Ron opened his eyes to see the white ceiling and for a second he thought he was back at Hogwarts. He felt a warm body next to him and realized Hermione was in bed with him. He turned to his side and snuggled next to her.
“Before you get too comfortable I have some questions for you.”
Startled Ron quickly turned over and saw himself face to face with an angry looking elf.
“Like how did you get into our realm?” The elf finished
Ron visibly gulped
“Well you see, our friend Harry Potter told us how” Ron answered “we came looking for Lor… Lor… Lord Voldmort”
“I see” the elf said “and where is this Harry Potter now?”
“He came through with us, what do you mean? WHERE IS HE?” Ron said starting to panic.
“I’m sorry but we searched the area quite thoroughly and no trace of him was found”
Ron felt the tears swelling in his eyes, he felt an incredible pain in his chest and before he knew it he was sobbing uncontrollably. He felt a hand touch his shoulder gently. He looked up at the elf that was now comforting him.
“I lost someone too last night, who was also dear to me.”
“My son” Lord Zasuan
At this Hermione woke up.
“Good Morning milady” Lord Zasuan said “I assume you got a pleasant sleep?”
“Oh…” She said taking everything in “is this Adendele?”
“Yes, you are in the castle infirmary” Lord Zasuan answered for her
“I assume you are not a nurse, you have on royal robes… are you Lord Zasuan Al Gara Tempus?” Hermione asked
‘What a smart witch’ Lord Zasuan thought “I see you have been reading some very old books, but what might you be forgetting?”
“The High King changes his name after he ascends to the throne, after completing his first battle campaign” Hermione said
“Correct” Lord Zasuan said “The name is Lord Zasuan Al Tempus Phoenix”
“It’s an honor to meet” you Hermione attempted to bow respectfully despite her laying down.
“Mione’ you’re sayin this bloke is king?” Ron stammered
Hermione had enough sense to slap him before going
“High King” she corrected
“Do you know why I brought you here?” Lord Zasuan asked
Ron and Hermione glanced at each other and gulped
“I don’t know” Hermione said
“I don’t know either” Ron said
“Just a few days ago wizards in black managed to enter into Adendele and attack the town directly although I had sealed the gateways, now more wizards have entered my realm. My son has disappeared at the place where you were found. Although I believe in your innocence, some questions have to be asked.”
Hermione sat frozen sitting in front of the High King, he radiated power and beauty, he was for all intensive purposes; a god.
“Why are you here?”
“We came to help our friend Harry; we are tracking the moves of Lord Vol… Vol-demort.” Hermione stuttered
“And you think that this Voldemort has an interest in Adendele?”
“He doesn’t want the elves to get involved in the war; he wants to create a civil war among the elves so they wouldn’t get in the way of his war as he took over the wizarding realm.” Ron said
“He almost succeeded”
“He did?” Hermione asked
“His men attacked Adendele just a few days ago.”
“What happened?” Hermione asked
Lord Zasuan began the tale of the attack
“I think we should make camp here” Draco said dismounting off his horse
“Okay” Harry said
The two of them had been riding for several hours and Harry couldn’t help but somehow feel pulled to Phoenix. There was something familiar about him that made him feel like they had known each other for years, and he was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. Not the type of beauty that a man feels for a woman, but a beauty that is timeless, ageless, faceless. They had discussed Harry’s past and his plans about the war he was being forced into. Harry found the elf prince sympathetic.
“Harry, what do you plan on doing after the war?” Draco asked
“I never really thought about it, I always have focused on defeating Voldemort, I guess when you are faced against that, you don’t focus much on your future”
“That’s sad; you should at least have hopes and dreams, what is the point of living… Voldemort has already won against you”
Draco looked into the emerald depths of Harry’s eyes and saw tears forming. Something inside Draco fluttered and his body somehow sprang to life.
“Surely…” Draco said “there is something you desire?”
Draco walked closer to Harry and with a gentle hand wiped the tears from Harry’s face. As his fingers touched his skin Harry felt his body tingle as the elf ran his fingers over his skin. Draco drew Harry into an embrace and his mind instantly thought ‘is this… what it would had been like if he had taken my hand all those years ago?’
When asked in the future neither of the could explain at that exact moment they found themselves with their lips touching and ever so gently started kissing each other. At first it was slow but it soon became fiercer and demanding at they explored each others mouths. Finally logic and reason kicked in and Draco leapt away from Harry in a swift move.
“Oh heavens, I’m so sorry Harry, I don’t know what came over me.”
Harry looked breathless, when he heard Draco speak, something flashed across his eyes that Draco couldn’t explain… ‘Maybe sadness?’ Draco thought
“I mean, I don’t know why I did that, I didn’t mean to take advantage of you, unless you wanted to do it too… because it was good.. I mean… erm.. ugh..” Draco was rendered speechless
Harry watched Draco fumble around with his words
“Phoenix, I’ve only just met you but I can’t describe this feeling that we’ve known each other for a lot longer, you don’t have to apologize for kissing me, I don’t know what came over me either.” Harry said “I never considered being with another man before because I had only ever been with a girl… but this is something different… I can feel the magic in the air… it’s almost tangible”
“Okay Harry” Draco said “I’m really tired let’s gets some sleep”
They lay next to each other on the ground but after several hours of restlessness Harry bent over Draco’s face
“Can’t sleep either?”
Harry nuzzled his head in the crook of Draco’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around him
“That stops the buzzing doesn’t it?” Harry asked
“Yeah” Draco replied
Harry opened his eyes after the most restful night of sleep he had in ages. No nightmares and no visions of Voldemort he awoke feeling warm and safe. He looked up to see the body of an elf in his arms and the memories of the last night came rushing back to him. But instead of panicking like his brain was telling him to do. His body simply snuggled closer to the elf and shut his eyes again.
Draco felt Harry stir and pulled him into consciousness. He felt Harry wrap himself tighter onto him and Draco wrapped his arms tighter around him.
“Sleep well?” Draco asked
“Besides the fact I’m sleeping with an elf, and a boy elf at that; and I don’t know why… yeah I’m just fine”
“I though Gay couples were fairly normal in the wizarding world.” Draco said
“I wouldn’t know I was raised with muggles and most of the purebloods have strict breeding rules so I figure it’s not too good with them either”
“That isn’t true, pureblood breeding is to insure the bloodline with heirs, that doesn’t stop them from having affairs”
“I guess, I just never heard of any”
Harry sat up and brushed the dirt off of him and cast a few cleaning spells on himself. He gave Draco a hand up and gave him a few cleaning spells as well.
“Shall we carry on?” Draco said to Harry
The departed on foot and traveled for a couple of hours before making a short break near a small river.
“How much further do we have to go?” Harry asked
“No idea I’ve never been to Slythersend before”
“You’ve never been?” Harry asked “then how do you know where we are going?” he said annoyed
“I’m guessing we are nearly there”
“Intrudersss… mussst… tell masssstersss…”
“Did you hear that Phoenix?”
Then Harry saw it, there was a small snake slithering on the ground heading towards a nearby hillside. Pulling out his wand Harry yelled
The snake flew into his hands and started trying to slither away
“Calm down little one” Harry said to the snake “I am not going to harm you”
“You can ssspeak to me?” the snake asked
“Yes I can, can you tell me where Slythersend is?”
“I protect the ssscity, I will not tell you”
“This is Prince Phoenix from Adendele, he has come to speak with the Lord of Slythersend.”
“Princssse from Adendele?” the snake asked
“Very well follow me, leave the horsssses”
Harry dismounted and put the snake on the ground.
“Phoenix he’s going to show us the entrance to the city we have to follow him on foot”
“Alright” Draco said
They followed the snake until he led to a large crack in a hillside.
“You ready?” Harry asked
Draco and Harry descended into the blackness of the cave down a narrow set of carved in stairs. They circled down and down until they came to a dimly lit chamber. It was like a small hallway and on the other side was an elaborately carved door. They walked up to the door and that’s when Harry noticed the inscription.
Around the edge of the door was writing that he had never seen before, but he somehow knew it was in Parseltounge. Suddenly iron gats closed behind them and a hissing sound filled the air
“I guard this land from men of stranger
When this city is in danger
Speak the password I implore
Or you’ll be dead forevermore
A clue I give to those of mind
Cleverness can save their kind
I’ll open if you can tell me this
What is written round me in a hiss?”
“Harry, did you hear that?” Draco asked
“Yes Phoenix, did you understand that too?”
“No all I heard was hissing”
“It’s a riddle” Harry said “I have to answer a riddle to open the door. I think I have to read the inscription around the door but I don’t know how.”
“It looks like Parseltounge” Draco said
“CORRECT” said a hissing voice
“Wise young friends oh men of stranger
Do not think you’re past the danger
I will only ask, just ask once more
What is written around this door?
Answer must, as sure as sound
Or you will sink into the ground”
Suddenly the floor beneath them turned to sand and before they knew it they were sinking
“PHOENIX!” Harry exclaimed and held on to him tightly to prevent himself from falling over
“Harry!” Draco exclaimed “can you read what is around the door?”
“NO, it just looks like a bunch of squiggles” Harry said
They sank lower and lower yet Harry remained focused on the door
As his head approached the ground Harry saw it, it was clear as day
“Only the dead have seen the end of war”
“ONLY THE DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WAR” Harry managed to say before his head went under the sand. Suddenly Draco and Harry found themselves standing just as they were before but then the door opened in front of them showing them one of the most impressive sites any person had ever seen.
Before them was the vast city of Slythersend, the largest and greatest city of the Dark elves, the many many city streets and houses kept safe under a mountain in one of the largest and grandest caves Harry had ever seen. It was lit up like a metropolis and even had its own lake nearly as grand as Adendele’s. they appeared to be at the edge of the cave very high up a hillside. Noticing a path Harry and Draco slowly made their way to what looked like the capital, Harry noted looked like an enormous Taj Mahal.
“What just happened?” Draco asked
“You can only read Parseltounge if you are near the ground, like a snake.”
“So as we were going down you could read it?” Draco asked
“Not until the very end”
“Well that scared me; you have saved my life twice you know?” Draco asked
“Yes, it seems to be a running theme with me” Harry said
“I like it”
Draco and Harry had descended the hillside and starting walking down the rocks heading for what looked like a city that could match Adendele in size and grandeur. But they knew something was wrong as soon as they got near
“Where is everyone?” Harry asked
“Well let’s look for someone” Harry and Draco headed off down the first bunch of houses the came across
“There’s nobody down this street?” Harry said “You see one Phoenix?”
“Phoenix?” Harry turned around
An elf as black as night with blazing yellow eyes had Draco’s mouth covered and had an elvish dagger to his throat. The elf was dressed in what looked like regal battle armor, make out of the blackest of steel yet he didn’t hear him approach.
“Tell me who you are human and I will let you live a little longer before you die”
“Release him at once” Harry said taking out his wand
“I wouldn’t try it boy, put your little magic stick down too… nothing funny now…”
Harry did as he was told and put his wand on the floor
“Good boy, now which one of you should I kill first?” The elf asked
Suddenly with a flick of Harry’s eyes the elf found his dagger gone, and his arms bound behind his back and the wand back in Harry’s hand
“I said release him” Harry said “This is Lord Phoenix, high Prince of Adendele”
The elf’s eyes widened as he then saw Draco’s signet plate poking out from under his shirt.
“And I am Harry potter”
“Well done Mr. Potter” a cool female voice said from behind him “Not many have thwarted Donovan, I being one of the few” from around a corner a female dark elf, also as black as night came into sight. She had two guards with her. She was wearing all white battle armor with silver trim and was beautiful and seemed to have an ethereal glow around her. Her skin wasn’t black but a creamy mocha.
“Who are you?” Harry asked as Draco tried to re-dignify himself from the dark elf named Donovan.
“I am High Queen Saibeth, this is my kingdom… tell me young human and Prince… why are you here, somehow managing to slip past all of my sentries and spies all over the land only managing to trip an alarm upon your entrance. I ask this because it seems overtly foolish of you. So I will listen... You may begin explaining”
“Queen Saibeth” Draco addressed “a few days ago Adendele was attacked by a band of wizards and dark elves, much against my fathers wishes I came here to see if you were responsible and to either hand you this declaration of war, or this invitation to a peace conference to address the issue of Lord Voldemort in the elven realm.”
“We attacked no one, we were also attacked several days ago by several light elves and some humans.”
“I think there has been a misunderstanding and we should talk this over” Draco said
Saibeth nodded and led them with guard in tow towards the capital building. Once inside Harry realized that half or more of the city was encamped inside. The wards were so strong around the building it was making him kind of lightheaded.
Then they found themselves in what looked like a conference room with a long table. Saibeth motioned for them to sit, which they gladly did.
“Lady Saibeth” Harry asked “where is everyone, sure there are more people then this”
“Harry Potter” Saibeth addressed “yes you are even known in this realm, how funny it is that you should arrive with the prince of the light elves, I personally think it looks rather suspicious.”
“You didn’t answer the question…” Harry quirked
Saibeth ignored him “So you have personally come to inform me you were not responsible for the attack on my city?” Saibeth asked
“Well we weren’t, but I more came to make sure you weren’t responsible for ours” Draco said
“We weren’t” Saibeth “but why should you trust me? Light elves have never trust darks, and especially never trusted a mix like me.” And with a very sly glint in her eyes said “being dark is in our very nature”
“Harry?” Draco asked “do you think she is lying?”
Saibeth looked startled as she turned her attention towards Harry and found herself swimming into his emerald eyes. Suddenly she felt like there was an itch ion the back of her head and saw images flash before her eyes. Suddenly she felt herself be pulled forward and saw a storm a couple of wizards and then in a flash … falling … falling…
“Harry stop…” Draco said
Suddenly Saibeth sat up and looked at Harry oddly
“She’s telling the truth, they are not responsible for the attack” Harry said
“Wise Draco bringing a natural mind scanner… not even I could be so careful”
“What?” Both Harry and Draco asked
“Don’t play coy… it doesn’t suit you, you brought a mind reader”
“Huh?” Draco asked
Harry suddenly snapped around and suddenly all the panic started to slip away into Saibeth’s yellow eyes.
“Very well Mr. Potter, I accept that you were not aware of that particular skill until this very moment, I suspect you are feeling the first signs of an elven bond.” Lady Saibeth said
“An elven bond?” Harry asked
“Yes, an elven bond, you have been soul mated with an elf, and your close proximity to them in this realm is enhancing your magic powers… try casting a spell.”
“I didn’t even know I was a Legilimens” Harry said
“Try a spell” Saibeth persisted
Harry whipped out his wand as said
Suddenly a real looking stag erupted out of his wand; the spell was so strong looking at it was painful. The magic coursed through the room, the magic inside the castle only making it stronger
As soon as Prongs had come he had gone, making the room feel cold and empty
“Wow” Draco said
Harry just sat there dumbstruck and suddenly as if by inspiration Harry held out his hand and thought
Suddenly prongs reappeared but this time he was bathed in a golden light and the power wasn’t so strong. But the heat was much greater, warming them up. Then prongs disappeared
“What was that?”
“I don’t know Harry said”
“You will have to explore this later” Saibeth said “we have more important matters”
“Such as?” Draco asked
“I assume we trust each other?” Saibeth said “we have reached an understanding?”
“Yes” Draco said Draco handed the folded invitation to Saibeth who nodded in return
“To answer Mr. Potter’s question, I am sorry to say but I have dispatched my army almost immediately after we were attacked they must have reached Adendele by now I would guess… any moment now. I can have messengers sent but they will not make it in time.”
Draco’s features suddenly became very solemn and turned rather pale
“We must hurry” Saibeth said grabbing Draco’s arm rather unceremoniously and dragged Draco and Harry bodily from the room.
From the walls of Adendele the first blast bounced off the wards. Instantly alarms and bells were ringing everywhere. From up in the castle Lord Zasuan looked down onto the city and from afar he saw it.
The Dark army was approaching from the north coming over the mountains hiding their true numbers
“Sire they have broken through the north and west gates and have been flooding into the city” a guard stormed into his chambers
“The alarms helped get most of the civilians to the shelters or to the castle, but it is only a matter of time before we have to seal the gates, perhaps you should think about leaving”
Suddenly Zasuan turned around and back handed the elf so hard he hit the ground
“I AM LEAVING” Zasuan bellowed “TO SAVE MY PEOPLE”
And with that… Zasuan strode out of the main gates of his castle. Got his horse and rode into the city
“We will reach Adendele, it is likely they have waited till nightfall, Draco you must get to your father and let him know what is happening, Harry I will need you to create a diversion. Get the troops to stop fighting.”
Both Harry and Draco nodded
“How long till we get there?”
Draco and Harry found themselves on the back of a great black dragon with golden highlights. It was beautiful and more importantly. Fast, very fast, faster then anything Harry had ever flown before. But the magic around it kept him from being blown off into the split stream.
Then in the distance they saw it, fires were burning from the city.