"Allie, wake up."
Someone is saying my name, she thought. Slowly, ever so slowly, she became aware of her surroundings. Her bones ached, her head was throbbing, she felt as if she was way too small, and her magic? That, at least, felt somewhat normal, which sent a feeling of relief through her.
Opening her eyes, she saw that she was in a small room, sitting on a red padded bench. There were windows to her right, a sliding door to her left. Above her seat, there was an ancient-looking wooden trunk in a rack of some sort. She brushed a hand through her hair, and noticed that it, at least, felt normal - even as she saw that her hands were those of a child.
It was the blonde girl in front of her that commanded her attention. By all appearances, the girl was a human teenager, her black robes offering no means of identification. The lone crest she saw matched nothing in her long experience. The girl's golden eyes, however - those, she would know anywhere.
Before she could say anything, the door slid open, and a taller human girl with blue trim on her robes looked at them. The girl was clearly looking for someone specific, for she gave them no more than a glance before closing the door and leaving them alone.
When she looked back at her friend, the blonde was grinning at her in that infuriatingly sweet way of hers. It had been centuries since that grin failed to soften her mood, and today was no exception.
"I'm sure you have questions," the blonde said.
She replied with a derisive snort. "You have no idea, Chr-" The girl's hand stopped her before she could continue.
"Ah ah ah, my name is Clarissa, here."
She sat back in her seat with a huff. "Fine, Clarissa, what in the name of the flight am I doing here?"
'Clarissa' gave her another grin. "Simple. You and I are going to fix everything." Her smile fell slightly, and she leaned forward. "What is the last thing you remember?"
Unbidden, the horror of the last battle came back to her. The blast of cursed acid washing across her wings, the fel magic blasting her scales, the deep growl of triumph as her throat was ripped asunder. She shuddered at the memory.
"I…. wait, I died." She looked at the blonde. "So did you. We all died."
"Not just us." All trace of amusement was gone from the girl's face, now. "That battle was but the first pebble in the avalanche that claimed the world."
Her hand went to her mouth. "Surely not."
Clarissa nodded. "Within ten years of that day, everyone was dead. Every trace of sentient life was wiped from the face of the world." She wiped a tear from her face. "Just as he planned."
"Gods," she whispered. Then she felt the cushion underneath her, and heard a distant whistle. "Wait, if we died, then how are we here? And where is here, exactly?"
The blonde smiled at her. "Do you really think I would let a little thing like the end of the world stop me from doing what I could?"
Despite herself, she found herself smiling right along with her friend. "No, I don't suppose you would."
"Of course not," Clarissa continued. "You and I are going to go back and fix everything, before it goes bad."
"Are we?" she asked, a skeptical tone in her voice. She gestured around the compartment. "And how are we to accomplish such a task from here?" She held up the sleeve of her robes, displaying her child's hands. "And how can I lead such a battle when I am but a child?"
Clarissa had the grace to look sheepish. "Well, I may have had something to do with that."
A heavy sigh. "Chromie, what did you do?"
"Clarissa," the blonde gently corrected. "I escaped into time, but you had died. Actually, for reals died. So, I may have kind of bargained with Death for your return."
"...You did WHAT?"
Clarissa waved her hands at her friend, trying to calm her down. "It's not as bad as all that, Allie."
"Chromie," she responded, fire in her tone. "I am Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, Queen of the Dragons and Protector of Life." She leaned forward, her gaze drilling into Clarissa's golden eyes. "I am literally the antithesis of Death. And on my behalf, you STRUCK A BARGAIN WITH HIM?"
In a quiet voice, the blonde answered. "...Maybe?"
"Gods," Alexstrasza huffed. "What must we do?"
"Not much, really." Clarissa replied. "You are going to pose as a student of magic at a small academy in a land called Britain."
That explains the child's body, then, thought Alexstrasza. "I have over ten thousand years of magical knowledge, how can I pretend to be a student?"
"Oh, they use different spells than we do, you'll not be bored." Clarissa gave her another grin. "They even use wands. Just think of it, wands!"
Driven by instinct, or perhaps a reflex given to this new body, Alexstrasza reached into the pocket of her robes. Her hand closed on a stick of wood - and she immediately felt its warmth. Drawing the wand, she gazed at it in wonder. "Oh, yes I see what you mean."
The blonde was nearly bouncing in her seat. "I had that made just for you, Allie." The wand seemed to glow slightly, and red sparks burst forth from its tip. "The willow wood is good for healing, or so I was told, and the core of the wand is a dragon heartstring." Their eyes met, and Clarissa's eyes seemed to grow wet as she spoke in barely a whisper. "I had Death gather it from you… from your corpse, Allie. The wand, it's you."
Alexstrasza could feel her magic sing as she waved the wand gently. As she watched the deep red sparks fly from the tip of the wand and spiral about the compartment, she did not think too hard about the fact that part of her true form… her dead true form… was embedded into this piece of wood. Part of her felt as if there was something distasteful about that idea, but the feeling she was getting from her magic drowned all of that out. In her hand, this wand felt right.
She didn't know any of the spells that required a wand, but in this moment none of that mattered. With this wand in hand, she felt like she could do this task, whatever it was.
Her friend watched the display with a sad smile. "What better power to guide your path," whispered Clarissa, "than your own?"
Alexstrasza ignored the growing noise from the corridor, as more and more students walked past. Chromie…. No, Clarissa, saw the look and chuckled.
"You're on a train, Allie. In about twenty minutes, a machine at the front will drag several carts like this one down a metal track. Then, a few hours later, you will arrive at the school."
"I see," said Alexstrasza. "I don't suppose there is any way out of the bargain you made?"
A grin. "Nope."
Alexstrasza sighed. "What must I do, then?"
"Oh, nothing much." Clarissa answered. "Mostly, just be yourself."
"Chromie," she replied, letting her friend see just how annoyed she was becoming. "I'm a ten thousand year old dragon, raised from the dead and sent to another world. I don't think being myself is going to do much, here."
"Well, no, not with that attitude."
"Alright, alright, fine." Alexstrasza could see the amusement in those golden eyes, even as her friend seemed to get down to business. When she continued speaking, it was not the teenaged human girl she heard, but Chronormu the Time Walker, Last of the Bronze Dragonflight.
It was moments such as these that reminded Alexstrasza why Chromie usually chose to appear as a female gnome. She kept up the appearance of a playful being, of course, but when she went to her work as a guardian of the time stream, she was all business. It was a side of her that few saw - mostly because those who knew her knew to stay out of her way when she was 'on duty', so to speak.
"In this world," she said, "there was a war between the magical beings of this island. One side, the one that fought to kill and subjugate those deemed 'lesser' magicals, had gradually gained ground over the course of a decade, and was lead by one who called himself a Dark Lord. The other side, a group seeking to defend the lawful government and the innocent, was close to losing everything. And then, there was a prophecy."
Alexstrasza kept herself from cursing. She disliked dealing with prophecies, and it sounded like this one would be no exception.
"The prophecy told the tale of a child who had the power to defeat the Dark Lord. You might ask yourself how an infant could defeat a powerful wizard, and you'd be right to do so." Chromie's eyes met Alexstrasza's, and the blonde's anger was clear. "The Dark Lord did not. His first option was to kill the child. So he went to the child's home, a hidden refuge revealed by a friend's betrayal, and slew the boy's mother and father."
The blonde's voice grew quiet once more, as she told the tale. "Then, the Dark Lord turned his wand on the toddler, and sent a blast of killing magic at the boy. Through a miraculous combination of luck, magic, and his mother's sacrifice, the killing curse rebounded, and the Dark Lord was slain."
Alexstrasza's only response was a whispered "Gods." She found her anger growing at the thought of a Dark Lord who would commit such wanton acts of malice. It was fortunate that the man was dead, or else he would have to worry about her magic making it so. Then, a horrid thought occurred to her.
"Either we're here because of the child," she said quietly, "Or we're here to deal with the Dark Lord." Her amber eyes met the golden eyes of her oldest friend. "He survived, didn't he?"
Clarissa nodded, sadly.
"And this prophecy," Alexstrasza continued, "The boy will have to face him again?"
Alexstrasza looked around the compartment, hiding her exasperation at the situation. Without thinking about it, her eyes fell to the compartment window, where she saw her reflection for the first time.
She was young, to her shock - much younger than she had thought she was. Not even a teenager, judging by the way her robes shifted around her. Her eyes retained their amber coloring, but no longer glowed with magic as they had in her previous life. Her hair was a deep red, the same color as her scales, and came only to her shoulders. Reaching a tentative hand up, she brushed her hair away from her ear, revealing what appeared to be a normal, round human ear.
When she ran her hand around her ear, she felt a very slight point - so slight, it could barely be said to be there. Her beautiful pointed ears were gone, another lost aspect of the elvish form she would assume in her previous life.
Without turning, Alexstrasza spoke again. "Will you be joining me on this adventure, Clarissa?"
"No need," the blonde replied, brightly. "You have everything you need to do your part. Just be the loyal friend I know you to be, and you'll do fine."
Chromie's words came back to her when a thousand-year-old hat gibbered to itself as it tried to fathom her ten thousand years of memories.
After a few moments, it simply gave up. In her mind's eye, the hat replayed Chromie's instructions.
Your friend is something else, the hat said. It's a shame I never sorted her.
Perhaps you did, replied Alexstrasza. You just don't know it yet.
I really hate time travel, the hat mused.
Me too, she agreed.
Well, we've taken long enough, I think. Let's get you sorted, shall we? After all, there's only one house for you, of course.
A/N: This is another little one shot collection, just because I wanted to post something while my other stories are in various stages of progress. The idea here is that many crossovers involve a random character waking up in the Harry Potter universe. Sometimes it makes sense, after a fashion. Other times, not so much. So I thought to myself, how ridiculous can we make this scenario?
Alexstrasza and Chromie are two of my favorite Warcraft characters. Alexstrasza, in particular, was the focus character of my first longfic ever (Eye of the Storm, published on Ao3 under the same username as on ffn). As insert characters go, she's actually a pretty tame one - but there are aspects that interested me enough to drop 2k words on the idea.
Future ideas, who knows? But if I need to stretch out and write nonsense, well - now I have somewhere to put it. Maybe these will end up as stories of their own, someday. Who knows?
Feedback, as always, is welcome.