Harry Potter and the Realm of Dungeons and Dragons
The sky along the edges of the mountain range of Absalom was always clear turquoise or dark deep blue. There was only a light night sky during the darkest hours of winter, and yet within the keep itself the temperature never dropped below a warm spring day. Even the courtyard, the most exposed to the elements area, was not covered in snow unless Harry wished for it. Most of the time, he did not wish for it.
Sometimes his ducklings did pout long enough to get some snow in the courtyard, but only for an hour or two. Anymore and he highly doubted they'd hold off flinging snowballs at passerby, and considering his keep had a flourishing market just outside, he'd rather avoid getting called for one of his ducklings' misbehaviors. He was currently marching towards his planning room in the keep, together with Mialee who barely held ground with his great stride.
Soveliss was behind them, having left Kursk and Regdar to guard the portal to his world. His world. How funny that now that he had seen it, he didn't like it any longer. Well, no…It was more because he had expected something else. He had always wanted to go back and see his parents, but once he had seen them…he hadn't known what to say. As a kid he would have loved to be hugged by them at least once. As an adult, he no longer needed hugs or candies or birthday presents.
He had to write to the king, but going by himself would probably be better in quickening the entire ordeal; if only the old man didn't try every five seconds to convince him to marry his daughter…Not that Grace was a bad looking princess, but she had the very same verve and emotional span of a wall. A gracious wall covered with frescos maybe, but still a wall. He'd rather have a half-orc female, one of the many that Kursk insisted were his 'by right of conquest'. He shivered.
Kursk and his 'right of conquest' never boded well at all when they placed their heads together to try and get him a woman. Not that Soveliss was any different, only he at least had the grace of being subtle. Vadania merely pointed out she had circle friends who'd love to meet him, while Regdar just so casually mentioned about this or that girl that was, with his luck, an assassin undercover nine out of ten times.
It was actually a bit of an inside joke to send a group of paladin to any meeting Regdar suggested him to go. If he didn't know better he'd say the warrior was the best of the secret Nerull cultists, but he did indeed knew better: the warrior was simply cursed with bad luck.
That was without considering Gimble who practically knew every single woman on the face of his reign, and he actually thanked Boccob that gnomes couldn't breed with non-gnomes. He'd be invaded by small Gimbles in less than a fortnight otherwise. He had already sent a servant to call his quartermaster and the commander in charge of his men, when he realized someone had been following him all the way to the strategy room of his keep.
That was barring Mialee, of course. He turned around with the most neutral face he could envision, and within mere seconds he was engulfed in a hug. Awkwardly, he looked with pleading eyes towards Mialee who merely raised an inquiring eyebrow but said nothing. The room they were in was tastefully furnished with a big round table, a map of the Material Plane standing within its confines. Few windows gave little light but a much needed change of air, while Everburning torches provided what was truly needed to see in the room.
Out of all the chairs present, one was slightly higher than the others, signaling it was the chair of the Archduke himself.
Harry coughed as the red haired woman began to sob on his chest. He wasn't really good on the emotion display of things. Well, not with an adult woman who actually was his mother. Those who faked being his mother were easily dealt with after all: it was the real deal that was giving him problems in that moment.
He had faced dragons. He was thirty-one years old. He could face a woman whom he should have been calling 'mum'…with no qualms. The hug did feel nice though. He admitted as much as he grabbed both of the woman's shoulder with his arm and slowly, but firmly, got her off him.
"I am terribly sorry if it sounds rude," he began carefully, "But I simply must report to my liege about this. He must know of this as soon as possible."
"Ah…yes." James Potter nervously admitted, "You said you were an Archduke, right? You know we Potters actually are lords too…maybe Counts or Barons…Purebloods of wizardry society and…"
"Wizardry society?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow in perplexity. "You teach magic only to the nobles?"
"Uh? Oh no! Whoever knows magic can learn it! Hogwarts has this fund for needy wizards and witches and muggle-born wizards can learn too!" James replied quickly.
"Muggle-born?" He asked perplexed. What was it with the term? Did the Tongue spell start to deteriorate?
"Oh, well…Muggles are people who can't use magic." James replied.
"Ah. Why?" Harry asked, carefully giving a worried glance towards Mialee, who slowly began to walk closer to him.
"Because…they can't?" The man said with a shrug, "They can't use wands. Sometimes a child is born from two wizardry parents as a Squib and sometimes a wizard is born from two muggles."
"I'm a muggle-born," Lily said hesitantly, "While James' parents were both wizards."
"Is there by any chance fire and brimstone involved when you cast your spells?" The Archduke asked, his hand slowly going to his holy water flask. He also had a cursed water one, just in case, but in any event…
"Why the sour look?" James found himself asking, "It's like you've seen something bad. You aren't a believer that only nobles should learn magic, right?" The Potter Head was now wary, but Harry merely shook his head.
"No. Knowledge should be free and unbound. All should be able to learn all they wish, for that is the will of Boccob, Archmage of the Gods." He replied with ease with one of the beliefs of the god he worshipped. "Well, you are positively sure there aren't, you know…evil names associated with doing magic?"
"Harry, just ask them outright." Mialee sighed, "You're walking in circles around the problem."
"Is there…something wrong?" Lily asked worriedly, as Harry took a deep breath before answering.
"You're perchance…Warlocks? Or devil-spawned sorcerers?"
James and Lily both blinked at the question, before the head of the house of Potter replied.
"Well…Wizards and Warlocks are the same thing…"
"Bull." Mialee snorted. "If a wizard and a warlock were the same thing there wouldn't be a bounty on all warlocks around Absalom."
"A…bounty?" Lily's hand went to her neck as she slightly paled. She then accusingly looked towards her son, before whispering, "If…If we were warlocks…you would still deliver us to your king? We're your parents!"
"I didn't say that, did I?" He replied with a snort. "I'm not like that ponce on the other side who prances around like he owns the place. You come from another world entirely. Here warlocks are hunted down because they invariably degenerate and descend into madness, and with their eldritch powers they are a menace for all those that surround them." He bitterly smiled, "It's not as if I like doing it."
"Ahem." A rough looking voice coughed, entering the room. A deeply scarred man in his late fifties had entered the room, soon followed by a meeker looking and far smaller gnome. The man held grey buzz-cut hair and seemed to have been a warrior in his youth, while the gnome had bright green hair and deep violet eyes and looked as if he had had an accident with the washing considering how colored his clothes were.
"My lord, who are these?" The ruff voice practically growled threateningly as he eyed with distrust Harry's parents. "Should I be worried about the larder now?" He added.
"Alaric, there is no need." Harry replied shaking his head, "I have yet to ask if they wish to stay for supper." He turned his head to look at his parents, "Would you like to remain for supper?"
"Yes!" Lily exclaimed with maybe a bit more of excitement than normal, beaming a smile. "We'd like that."
James chuckled before nodding too. "We have a lot to catch up, right?"
Harry nodded back at Alaric, since the man had probably no idea what the two English persons had said.
"I suppose I won't have to dip in the food reserves," Alaric grumbled, crossing his arms, "As your quartermaster though, next time you have more people around tell me! I'll have to check the stocks again! And if I get my hands on Kursk while he does a night stroll to the larder…argh." The man mumbled while clenching his hands tightly. "Was I needed for something else, my lord?" He added after a moment.
"Yes. Have fresh horses prepared. Mialee will prepare a circle of teleportation soon, then I and Regdar will meet with the king at the capital. Vadania has already forewarned them of our arrival by now." Harry replied thoughtfully, "And if she hasn't then she isn't as much of a chatterbox as I thought her to be."
"She's my cousin, you know." Soveliss pointed out from within the shadows, where had hidden himself with his bow still in hand, but apparently putting it back on his shoulder.
"Was he…aiming at us all this time?" James found himself regretting having asked the question, looking shocked at both the pointed ears man and then at his son.
"Of course he was." Harry replied with a straight face. "You have no idea how many thousands of assassins I have to stave off," the boy snorted, "And the doppelgangers are the worse of the lot."
"The mind readers too." Mialee quietly said, shaking her head slowly.
"Wh…What? Why? What did you do to them?" James asked perplexed, "I mean…How?"
"I'm an Archduke-Ollam." Harry carefully said, "Ollam is a title of great respect the dwarven kind gives to its teachers. It means 'one who knows the stone' and to be a human and possess it, one has to have done truly great deeds for Dwarf-kind."
"And you can't do great deeds without making enemies." Mialee added, before gesturing to Soveliss who walked forward, moving towards the door.
"Do you want me to escort them to the guest rooms?" The elf asked Harry with his gaze pointed to the man's parents. Since Harry was going to speak with the sergeant-at-arms of his keep, it was highly possible he didn't want 'strangers' hearing him out…even if the tongue was completely different.
"If you'd be so kind," Harry replied with a small smile. He then turned to his parents, "Can you follow Soveliss? He'll bring you to your guest rooms while I talk with my sergeant-at-arms." He actually didn't think there was a need for it, considering the language barrier…but better safe than sorry.
"Him?" James asked bewildered, looking at the small and feeble gnome that seemed to be wearing clown clothes.
"Yes." Harry replied curtly, "Nimble is the sergeant at arms of the keep, and he has served me well for years."
James and Lily both winced at the tone of accusation, as if Harry dared them to say anything against the gnome again. They both sheepishly averted their gaze and followed Soveliss outside, leaving Harry to take a deep breath before looking pleadingly to Nimble.
"Did you have to come dressed like that?" The gnome morphed, slowly but surely increasing its size until it became as tall as Harry, its skin paling and turning milky white.
"Would you have preferred me as myself?" The Doppelganger commented humorously, "Even after the wizard's words on assassins after you belonging to my race?"
"You had to choose a gnome of all things." Harry sulked back crossing his arms, "A minotaur would have been a nice thing. Heck, a half-dragon even."
"Wanting to show-off to your parents your things?" Mialee suddenly cooed, "What a nice, cute and little baby you are!"
"Old bat." Harry snapped back at the elven wizards.
"Young toddler." Mialee stiffened as she curled her lips in disgust.
"Ancient crone." He smiled.
"Milk drinker." She calmly made a gesture to polish her shoulders, as if she was just warming up.
"Elder oak." He looked at his nails as if the thing bored him.
"Love is in the air…" Nimble sang, "And it's a wonderful day to be elsewhere." The creature seemingly decided as he took a step backwards, somehow wilting under the glares. "I've already got the news from Regdar: I'll be placing the usual regiment to keep an eye out on the mirror and who comes and goes."
With a nod from Harry, the doppelganger assumed the form of the multicolored gnome and hopped away, leaving the archduke and the wizard to look at one another.
"What's gotten into you now?" He asked her in elven.
"You know…all this." She muttered. "They're your parents but…in term of age you're older than them. I mean: I just don't want to see you heartbroken again."
"I'm not a kid Mialee." He replied rolling his eyes. "I'm an adult."
"You were twenty-three when you suffered from a breaking heart." The wizard pointed out, shaking her head slowly, "I'm not going to tell you how to live your life but…I'd rather remember you by as a smiling human rather than a crying one."
"Sentimental are we? What is it, elven menopause?" He half joked.
"Yeah, something like that." Mialee actually replied sadly, turning to leave. "Well…I'll be going to inscribe the circle then. The sooner we do this, the better."
Harry didn't reply as the elf left the room. He didn't know what to say, and thus he said nothing. He was always unable to solve the troubles of females…and he knew better than to try.
The Wizengamot was in full session. The wizards were noisily making screams and noises and exclamations about how the veil was a portal to another world and about the 'monsters' that lurked behind it. The fact that the savior of their world was on the other side meant nothing, when it came down to the chance that the criminals they had judged guilty could still be alive on the other side of the veil. If this was the case, then the Wizengamot had no idea on how to proceed.
A lot of Death Eaters and ancient family that had followed Voldemort, and that had been condemned to pass through the veil as a sentence might still have descendants, and those would be entitled a seat and their proprieties restored. Even worse was the problem on how to treat their nobility ranks. What if their king was not magical? What about their statute of secrecy considering some didn't appear to possess magic and instead were monsters with pointy ears or sharp teeth?
"We have stationed guards just like Harry Potter has done on the other side," Albus began to explain to the Wizengamot. "There is nothing to fear. The other side leads into a well-defended courtyard of Archduke Potter's keep. We will not be invaded by monsters. There is…"
"With all due respect Supreme Mugwump," Lucius drawled, "How can we be sure that man is who he claims to be? He is considerably older than what we expected, and he might just be a fake trying to lull us into a false sense of security."
A chorus of affirmative replies and exclamations came from Lucius' followers, as another woman replied.
"Yeah! We shouldn't believe in him just because he looks like the Potters' brat!" Mister Goyle remarked with a snort. "Afraid your golden boy kicked the bucket, so you're sending us a spare?"
"That is preposterous!" Augusta Longbottom snapped, "Minister Fudge was there too! He can confirm together with Madam Bones and I that there were no signs of polyjuiced or other spells to alter appearances."
"And we should believe that?" Lucius pointed out. "We should call for the Unspeakables to go through the veil and check what is on the other side."
"You would send armed men on the other side?" Albus asked carefully, "Are you sure you wish to start a war, Lucius?"
There was silence as the rhetoric question of the Headmaster of Hogwarts was thought over. The last war had been fought against Gellert Grindelwald, since Voldemort had been more of a terrorist and his reign had been a civil war so to speak of. There was nothing else to say after his words. The Wizengamot quietly mumbled among its peers in renowned small murmurs, before finally delivering its verdict.
They'd have to warn the prime minister of England about this.
Material Plane, Thunder Keep.
James and Lily Potter were worriedly sitting on one of the wooden benches near the long table. They were looking with a bit of curiosity but mostly with surprise at the numbers of people invited to dine at Harry's dinner. James had thought that since Harry was an archduke, he'd be at the very least a bit brattish or arrogant, but till then nothing had happened, and he had begun to think that nothing would. The boy was the perfect example of Noblesse Oblige: calm, collected and poised. At the same time he was a down to earth individual, if the way he was removing a smudge from the face of a child near him was of any indication.
That was another thing that shocked him and Lily. Apparently Harry had children, and not just one or two. None were his, and yet he did seem to love them dearly. James raised an eyebrow a bit as he saw his son bring on his lap one of the waitresses, and gently whisper sweet nothings to her ear. He did that in front of the children no less! Luckily they were more than busy asking questions towards Lily, who was trying her best to answer them. Some questions were easy to answer, but others instead were of a delicate nature.
The fact there apparently existed a type of magic that granted the knowledge of a tongue with such ease astonished the Potter: even with the use of Occlumency and a Pensieve, it usually took months to learn a language. Instead with just a spell children could immediately start talking and understanding English as if it were their mother tongue.
"Are you going to take father away?" One of the small looking children, a gnome as he had been told, asked with a trembling lip. Lily had slowly looked downwards and then shook her head. Had it been a different, younger Harry…they had expected to hug their eleven year old child, not their thirty-one year old one. How could they now ask anything of him? They were his parents, but he was an adult now, a successful one at that and so…
The problem was how he was going to take the rest of the news.
"Harry, can we speak in private for a moment, please?" He hesitantly asked as he saw the waitress stand up again and move to leave.
"I have no secrets for my ducklings." Harry replied. "I've found out that children are natural judges of character. As long as they are treated fairly they will answer with fairness in return."
"The thing is…my question is a bit personal." James hesitated, looking towards Lily who merely grabbed his hand and looked at him, nudging him forward with but her clear green eyes.
"Speak freely." He muttered back rolling his eyes. "I hold no secrets neither to my comrades nor to my children so it would change nothing speaking in private or not."
"Time here flows differently, right?" James asked carefully. "It's faster here than in England. So…are you going to come back?"
He raised an eyebrow. A small bitter smile formed on the man's lips before he shook his head slowly. James felt Lily's hand tighten around his as the woman displayed a sad face.
"I belong here." He replied carefully. "While I might come to your world for peace talks as an ambassador…I would never remain long."
"I…I see," James muttered. "Well, I don't know what to say." The man admitted. "Do you know who brought us back to life?"
"Yes." Harry admitted, "I'm responsible for that." He sighed. "It's my greatest shame."
"What?" Lily asked bewildered. "Your…shame? Why?"
"Because everything has a price." Harry retorted, "Had I not brought you back, then many families would still have all of their members. Many villages would not have burned down, and many things would have gone differently…in the end, I can't come to term with it. Are two lives worth three hundred?"
"W…What did you do to bring us back?" James asked, suddenly disquieted.
"I made a wish." Harry chuckled. "A wish to an Efreet. A creature that if trapped can be freed in exchange for wishes…a genie in a lamp, only wicked and evil."
"And he can bring back the dead?"
"Of course he can." Harry rolled his eyes. "Magic can do that and much more."
"That's extremely dark magic." Lily gasped, "Harry, you haven't…"
"Uhm? Resurrecting people isn't dark magic." The Archduke offhandedly remarked. "Prolonging one's life unnaturally by becoming a Lich or a Demilich, that is evil." He nodded, "But resurrection? Heck, I lost count of the times we brought Regdar back to life."
"I haven't." Jozan commented, "The great Pelor is starting to tire. He has begun to chat up with Regdar to offer him a place permanently on the other side if he stops coming and going."
"Now you're joking." Harry deadpanned.
"That's what my god says." The contemplative remarked, "And my connection to his thoughts and will is greater than yours."
"We are not comparing the size of each other's holy symbols guys!" Lidda yelled as she jumped up and landed on Jozan's shoulders. "So…anything precious on the other side of the mirror? Any…trouble to be solved?"
"Trouble?" James frowned.
"Like dragons to be killed." Harry remarked, "Or necromancers to be stopped."
"Like Drows assaults on the Dwarven homes, or Duergars uprisings." Lidda pointed out.
"Like evil cults of evil gods poisoning the wells of cities." Jozan straightened up, "They would need the cleansing fire of the great Pelor after all."
"You said evil twice, somebody's fired up?" Gimble remarked chuckling as he made his way over from the other side of the table to where the rest of the group stood.
"An all new world Gimble! How can you not be excited!?" Jozan remarked, "Think about how we can convert it to the might of the good gods! It could tip the balance of power drastically in their favor!"
"Or against them." Regdar remarked, "Think Jozan…what if there were heretics on the other side? What if their morals were so wrong and tainted that they'd follow the darker gods rather than the good ones?"
"Then, by the might of Pelor, we'd have to purify them!" Jozan bellowed with his fist crashing on the wooden surface of the table.
"Calm your crusader spirit my friend!" Regdar immediately said raising his arms to gesture for the cleric to cool down. "Mine was just a stray thought. Don't get worked up on that."
"Are there…religion wars here?" James asked carefully as he looked back at his son who seemed to be thinking about it for a moment, before nodding.
"Yes. The good gods and the evil gods fight each other indirectly through the use of their faithful, while the neutral gods do what they wish."
"So Pelor is a good god? Just like Boccob?" Lily asked tentatively, "and…they're…real?"
"Of course they are!" Jozan yelled, "Gods not real? Why wouldn't they!? Who'd be so stupid to follow something that doesn't show up when you pray for it!?"
"We…well," Lily chuckled nervously, "We have religions with different gods too…but they don't show up if we pray."
"Are you mad?" Jozan finally found himself asking after a few minutes of quiet, "No, really? You pray something that doesn't come around to even show himself? Here! Let me give you this pamphlet on the grace of Pelor…" A thick leather bound tome found its way from Jozan's hands to Lily's. "Have a nice read and understand the grace of Pelor as the god of the sun and healing."
"And here our crusader goes." Vadania muttered entering the room, "Harry! The king's waiting for you! Where do you think you're going dressed like that!?"
Harry rolled his eyes as he stood up. He was wearing his usual adventurer's clothes, and he felt perfectly comfortable in those. Regdar soon followed, standing silently behind him.
"To meet the king of course; come on, I helped him back on the throne: I doubt he became a stickler for dressing codes since then." The man replied with a shrug, bidding goodbye to the dining hall as he left.
"He did what?" James mouthed as Harry left.
"There was a try at a revolution a few years ago." Gimble spoke carefully, plucking a few chords. "They got the palace and kidnapped the princess, again I might add…" The gnome snickered, "And he went in and got it all back for the king."
"What did our son Harry do?" Lily suddenly found herself asking the small creature, whose eyes shone for a moment as the rest of the room groaned.
"I'm glad you asked! For this I am tasked!" The gnome jumped on the table, mandolin in hand as he began to sing.
"The tail I will spin, of the Archduke and the king!
Sit and be quiet, for young is the night,
Listen carefully and hear me right,
For this tale begins within grim mountains,
Where crystal clear fountains,
Are harbor of aberrations,
And pits of mutation." The voice turned a bit grim as it kept on going.
"In the depths of the darkness a betrayer mourned,
In the deepest of the pits, a devil screamed spurned,
Together the two plotted.
Together the two the kingdom besotted.
The whispers became howls,
The stares became scowls.
An army was raised, an enemy was praised.
A force was gathered, a war was battled.
There stood the chosen of Pelor, Jozan the devoted,
Next to him was the mighty Kursk, barbarian most noted.
Side by side stood Regdar the fighter, and Vadania the zealant,
Next was Mialee the gracious and Soveliss the atrocious," Here Gimble avoided an arrow flung by Soveliss, that landed between the gnome's feet.
"Gimble the bard, oh my, he watched from afar,
Next to Lidda the scout and Alhandra the proud.
The army then met! They clashed and beset!
With his Bjorn that means axe,
The Archduke Harry fought off the attacks.
Magic he parried and steel he fought,
Into the enemy, both were quickly returned!
Then at once there stood the leader, of the enemy army!"
Gimble screamed that as if afraid, jumping from side to side as the children looked at him in awe. Even Lily had to admit she was getting enraptured by the tale.
"He was a wizard, but he also was barmy.
He wished to command undead and demons all.
He sought thus only, to make us to thrall.
They met on the battlefield and here I must admit,
I thought to myself, that maybe I should quit.
Wounded and torn, the limbs of the Archduke suffered,
By the might of the magic that the barmy mage inferred."
James unconsciously held Lily closer as the woman gasped in fright bringing both her hands to her mouth. She had tears in her eyes at the thought of just what pain Harry had to have gone through.
"And yet as he lay there lost, a voice was heard!
Worry not! Fear not! For against the gods, fight he cannot!
Chosen of Boccob, chosen of fate, stand up high and defend the gate!
And stand he did and fight he did too!
And in the end the mage lay defeated by you know who!
The Archduke Potter fought and won,
And the next day the hand of the princess he had earned!
But refused he did graciously so, for another…"
Kursk axe neatly cut the table in two, sending Gimble to tumble on the ground, if Soveliss hadn't been extremely quick in flinging his arrows and pinning by the clothes the bard against the wall. Before Gimble could protest, Mialee silenced the pestering gnome and took a deep breath of relief.
"The story is done. Time to go to sleep ducklings." Mialee muttered, snapping her finger as ethereal cohorts rose from the ground to gently push the kids to their beds and tuck them in.
"It…It didn't sound finished." James pointed out.
"It's not our tale to sing…and Gimble, didn't Harry tell you to remove the last bit?" The elf wizard asked the gnome, who sheepishly scratched the back of his head.
"Art should not be censored!" The gnome exclaimed indignantly.
"No, but gnomes can be purged." Soveliss remarked in a low murmur, just so casually playing with an arrow and the string of his bow.
"All right. All right!" Gimble muttered, swiftly unpinning himself from the arrows.
"I'll bring the guests to their chambers."
"Archduke." The king boomed with a bright smile and a portly laugh. "How nice to see you." Brocades and fine vests surrounded them like sharks pooling to strike at the bleeding man in the water. Half of the court was there to try and give their daughters to Harry; the other half was planning his death.
Regdar stood a bit behind the archduke, standing straight and in wait for the mean of assassination the enemies of Harry would use this time around. The human warrior had seen death so many times he had grown bored and accustomed to it. So much so that the dark lady actually took her time and appeared by his side every now and then to enjoy in pleasant chats.
He knew no normal man was meant to see death, but in his case he had received a permission slip from Pelor. Something about checking in and out over a hundred times.
"And so I claimed the soul of this war chief, you know? And then they began killing one another," Death said, trying a saucy smile as she showed just a bit more of pale blue flesh of her cleavage. Whether she was actually flirting or not, he knew better than to rise to the bait.
"It left me all hot and bothered, to see all that blood and well, me all around."
Regdar hummed back, but said nothing as he saw the king speak excitedly with Harry. He began to count. Five minutes had gone by and Harry had already begun to shake his head, his voice slowly cracking up. Ten minutes and the two were already at each other's throats, roaring about nights spent drinking meads, bills to be paid in dingy corners and bastards sired and kept hidden.
"And that time with the dragon! Come on! You can't be serious…"
"And what of when you failed in bringing back the brocades unscathed!?"
"THEY WERE IN THE NEST OF AN OTYUGH FOR FUCKS' SAKE!"
"THAT'S NOT AN EXCUSE!"
The noble of the court were already distastefully turning their gazes elsewhere, speaking among themselves as the two kept on reaching an all new level of yelling.
Finally he saw Death prepare herself to strike, and just not to go against routine her scythe was posed to strike at him.
"See you soon." Regdar sighed. He began to charge. One of the nobles soon emerged from the crowd, his hands holding on to a flintlock pistol.
"No swine should stay on the throne!" The man roared firing the shot. The bullet flew, but Regdar's shield was already there, taking the hit. The guards arrived quickly, and brought down the noble with haste.
"This treachery! Really, I must say…"
"Regdar's still alive." Harry pointed out calmly, "It's not over yet."
"Now listen here," Regdar began slightly angered, "It's not like I have to die to reach the final…"
Twenty-seven arrows coated in a mixture of poisons and drugs struck the warrior on the back.
"Of course." Soul-Regdar muttered half-whining. "Of course he had to bring me bad luck!" Death cooed him upstairs, to meet Heironeus. The God of Valor would offer him a seat as always, and then they'd wait for Pelor to come around and bring him back.
He really hated politics.
"A delegation from The Material Plane is coming through." One of the unspeakable spoke to the Wizengamot assembled, and not a moment too soon Harry Potter walked into the halls of the ministry, five rod-wielding men on his right and five staff-wielding men on his left. Behind them stood four armored men wearing holy symbols of Boccob, Heironeus, Pelor and the last one being of Obad-Hai.
The wizards in the last rows brought their neck up as much as possible, to try and glimpse at the small army that had walked in. Fifteen men were a bit too much for a simple peace talk, but not too many to think they were here to invade. At least, fifteen wizards wouldn't stand a chance against the entire Wizengamot.
Dumbledore was there too, looking with a mixture of surprise at the scene unfolding. He wondered where the Potters were, since only their son had apparently walked through.
"We will keep this short." Harry began calmly, his voice oozing all the confidence that Dumbledore not only expected of the chosen one, but also of a true hero of the light.
"My liege has decided to make the following men his line of contact with your ruling government. These men are all scholars and professors of their own right, researchers and wielder of the Arcane Arts as well as pious men of the Divine and believer of gods of Valor, Healing, Knowledge and Equilibrium. My king also insisted upon…this," he waved the Hogwarts' letter, making Dumbledore's heart soar as the old wizard mentally began to chant 'Yes! Yes! Take that Voldemort! Take that! We have Potter! We have Potter!' "To be taken into consideration."
"You speak of the…faithful, as if they were akin to wizards." Lucius Malfoy commented, "Are they wizards too?"
"Define Wizard." One of the staff-wielding men sharply retorted, a long white beard whipped around his waist. "All of us can cast spells." He gestured to everyone. "We study them." Pointing at him and the other staff-wielders, "They harness them from their souls." Pointing towards the rod-wielders, "And those guys pray."
"Always the sweet talker Archibald." One of the 'faithful' replied rolling his eyes. "I am Lertus Sanor, cleric of Obad-Hai, god of Equilibrium. We pray to our gods and receive their blessings back." He added calmly.
"Gods? And what blessings do these gods give?" Lucius asked a bad gleam in his eyes.
"That depends on the god." Lertus replied calmly, "but those of wicked soul cannot expect heaven beyond death. The nine layers of Baator or the ever-changing abyss awaits those who wicked go to their deaths and beyond."
"And the unfaithful shall spend eternity being molded into the walls of the city of Sigil, the city ruled by the Lady of Pain, she who cannot be bested." Archibald retorted with a light 'whining' tone that was all sarcasm. "Yes, we get it, now sod off."
"Ahem." Cornelius Fudge coughed, "Is it correct to assume we can send our own ambassadors?"
"Yes." Harry replied with a nod. "Fifteen for fifteen."
"Well, that is a thoughtful thing." Cornelius mumbled, "I'll have the rooms prepared then."
"We'll just need a closet or a cupboard." One of the wizards commented.
"Yes, but I'm the one who casts the spell."
"Oh no you don't! Last time we ended up sleeping in a damn wooden hut!"
"I'd rather take Percival's Mordenkainen's mansion rather than Ulfric's."
"What do you know! You just don't like the way I furnish the rooms right!?"
"Men, men, stop bickering before I decide to axe you all." Harry finally relented, his hand gently rubbing the handle of his Bjok. His smile silenced the bickering ambassadors, who took back their serious appearance.
"They're weird these…wizards." Crabbe senior whispered to Goyle senior up in their seats.
"I think we might have boar stew tonight." Goyle senior replied in another low murmur.
"Didn't you hear what I said? Why do you always have to talk about dinner with boar? I get it: you like to eat, now think with your head rather than your stomach." Crabbe senior rolled his eyes.
"But I'm hungry." Goyle senior whined.
"Then start packing carrots! Those are healthy at least!" Crabbe senior hissed between his teeth.
"All right!" Harry finally exclaimed, his hands clapping together. "Since we have a deal now, Mister Dumbledore? When am I expected for class?"
"Well, Archduke Potter," Albus began standing up, and walking out of his seat to meet with the man in person. "I think we can have you a bit sooner perhaps? So we can show you the school and decide where to put you. Magic works differently, but nothing should prohibit you from learning our own. You would be a real bridge between worlds."
"Time moves differently between our worlds, Mister Dumbledore." Harry replied, "Everything happens seven times faster in the Material Plane than here: one year here would be seven years there. One minute here is seven minutes there. One hour here…would be seven hours there. One day becomes a week, a week becomes a month and half, a month is nearly a year…and I need not tell you that some do have families on the other side."
"I see," Dumbledore smiled gently, "your king demands much from you."
"I live to serve." He replied calmly, "But I do not serve to live." He added as an afterthought. "It is a dwarven saying: if you have to prostrate yourself to live, then you are not living."
"I think these dwarves have the right ideas." Albus' eyes twinkled.
"I want to ask: is your king magical?" Lucius Malfoy's question broke the small chatter through the Wizengamot halls, "If he is not, then what is your statute of secrecy like?"
"Statute of secrecy?" Harry brought an eyebrow in surprise. "And what is that, pray tell?"
"You don't have a statute of secrecy!?" Cornelius Fudge exclaimed in surprise, "Surely you can't tell me everyone knows magic exists in your world!"
"Of course they all know!" Archibald suddenly screamed in, "Why should we keep it a secret!? Magic can be learned by anyone who wishes to apply themselves! See!? I theorized sorcerers-led societies would be backwater countries!"
"You take that back Archibald, or I'll show you what the power of a sorcerer is!" One of the rod wielding men yelled back, as thick bronze scales began to erupt from his skin.
"Calm down, you lot calm down." Lertus interrupted. "Don't force me to Calm Emotions, we can discuss this diplomatically."
"Diplomacy? All right. I'll give you Diplomacy." One of the sorcerers suddenly smiled wide. Harry narrowed his eyes as the man whistled a tune. The next moment…
He didn't know why everyone had suddenly decided it was a great idea, but he was sure someone had used Glibness. Albeit the culprit had most astutely declared his innocence the moment he still had the spell on, he knew someone had to have done it.
It took a few hours to settle everything down on paper, but in the end it was decided that one side would keep the statute and the other wouldn't, and that the muggle government would be notified of their arrival by each of the government's magical branches. That business concluded, the ambassadors would be 'shipped' off to different countries in the world.
Harry was just thankful nobody had tried to use Dominate Person or Hypnotic Weave on the Wizengamot.
Or tried to turn them into sheep.
Or conjured a Dragon.
Or a genie.
Or a Tarrasque.
The last time he had made diplomatic talk with the Halflings, someone had the smart idea of giving caffeine to one of the half-sized pints. The end results were not pretty, especially because a naked Kursk was not at all as embarrassed as he should be, and an overexcited Halfling cleric of Yondalla was not as prudish as she was supposed to be.
He still had mental traumas.
Really heavy mental traumas.
He did crack a smile when he finally walked through the veil, back home. The smile faded when he realized what time it was. The time problem was something that had to be solved. It wasn't possible for such a difference of time to be kept. It just couldn't work.
He nodded and acknowledged the salutes of his troops, as he made his way towards his rooms. Outside the sun was high in the sky, and yet he felt drowsy and sleepy with good reason.
He yawned as he finally reached his rooms. A small window barely enough for light to seep through and a massive bed with satin covers, taken from a bandit camp his group and him had cleaned once. He removed his armor slowly, before crawling his way into bed and falling asleep like a rock.
The next moment, a shadow emerged from the corner of the room and slowly began to creep towards him.
The cold black tendrils of death moved closer and closer, and just as they were about to touch him he opened one eye, staring into the red ones of the creature and whispered a single harsh word.
The shadow nodded, and slowly slid deep beneath the floor.
Decided to continue it. At the moment it's just one more chapter. Not to be taken seriously or with ultra-extreme plots. This is an extremely 'mind relaxing' thing, so don't expect treacheries or backstabbing or whatever.