Fionn and Harry were curled up together on the couch in the sitting room, just quietly chatting when they heard footsteps coming towards them. Fred and George were in their room plotting changes to their products to make them work on the people in the Realm. They wished to open up a branch of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in the Realm one day. Ash had been checking her house to be sure the twins hadn't harmed it in her absence. So they looked up curiously to see which of them was approaching.
Djuran had to duck his head a bit to enter the room, his red eyes fell on Harry and Fionn and he sighed softly.
"It seems Rialyn has mistaken me for a taxi service. I am to take Fionn to his first lesson, he did at least inform you it was today?" Djuran's low voice fit the dark aura he gave off perfectly.
Fionn looked at Djuran with wide golden eyes a moment before shaking his head and getting off the couch. "He just said 'after the Festival', but not when exactly."
The Djinn closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Muttering something under his breath that almost sounded like various ways to flay Rialyn.
"I can come now, we didn't have any plans..." Fionn whispered, eyes looking down at his feet. He wasn't sure he wanted to get close to a Djinn, but at least Djuran didn't look anything like Adzir. His black skin and height alone were different enough to not set off memories. And while he didn't like Rialyn, if the other Fae was friends with him, he couldn't be evil... Right?
Djuran's hand dropped back to his side as he looked back at Fionn. "Have you traveled with a Djinn before?"
Fionn couldn't bring himself to speak, he just nodded and tried not to flinch when he felt Djuran place his hands on his shoulders. The Djinn's fingers were colder than he expected, much cooler even than human-normal body temperature. He closed his eyes tightly as he felt the strange sensation of his body transforming into smoke and being blown along like a leaf in the breeze. And then he was solidifying again, the Djinn's hands left him and he opened his eyes in time to see Djuran become a pillar of smoke once more and vanish. He would not break down, not here. Djuran was nothing like Adzir, at least he hadn't shown any of the sadistic tendencies the other Djinn had so far. It was just travel magic, no different than traveling with the Demons he now lived with.
He took a deep breath and turned his attention to the room to get his mind off of having been so close to a Djinn. The room he was in was a good sized study, with bookshelves on most of the walls. A desk was set against the wall farthest away from him, and a long table took up the middle of the room. Rialyn was sprawled in a chair to his right, legs hanging down over one armrest and his hair dangling down over the other. A book was propped on his stomach, which slid to the floor as he looked up and swung his feet to the ground.
"Finally! Let's begin." Pulling a small dagger from somewhere in his clothes, Rialyn proceeded to slice the palm of his left hand open. Blood welled up from the gash immediately and started dripping down his wrist as he thrust his hand in Fionn's face. "Heal that."
Golden eyes widening in surprise, Fionn stared at Rialyn for a few seconds until the red-haired Fae impatiently waggled his injured hand. Carefully taking it into both of his own, Fionn relaxed mentally and willed the cut to heal. A golden glow surrounded their hands for a few seconds, and when it was gone, only the blood remained to show there had been a wound.
Rialyn snatched his hand away and wiped the blood off with a cloth. Inspecting his hand, he shook his head with a sigh. A red glow appeared briefly around the no-longer-injured hand and then was gone.
"Pitiful. It did the job true, but not as thoroughly as it should. Had it been a deeper wound, or something more complicated like a broken bone..." Turning away, he stalked towards one of the bookshelves, lightly touching the spines as he looked for a particular one. Pulling a large and heavy book down, he thrust it at Fionn. "Read and memorize. That will be your first lesson. If you do not understand how a body works, what is connected to what, and why, your Gift will not heal others correctly. What is instinct must become reasoned, you heal something in a particular way because that is how it should be, not because your Gift goes in and patches things together any way that makes the pain and bleeding stop."
The Golden Fae felt himself blushing in embarrassment. He had never considered how his Gift worked, just that it did. When he needed it, he or his friends were healed. Was healing really that complicated? He looked down at the book he was now holding, the spine and cover were worn as though it had seen lots of use. The pages were not crisp and new, but soft with much handling. But for all this, he could tell it had been well taken care of. It was an anatomy book, one that covered the main types of people living in the Realm. Demons, Fae, Gargoyles, Djinn, Incubi & Succubi.
"Once you have memorized that, we will work on further control. You must first know what you would heal, before learning the limits of what you can heal." Rialyn paused a moment before continuing. "I expect you to memorize one chapter a week. I will be quizzing you, and if you fail the tests I will be most... disappointed."
Fionn ducked his head. "Okay."
"Well? Sit and start reading. If you have questions, ask." Rialyn walked back to the chair he had been occupying when Fionn arrived, scooped up his fallen book, and resumed his prior position.
~*~ Meanwhile With Harry ~*~
Just after Fionn left, Harry once again heard footsteps in the hallway. Laric entered and came to a stop, seemingly surprised to find him alone.
"I had thought perhaps that we could go for a walk? If you and Fionn are not busy?"
"Fionn just left, his first lesson with Rialyn is today." Harry felt the disappointment through their new Bond. "But I don't have anything planned." A spot of warmth grew in the back of his mind as Laric looked at him with a smile and held out his hand.
Harry stood and tentatively took the offered hand. Courting. Again. How exactly did he end up doing this again so soon? He had never pictured himself as the 'more than one partner' kind. Even after finding out he was a Demon, and that more than one mate was apparently the norm in the Realm. He had Fionn, and was perfectly happy with him. And yet, there was something about Laric that drew him. Fionn liking the Warrior was another good reason, but still... Looking up into ice blue eyes that were much warmer than the description gave them credit for, he found himself blushing faintly.
They walked along in silence for a while, neither one seeming to know what to say, but content to wander. Finally Laric spoke.
"My mother will be thrilled that I am finally Courting. Do not be surprised if she descends upon us with a flurry of, as Gideon would say, 'meddling.' I am an only child, and I do think that she had quite given up on my starting a mateship." The smile the Warrior gave was a bit wry, though the amusement he felt showed both in his ice blue eyes, and in the Courtship Bond.
Heading into a small shop, they each ordered ice cream cones and settled into a booth in the back. Harry had a double-dip of rocky road, and Laric had a single of mint chocolate chip. As he licked his ice cream, he thought about what to say. He didn't really wish to talk about his home-life, but perhaps if he kept the conversation on Laric?
"What about your father? Will he be as happy as your mother?"
A shadow seemed to cross Laric's face for a moment as he focused on his ice cream. "My fathers were killed when I was a child. Mother was devastated, and chose not to start a new mateship. But what about you? Do you have brothers or sisters?" He seemed to hesitate a moment, and Harry could feel the uncertainty the Warrior felt over the next question. "Do your parents know you are in the Realm?"
The bite of ice cream he had just taken chilled his mouth, but gave him a moment to think as he chewed. "I'm an only child as well, my parents were killed when I was a baby and I don't really remember them. My best friend is like a sister to me though, and she knows I'm here. Hermione is really smart, she's helped me a lot over the years and I don't know what I would have done without her."
As Harry crunched the last bit of his ice cream cone, he realized a drip had run down his fingers. Licking them clean, he used a napkin as an after thought, then smiled brightly and slid from the booth. So far, he'd mostly gotten away without talking about his home life to anyone. Ash knew a bit as she'd actually been in his house, but even she didn't know most of it. And he was perfectly happy to go on not telling anyone. They couldn't hurt him here, and he never had to go back to that house, so there was no reason he had to ever bring it up. Laric was giving him a slightly strange look, but as the Warrior dropped the subject, Harry didn't give it any more thought. Had he been thinking, he would have remembered that the Bond worked both ways and that while it was more like empathy than telepathy, that was still good enough to give hints of 'something not right'.
Strolling down the street again, Harry was startled when Laric slid a hand through his arm. Glancing up, he saw the small almost not-there smile on the Warrior's face and blushed lightly, but didn't object to their now linked arms. This close, he could feel Laric's long black braids lightly brushing his arm and wings as they walked. His presence was strangely comforting, he felt safe. Something he hadn't felt often in his life, usually it was he who had to save other people. If only Fionn was with them, it would be a perfect day.
AN: Thanks as always to my beta Nicky Noodle.
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Also! I found some character reference pictures, which have been posted at the bottom of this chapter on AO3 (also linked in my Profile) as I am unable to post links on this site.