October 3rd, 1272
"Well… Look who decided to finally show up back to work." Merri groused as she looked at Harry from behind his desk. Around her were mountains of paperwork that he remembered to be a lot smaller.
"Merri… You are looking well." Harry said with a smile as he summoned a chair to sit across from her. This seemed to be the wrong thing to say as she grit her teeth and glared at him.
"That all you have to say?"
"Nothing of what you've been doing for the bloody past several months?" She growled. Harry blinked as he thought back to what had transpired recently.
"Well, when I first left, I was traveling around the Northern Kingdoms looking for someone, a girl named Ciri."
"Yes, I remember you mentioning her… Did you find her?" Merri asked. Though she still seemed upset with him, he could tell she was at least somewhat curious about the girl. He had a feeling she already knew the answer.
"I did indeed. It had been quite annoying to do so, as well. A bloody elf sage decided to hide her on the Isle of Mist."
"Never heard of it."
"I'm not surprised about that. It's a small island about seventeen miles off the coast of northern Skellige. Most people don't believe it actually exists because it's enchanted so you can't purposefully find it." Harry explained. Merri looked confused at that.
"It's a long story, basically though, such an enchantment doesn't work well on me when I am in my Draconic form. I have flown over it before out of curiosity. Wasn't much interesting about it besides it being overrun with monsters and not being able to be found though. Never expected when I first found it that knowing about it would help me in the future."
"Incredible luck you seem to have."
"You're telling me. So, anyway, I found her and then planned a trap against the Wild Hunt. However, it got kinda murky once it was realized we would also have to fight off the end of the world. That was… fun." Harry said as he thought back to his little coma.
"So, I've heard. Some of the survivors who came back said you looked dead when that girl appeared with your body. It was only due to some sorceress that they didn't outright declare you dead."
"Yes… Philippa certainly came in handy then… I still have to reward her for that whole stint."
"I'm going to give her back her vision and an opportunity I think will please her."
"Cryptic as always. Anyway, I heard you stopped in Kaedwen before coming here."
"Indeed, I did. I had several troops enter Redania and start a hostile takeover."
"I take it that means the rumors of Radovid's death are not exaggerated?"
"Not at all. Speaking of, you didn't hear me connected with that in any way did you?" Harry asked.
"Not in a serious capacity. You know how these things go. People will, of course, claim it since you gain the most but as far as I know, no one saw you there. I heard it was something orchestrated by your little sorceress friend."
"Well… technically speaking, Philippa IS the one who killed him." Harry admitted. Merri rose an eyebrow showing she wasn't believing that he was telling her everything. He waved away her question.
"It matters not, the point is, in a week, Redania should be within our control completely."
"Hmm. I received a letter from Queen Adda this morning giving her official surrender, she said she has no issue stepping aside peacefully and only asks to be treated with mercy." Merri said fishing out the letter from one of the stacks and handing it to him. Harry frowned in thought as he skimmed over the letter. He had no issue with the woman and felt bad for her if anything. He knew for a fact she had been struggling in recent years to deal with her husband. She was most likely glad for his death to some extent. He nodded as he finished it.
"Send something back saying we accept and we'll have her step aside from her position. In return, she will live the rest of her life in comfort, receiving a sizeable manor, servants, and a monthly stipend anywhere she wishes within my borders." Harry told her. That wouldn't be so hard. He could make the manor himself if need be.
"Sure. Well… Are you ready for your overview from when you were gone?"
"Yes. Please start with the most pressing matters." Harry told her. Merri nodded.
"Well, there has been a rebellion that opposes your rule within Kaedwen. It seems to be led by a former military commander of Henselts, though, I am not sure which yet. They wish to restore Kaedwen under Henselt's wife's control fully. Cassandra has decried their actions and from what I have heard from some of our spies, she seems to be genuine. In private she grouses on the fact that the fools are actually putting her rule at risk rather than helping her claim." Merri told him. Harry nodded.
He, of course, knew why Cassandra would be nervous about this. He had made it clear to her that should he hear even a whisper of betrayal, while she ruled in his name, she would quickly find her life taken from her. He wouldn't hurt for this though. He knew it was simply something likely out of her control. He would double-check himself that she wasn't involved, but he was confident she wasn't.
"It shouldn't be an issue. Even if we cannot find the rebels soon, I can always go personally and solve the issue." Harry replied.
"That's what I figured. Next is Esterad. He has been flexing since your disappearance, though not too much. Still, it would be good for you to go visit to keep him in line. Shaela has likely told him about your previous condition and we wouldn't want him to get any ideas." Merri suggested.
"That's the last issue. Nilfgaard has backed off our borders and I hear you brokered some deal with Emhyr. I assume that is true?"
"Well, either way, they have retreated away from our borders and haven't contested us on Redania either, so I would consider that a win."
"It was part of the deal. In exchange, I also brokered a new trade deal, which will go into effect within thirty days from now." Harry explained. Merri frowned but nodded.
"Well… I suppose it's not like we can't afford it. Which brings me to our finances. The royal treasury has increased by five percent since you left." Merri told him. Harry smiled.
"That's extremely good since it's only been a few months and we still have a standing military. That and the recent construction of educational facilities. I assume you found some new sources of income then?"
"We opened three new mines within the mountains. Excavation and mining have already begun." Merri explained. Harry nodded at that.
"Excellent… Speaking of the mountains, I assume that none are getting too near Isadora's home correct? I do not wish to cause issues with her." Harry inquired. Merri shook her head.
"The bloodsucker has been pretty quiet since you left. She has only stopped in twice and one time was simply a request for some blood. I made sure to give her a few skins full of it courtesy of some of the guests we have in our cells."
"Mmm… I will have to make sure to go and see her. I doubt such blood will satisfy her for too long. Though I am glad she didn't cause a fuss when she came. I will have to make sure to repay her for minding her manners while I was gone… Well, anything else?"
"Yes, actually. Do you remember that sorceress you said was in charge of Asal, Francesca Findabar?" Harry frowned at the question.
"I do." He answered cautiously.
"Well, recently she sent a letter that is apparently for your eyes only," Merri said as she pulled out what he assumed was the letter before handing it to him. He looked over it and noted it had a pleasant smell to it. Some kind of flower perhaps? He opened it and skimmed over the letter. He frowned as he looked at it.
"This woman presumes too much…" He muttered as he finished it.
"What did she want?"
"She requests to enter negotiations to set aside land that would be given back to elves to do with what they wish."
"Doesn't sound terrible, especially since I've heard you mention that idea before yourself."
"It's not the request contents that are presumptuous. Recently, when we faced the hunt, we reached out to all the members of the Lodge of Sorceresses. Almost all came to our aid save for two. The first was Ida Emean and the second Francesca Findabair."
"Exactly. The only ones who decided not to give aid were the only two elven members of the group and one has sent a spy into our kingdom in the past. Now she wishes to ask me for a favor after basically insulting me."
"I gave her student and spy back to her safely when I could have killed him. Among people like us, this would constitute already me giving her a favor. When I called for aid, she chose not to aid and return the favor. Now she is asking for another favor yet still has offered nothing from her side. She can't possibly think she's going into this negotiation from a positive position…"
"When phrased like that, I can see what you mean. Yet you still seem to wish to do the negotiations, despite this?"
"Of course. I will not punish those who could potentially benefit from this because their leader annoys me. It just means I may not give as I might have originally." Harry explained.
"Ahh… well, I suppose that is it. Are you ready to take back your position? I can't wait to be able to train and get back to lead-…"
"Actually… I have not come back yet. I will still be gone for another week at least." Harry told her. If looks could kill, Merri would be labeled a kingslayer at that moment.
"I promise I will give you quite the vacation to pay you back for this once I return." Harry tried. She continued to glare. Harry sighed.
"I promise, it will not take too long. I just have to tie up all the loose ends of when I was gone and I will be right back." Harry assured. Merri groaned at that.
"Fine, but you better hurry. I'm sick of being behind this goddamn desk."
"Ah, before you leave, the National Portal System has been mostly set up. We had the rooms created over stone doorways and our mages put on the runes you gave in the exact manner you said. They're in all our cities and a few of the major towns." Merri told him. Harry's eyes lit up at that.
"Really? That's fantastic news. I didn't think you would be able to get it up so fast." Harry said. He could conjure material and shape it with his magic in the exact way he wanted. Other mages could not and most likely had to get stonemasons to manually make all the doorways. The runes were easy, they just needed to channel the magic within. There was a team that should be placed on standby in case something went wrong with the runes though.
"I had it as a high priority within all our kingdoms. They're activating it tomorrow at synchronized times." Merri told him.
"Oh, I am so happy to hear that. Before it's open to the public, though, we will need to create a division to regulate who goes through it. Can't just let anyone use it after all."
"I've already thought about that. We've had an influx in guard positions within Avalon and Kaedwen. Kovir and Poviss are coming along slowly since Esterad has been dragging his feet on allowing our mining companies into his land, even if he would heavily profit from it."
"Man simply does not want to be even more beholden to us. Move them in any way. Tell him I will not tolerate sacrificing efficiency and improving the lives of his civilians just because he doesn't want to be overly reliant on his minders. Remind him his position remains in his hands only as long as he shows he is worthy of it."
"That may cause some issues later down the road."
"If I have to go back to Kovir and Poviss and deal with them harsher than I have no problem doing so. I give Esterad a lot of freedom, but I have no problem reminding him of his place if he wants to spit on my goodwill."
"Very well, I'll make sure it's done."
"Good. Well, if that is all, I suppose I should leave. Still have many things to do after all."
"Oh, one more thing. What's this I hear about a betrothal between you and Emhyr's newly discovered eldest daughter?"
Harry once more appeared at Kaer Morhen and breathed in the cold crisp air. It was a little too chilly for him, but luckily he had some warming charms to keep him level. He walked into the main hall and the first person he saw was once again Philippa. He frowned at that.
"You're STILL here? Even Margarita has gone at this point."
"Lovely to see you as well, your grace." Philippa snarked at him, which caused him to snort. He made his way over to her at a casual pace.
"What are you really still doing here Philippa?" He asked as he sat on the tabletop near her. She looked at him and frowned.
"Did you not say after this business was done with, you had somewhere you wished to assign me to? I have been waiting for you to do so." She said with a tad of impatience. Harry frowned.
"Of course, I simply assumed you probably had some unfinished business to attend to now that you're no longer on the run," Harry said back.
"Well, most of my labs have been destroyed and my books and research were confiscated and most likely burned by Radovid… So, no. I have nothing I need to wrap up." She responded bitterly. Harry nodded at that.
"Well, did you have a particular inclination on what field path you'd like to go down. There's politics, which you are familiar with, Magical Education which is what Margarita is doing, Magical exclusive jobs which I believe Fringilla has recently started to make some money. All sorts of things."
"I would prefer to go back into politics, though I do need money to rebuild my magical supplies as well as books."
"No problem. As with the other Sorceresses who helped, you will be receiving fifty thousand orens as base pay for aiding the Avalonian Empire with a vital task. Speaking of rewarding, I believe it's high time I keep my promise and return your eyes to you. I will need some of your blood and that should be all." Harry told her. Philippa seemed to brighten at his words looking rather eager.
"That is finally some good news. How much blood would you need?"
"About a pint of it. I can draw that out easily with some needles. You may observe me while I work if you wish to make sure that I don't do anything… untoward with your blood." Harry told her. Philippa nodded at that.
"When can we start?"
"This afternoon. Now that that has been taken care of, have you seen Ciri?"
"She's hunting to restock our food stores. And before you ask, Geralt and Yennefer are… enjoying each other's company."
"Jesus… that's all they seem to do anymore." Harry muttered.
"You don't have to tell me. I'm the one who stays here all day and has to hear it."
"Maybe I should put some silencing wards around their suite. For the safety of the rest of the residents of Kaer Morhen."
"Harry, back already?" Harry turned and saw Ciri walking in with a deer slung over her shoulder. Harry tilted his head at the scene.
"Isn't that heavy?"
"Well, yes." She answered as she brought it over and dropped it on a table where Vesemir would likely skin it and extract the edible parts.
"Okay… Look's like a good hunt. Good day besides that?" Harry asked as he walked over and gave her a small peck on her cheek in greeting. She seemed pleased.
"Yes. Avallach came by this morning to check on my progress with my control. He said my improvement recently has been impressive."
"Not surprising. Magic is tied to your mental state, people like us especially. Being stressed all the time from being hunted down by an enemy like the Wild Hunt probably did you no favors in trying to gain control. Soon I think you will be ready to start your actual magic training." Harry smiled.
"That's the plan. Hello to you to Philippa, how has your day been?"
"Long. Your adoptive parents are… loud. That being said, if your betrothed is telling the truth, it is about to get a lot better." Philippa said with a pleased expression. Ciri looked back to him curiously.
"I will be restoring Philippa's vision today," Harry explained. Ciri smiled at that.
"I am happy to hear that Philippa. You deserve it." Ciri said happily. Harry rose an eyebrow. Ciri had seemed a lot nicer to Philippa since he had woken up and he wasn't sure if he liked. He could guess why being the one who showed him to still be alive and then advocated for certain methods to make sure he stayed in as good of shape as possible. Ciri likely felt grateful to the woman. That didn't change the fact that Philippa was still manipulative and prickly, even if she reigned it in when he was around.
"Thank you, darling. I am quite excited to be able to see again."
"Are you going to give her normal eyes or you going to improve them?" Ciri asked.
Both he and Philippa looked at Ciri in confusion at that. She looked back in seeming surprised at both questioning her.
"Er… I just meant… Didn't you say you could improve physical features? Can you not improve eyesight?"
"I… Can. I mean. I've never tried it on an organ not attached to the body though. Actually, now that I think about it, that would help get rid of some of the possible side effects even more than I already have. This would be a great way to treat amputees…" Harry trailed off as he continued to think about some of the new possibilities.
"What kind of improvements would this have on my vision?" Philippa asked. Harry thought, and shrugged.
"Well… It kind of depends. When I was experimenting with mutagens I discovered certain limits within human physiology. However, there's another issue, without the rest of the mutagens influencing your body, your eyes will only be able to handle one, maybe two, improvements. Your mind won't be able to handle too much."
"So… Would I be able to pick?"
"… Sure. I have certain eye abilities that relate to animals, such as birds, dragons, cats. I can also give you a form of Mage Sight if you want."
"Hmm. Can you list them?"
"Um, I think I have a list in my room already. I can just let you look it over right now. Hold on a moment."
With that, Harry quickly apparated to his room before rifling through his trunk and producing the list. Then, just as quickly, he apparated back down. He moved over to Philippa and handed her said piece of paper.
"As you can see there are some descriptors next to each name. If you want to do the procedure tonight though, you are going to have to pick something soon. The eyes will need to be soaked within the potion beforehand for a few hours before they can be implanted."
"… Harry." Ciri said, looking at him like he was an idiot. He looked back at her confused.
"What?" She just shook her head and gestured at the paper and then to Philippa. Harry just looked at both and stared back at her still confused.
"I can't read." Philippa finally said dryly. Harry blushed at that.
"Right. Sorry, it's just you can still do most things so well that I forget about the things you can't do." Harry said before taking the list back and reading the various options for her. Ciri took a seat while he did so and simply listened curiously as he spoke.
"So, what are you thinking?"
"Mage Sight is out. I think I can already sense the magic around me well enough. I am thinking the Telescopic vision would be my best bet honestly."
"Ah, a good choice. It can help with precision in Alchemy especially. I'll get right on soaking the eyes in the potion. It should take about three hours." Harry told her.
"You already have the eyes made?"
"I have several organs made and kept in stasis in case they are needed for a sudden medical procedure. I simply soak them in a mixture of your blood and a potion which will physically alter them to be as if they had always been part of your body. After that, I just need to conduct surgery and adjust them to you physically and you should be all set."
"Do they have a previous owner?"
"No. As long as the body part has no magical properties, I can create a new one. In my homeworld, this was done rather often. The only time it can't be done is if the organ or limb was damaged by dark magic and it could not be purged from the wound. Then the wound could be permanent." Harry explained.
"Yet, you don't use magical stones for this procedure?"
"No. Where I come from, the most common way was to simply give a patient a potion to regrow the body part. Unfortunately, eyes are too complex for a simple potion. That being said, I know an alchemy procedure to create them. I have experience with Alchemy but am in no way a master. Especially since I can conjure things most of the time. But body parts are complex, so alchemy is a better option."
"Potions and alchemy are different where you are from?"
"Yes indeed. Potions are just as they sound, but Alchemy is the process of magical transmutation. It is much more complex than simple conjuration, but a lot safer if a little vexing at times. It's another subject I have books on that you may read at some point if you wish." Harry said. Alchemy WAS something he had books on but they were rather limited. It was, unfortunately, a subject that required a lot of self-experimenting in. Books just gave you the building blocks to use to go off on your own. Because of this, it wasn't for everyone.
"It seems there are many things I may wish to look into once I have regained my sight."
"Good to hear. Well, shall we meet in your room in say… five hours?" Harry asked.
"That works for me. Is there anything I should do to prepare?"
"No, just don't ingest anything magical that may change your constitutional balance. I need you as normal as possible when I implant these."
"Very well. I will be looking forward to it." Philippa said as she then walked away with another word. Harry watched her go before turning to Ciri.
"You seem rather friendly with her."
"I have nothing against Philippa. I know she has a checkered past, but I also know she is doing her best to adapt and change." Ciri said with some conviction.
"I will admit that it's true but… I am concerned she is doing it to stay relevant and not because she sees the errors in her ways." Harry admitted to her.
"I can understand the caution but I think you're wrong. I believe she is much more cautious and thoughtful of her actions than she used to be. She would never admit such a weakness but I believe the last year or so has truly been hard on her. Besides, she also saved your life."
"Eh, kind of."
"Alright, alright. I'm not trying to start anything. Moving on from dear Philippa, have you heard any plans from either of your parents, or do they plan to continue to stay in their room all day every day, rutting like bunnies?"
"They are enjoying their newfound freedom and rekindling their relationship."
"That sounds like something Yennefer would say."
"Perhaps, but I would agree with it. There's nothing wrong with a little skinship." Ciri said with a smirk.
"I think Triss would disagree," Harry said. The redheaded sorceresses had not stuck around too long after the battle. She enjoyed Ciri's company but seeing Geralt and Yennefer together definitely took a toll on her. Ciri sympathized but was still happy. She described to him how awkward it would have been to come back and find Triss and Geralt together. Triss was like her older sister after all.
"I don't want to think about that," Ciri responded grimly.
"Fair enough. Now, since we have several hours to ourselves, is there anything you would like to do?"
"Massage!" Ciri responded immediately and with excitement.
"Fuck, this is like the fifth time this week, and it's only Wednesday! Do you really like massages that much or is your back seriously in that much pain?"
"Is it my fault you have magic fingers, literally? It feels so good!" Ciri said back with a big smile. Harry rolled his eyes with a sigh.
"C'mon, no pouting. I'll tell you what, you give me a massage and… I'll do something for you." Ciri said as she moved very close to him. She has a sultry look on her face as she said it as she put her arms around his neck. Harry rose an eyebrow though he couldn't help the heavy beating in his chest as he looked at her. He took a moment to calm his excitement before responding.
"Are you sure you're… ready for that? It's only been a couple of weeks since we've been official after all." They hadn't exactly been taking this slow but he hadn't let them go too fast either. The furthest they got was some light petting and these massages Ciri liked so much. Harry had been craving more but he didn't want to go too far, especially since Ciri was more used to intimacy with other women. He had a feeling being with a man would be different.
"Perhaps, but we've been close for a long time, and let's not pretend I haven't been dropping hints for more than a month now. I'm not saying all the way but you've been a good little boy. I wouldn't mind giving you some… relief."
Ciri put her lips right near his ear and whispered that last part to him. He wasn't sure how he felt about being called a little boy but he also knew that her words were sparking quite the fire in his lower regions.
"Well then…" Harry said as he suddenly reached down and swept the girl up in a bridal carry, "… Allow me to give you a massage, my dearest."
"Mmm. Somebodies a lot more eager."
"I'm about to give you the best massage of your life."
Several Hours Later
"… Wow. That was amazing." Harry answered as he steadied his breathing. Ciri popped her head from under the covers and slid up to lay next to him. She had a big smile on her face as she looked at him with a pleased expression.
"I'm glad you liked it. I was afraid you wouldn't like it given it was my first time doing it."
"The motion felt a little awkward in the beginning, but you adjusted quickly. And your tongue…"
"The tongue motions were probably the only thing that seemed to transfer over from my previous experience."
"It was… Wow. Didn't know you could move a tongue like that."
"You're going to make me blush… You lasted quite a while, I thought you had been holding back for years."
"I have… It usually would take nearly twice that amount of time." Harry admitted with some embarrassment. She scrunched her face in disbelief.
"We were at it for nearly an hour!"
"Yeah… My sensitivity down there is a little lessened from a spell in my youth that I took during the war. The spell effects we managed to reverse and it still feels very good down there, but it simply takes a while longer for the sensation to build up." Harry said softly to her as he wrapped his arm around her and brought her in close to him. She pressed herself deeper into his embrace with obvious happiness at the gesture.
"Well, I am sure we can experiment with what works best," Ciri said. Harry smiled and traced a finger over her soft skin. Ciri was a conundrum in that she worked out heavily so she had some obvious muscle definition. Along with that, she had several scars littered across her body from years of conflict that she faced. Despite this, her skin was extremely soft, almost all the time. He loved running his fingers over it and taking in the feeling. Her form was on the skinnier side but she certainly had some fullness in her hips as well as in her chest.
"Enjoying yourself?" Ciri asked as Harry had moved his hand over to her breast and playfully circled her nipple. The beautiful woman lying next to him was almost completely naked save for the white undergarment covering her lower parts.
"Immensely," Harry said back.
"… It's getting late, don't you have to go help Philippa soon?"
"I still have nearly forty-five minutes."
"Yes, but you also have to bathe. Unless you were planning to go smelling of massage oil and sweat."
"… Ugh. I hate it when you are right." He mumbled into her soft, white, hair.
"Go. You can come to join me when you are done."
"You'll be asleep when I am done!" Harry whined.
"Will that stop you from cuddling up next to me?"
"… Point to you. Damn, you're so smart."
"I'm glad you realize it. Now go. And take a real bath not just some cleaning charms and calling it a day." Ciri scolded. Harry rolled his eyes playfully.
"Yes, dear." He responded as he unwrapped from around his significant other and got up from the bed. He stretched for a moment before going to take his bath.
"King Hadrian, you are looking well-rested," Philippa said, giving him a look. Harry rose an eyebrow at the comment. It suggested she knew what he had been up to but he wondered how. He had been careful and put up some silencing wards.
"Magic around you and her starts fluctuating in increasing pulses while doing certain activities that cause extreme… feelings. I can feel such things when in close proximity."
"Ahh, must have to do with both of our giant reserves. I will put up more wards to prevent that in the future… Don't tell Geralt?"
"What could the Witcher possibly do to you?"
"He is my father-in-law in all but name. No father likes to think about their daughter doing such activities with anyone. Especially, someone, they are friends with." Harry told her.
"Very well. I have no desire to talk about that part of your life anyway… Shall we start." Philippa asked. Harry smiled and nodded.
"Now, the eyes have undergone the mutation as expected. I also have two options for you. I have one potion that will knock you out during the procedure. I also have one that will simply numb you. I normally would simply knock you out but if you felt you couldn't trust me enough to do so I would give you the alternative. If you do choose to take said alternative, I will warn you that while you won't necessarily feel pain, having eyeballs put in your skull and connected to your brain will not be comfortable." Harry explained. Philippa nodded and seemed to 'look' between the two potions in thought.
"I think I will be fine if you put me to sleep. Will you have any problem, removing the stones from my sockets while I am asleep?"
"None at all. Alright, well, this potion will most likely knock you out until the morning. Take it when ready and just lay down on the bed." Harry said, handing it to her. She looked at it for a moment before popping the top of the flash and downing the potion. She grimaced at the taste.
"That was disgusting." She commented. Harry smiled at that.
"Most of my potions are. One of the women I studied under once told me it was to encourage people to avoid getting into situations that would require them to take potions. The logic sounded sound enough to me so I never bothered changing them." Harry explained as Philippa laid back on her bed.
"How foolish…" She muttered as she almost immediately drifted off to sleep. Harry shook his head at the sorceress's last words before concentrating.
He moved over to her before carefully removing the ribbon that covered her eyes. He saw they were blackened and had much scaring around the sockets. He frowned before whispering a spell that caused her eyelids to open so he would be able to operate on her eyes.
He was immediately greeted by two glowing stones that Philippa had been using as makeshift eyes. They granted a limited sight that only allowed one to simply see the silhouette of things in black and white but not any discernable features on the shape. As far as solutions go, it wasn't a terrible one for her situation. He carefully shrunk them and levitated the stones out of her skull, leaving her with two empty holes where eyes would normally be.
Harry quietly brought the jar with two eyeballs floating in a potion that had the mix of a mutagen concoction and Philippa's blood within it. With great care, he levitated the two eyeballs next to him so they floated near his head. He left them there as he then conjured light at the tip of one of his fingers.
He pointed it in the direction of the left eye socket where he summoned the optical nerve to lift off the surface of the back of the socket. He then brought the first eye over and connected it to the socket. With that, he put the eye gently back into the socket before casting basic healing magic on the eye. This was the easiest part. A basic healing spell was all that was needed because her body's magic would recognize the eye as one of hers naturally and nurture the connection that much easier. He still kept the spell going to make sure the nerve connected properly though.
With the first eye done, he repeated the procedure with the next eye. It was just as easy as the first time and easily fit within the socket as if it was always meant to be there.
With that, the procedure was pretty much done. Now he would just need to stay for an hour and make sure the eyes 'set' correctly as it were. After that, he would be able to leave.
He watched over the prickly sorceresses for an hour, casting a diagnostic charm on her every five minutes without fail. While he did so, he thought about what Ciri had told him about Philippa.
Perhaps he had been too hard on her in recent weeks. He was certainly nicer than he had been but he still made sure to keep her at an arms distance. In truth, it was partly because he kept thinking that she made sure to keep him alive because she thought it might establish trust between them. Of course, she had no guarantee he would wake up but if he didn't there would be no fallout for her. But if he did, he might be indebted to her.
She would be partially right. He did feel indebted in a way, less for his life and more for the reassurances she had given Ciri while he had been under that he may still be alive. He had initially been thinking of putting her in charge of the restoration of Novigrad but now he was thinking of a more… encompassing role for her. Perhaps doing so may even gain some more of her loyalty so he could stop worrying about her causing trouble.
With the hour up and no issue popping up, Harry took his leave and almost immediately ran into Yennefer. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow as he exited. He was surprised she was wearing actual clothes this late instead of some sort of nightgown as she usually did.
"She is fine. The procedure was a success and when she wakes up tomorrow, her eyes should work as good as new." Harry told her.
"That is good… I actually came to talk to you about something else to do with Philippa." Yennefer said as she looked at him. Harry rose an eyebrow in curiosity at that.
"I know that Philippa can be… well, Philippa, and I also know you have never gotten along extremely well with her, but I think you would benefit if you reached out and placed some trust in her and gave her something worthy of her talents." Yennefer told him seriously. Despite the seriousness of the situation, she seemed nervous.
"Is that so…" Harry said slowly as he looked Yennefer in the eye carefully. Yennefer lowered her head for a moment, almost in deference after he said that.
"I don't mean to overstep, of course."
"I have no issue with you speaking your mind Yennefer even if I may disagree, but perhaps you could explain your logic behind this. It's not a secret that you and Philippa don't exactly get along and now you're telling me this. It's, well… suspicious." Harry told her bluntly. Yennefer nodded.
"I can understand but I say this as simple advisement more than anything else. Whatever else she is, Philippa is a powerful sorceress who is also the unnamed leader of the Lodge. Her words carry weight and putting her to work would be your best option to keep on her, as well as the Lodge's, good side if you continue to wish to do that. A busy Philippa is one who can't spend all her time plotting against you if nothing else. You know what they say about idle hands…"
"I see… Is there anything else?"
"No, but I will also point out that experience-wise, she is one of the best advisors out there. You could do a lot worse than her."
"That's almost funny given how she got her eyes damaged in the first place," Harry said. Yennefer grimaced at that.
"True, but let's not pretend Radovid was anything close to a competent ruler. His father relied almost exclusively on her to make decisions for him and when he passed, Radovid was not someone you would want running a country. Philippa may have tried to depose him in a way, but only because she truly believed him to be incompetent. And to be fair, at the time, he was." Yennefer argued, playing the devil's advocate.
"That's fair, I suppose. Though there were many better ways she could have handled the situation. You might argue she did what she did because she believed him incompetent but you also cannot deny she simply took advantage of that to gain control herself. Not because she cared about him being a poor ruler but because she wanted to take power for herself." Harry argued right back.
"I also cannot deny that… Look, I am just saying to consider using Philippa to her full talents. She could be of great use to you if you allow her to." Yennefer said.
"I… will keep your words in mind," Harry said after a moment.
"That is all I can ask. With that, I shall take my leave. Goodnight Hadrian."