My Summoner Girlfriend, like many stories I have abandoned, fall into the 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' category. I think it was the first time I wrote Harry Potter in the first person, never mind with a snarky viewpoint. I would revisit that in Resident Evil: Basilisk, but it had its origins here. Sadly, I realised I didn't have enough interest in Final Fantasy IV to continue it beyond the second chapter, so I abandoned it. However, for archival purposes, the two chapters written are the first of the stories presented in The Cauldron...
MY SUMMONER GIRLFRIEND
THE NICK OF TIME
Wow, my girlfriend was right. He did look like a fantasy Darth Vader-wannabe (I'd only seen the movie from within the cupboard, so I didn't see that much through the vent, but I'd seen enough, and probably liked it more than Dudley). Well, that's not what she said. She didn't call him a Darth Vader-wannabe, but between her descriptions of a murderous maniac in black armour and with a deep voice, I could be forgiven for making the comparison. Unfortunately, it's pretty much impossible to get a hold of movies where we live, especially considering that we live in a world where movies and television haven't been invented.
We were in a big, cathedral-like chamber with a shiny crystal floating above a dais in the middle. The man's standing over the exhausted and paralysed bodies of his foes, taunting them, doing some 'nothing in the world can stop me now' speech, while a rather nasty-looking dragon glares at them. It looks like my girlfriend and I got here in the nick of time. She certainly recognised the people on the brink of dying, well, save for one, but she seemed sure it was the right guy she had met before.
Said guy was a silvery-haired pretty boy in brilliant armour. Seriously, he looked like that 'Knight in Shining Armour' cliché. Nearby was a woman in peach-coloured robes that were a touch on the skimpy side. Then again, my girlfriend's habitual outfit is basically a green leotard with additions, so I can't talk. Nearby is a man wearing no shirt, just red trousers, so he can't talk either, especially with that topknot of blonde hair and moustache. And finally, there's a guy in dark blue armour, wielding a spear like he's compensating for something.
We left our home in search for my girlfriend's old friends. Well, to them, she's been gone weeks at best. To her, it's been twelve years, nine of which she spent with yours truly. So, enough time to grow stronger, and be able to kick some serious arse. Oh, and be able to drink legally. Even where we live, there are drinking laws. Not that I'm complaining, mind. In fact, once we're done kicking Mr Tall, Dark and Armoured's arse, I might hit the pub in this castle. Dwarves are known for their excellent ale, and we sort of rushed through. Thankfully, we managed to persuade the Dwarves that we were here to help.
So, while my girlfriend summons up her own dragon to destroy Mr Wannabe Dark Lord's dragon, I dart out, using curative spells aplenty. While I'm a Red Mage, given that I have no gift for summoning like my girlfriend, I tend to use mostly White Magic, as my girlfriend knows a lot of Black Magic. A quartet of Cures and Esunas later, and they're back on their feet.
"Who are…you?" Mr Knight asks.
"No time to talk. Dark Lord to kill. Firaga!" The last I yelled, firing a BFF into Mr Wearing Armoured Platform Boots. And by BFF, I mean Big Fucking Fireball. Fire tends to solve many problems where evil SOBs are concerned…unless they are immune or absorb fire.
Thankfully, judging by the roar of pain and his slamming into a wall, Mr Fear My Darkness wasn't.
My girlfriend ran forward. "Little overkill, Harry?" she asked.
"Rydia," I said, "This is the guy who effectively ordered your village to be torched. I think it's only overkill when we send the ashes into outer space."
"…Fair point," Rydia said.
"Rydia?!" Mr Knight yelped. "But…you're…you're older."
"Yes, I know, Cecil," Rydia said. "I know, I know, you thought I was dead, and I will explain shortly. But Golbez isn't going to kill himself."
"Oh, what a shame," I muttered, hefting my rapier at the ready. "It'd be so much easier then."
"Your insolence is amusing," Golbez said as he recovered from my attack. "But it is also immensely irritating."
"He lives to be immensely irritating," Rydia replied. "It's actually a relief to have him do it to you for a change. I'm never risking an untested summoning spell again, or I might get someone worse."
"You are an Eidolon?" Golbez asked in surprise.
"Nah, just a human mage who is…oh, what's that word Leviathan called me again, Rydia? Starts with a G, sounds entomological…?"
"Gadfly(1)," Rydia supplied.
"Yeah, that's right! Gadfly! I'm Harry Potter, Professional Gadfly, at your service. Now, would you like to look at the menu first, or would you like the beatdown we have for today's special?"
"…You will be the first to die," Golbez proclaimed.
"Daily special it is!" I cheered. "Rydia, feel up to a Twincast?"
As Golbez lunged, Cecil intercepted him. "You'll have to go through me!"
"It matters not," Golbez said, before flinging him aside. Cecil recovered quickly, but it was a moot point, as we were ready.
"ULTIMA!" Rydia and I called out in chorus. A big blue dome of energy suddenly enveloped Golbez, with the would-be dark lord emitting a squawk of surprise. And when the light faded, Golbez was sprawled on the floor in an undignified manner.
"Ultima…" the woman in the peach-coloured clothes. "The ultimate Black Magic…more powerful even than Meteor…I never believed anyone capable of using it."
"We learned to do it while training, Rosa. I mean, a lot of the time, Harry annoys me, but our teamwork is impeccable when push comes to shove," Rydia said.
"But what happened to you, Rydia?" Cecil asked. "You are now a woman. And you share the company of this…strange Red Mage. The last time I saw you, you were thrown overboard by Leviathan's fury, but that cannot have been that long ago…"
"And you were a dark knight when I last saw you, Cecil. We've both changed a lot." Rydia sighed. "The brief version of events is that Leviathan is an Eidolon, and he took me to the Feymarch, the Land of the Eidolons. Time moves far more swiftly in the Feymarch than it does outside. What was mere weeks to you was a dozen years for me. They raised me as they would raise their own child, and trained me in both the summoning arts, and in Black Magic."
"And this Red Mage, Harry, was it? He is a compatriot?" Rosa asked.
I bowed. "Harry Potter, Red Mage, Raconteur, and Rydia's Boyfriend, at your service. Long story short, when we were ten, Rydia wanted a friend to play games with. She didn't want an Eidolon, she wanted a human, and hopefully one of you guys. Unfortunately, not only did she use an untested spell, but, well, her aim was a little off. As in, I don't come from this world, any more than I come from the Feymarch. I'm a mage, though I didn't know that at the time, but frankly, my relatives were pretty nasty humans, and I use the term loosely. Eidolons were much better company."
"Some would not reciprocate that feeling, as Harry here is an unrepentant prankster of the highest order," Rydia said.
"Leviathan can't take a joke! His throne stopped giving him electric shocks after a few minutes!"
"Harry, you pranked the King of the Eidolons. Only Bahamut is more powerful." Rydia sighed. "Anyway, where was I?"
"I think you explained the pertinent points, Rydia," the shirtless man said. "Still, to have an ally such as him would be beneficial to our purpose."
"Golbez has been defeated," Rosa said.
We whirled to find that Golbez's body had disappeared, though they saw something that looked like a gloved hand scuttling up to the crystal. It pounced like a spider onto the crystal, and vanished.
Everyone stared at what happened. Eventually, I spoke what was on everyone's minds, even if they didn't say it.
Given that we had failed to save the Crystal, King Giott of the Dwarves was surprisingly accepting of that fact. He was determined to make sure that Golbez didn't obtain any more, true, but he at least didn't berate us for our failure. Or try to execute us. I like my head and other extremities where they are, thank you.
While Cecil and Kain were discussing a strategy to thwart Golbez with Giott, Rydia and I went to the pub in the castle, accompanied by Rosa and Yang, which was the name of the shirtless wonder (he was some sort of monk from a place called Fabul). I was the only one who didn't ask for water or juice, though I was surprised at how accommodating the dwarves were.
"Are you really Rydia's boyfriend?" Rosa asked, frowning.
"Yes, he is," Rydia said for me as I drank. "He's more than a little eccentric, but he never really got to spread his wings at his old home. He's actually quite nice when he's not being irritating. He comes from a very different world to ours, though. They don't have airships, but they do have big bird-like air conveyances called planes. And they have motorised carriages called cars, and some sort of entertainment device called a television, that shows images on a small screen. However, magic is hidden there, and is considered a fantasy by most people present. But it must exist, as Harry himself can use it. Unfortunately, his guardians viewed it as an aberrant ability."
"They called me freak," I said bitterly, reminded of the Dursleys. "Said my parents were good-for-nothing dole bludgers and drunks who died in a car accident. I'm pretty sure they lied, but I don't know what happened to my parents. I mean, sometimes I have nightmares of a woman pleading for mercy, a high laugh, and a green strobe of light. Could be memories of my parents' death. I don't know." Another gulp from the tankard of ale. "At least Rydia knew her parents."
"Before Mist got set on fire, anyway," Rydia said bitterly. "And Cecil and Kain killed my mother's primary Eidolon." She waved away Rosa's attempt at apologising. "It's fine, I've had time to get over it. I mean, I accepted Cecil wanted to protect me and make up for his actions when Baron troops tried to finish the job, but it took a while for me to accept his apologies. He's a good man now. Actually, what's with his armour now?"
It was Yang who answered. "He went to Mysidia. The Mysidians were understandably unhappy to see him, considering that he had attacked their city and stolen their Crystal for his king. But they decided to give him a chance to redeem himself, by sending him to Mount Ordeals. Although it was normally a lethal venture, Cecil, along with his companions, prevailed. Tellah helped him, along with a pair of Mysidian prodigies, Palom and Porom. Cecil overcame the trial, and became a Paladin, a warrior of light."
"Tellah? Tellah was with you? Where is he now?" Rydia demanded.
"…He's dead," Rosa said quietly. "I was being held captive in the Tower of Zot, a fortress Golbez had commandeered for his own. When Cecil and the others tried to exchange a Crystal for my freedom, Golbez reneged, and Tellah, to avenge the death of his daughter, used Meteor on Golbez. Though Golbez was forced to flee, grievously wounded, Tellah's body was too old to withstand the use of Meteor. He died shortly before Cecil and the others rescued me."
I watched as Rydia stared at Rosa in shock over the news of Tellah's demise. "No…" she whispered.
I didn't like seeing her like that. A lot of what I did during our years together in the Feymarch was to make her not feel sad anymore. I hadn't really known the pain of loss, because I lost my parents when I was really young. The most I felt was the loss of a home when I was brought here, and quite frankly, the Dursley's house on 4 Privet Drive (more like Privy Drive) was not a home by any real sense of the term. But Rydia had had to deal with the loss of two parents, as well as seeing death and destruction on a scale no seven year old (as she was before she came to the Feymarch) should have to see. She witnessed the bombing and sack of Damcyan, the invasion of Fabul, and she had no idea whether Cecil, Yang, or Edward survived Leviathan's fury.
In fact, it was only recently that scouts were sent out to find Cecil and the others, and those scouts reported back about Cecil and company being at King Giott's castle. Hence why we came here.
Tellah…I remembered the anecdotes Rydia had about the cantankerous old sage. About how he blew up his daughter Anna's elopement with Prince Edward of Damcyan out of all proportion. How, in misplaced rage, he had tried to beat Edward (who was a bit of a sissy, apparently) with his staff, but didn't do much more than bruise Edward, given his lack of physical strength. To this day, neither of us know what the hell he meant when he apparently screamed at Edward, "You spoony bard!"
And now we'll never know. Golbez had claimed the life of someone dear to Rydia, despite the brief nature of their acquaintance.
I stood, as did Rydia, and she began to cry into my shoulder. Tellah's death had affected her badly. And I didn't like seeing my girlfriend cry.
I knew, then and there, that I would make Golbez pay. He had been an enemy before, given what Rydia said about the man, but now, seeing Rydia in pain like she was now, I was going to do whatever I could to make sure he caused her no pain again…
CHAPTER 1 ANNOTATIONS:
So…yeah. That just happened. Quite a bit of humour, and a bit of drama. Hope you like it.
1. A gadfly is basically someone who stirs people up for their amusement. Not out of any true malice, though: the context I have seen it in suggests that a gadfly is less malicious than the modern term of troll.