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Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Jormungandr, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Cuirassier

    Cuirassier First Year

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    Unrealistic. Doran has been waiting for the Baratheons to weaken.

    Davos Seaworth will not use words like "observation" or think in passive form.
     
  2. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    "Good evening."

    Sebastian always felt that a proper greeting and other forms of etiquette were mandatory, even if his less refined peers did not always return the gesture. Appearances were important, after all. His blond hair was always well groomed and his clothing was impeccably clean.

    He was standing on the center of the stage at Nocturne Theatre, a neutral place for meetings such as this. Two large, green curtains were hanging behind him while a stone relief painted with golden paint adorned the upper part of the stage. He smiled softly. Yes, a stage was good for someone of his position.

    The room wasn't very well lit, however. That was a slight disappointment, though there was good reason for it. Nobody present in this room actually needed light to see clearly.

    He focused his blue eyes on the kindred gathered before him. He saw allies and subordinates, but also rivals and even enemies. None of those little things would matter in a moment, he felt.

    There were also two people with him on the stage. To his right was of course the Sheriff, his trusted bodyguard, executioner and enforcer. He was a very useful tool, with a large body, very little emotions, a sword the size of half his body and exceptionally developed skills with Disciplines. His lifeless, yellow eyes only displayed patience as he awaited Sebastian's next order.

    To Sebastian's left was another powerful individual, but for different reasons. Maximillian Strauss, the Tremere Primogen. He was bald, pale to the point of almost being a little blue and while his eyes were always hidden by red-tinted glasses Sebastian knew for a fact they were gray as ash.

    Sebastian was never going to admit this to anyone, but he envied Strauss. The Primogen had powers he could only dream of, powers that only the Tremere could have. Dark, blood magics which could achieve things few could. Strauss, however always has shown nothing but loyalty to Sebastian. As such, he was trustworthy enough that any warning he brought would be treated seriously.

    His thoughts returned to the audience and he spoke again.

    "My apologies for disrupting any business or interfering with any prior engagements you may have had this evening."

    There were some nods of acknowledgment, but he also could hear someone scoff. He wasn't sure who that was, so he could not remember this person for later. Pity.

    "However, the situation we have found ourselves in, is an emergency. The Slayer is in Los Angeles," he said and as he finished speaking there were immediate reactions.

    Gasps, shouts of disbelief, fearful looks, confusion and of course anger. He held up his hand to signify he had more to say and would explain.

    "This information was brought to me by the Tremere Primogen, Maximillian Strauss. I will therefore allow him to explain it in better detail."

    Sebastian turned to Strauss and nodded, giving him the scene. The pale man said something very quietly, as if to himself. Two hooded acolytes came out from behind the stage curtains carrying a silver platter with a burning object on it.

    It appeared to be a small, polished obsidian statue representing a headless bat. It was covered with blue flames.

    "Thaumaturgy, of course," Sebastian thought to himself.

    Strauss waited until the acolytes placed the platter on a table near him and then left. He then addressed the audience.

    "The Tremere Chantry is equipped with an artifact created specifically to serve as a warning if the presence of the Slayer is near."

    He pointed at the burning object.

    "In normal circumstances, this object appears ordinary. However, when the presence of the Slayer is closer than one hundred kilometers, it begins faintly burning."

    The statue was of course not burning faintly, but quite brightly.

    "The closer the Slayer is to the object, the stronger and bigger the flames become. Current state suggests a distance between ten to fifteen kilometers. As such, it is reasonable to assume the Slayer is already in Los Angeles."

    If the gathered individuals were nervous before, not there was actual panic. One person, perhaps a weak neonate, left through the door. Worthless weakling.

    "Furthermore, acolytes in the Chantry who noticed the flames appear noticed that they appeared already strong. It is therefore fair to assume that the Slayer did not travel to Los Angeles from somewhere else, but was in fact activated here."

    With that, Strauss nodded to Sebastian. He had nothing more to say.

    "So, LaCroix, what are your plans for the Slayer, hm?" He heard someone ask in the audience.

    Sebastian turned to the person and saw Isaac Abrams, the Anarch Baron of Hollywood standing with a nasty smirk on his face. Of course. Oh, how Sebastian despised the man. Then again, all the Anarch dogs were unworthy of his respect. They knew nothing of decorum, necessary hierarchy and order.

    Of course, Sebastian smiled to the man.

    "As Primogen Strauss noted, the Slayer is most likely a newly-activated one. Therefore she has had no training and possibly doesn't yet know her skills and unfortunate purpose" he explained.

    This matter was too important to be questioned by such lowly members of his society.

    "However, this should not serve as a reason to grow complacent. Indeed, we should use the time we still have to sufficiently prepare ourselves" he continued.

    "As such, I am ordering emergency measures. Hunting must be reduced to a minimum. Gathering of vitae should be arranged by ghouls while we mask our presence from the Slayer. Ghouls must also be sent out to discover the identity of our predator."

    Another person stood.

    "Why not just kill the Slayer?"

    This time it was a fledgling sitting next to Nines Rodriguez. It was a recent embrace. Sebastian recalled granting permission a few weeks ago for the event. He laughed softly. Foolishness. Rodriguez should have educated the fledgling better.

    "An interesting proposition. Does anyone here wish to volunteer for this task? Please raise your hand if you do."

    No hands rose. As expected.

    "Predictable. Mr. Rodriguez, if you'd be so kind, please explain to this fledgling why this would be an unwise idea" he spoke to the man.

    Rodriguez glared at Sebastian. He then audibly sighed and shook his head. After muttering something to himself he turned to the fledgling and put a hand on his shoulder.

    "Look, kid. Even if the Slayer was activated just yesterday and received no training she already is capable of killing most kindred in this room with just her hands."

    ***

    Something I wrote when thinking about how I'd do a crossover of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. If you notice any mistakes let me know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  3. sirsavagethe21st

    sirsavagethe21st First Year

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    Not gonna lie, I know very little about Buffy or Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines. However one grammar thing that stood out to me was adding a comma after "and" in lists. For example
    A comma would be added in front of the and.
    And
    here I think "smiled at the man" sounds better.
    Not much to add otherwise, but thanks for this little piece that has now got me interested in vampires. :)
     
  4. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Had to write it down because the idea wouldn't left me alone.

    -

    He hated the Royalty. A bunch of pampered clowns in fancy clothing who decide who lives or dies. What nonsense. He hated the British Royalty especially.

    "In Her Majesty's Service," he snorted. He would have all of them treated the same way his parents and other Lienz Cossacks were. Send them to gulags.

    He would destroy Britain's economy, send it to the stone age. He would repay them for what they have done to his family. That was the plan.

    Considering that he was holding a big sword and wore medieval clothing adorned with furs changed this plan significantly.

    Before him was a man about to executed for the crime of desertion and he would have to be the executor. Personally he did not blame the man for wanting to desert what was basically an ice prison. But he had to keep his new 'lordly' appearances. What a cruel jape.

    Wait. Jape? Why did he think of such a word?

    "Because I would use such a word, stranger," he heard in the back of his mind.

    Ah, the original.

    "Well, sorry mate but I'm in charge now," he thought and swung the sword, cutting off the deserter's head.

    Alec Trevelyan would be in charge of a lot of things soon.

    -

    (Fun fact: Sean Bean was 36 when GoldenEye was released. Eddard Stark was 36 when beheaded)
     
  5. Inert

    Inert Headmaster

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    Harry’s eyes darted left and right as he sprinted through the Department of Mysteries. He ignored the majesty of the Space Chamber as he made for the door at the far end. Wrenching it open, he glanced over his shoulder and barked, “Hurry!” at his subordinates before stepping through and into room with doors on all sides.

    Bullstrode followed him through the opening a moment later, followed by Robins. Harry stared at the eight doors balefully, silently cursing the Unspeakables.

    “Oh, thank Merlin,” Robins gasped, immediately hunching over with his hands on his knees.

    “What are we looking for, Potter?” Bullstrode asked. There was the slightest hitch in her voice, indicative of their frantic pace, but she was a damn sight better than her senior partner.

    “Not looking; feeling,” Harry muttered, closing his eyes. Simply feeling for residual magic was useless in the heart of the Ministry, so he went deeper. All magic left a residue, powerful and dark magic especially. It wasn’t pain he was searching for, however, but wrongness.

    The hair on the back of his neck rose as an uncomfortable shudder ran through him. Opening his eyes, Harry half turned to his left and was greeted by an unassuming door.

    “Wands at the ready,” he ordered. Eleven inches of holly and phoenix feather pointed dead ahead as he gently opened the door without a sound.

    The Time Room was unrecognizable. Where it usually held all manner of timekeeping devices, it was now barren. Turquois light illuminated the room, the result of glowing rune inscriptions that had been carved into the floor. Three wizards stood robed in black, two outside the runes, one in the middle of them.

    Aurors! Freeze and drop your wands!” Harry roared.

    The two outside the runes flinched, but Theodore Nott’s thin, nearly emaciated face grinned triumphantly at him from the middle. “You’ve failed, Potter,” he spat. “The Dark Lord will rise again!”

    Harry’s senses went haywire a split second before the blinding flash lit the room. He ducked, reflexively casting a shield around himself and his subordinates, but felt nothing. It subsided a moment later, and Harry wasted no time snapping off a stunning spell that split in two and dropped Nott’s two accomplices.

    “Shit. Shit, shit, shit!” he snapped, striding forward as Bullstrode and Robins came to their senses behind him.

    “Did we just lose?” Robins breathed.

    “Can’t have. If it worked properly Potter would’ve ceased to exist by now,” Bullstrode corrected, though she sounded far less sure of herself than usual.

    Harry ignored them both as he spelled one of the unconscious men into a sitting position against the nearest wall. “Ennervate.” Brown eyes opened blearily before widening.

    “P-P-Potter! I didn’t – we didn’t –”

    A wordless silencing spell put an end to the man’s sputtering. Harry slapped him on the cheek, causing him to blink in confusion and, when they made eye contact, dove into his mind.

    Flashes of memory peppered Harry as he combed through the Unspeakable’s mind, and he thanked his lucky stars he was so fixated on the ritual that had just ended. Nott featured in almost every one of the memories, from the idea’s genesis two years previous over dinner in Nott’s ancestral home, to the study of the time turners, all the way up to the revelation of Nott’s true motives and a feeling of euphoric disassociation.

    Harry cut the Legilimency with a thought and pulled back. “Is it still active?” he asked without preamble.

    “Did you just –”

    Harry snapped his fingers in the Unspeakable’s face to cut him off. “Juggson! Is. It. Active?”

    Fear warred with righteous anger in the older man’s eyes, but Harry couldn’t bring himself to care at the moment. “It should be,” Juggson said at length.

    “Get it prepped.” Harry swept away toward the middle of the rune circle, satisfied to see Bullstrode and Robins waking the other Unspeakable. “Get him up,” he called. His two Aurors helped the man, Harry thought his name was Davis, to his feet. “Your name, Unspeakable?”

    “Terrence Davis, sir,” he said, and it was a credit to how out of it he was that he parted with his name without a fuss.

    Stunned and waking up after being Imperiused will do that to a man, Harry mused darkly, his suspicions from Juggson’s memories all but confirmed. “Your partner needs your help resetting the runes, Davis. Hop to it.”

    Davis, who looked about ten years Harry’s senior, blinked. “Reset it? You can’t mean to–”

    “I do. Now help Juggson. I won’t ask again.”

    The look Davis sent him could only be described as horrified, but something in Harry’s eyes must’ve told him to get a move on, because he brushed past him without a word. Clear of the Unspeakables for a moment, Harry let himself sigh heavily; it felt as though a boulder had suddenly been deposited on his shoulders. It had been steadily growing for the past two days, since he’d caught wind of Nott’s terrifying plan.

    “Potter…you aren’t seriously thinking of going back there, are you?” Bullstrode asked haltingly.

    He gave her a rueful smile. “’Fraid you already know the answer to that.”

    “But you heard Millcent before,” Robins said. “It couldn’t’ve worked. If Nott did what we think he set out to do, it’s not like You-Know-Who would just leave you alive…”

    Running a hand through his hair, Harry sighed once more. “Maybe. By all accounts, everything familiar about our world should’ve ceased to exist the moment Nott disappeared. But I’m not about to leave that to chance.”

    There was also Hermione’s theory of parallel universes to consider. If Nott’s time travel had created an offshoot of their universe, he couldn’t just consign them to Voldemort’s rule. No, Nott was from his time, which made him his responsibility.

    Turning on his heel, Harry strode back to the Unspeakables in the middle of the room. “How’re we looking?”

    Davis twitched and said nothing; Juggson glowered up at him. “As good as can be expected,” he spat.

    “You remember everything?”

    A look of acute discomfort passed over the older man’s face. “The Imperius curse doesn’t suppress memories as you well know, Potter.”

    Harry contained a grimace. While the two men in front of him had played a key part in whatever catastrophe awaited him in the past, they were still victims. “Well, get this place ready and I can go fix this mess before it gets even more out of hand,” he said, knowing it was the thinnest of silver linings.

    “He’s insane,” Davis lamented, rising from the floor. “Utterly insane.”

    “When did you send him?”

    “Exactly twelve years ago,” Juggson answered, voice suddenly clinical. “It was the furthest back he could go with a stable array. Anything further would be too risky.”

    “So the eleventh of August, 1995?” Harry asked. He looked at his left wrist, to the watch that had once belonged to Fabian Prewett. 9:54 am. It’s too bloody early for this…

    “Correct. You’ll appear exactly however many minutes have passed since he left after him.”

    “Let’s not give him too much of a head start, then. Is it ready?”

    The two Unspeakables looked at each other. A silent conversation took place over the course of about five seconds. “It’s operational, yes,” Juggson said finally.

    “So how do I get back?” Harry asked, doing his best to ignore the dread in his stomach as he prepared for the worst.

    Juggson handed him a scrap of parchment. “The requisite runes are written there. You’ll need this.” A time turner was gingerly placed in his palm. “One does not work without the other, Potter,” Juggson warned.

    Scanning the parchment, and ignoring the runes which might as well have been Greek to him, Harry focused on the calculations. “Can you simplify this for me?”

    “One turn, one year,” Davis muttered.

    Easy enough. He nodded. “Does Nott have these same instructions?”

    “He never intended to return.”

    Harry raised an eyebrow. “Living as Voldemort’s most favored servant wouldn’t be the worst for him,” he muttered. “Anything else I should know?”

    Juggson grimaced. “I’d warn you of the dangers of playing with time…”

    In spite of himself, Harry laughed. “Pretty sure all the rules are out the window at this point, gentlemen.” Neither Unspeakable saw the humor in it, both instead looked faintly sick.

    Formalities out of the way, Harry stepped into the rune circle. They lit up with the turquois light from before as he did, and he moved to drop deposit his wand in an undetectable pocket charm, but held off, pocketing it manually instead.

    “I keep everything on me?” It wouldn’t do to show up twelve years in the past naked.

    “It works just like a regular time turner,” Davis confirmed.

    “Potter, what the bloody hell are we supposed to tell the Minister?” Robins asked.

    “The truth should suffice,” he said with an attempt at a smile.

    “And your wife?”

    “Ah…” Ginny wasn’t going to be happy, him leaving her alone with James. And pregnant. “Get in touch with Hermione Granger – actually – make that Ron Weasley. Tell him what you tell Kingsley and he can be the bearer of bad news.”

    Both Bullstrode and Robins looked relieved at his words. I’ll owe Ron quite a bit for dropping that pile of shit on him. He turned to Juggson. “We ready?”

    “Twelve turns, Potter,” the Unspeakable ordered.

    Slipping the time turner around his neck, Harry didn’t waste a second. Twelve turns later, the rune circle began to glow brighter, and he cleared his mind to manage the immediate panic that set in.

    “Good luck, chief!” Bullstrode called, and he was suddenly blinded by white light.

    /~/


    The world came into clarity after precisely twelve seconds of disorientation.

    At least everything isn’t on fire, Harry mused, breathing deeply. The Time Room he stood in now looked as he remembered it. Clocks and timepieces of all kinds were scattered about in a chaotic fashion that he knew was more by design than it looked.

    “Don’t waste time, Harry,” he told himself. He plucked his wand from his pocket charm and cast a quick diagnostic spell. Three sets of feet were illuminated in fluorescent yellow. The brightest – the most recent – had made a beeline for the door.

    Not wasting a moment, he followed. He opened the door to the familiar hallway, and felt his expression fall as Nott’s footsteps were immediately obscured by half a dozen others. Well, can’t say that’s surprising.

    He shook himself and gathered his bearings. He was in the past, he needed to focus. Stepping to his right, he reentered the Space Chamber. Harry paid it as much mind as he had twelve years later as he strode through it in the direction of the entrance to the department.

    “What are you doing here?”

    Harry whirled, coming face to face with an unfamiliar Unspeakable; he barely managed to keep his wand out of the woman’s face. Plastering a less aggressive look on his face, Harry said, “Investigating. There was a disturbance in the Time Room.”

    Her eyes widened. “Who reported that?”

    Shrugging, Harry said, “Not my purview. A disturbance was detected twelve minutes ago. I was sent to look into it.”

    “The Auror office doesn’t have jurisdiction! Who sent you?” she asked incredulously.

    Feeling his hackles rise – he did not have time for this – Harry bit his tongue. Don’t draw too much attention. “Take it up with the department. I’m sure Scrimgeour would be happy to hear you out.”

    He managed to pluck the former Head Auror and Minister of Magic’s name from his memory at the last second. He hadn’t spared the dead man many thoughts after the war – he’d been an unqualified man thrown into an unwinnable situation.

    Taking advantage of the woman’s momentary stupor at his words, he turned on his heel and exited. Looking left and right outside the entryway that led directly to the elevators, Harry tapped his robes and watched them bleed from burgundy to black. The cut was still far too athletic for standard robes – indicative of the Auror Corps – but the change in color would hopefully allow him to blend in well enough with the rest of the Ministry while he made a plan. It wouldn’t do to be stopped by this time’s Aurors.

    He jabbed the button to call the elevator, tapping his foot impatiently. The telltale ding came a moment later, thankfully, and Harry stepped in. Immediately, he rested his head on the golden gate that shut, the cool metal a sharp contrast to the whirling of his mind.

    Focus, Potter. Take stock of the situation.

    So far, he was twelve years in the past, in the summer of 1995. Which meant he was a useless soon-to-be fifth year tearing himself apart over Cedric’s death. It also meant Dumbledore was still alive, currently maligned by the Ministry and the Prophet for daring to corroborate his younger self’s story.

    Right then. First stop, Hogwarts. Grimmauld Place wouldn’t be a bad second option – though there was some question about whether his time’s Fidelius Charm meant anything now that he was in the past. He also didn’t fancy having half a dozen wands shoved in his face demanding to know why there were suddenly two Harry Potters.

    Which raised another point. He wasn’t quite Undesirable Number One yet, but he was still Harry Potter, certified crazy teenager trying to stir up controversy by claiming Voldemort had returned from the dead. Removing his glasses, Harry dropped them into an undetectable pocket charm. He hadn’t truly needed them in nearly a decade, but they were an identifying factor. Everyone knew Harry Potter wore glasses. It worked both to cultivate his image while simultaneously helping him go easily undercover when needed. A spot of makeup was more than enough to hide what was left of his famous scar, and without his glasses, he found himself easily blending in. He didn’t have Ginny’s makeup drawer on him, but a quick glamour would pass a cursory inspection.

    Harry felt the cosmetic magic wash over his forehead as the elevator reached the atrium. He stepped out into the organized chaos that was day-today Ministry life, immediately pushing through a group of three that made for the elevator he had just vacated. Memos flew gently past his head as he made for the Fountain of Magical Brethren, and he wondered at the ease Nott had had getting out minutes earlier.

    An Unspeakable for most of the last decade, Theodore Nott was undoubtedly an accomplished wizard. The fact that his plan had even worked at all proved that. Alongside Voldemort, with his knowledge of the future?

    He doesn’t even need specifics, Harry thought darkly. Simply telling Voldemort that he’d lost would lead to the Dark Lord connecting the dots. Any consolidation of the Horcruxes would prove disastrous.

    That cheerful thought spurring him on, Harry hurried to the designated aparation points beyond the floo entrances and disappeared without a sound. Fresh, Scottish air greeted him a moment later, and he stared up at Hogwarts in all its splendor. He couldn’t help the smile that split his lips at the sight of his first true home whole and healthy; they’d repaired the castle and grounds meticulously after the Battle, but it still didn’t feel the same. Even the wards were different to his senses; gentler, rather than foreboding.

    Too many people had died on the grounds for it to ever feel the same to him. But this Hogwarts was untouched by war and death and, for the first time, Harry saw the opportunity before him.

    It was a long shot, he was up against what was sure to be a more prepared Voldemort, but it was possible. Maybe, just maybe, he could make things better.

    /~/

    The castle was empty. The professors were undoubtedly squirreled away making and remaking lesson plans for the upcoming year in their respective offices, and there were no students filling the halls with laughter. It was very nearly spooky.

    Harry made his way to the third floor with haste, despite wishing to bask in Hogwarts’ untainted essence for as long as possible. All too soon, he found himself facing the familiar gargoyle, and was suddenly stymied.

    He didn’t know the password.

    “What’re the odds the department override hasn’t changed in twelve years?” he asked rhetorically. The gargoyle was unmoved by his mutterings, and he was struck, suddenly, by dread. What if Dumbledore wasn’t even here? He truly had little idea of what the Headmaster had gotten up to the summer before his fifth year; Dumbledore’s notebooks, which had been gifted to him by Professor McGonagall upon his graduation, had few details about the summer of 1995.

    A Patronus message would find him eventually, Harry figured, but he was thankfully saved the trouble by the statue rotating out of the way of its own accord. Of course, the Hogwarts wards had likely identified an unfamiliar presence and alerted Dumbledore.

    Let’s see how this goes

    He climbed the steps quickly and opened the door without bothering to knock, decorum be damned. The office was as breathtaking as always, innumerable magical instruments and trinkets littering every surface in sight. Two sets of eyes called his attention, however, one piercing blue, the other black rimmed with gold.

    Fawkes trilled a greeting that curled Harry’s lips upward into a wide smile. The phoenix hadn’t been well accounted for after Dumbledore’s death, at least not publicly. Privately, the immortal bird had bailed Harry out of two sticky situations in the past five years. He didn’t quite have the Headmaster’s relationship with Fawkes, but Harry knew he was blessed to call it a friend.

    Blue eyes that had narrowed at his appearance widened as Fawkes sang, and Harry stepped forward. It was as good an introduction as he was going to get.

    Harry?” Dumbledore asked, truly caught off guard in a way Harry had never seen before.

    “Hello, professor. It’s been a long time. It’s good to see you.” And it was. Unable to see the Headmaster’s hands, Harry brought his up in the universal gesture of surrender. “I assure you I am Harry Potter, just…not the one you’re used to.”

    Dumbledore smiled, reaching up to scratch Fawkes’ rich plumage. “I’ve found Fawkes to be a tremendous judge of character, however, I would appreciate some evidence. You do certainly look like Harry. Or, rather, what he may grow up to be.”

    “Certainly. I’ll be drawing my wand now,” Harry warned. He reached out like he was picking something up off a table, and snatched his wand up from its spot in his pocket charm. Dumbledore’s brows rose a tick. “Expecto Patronum,” he incanted, thinking of Ginny holding James in St. Mungos’ delivery room.

    Prongs cantered out of his wand, as tall as Harry himself, and bathed the office in pure white light. The ethereal stag pranced around the office once before Harry released his hold on the spell.

    The Headmaster smiled widely behind his desk, hands now relaxed in front of him. “How singular! Time travel?”

    Blinking at Dumbledore’s immediate grasp of the situation at hand, Harry nodded. “Got it in one, sir. Can I sit?”

    “Of course!” The Headmaster gestured toward the chairs arrayed in front of him, still smiling. Harry had never seen him so excited. “How far in the future do you come from, Harry? Ten years at least.”

    “Twelve,” Harry confirmed. He pointed to the tray of lemon drops on Dumbledore’s desk. “Do you mind?”

    “Help yourself.”

    “Much appreciated.” He popped one of the hard candies into his mouth and sagged as he felt the mild calming draught settle over his mind. His dilemma didn’t seem quite as untenable, suddenly.

    “To what do I owe the pleasure?” Dumbledore asked. His happy countenance shifted to a serious mien in a blink. “Your reaction to the lemon drop suggests this isn’t merely a social call to share an exciting development in temporal magic.”

    “’Fraid not,” Harry sighed. He ran a hand through his hair, thinking about where to start.

    “The war?”

    Harry nodded. “Yes, but not what you’re probably thinking. It wasn’t pretty, but we won. A little under three years from now. Ron, Hermione, and I tracked down Voldemort’s Horcruxes and, with some assistance, I put him down.”

    “Horcruxes?” Dumbledore repeated, momentarily incredulous. “Oh, Tom, what were you thinking?” he breathed.

    “Seven of them,” Harry said, pushing onward. It was as good a place to start as any. “Six intentional. One…less so.” He dispelled the glamour hiding his scar and gestured to it.

    The Headmaster closed his eyes momentarily, undoubtedly thinking of Harry’s younger counterpart. “It is as I suspected, then.” Blue eyes snapped open. “And yet you here sit before me.”

    Harry smiled wryly. “Tricky bit of blood magic. Voldemort’s resurrection ritual anchored me to him and vice versa. When he killed me it was the only thing keeping me from moving on entirely. Can’t claim to fully understand all the ins and outs of it, but I’m happy to be alive all the same.”

    “Harry, I am terribly sorry for what you must have gone through. To walk willingly to death is a sacrifice no one, least of all myself, should have expected you to make.”

    Blinking, momentarily taken aback by Dumbledore’s sincerity, Harry said, “Water under the bridge at this point, professor. It needed to be done, and I’m still here making life difficult for dark wizards.”

    The Headmaster smiled slightly, a far cry from his earlier expression. “I expect you make a fine Auror, Harry. Now, what brings you here?”

    The question washed away the pride he felt at Dumbledore’s words, a stark reminder of his situation. “Two days ago, my time, Draco Malfoy came to me with a suspicion. Theodore Nott had approached his father and hinted at the ability to time travel far further than the current time turners allowed. Nott’s been an Unspeakable for a while, so researching such magic is in his purview, but the fact Malfoy came to me at all suggested there was more at play. The two of us did a bit of digging and figured out Nott had an insane plan to change the outcome of the war. By the time we figured it all out and I had moved to stop him, the ritual was already complete, thanks to the help of two Unspeakables under the Imperius curse. I followed him roughly ten minutes later.”

    “The fact that you did not cease to exist immediately upon Mr. Nott’s departure is telling,” Dumbledore said.

    His mind works bloody quick. “Which means I either stop him, or we’re dealing with what Hermione calls parallel universes.”

    “I am familiar with the concept. Would that you had come to me under better circumstances. I find myself wishing nothing more than to postulate the ins and outs of how this became possible at all.” Dumbledore smiled ruefully. “If you’ll allow an old man his musings, if nothing at all appeared to have changed in your time, a situation difficult to believe given how much can change simply by virtue of your presence here, I’m more inclined to believe Mr. Nott’s meddling created a branch in time.”

    Harry shrugged. “Either way, I wasn’t about to leave it to chance.”

    “And I thank you for that, Harry. I scarcely wish to imagine the devastation Voldemort with future knowledge could create. Does Theodore know of the Horcruxes?”

    “No. Only Ron, Hermione, and me knew about them. But Voldemort will put it all together quick enough once Nott tells him he loses the war,” Harry said.

    “Undoubtedly. We do not have time to waste, then. What is our first move?” Dumbledore asked.

    Pushing past the incredulity of Albus Dumbledore asking him for direction, Harry considered. After a moment, he cocked his head to the side. “We’re not as badly disadvantaged as you might think. Two of the Horcruxes are as safe as can be from Voldemort’s reach. Ravenclaw’s Diadem is here, in the Room of Requirement on the seventh floor, and Slytherin’s Locket is actually in Grimmauld Place. Hufflepuff’s cup is in the Lestrange vault at Gringotts, so he can’t get that without breaking into Azkaban first.” Harry blinked. “Unless he tries to do what we did and just steal it.”

    Dumbledore’s brows rose at Harry’s final proclamation. “No mean feat. You said there were six?”

    “A ring that belonged to the Gaunt family. It’s in Little Hangleton. We’ll start there but before we do, professor, you need to know: the ring carries the Resurrection Stone,” Harry warned.

    The Headmaster’s eyes flew wide at the mention of the Hallow. They narrowed a second later, an expression of such acute anger crossing Dumbledore’s face that Harry leaned back in his chair. “He desecrated it?” he asked, voice imbued with magic enough to make Harry’s hair stand on end.

    “He died not even knowing what it was,” Harry quickly assured him. Dumbledore’s fury passed after a long three seconds, and Harry let out a breath as the air became lighter.

    “I apologize, Harry,” the Headmaster said at length. “Thank you for the warning. Greeted with such an object, I’m afraid I’m not sure how I’d react.”

    You’d put it on, and fall victim to Voldemort’s curses, Harry thought. “No harm done, sir. Though it does raise the question…”

    Juggson had said he’d travel back in time with everything he had on him. Transferring his wand to his left hand, Harry tapped his right ring finger. Sure enough, a moment later, his layered Disslusionment Charm melted away to reveal the ring, Resurrection Stone and all.

    Ignoring Dumbledore’s soft gasp, Harry reached into his undetectable pocket once more. He grasped fifteen inches of elder wood and brought his eyes up to meet shocked blue ones.

    “You did it,” Dumbledore breathed. He reached, with a shaking hand, into nothingness and withdrew an identical wand. An expression of what Harry could only believe was melancholy stole over the Headmaster’s face. “And the cloak?”

    “Back home with my wife, I’m afraid. It’s the least temperamental of the three,” Harry said ruefully. He gestured to his right hand. “I’d happily leave the Stone at the bottom of an ocean, but it has a nasty habit of reappearing, usually displacing my actual wedding band. Apparently it’s happy enough on my right hand since it hasn’t acted up since I put it there.”

    Dumbledore blinked at him, then suddenly guffawed into a belly laugh that doubled him over behind his desk. Fawkes startled on its perch, squawking at the noise. He managed to get ahold of himself after a few seconds, and wiped tears from his eyes. “I must thank you for that, Harry. I haven’t laughed so hard in years. To think one of the most powerful and sought after artifacts of all time has the temperament of a spurned lover.”

    Harry chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. “Reality can be disappointing.”

    /~/
     
  6. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Order Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    While I was writing 'The Greatest of Losses' an idea occurred to me. Ciaphas Cain as a Pokemon trainer.

    I present to you, Kai, the Fisherman:

    Route 1. I’ve heard people call it the place where ambition goes to die, but I’ve never really been much for ambition, personally. Oh, sure, being some hot-shot trainer looks like a cushy job. Swanky hotels, legions of adoring fans, all that shit.

    The reality of it is that it looks exhausting. Do you know how many times a day, on average, someone like Lance gets challenged to battles? Have you any idea how much extra training he needs to do on top of all that to stay top dog? I honestly have no idea how he has the time for it all.

    That life was not for me. I was quite content, fishing my days away on the banks of my river. Oh, sure, I had to deal with the occasional trainer, all full of pluck and pep, but I had a pretty much infinite supply of Magikarp from my river. I even won the occasional battle. Kept me in just enough money for food and drink. Well, not really, but living in a tent in the wilderness is actually a remarkably cheap lifestyle.

    I just had to go home to visit mum once a year for Christmas which, fortuitously, happened to fall during the coldest months of the year. She was happy to see me, and I was happy for the warmth.

    Really, it was a win/win.

    So quite why I decided to mess all that up by poking my nose in where it most definitely did not belong, I have no idea.

    It was a day like any other. The sun was warm, the wind was light, and the Magikarp were biting. I’d just managed to pull up probably the best specimen of a Magikarp I’ve ever seen, well over a metre long, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself as a result.

    That was when I heard it. Some poor hapless trainer shouting for help.

    Now, lazy I might be, but I’m not heartless I am not. I dropped my rod, making sure to wedge it firmly into a fork in a nearby tree, they could be rather expensive after all, and made in the direction of the shout. You might think, given my earlier insistence, that running towards danger might be out of character for me but it really wasn’t such an uncommon occurrence. The number of times I’d seen new trainers fall afoul of an overly aggressive Weedle, or particularly spunky Spearow, well lets just say that it happens more often than you might think.

    When I arrived in the clearing, I discovered that it wasn’t a Weedle. It wasn’t even a Spearow.

    It was something I never imagined I’d see in my life.

    It was a fucking Entei. And it was pissed off. Not just pissed off; it was literally incandescent. It had a large red gem on its forehead that I can’t remember seeing in any of the drawings I’d seen of Entei, but then again it was hardly a well studied animal. Perhaps it did have a red gem on its head. Who was I to say otherwise?

    I vaguely noted a man and woman with some kind of camera equipment cowering away from the gigantic legendary Pokémon, but I was far more concerned for my own skin than theirs.

    Just as I was about to beat a hasty retreat, hoping that they hadn’t seen my arrival, things went even more sideways. The Magikarp I’d captured just a few hours earlier decided to release itself from its ball.

    Karpkarpkarp Magikarp!” it blubbed, rather neatly drawing all eyes in my direction.

    The woman, who I somewhat belatedly realised was very pretty, called out to me, desperation clear in her voice. “Please, you have to help us!”

    Well, what was a guy to do? “Magikarp, Tackle!”

    I will admit at this point that I did not have much hope that Magikarp would follow my commands. Magikarp are perhaps some of the least intelligent creatures on Earth, and if they decide to do anything but flail and blub, you should count yourself lucky.

    So I was pretty surprised when it flopped up high and then rocketed at the Entei with admirable speed and aggression.

    It actually pushed the beast back too. Though, in Entei’s defence, not that it needs someone like I to come to its aid, it was only slightly, and it only really succeeded in making the Entei more pissed off, if anything. It batted Magikarp away with a viciously clawed paw, then it turned its attention to me.

    There are a few times in a man’s, or woman’s I suppose, life when you feel the need to reflect on the choices that got you to the place you’d just found yourself. That moment, standing in the way of a monumentally pissed off Entei charging up a Fire Blast which would probably be enough to turn me into a cloud of greasy smoke, was most assuredly one of those moments.

    It offered a moment of clarity, I guess. I was going to die. But maybe I could at least make it look good.

    “Quick, run while I distract it!” I called to the blonde woman and her friend. The camera he was carrying was the kind often used by television studios or new reporters, so perhaps I’d at least have the posthumous honour of being remembered as the guy who tried to stand up to a Legendary Pokémon.

    Why not run myself, I hear you ask? Well it’s really pretty simple. I was fucked. Whatever way I sliced it, Entei had my number.

    Or at least, I thought it did. Had I known then what that little moment of false bravado was going to result in, perhaps I would have tried to punch Entei myself instead.

    When the Fire Blast was unleashed, I closed my eyes and wondered just what it felt like to have your bones melt inside you. I never found out what that sensation felt like, nor have I discovered it yet, though I imagine there is still time.

    But I digress. I did not end up a charred bag of melted bone and burning tallow because a wall of water sprung up between me and the Entei, seemingly out of nowhere. Then a huge roar filled the woodlands, and I looked up to find a Gyarados, and a bloody big one, emerging from the woods from precisely the place where Magikarp disappeared.

    Before I could do anything, it launched a simply massive Hydropump at the Entei, hitting it square on the head hard enough that the gem on its forehead actually shattered. That seemed to suddenly cause the Entei to have a change of heart, and it bounded away, though for a moment I felt a grateful presence in my mind.

    The urge to throw up was only tempered by the beautiful reporter lady running up to me, a her face filled with a look of almost religious gratitude.

    “You saved us!” she said, before she grabbed the sides of my face and pulled me in for a lengthy, and rather enjoyable it has to be said, kiss. “That was incredible! You faced down a legendary and didn’t even flinch. Your Gyarados even chased it off!”

    “And I got it all on camera,” said the man, who was a rather portly older gentleman wearing a lightly singed t-shirt sporting the words ‘Peekin at chu’ above the outline of a Pikachu. “You’re a real hero buddy.”

    I will admit, I was rather lost for words in that moment. What does one say to that? I decided that going for nonchalant was probably the best plan. I casually returned Gyarados and clipped it onto my belt alongside 5 other Magikarp. “Well, I heard your cry for help and knew I was needed. You both did very well to survive as long as you did.”

    With those words, I think I might have sealed my fate. Within the month I was being hailed as ‘the greatest trainer you’ve never heard of’; I’d been inundated with interviews and challenges, all of which I turned down with as much demure modesty as I could conjure up; and some were even calling me the next Lance.

    And to think, all I’d wanted was a quiet day to do some fishing.​
     
  7. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
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    4,492
    While Red was on Mount Silver tempering Mewtwo's ferocity, Blue looked to tame his own legendary in those three years of downtime.

    ---

    "Blue?" Gramps said. "My goodness. You're looking better than the last time I saw you."

    "Yeah. About that, I'm looking to go after Articuno."

    For the longest pause, his grandfather had just stared at him. Then he sighed.

    "Come along then."

    Blue stared at his grandfather's back. "What, just like that?"

    "I trust you know what dangers you are getting into, Blue. You've done remarkably well for yourself all of this time. If I can offer any assistance with this latest ambition, then I have a duty to follow through on."

    Blue could only mutter under his breath, shaking his head. But he hurried inside of the laboratory. Gramps' aides moved out of the way. They mostly left him alone, and he liked it that way.

    At the back of the lab, his grandfather was sorting through an old book. "Good, you've stopped dillydallying in the doorway. Come here so we can review these, please."

    Blue joined him at the desk. "What even is all of this?"

    "Do you think yourself the first Indigo League Champion to go after the legendaries?"

    Red came to mind. "No."

    "Good. Every Champion, for reasons of their own, have sought the immutable power held within Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno. Forces of living nature, and more deadly than any natural disaster for their own wills."

    "Giovanni didn't--" Blue stopped himself. "Well. I suppose it was Team Rocket who were behind the Mew program. He just inherited the work from the previous generation."

    "And created his own in the process," Oak said. "There's a lesson of its own in that, but you aren't here to be taught about morality. Nor, in my humble opinion, do I think you need to be."

    Blue's mouth slipped open. "What?"

    His grandfather flipped through another page. "I said that you've changed since the days of your challenge. You've grown up, Blue."

    His customary brash attitude had nothing. He settled on a sigh, running his hand through his hair, and looking down at the book.

    "Ahem. Yes. What we have here are the reports of the collective champions. You may wish to peruse them all as well as you can, as perhaps there is some overlap, some crucial insight detailing how the Legendary Birds behave, though I have yet to finish, personally speaking."

    "You of all people couldn't finish reading about pokemon?"

    "I did send my grandson and his rival to finish cataloguing the gathered species in our region, didn't I?" Oak returned with a stern smile. "Half of these are written in pre-Kanto script. I'm afraid the last native speakers of that tongue have been dead for centuries, and as you well know, the only woman who could contact their spirits has been, shall we say, spiteful for the last three decades."

    "So how am I supposed to read them?"

    "By seeking out her apprentice, naturally. A young man named Morty, if I am not mistaken. I believe he lives in Ecruteak City."

    Blue ran a hand through his hair again. "Is this your way of setting me up with an ally for the hunt, or are you legitimately telling me to speak with the dead?"

    His grandfather looked at him as if he was deaf. "Who is better placed to recount their final moments facing Articuno than the dead? I've gone ahead and marked the specific accounts I believe will be of the most help to you. The rest you can sort through in your own time if you'd like, or we can sit down and go over them together."
     
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