvious effort to take attention away from Sylvanas, "The second rumor, concerns my people, and is a bit personal as well. Malfurion's brother, Illidan has apparently holed himself up in the former Draenei temple of Karabor. Originally, it was the seat of power for Valen while his people still resided upon that planet. Now, it has continuously passed hands, back and forth, between Demonic Orcs and the Legion itself. Illidan defied his former master Kil'Jaeden, both in recent and ancient times, and now Kil'Jaeden is directing the forces of the Burning Legion towards him."
Harry rubbed his chin as he considered that statement before looking back to the high priestess. "Do you mind a rather direct and possibly offensive question?"
Tyrande stared at him and then actually laughed, a twinkling and amused sound. "After everything else today, you're honestly worried about offending me?"
"Well you already said it was personal." Harry stated with a shrug, "So let me be blunt, Illidan seems to be a very polarizing figure. And what i hear is conflicting. Please tell me if I have my historical facts correct."
After receiving a nod from Tyrande, Harry continued, "There are times I understand he has saved your life, and Malfurion's life. However his other actions have lead your people to call him 'the Betrayer'."
Tyrande's expression darkened with sorrow, and yet Harry pushed on. "Yet you freed him after he was imprisoned for millennia, in order to face the Burning Legion, which he did… and does. Then he was banished forever by Malfurion only to return to save you from the undead."
Harry frowned thoughtfully, "He violently opposes Arthas, and from what I understand, Illidan is also responsible for the Forsaken regaining their minds and breaking free of Arthas' control."
Tyrande's face had become stiff, but turned bewildered at that last statement. "What do you mean? What did he have to do with the Forsaken?"
"Everything," stated Sylvanas suddenly. "His attack upon Icecrown was directed by Kil'Jaeden. Apparently, the Lich King's masters felt he was growing too far out of control, and wanted him silenced. His psychic attack on Ner'zhul's spirit broke the enslavement spell on a large number of undead. That brief break allowed the members of the Forsaken to break free."
Tyrande looked startled at that information, and there was a long pause before she asked quietly, "What are you asking me?"
"What are you hoping happens with Illidan? I'll be honest. Based on what I've heard, my inclination is that he's going to be a problem if left alive... but..." Harry trailed off.
"But what?" Tyrande inquired immediately.
Harry sighed, "But there's… enough contradictory evidence to make me hesitate to just consign him to death if we were placed in a situation to choose one way or another. A death without consideration or consultation in this situation doesn't feel proper."
Tyrande frowned and seemed to slump, and her eyes glazed over a little as she considered the past, "I have a hard time viewing Illidan objectively. We were all friends growing up. He was in love with me, while I was in love with his brother. I'm not sure he ever got over that."
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose, but restrained the quick comment that had been right on the tip of his tongue. That piece of information shed a bit more revealing light on a lot of the stories he'd been told.
Tyrande closed her eyes and bowed her head, "Illidan elicits so many conflicting feelings. He has saved my life on multiple occasions. But he is also the source of my greatest shame. "
Harry felt rather than saw Jessir stiffen behind him, though she didn't otherwise move. Harry was about to shift the topic away from that history when Tyrande continued.
"I… attacked my own people. I killed several of the sentinels who stood guard over his prison for millennia." When she raised her head, Harry was surprised to see tears running down her cheeks.
"I killed them, thinking I was doing the right thing. That decision haunts me to this day because faced with the same decision, I can't honestly say I'd do anything different. If I hadn't done it, I would be dead, and it's entirely likely my people would have been wiped out. So those deaths are on my conscience." Tyrande paused and shuddered a moment.
"Maiev Shadowsong, the last sentinel remaining from those that stood guard over his prison has lost herself to vengeance and hunts Illidan with a single-minded obsession that lets her see little else. She was among our brightest and we have not heard from her in years." Tyrande said softly.
"The results of that decision still reverberate to this day." Tyrande's voice got somewhat steadier as she continued, reining in control of her emotions.
Harry raised his eyebrow, filling that away for future reference but narrowed his eyes slightly. "That doesn't really answer my question. Is Illidan misguided friend or dangerous foe?
"Malfurion would tell you that his brother is beyond redemption. But much like me, he has his own doubts. How much of our doubts are based in reality, rather than the history and in the young night elf we grew up with, who had a keen wit, sharp sense of humor and insatiable desire to learn… I don't know." Tyrande looked down a little bit.
Tyrande let the silence stretch out for several moments, "I cannot give you an answer in this. You will need to make your own decision. If you believe he should remain where he is, then we will respect the decision. On the other hand, should he fall, we will mourn his death, but will hold you blameless."
Harry nodded, and gave Tyrande a few moments to compose herself, before changing the topic to safer ground. "So, as we move our focus from Azeroth to the Outlands, the Legion is going to quickly become our primary foe?"
"Yes, there are other foes on Draenor our forces have begun to gather information on," clarified Tyrande. "Uncorrupted Orcs that never joined the first Horde, remnants of Deathwing's ventures outland after the first war, which have mutated from Black's into a new dragonflight entirely, and Blood Elf and Naga who support the Legion."
"Well," said Harry as he looked to Jessir and Tyrande, both of whom returned the look with an equal measure, "we'll need to make sure we get the lay of the land before we travel there. Have any scouts returned with maps of Outland yet?"
Tyrande nodded, "When Jaelyn returns I'll have her take you down to the arc-." Tyrande stopped mid sentence, and actually glared at him and Jessir. "On second thought, no…. no you won't be going near the archives."
"We can stop by later and request that," said Ysondre, eager to change the subject away from the lewd actions of her cohorts.
Harry looked at the group seated around him, then posed the question, "Is there anything else we need to brief Tyrande on?"
Headshakes met his question by all except Fleur, who had remained silent during the entire meeting. He turned back to Tyrande, "We'll take our leave then, collect the rest of our group, and head back to Azshara. It was good seeing you again, High Priestess."
Fleur was dealing with revelation after revelation on a day of upheaval. For a week that had started with their only recently established hidden conclave attacked by wizards, Fleur had found herself wondering several times if this was the end of herself and her sister. None of the Veela, from Corazon on down could figure out how their hideouts kept getting discovered.
The last attack had been most jarring of all, the wizards had somehow found them despite the security of a fidelius charm. The attack had caught them all off guard, and since they'd just established the retreat a week earlier there wasn't a lot of set escape routes or fall back plans. Really the only option had been to beg for asylum and temporary protection from the goblins.
Fleur and her sister had been among the first to arrive. They had done so because they watched one another's back and refused to leave the other behind. It had pulled them out of more than one tight situation in the past few years. They had watched for nearly two days as other Veela had arrived at the goblins. Less than half of their already decimated numbers had survived and made it.
Years ago they might have had hope that their sisters had been taken as slaves, if one could call that 'hope'. Fleur had her own experience with that and she would never term slavery as hope. However now wizards were intent on exterminating their race, and outright killed them wherever they found them.
During the interminable wait, there had been some debate as to how they were found with a fidelius charm. All the Veela were oathbound not to betray one another so internal betrayal wasn't an option. It was decided, somewhat reluctantly, that magicas had a way of tracking them. Either Veela specifically or magical beings in general.
The majority believed it was the latter which is why magicals were so effective at exterminating so many creatures in the past few years. Species such as giants, trolls, vampires, and werewolves were considered all but extinct in the purges.
The Veela had been hidden in the goblin tunnels trying to decide what if any options they had left, when the Goblin King had shown up to talk to them personally. They brought interesting information to Corazon. After their leader, who was also Corazon's sister and lover was killed; the former second in command, was now de facto leader.
The Goblins brought a story that sounded incredibly outlandish. A wizard, one that somehow had the respect of the goblins, a nearly unheard of event itself, had claimed to have traveled to a whole other world. He claimed it was a world of magic, and was offering the goblins a chance to enter that world.
Despite the sheer unbelievability of the tale, the Goblins had outlined several bits of proof, not the least of which was three magical species that they had never encountered before. All of which were definitely and visibly not human. They had not seen the world, but the human had brought enough proof that he was obviously telling the truth.
The goblin's belief in this new world had certainly swung the scales, though all of the Veela, Fleur included all regarded this offer with suspicion, even more so because it was brought by a wizard. Despite the goblin's offer to negotiate for them, Corazon and most of the Veela were determined to meet this wizard themselves. This wizard "Mr. Solo the Third". wasn't someone they were just going to trust.
When they had been escorted into the room after the wizard had agreed to meet with him. Fleur had walked into the room behind Corazon. Her attention was immediately drawn to the familiar looking dark haired man on the other side of the table. She couldn't immediately place him, he looked like he was just barely out of his teens and she didn't know any wizard that young.
However her attention was quickly diverted by two of the noticeably non-human women sitting near the man. At that point they realized the goblin's stories were true. One of the women had similar features to demons from the war, though Ironwork had insisted she wasn't a demon. One of the other women had very exotic looks. Her hair was white and her skin was tinted purple and her eyes glowed white. Fleur had never seen anything like her before.
The final woman, Fleur might have suspected was Veela given the flawlessness of her skin and her sheer beauty. Her eyes were drawn back to the wizard in the center. Even as Corazon and several other Veela were was attempting to use her allure, Fleur's eyes were drawn to the emerald eyes of the wizard who seemed utterly unaffected by the allure.
At that moment Fleur's eyes widened in realization. She had finally placed his face. She hadn't recognized it immediately because it had been a long time since she'd seen it. On top of that he no longer wore glasses, while his hair was a little less wild. Most importantly, the prominent scar that had once graced his forehead was now little more than a barely visible faded line.
It was only a few seconds later when her sister Gabrielle turned to look at her with wide eyes, obviously having figured out who Harry actually was.
Fleur had to bite her tongue several times over the next few minutes as the meeting looked like it was falling apart. When one of them had shifted, Fleur had looked at the Goblins expecting them to finally intervene. She saw the scowl that crossed Ironwork's face and knew that they would almost certainly owe apologies after their actions. Fleur was honestly surprised that he hadn't made any move to step in already. She had seen more than one Goblin hand tighten over daggers when Corazon had used her allure.
However she couldn't stop a small shriek of surprise when the gorgeous and voluptuous blonde sitting next to Harry had stepped away from the table and turned into the largest… being any of them had ever seen. Fleur could hardly bring herself to call it a dragon, considering how different it was from any of the dragons she had seen or faced.
Fleur had held her breath as Corazon apologized, and done everything short of falling to her hands and knees and beg. It was a sign of how desperate things were that their leader had fallen to apologies so quickly.
Fleur found herself holding her breath when Harry had given his list of demands, and was glad to see she was not the only one. Several other Veela had kept rigid control of their emotions.
When Corazon had asked for time to talk and they had left the room. The Veela leader had put it up to a simple vote, asking if anyone was against accepting the offer, for another world. A world with at least the potential for freedom and living, something they didn't have here.
The only bump in the road was when the question of payment had come up. The general consensus had been that they would owe a debt to the wizard for doing this. Since Corazon was still referring to him as "Solo" or "Wizard Solo" Fleur was relatively certain she and her sister were the only ones who knew the wizard's actual identity.
The Veela knew that they didn't have much to offer. They had very little gold in their vaults and were only allowed here due to the Goblin's good will. None of them had many possessions beyond their robes and wands they currently wore.
When discussion had come around to offering the service of one of them to the wizard in exchange for not having a debt, there had been general disgust all around. Despite the offer, the Veela had few illusions of what services might eventually be demanded. But the general consensus was also that if it was only one of them then at least they didn't carry a debt as a race.
Before the topic of drawing lots to see who would be forced to offer service, Fleur had stepped forward and offered to do it willingly, surprisingly almost all the Veela there, though she saw that she likely beat her sister by a few seconds. They hadn't seen Harry for a very long time, and knew that the wizarding world believed him dead. But he was still the wizard who had saved a hostage not his own, and was still the wizard who had killed her enslaver and allowed her to break free of the shackles placed on her.
Bill Weasley had hidden his selfishness well, until they were 'married.' Then his true self had been revealed. Though Fleur was lucky about one thing, Bill had insisted she bond to him and not to his family. If she had been bound to his family then his death wouldn't have freed her, merely left her at the mercy of the relatives. The Fiendfyre had a been a spur of the moment thing, and it had felt so good to release, though she found herself regretting it when Percival Weasley had become minister and made it one of his personal missions to exterminate Veela. And up until a year ago, at his death, Dumbledore had helped.
Now she had a chance to repay that debt and help what remained of her race out at the same time. The other Veela were thankful for her willing sacrifice.
When they had gone back in and made the offer of one of their number, Fleur had seen the flash of the shy, slightly shell shocked expression that crossed his face. She almost giggled out loud, but managed to bite her lip.
It was then the woman, who was some sort of dragon creature in disguise, stepped into negotiations. It took all of thirty seconds for Fleur to realize that they were dealing with someone with a keen political and logical mind and their leader wasn't going outmaneuver her.
Fleur wasn't the only one that was surprised at the revelations of the personal life of the wizard. Fleur had a hard time reconciling someone with that sort of life with the Harry she remembered. She knew the press had pilloried him as a rising dark lord but then again that same press had thought that Dumbledore was snow white goodness and the sun rose and set around his wrinkly old arse.
However Fleur was also forced to admit he had gotten a reputation during the war. A reputation as a feared and merciless warrior. It had been that person that had threatened Corazon with lethal action.
Fleur had been brought out of her thoughts by Onyxia dismissing anything to do with their race and telling Corazon to swallow her pride and just accept the help. Fleur knew the Veela leader would eventually cave. Though she was immensely prideful, all Veela were, she would put aside that pride to save her people.
Before Corazon could do more than start to nod, Fleur made her decision and quickly interjected. "The I would like to propose the repayment of an older personal debt."
That had surprised every one of the Veela except for her sister, who Fleur could see understanding in her eyes.
When she had said his name, more for proof of her own identity than his, it was like a bomb going off among the Veela. They were all rigid in shock. One of, if not the feared wizards of recent history was not actually dead, but sitting in the conference room.
The reaction of the women sitting around him told Fleur that she was right on the money. She hadn't been able to keep a pleased smile off her face when he recognized her. She also hadn't been able to keep the surprise off her face when the buxom blonde, who turned into a dragon no less, went from arguing against their involvement to supporting Fleur.
When he had agreed, to allow him as part of his group, she had just barely managed to keep from cheering. She would be repaying that debt, and helping her race at the same time. Even if she died in the process, her race would be safe.
The next several hours had been somewhat of a whirlwind of shocks where Fleur had finally just started making a mental list of everything, but mostly observations about Harry.
Once Jessir had begun speaking to their group, giving them an outline of their world, a more detailed version of what the goblins had provided. Fleur had focused on learning about the new world, Azeroth, and it's people.
She also noticed that more than a few of her fellow Veela that listened in on the briefings gave the Night Elf, as she called herself, some very appreciative looks. Fleur wondered if Jessir knew that she was playing with fire. Fleur was well aware that most of her fellow Veela would love the chance to get Jessir into bed. Whether it was from natural attraction, the Night Elf was very beautiful, or the thought of a new race, or merely someone besides one another.
However even during this discussion about Azeroth, Harry's name seemed to pop up with regularity with offhand mentions of people or peoples he saved, or demons or undead he killed.
It was easy to see that Jessir revered Harry. It set more than a few warning bells off in Fleur's head for she had seen that sort of blind devotion before to Dumbledore.
However her fears were quickly forgotten when Jessir had discovered their supplies, or lack thereof. She had quickly spoken to the Draenei, Kudrii, and relayed the problem. The Veela were somewhat more tentative around Kudrii due to the fact that she had an even more exotic appearance than Jessir, and the hooves and horns reminded them vividly of the succubi they had faced during the demon war.
Kudrii had gone a long way towards breaking that ice and tentativeness when she had quickly begun making a list, demanding that each of the Veela submit one for any and all needs.
When Harry returned next, all of Jessir's concerns that he was like Dumbledore faded. The two girls had instantly combined forces to demand Harry take them shopping. Faced with the demands before him, Harry Potter, the 'worst Dark Lord of the century' according to the Daily Prophet, had caved quicker than a house of cards in the face of demands by his companions to go shopping for female undergarments.
They quickly came back with more supplies than the Veela dreamed imaginable. Though Kudrii and Harry seemed to be in argument. She didn't understand it all but she heard something about shrinking a warehouse.
They gave the oath never to teach their magic to anyone not of their race, and to make no attempt to portal back to Earth. She along with all the other Veela had given the oaths required of them, specifying no deliberate attack, including allure on Harry or his family at any point, unless they were in fear for their lives or in the home of a Veela. Harry had added that last qualification after several nudges from Jessir.
Fleur had forgotten herself for several hours when she had stepped on the new world. There was no question it was an entirely different planet than Earth. Her entire body practically vibrated with pleasure form the sheer amount of magic in the air. Fleur was fairly certain that more than one of the Veela climaxed on the spot.
She hadn't had long to acclimate to the world before she had been tugged by portkey to someplace that was completely alien and so beautiful. WIth trees of purple and green, and lights, lit by magic. Fleur had followed along in a haze, seeing more of the Night Elves and seeing that Jessir was definitely representative of the attractiveness of the Race.
She had been nervous when she had spoken to Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage. One of the things Jessir had emphasized during their conversation was just how those people figured into the events of the world, and mentality of the Night Elves as a whole. Once again, Dumbledore comparisons ran in her mind.
However even as she explained what Veela were, Fleur could tell that they weren't judging her and they were holding her on her own merits. She had breathed an internal sigh of relief at their acceptance and even welcome.
As she faded into the background as the discussion moved on one thing caught and held her attention.
It wasn't that she had forgotten about him, but it wasn't until right then, in the presence of beings of clearly great power, that she realized exactly how prominent Harry's role in Azeroth had become. Even in the presence of Tyrande and Malfurion, who both seemed to hum with magical energy, Harry still stood out. He practically radiated power without even trying.
When he had been meeting with them in the Goblin caves, he had merely been respected by those around him.
Here, was an entirely different matter. The leaders of a whole race listened to his words and took them under advisement. He had their respect, but judging by the banter he had their friendship as well.
He talked of upsetting a Human king and challenging an army without hesitation or fear. Not only didn't it seem like idle boasting, but everyone around obviously took his words seriously. They took it like it was pure fact.
The last thing that had surprised Fleur, was something that was incredibly obvious in hindsight. It was an observation that she would encounter frequently over the coming days as she became acquainted with the group of females Harry had surrounded himself. She initially thought it was a Dumbledorian plague of worship. Then she realized some stared at him with blatant lust, while others stayed by him because they relaxed with perceived safety by proximity to him.
The more she talked with the girls, the more she realized she was wrong. The histories, the tragedies, the adventures, the triumphs. All of these women had amazing backgrounds, and all were inexplicably linked by one undeniable fact.
All of them clearly loved Harry Potter.
She reported back her findings to the rest of her people at the first meeting, and the concept seemed counter to everything any of them had ever encountered. Her fellow Veela had been enslaved, tortured, raped, and hunted for years simply for what they were; and Wizards were the sole party responsible for it. They had been given words of warning by Gabrielle and herself that Harry Potter was not like other wizards, but none had believed.
Now though, the fact that he had somehow accumulated a Harem of six women, and that there were more in the wings waiting to join brought many of their preconceptions about the man to a screeching halt. Some made verbal accusations that he had offered his help merely so that he could add them to his list of sexual conquests, but that was shot down by all who had witnessed two of the distinctly non human females who obviously loved him, remind him of the Veela's lack of any physical possessions or supplies.
Any who had seen his reaction, or the obscene amount of Galleons spent on them, were the first to argue against that point of view.
Now though, she didn't know what to expect next. It was obvious Harry was involved in this world's politics, and had enemies waiting in the wings. The fact that the Humans of this world were amongst those he wasn't afraid to anger, had brought a brief moment of fear to her fellow Veela. Eventually, all of them would need to seek out strong mates to continue their lines. Some had jokingly said that they should all just bed Harry, something she personally had no problem with, but that wasn't viable to ensure the diversity of all their people's offspring.
After those meetings, where everyone agreed to simply hold off on any long-term decisions while they collected their wits and recovered from their years on the run, she ventured out and explored the ground of the restored city they found themselves in.
Not all of it was restored of course. The public thoroughfares were clean and well swept, but occasionally she could look past a building and see remnants of what all the buildings had once looked like. What had been repaired was beautiful to behold.
She had a glimmer of remorse for her fellow Veela, as a Fidelius prevented them from seeing the primary Temple and surrounding buildings where Harry's group lived. After some consideration, and Fleur guessed, some insisting from Jessir, Harry had shared the secrets allowing her to see the majority of the compound. A place like this really was beyond her wildest dreams, especially after the last few years hiding wherever they could.
Harry had understood that others would appreciate the view of the Bay which the back of the temple offered, so he had created other lookout points. It was no surprise, over the next few days, to occasionally find the Flamels there enjoying a late dinner or early breakfast before or after their return from their work at the Undercity.
Life was simple and yet complicated at the same time now for her. She could rest, relax, or dive into new professions that artisans pursued in this world like Enchanting or Jewelcrafting. There was so much to do and no pressure to do any of it, other than an internal need to not let Harry down as the start of her impending travels looked over her.
Harry left the girls to their own devices, which included a longer conversation with Tyrande. One mention of "girl talk" from Jessir had Harry quickly taking his leave. He left to find Jaelyn who he encountered entering the temple as he exited.
A quick consultation with Jaelyn and a map had Harry off again, opening portals between worlds in order to bring the last of Earth's refuges through to the woods of Darkshore. When he transported back to the Goblin caves, the centaurs weren't even surprised to see him. They looked like they were expecting him right at that moment.
Each centaur was carried multiple large bags of what must have been supplies as well as weapons, including bows and arrows and large spears. Harry really hoped that his promise of the Centaurs of Earth not being warlike brigands held true .
The Centaur in the lead greeted Harry politely. "Well met Harry Potter. With this action the debt the stars foretold our people would owe you has come to pass."
He hadn't even waited for Harry to respond, before promptly heading through the portal, quickly followed by the rest of his herd. Harry had shaken his head and followed the last one through the portal before closing it.
When Harry came through the portal and saw the centaurs all staring at the late afternoon sky. Harry didn't even bother waiting around for them to start talking about the stars they would or might see. He had merely handed the lead centaur, who he had finally recognized as Firenze, a communications mirror and promptly apparated away.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing in Darnassus, as Harry found that the money he leant to the girls had been all but spent at the Auction House. It wasn't like their new home was hurting for space, nor was he hurting for money now that the Goblins had transferred his assets to this world, but some of the things that they had purchased bordered on the ridiculous.
Though, the site of Arko in a 'Lovely Black Dress' was enough to banish all thoughts of misspent funds from his mind. The 'Red Winter Clothes' that Kudrii immediately donned had him asking to see more of their purchases.
With the portal back to Earth now closed, and everyone back at the Temple and surrounding areas, the unpacking began. Furniture, rugs, carpeting and other amenities purchased on Earth and brought from the numerous Potter properties were spread across the the buildings they as a group would occupy. The cold marble floors and pillars became a bit less daunting when rugs and furniture were placed.
When the Potter inheritance began to turn up randomly by Elves who sought to place the items somewhere visible, all of the women began to simply gawk at the size of the inheritance Harry had received. They also quickly realized why his family would be targeted in order to attempt to steal such riches.
Ultimately, Harry was not picky about what items went where. Colette and Kudrii were the ones who received the lionshare of items, simply because they owned nothing. Kurdii had been down on her luck for over half a century since Shattrath had been sacked, and Collette's belongings had likely all been long since distributed according to her Last Will and Testament. The others had items transferred from their own possessions, so the new home felt like an old one to them.
Much of the leftover furniture and furnishing were diverted to the Veela, who eagerly accepted any items sent their way. Many stayed indoors for the initial days, as if they wanting to revel in the 'waking dream' they were experiencing for as long as they could before waking up.
After two days of settling, and another week of relaxing and just enjoying the calm, or working on their own projects in their own time, the entire group found themselves on the newly created veranda that the Elves had been on the backside of the Temple. It was a perfect place to eat, read or simply watch the tides crash onto the beaches of the massive bay.
Harry looked out at the various women who were all seated at tables or couches. There was a feeling of contentment in the air, but there was also something new. Something that he knew he felt and that, more and more, the girls felt too.
They were all ready for the next adventure to begin. The question was… where should they go first?
Cast of Characters:
Arko'narin – Alliance. Night Elf, Warrior. Former Sentinel of Darnassus. Current wielder of the Ashbringer.
Jessir Moonbow – Alliance. Night Elf Hunter. Former Sentinel of Darnassus. Former student of Jaelyn Evensong. Tends to lead in any situation involving Harry's group and Darnassus sentinels. Has a bit of a one track mind at times. And has no shame.
Kudrii – Alliance. Draenei, Priest. Enchanter. Current wielder of the Staff of the Last Guardian of Tirisfal. Spending time among Harry's group has done wonders for her pride and confidence.
Disidra Stormglory – Alliance. Draenei, Shaman. Former member of an 'infamous' guild wiped out attempting something a bit too much for them. An outcast who found a home. A historian who likes learning about other cultures.
Onyxia – Black Dragonflight – Brood Mother. Most powerful daughter of Neltharion, Aspect of the Earth. Was caught impersonating the fake daughter of her father's fake human persona within Stormwind, and now has a death contract out on her head from the King of Stormwind. Her eggs and brood were rescued from Dustwallow Marsh and has established a new hiding place. Slowly working at cementing alliances in a bid for Earth Aspect.
Ysondre – Green Dragonflight – Lieutenant of Ysera. One of Ysera's four most powerful sons and daughters. Was corrupted in battle with the 'Nightmare', a power of the Old Gods to sway the minds of others. Freed and now accompanies Harry in his ventures.
Sylvanas Windrunner - Horde. Undead, Hunter. Former Faction Leader of the Forsaken. Former Ranger General of the Sin'dorei, was killed in Arthas' invasion of Quel'thalas. Her soul stripped from her body, she was reformed into a banshee. Currently establishing herself as a hero for her people.
Colette Blaumeux - Non-aligned Undead Paladin. Former Paladin and member of the Order of the Silver Hand, she fell in battle during the early stages of the 3rd War. Freed from Arthas' influence and joining Harry through her friendship with Sylvanas Windrunner
Anya Eversong - Horde - Undead Dark Ranger. Former High Elven Ranger of Quel'thalas under the command of Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner. Turned to a Banshee by Arthas, and later freed from his control in the aftermath of Illidan's failed strike upon Icecrown. She is one of Sylvanas' chief lieutenants. Maintains her sense of humor despite her condition.
Fleur Delacour - Non-aligned, Veela. Former Tri-Wizard champion. Formerly enslaved to Bill Weasley. Freed from that enslavement upon his death. One of 23 Veela currently remaining alive. Volunteered as emissary as part of Harry's group. Newly arrived on Azeroth.