Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! Time to delve ever deeper into Runecraft and Alchemy! But is it too far, too fast? How many failures will it take? What is Harry's goal?

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Chapter 36 – Delving Deeper

"What the hell is a Triskaidecagon?" Harry blinked at the unfamiliar word as he looked over the incredibly complex Alchemy book that had the Transmutation Circle he needed in it. The old tome's pages were still in good shape, thankfully, but the front and back covers were both so worn that the Title on the front could barely be read. Harry had no idea who the author of the book was, but cross-checking everything in the old tome with newer Alchemy books checked out. Whoever wrote this had more than likely informed the Alchemic Arts, and the Alchemists that came after them, on a good majority of this Branch of Magic.

Looking over the transmutation circle in the book, all the intricate lines, the symbols, the shapes, it was impressive to say the least. This was the level that Harry needed to get to if he wanted to be ready for whatever Voldemort had planned. He knew he was likely to fail, multiple times, but if he could make this work then the sky was the limit. This was some of the highest level Alchemy that existed for what he needed to produce. The only problem was actually drawing the circle correctly. It was not only intricate, but large too, easily three meters in diameter when it was finished. It would take a long time to draw the circle even once.

Once he managed to draw the transmutation circle properly and transmute the material he wanted from it, that was still only the first step. The material he wanted was one of the few that could handle the Runic Array he wanted to apply to it. But those two wouldn't be enough for Harry's plans. There were precious few materials in the world that were naturally Magical in nature; at least when it came to materials useful to Artifice. What Harry wanted was a selection of these rare materials to impart their natural Magic into his creation. If his plan worked out, not only would this project be powerful, it could very well acquire more abilities once he'd forged it.

"But what to choose first?" Harry wondered aloud as he picked up a different book and opened it to a bookmarked page. He needed something that would hopefully make Voldemort a non-issue, permanently. However, none of these Magical stones or gems seemed to have such a power. They all had their own uses, to be sure, but Harry wanted something that could put a Dark Lord down for good. "Azuryte might work, or maybe Frost Azuryte? But Frost Azuryte is really expensive." The teen Artificer mused as he looked over the Magical gems and stones. There were a good number of them, each with their own inherent Magical power, but the supply was always going to be limited.

Harry quietly mused for some time on what exactly he'd spend his Galleons on when it came to naturally occurring Magical gems and stones. It was going to cost a small fortune to get any decent amount. But with them his Artifice could advance further, along with his Runecraft and Alchemy. For now, it might be best to work on what he could already do while practicing Alchemy and drawing the transmutation circle that he'd need. He doubted that he'd perform a successful transmutation of this level for months, but he wouldn't improve if he didn't practice. Trial and error was well-known to Harry after years of magical study.

"Well, no time like the present." Harry clapped as he picked up the Alchemy book, then he picked up his chalk, his meter stick, and a protractor. Alchemy was a finicky Branch of Magic and if this level of transmutation circle was even slightly off he could kiss a successful transmutation goodbye. "Triangle, Heptagon, and then Triskaidecagon, and that's before the symbols." With a sigh Harry sat on the floor and got to work.

September was spent in much the same way for Harry. He was almost constantly running off to his hidden workshop to forge or practice. Luna sometimes sat or did her homework in the hidden workshop to keep Harry company and remind him to go to meals. When asked why, the spacey blonde had smiled at him and told him that Penny had asked her to. Harry made sure to write to his girlfriend about that in the letters they frequently exchanged.

Near the end of September, Harry received a rather odd letter from Penny. His Spellcrafting Scholar of a girlfriend wanted his experience with Runecraft to look over a rather odd Sequence that Penny had created. The teen Artificer had no problem doing it for his love, of course. But going through the Runic Sequences and then putting them all together made even Harry blink at what was being attempted. He told Penny as much in the letter he'd sent back to her, along with the corrections and suggestions he had for her Array. If she could make this work, Penny may very well solve the majority of their potentially upcoming problems by her own creation!

'Her intelligence is so attractive!' Harry thought to himself as he watched Hedwig fly off with his revisions to Penny's prototype Array. There was just something about intelligent women -that were a few years older than he was- that really got Harry smiling and a bit hot under the collar. Looking over his shoulder, Harry smiled at the nearly complete Artifact he was currently working on. He was starting to get good at this one now on his third time. One more set of Basilisk Scale Mail would soon be done. Then he'd start on the fourth. All of his loves would have a set as soon as possible. He would leave nothing to chance.

The month of October passed without Harry deviating too much from his September schedule. He and Penny continued to pass her Rune Work back and forth through Hedwig. With each revision the overall effect that Penny was going for became clearer. Harry was still impressed with Penny and her ingenuity. It was a rather unorthodox undertaking and flew in the face of the standard school of thought, but his girlfriend wasn't one to let such things hold her back. Fleur had been rather silent, though even when she did reply she was vague and teasing. Harry was certain she was coming to Hogwarts for the Tournament!

-October 27th ~ Night-

Harry exhaled as he flew over the Forbidden Forest with his Wind Walker Flight Item. The light of the waning moon gave just enough illumination to see, if only barely, and the Artificer was eager to acquire some useful materials. He'd been putting out feelers for Magical stones and gems and getting quotes and prices from reputable dealers since September. One had mentioned that a certain stone could be found in highly magical areas in Scotland. Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and the Forbidden Forest were the most Magical locations in Scotland. So Harry was certain if he could find an area that Witches and Wizards hadn't settled, that he'd find the stone in question.

Sage Quartz was, much like any naturally-occurring Magical gem or stone, rather hard to come by in any decent amount. It only formed in areas of high Magic concentration that were both rich in granite and plant life. According to his book, it looked like milky quartz but with deep green lines, almost like roots, crisscrossing through the stone. As he flew over the forest he was looking for any clearings that had exposed rock. In Scotland there would be a good chance said rock was granite. After flying far enough that he could just barely see Hogwarts anymore, Harry spotted a decent sized clearing that had exposed rock on the surface. He slowed himself until he was hovering over the clearing before descending. When his feet touched the ground he quickly made his way over to the rock. A quick cast of Protego Totalum ensured the area would be protected from both physical and magical intrusion for an extended time. He wasn't leaving his safety to chance.

"Moss-covered, that's supposed to be a good sign," Harry whispered as he placed his hand on the large exposed stone. Channeling his mana into the stone he felt for any trace of Magic within. Not feeling any Magic, the Artificer moved over to another rock. Again and again Harry poked around the exposed stones. He felt through each one of them for the tell-tale feeling of Magic. It was nearly two hours later before Harry felt Magic from one of the stones.

'Of course it'd have to be half-buried under the other rocks.' Harry gave a mental huff as he pulled his hand back from the small alcove made by larger, moss-covered rocks. With levitation Harry moved the large stones aside and set them down away from the stone he'd felt the Magic from. After moving six of the large stones aside, Harry finally uncovered the stone he wanted. Placing his hand on the rock again, Harry pulsed his mana into it and felt a Magic within. He wasn't sure exactly what was inside, though he was hopeful for Sage Quartz, he also didn't know how much would be within the large stone.

Placing both hands on the large stone, Harry worked a spell as he began to glide his hands over the moss-covered rock. The moss was stripped away by the first pass of his hand. The next pass shaved away the surface of the rock. Over and over Harry passed his hands across the rock. Bit by bit the large stone shrank as Harry continued to shave it down. When only the core of the stone was left, Harry had easily been processing for the better part of an hour.

"Moment of truth." Harry smiled at the remainder of the rock. He tapped the last layer of stone with the tip of his right index finger. The granite cracked like the shell of an egg and fell to pieces around what Harry had felt with his mana. "Brilliant." He beamed as he kneeled down and picked up the fairly large piece of Sage Quartz. It looked very similar to the picture in his book. White Quartz with dark-green, root-like lines crisscrossing through the stone. It probably weighed about six kilograms or so. Not a lot, but he hadn't been expecting to find much to begin with.

Something slamming into his Protego Totalum had Harry's head snapping over to the source so quickly his neck popped. There, standing just outside of his spell's area of effect, was a Forest Troll. With greenish skin and hair that could almost be mistaken for thick grass, the beast was far different from the Mountain Troll that he'd faced in First Year. It had a muscular body, except for a rather pronounced gut, strong arms with large hands, thick legs like tree trunks, and was barely covered by some scraps of animal fur around its immense girth. What had hit Harry's shield was the massive club in the Troll's hand. It looked like the large creature had broken a tree in half and simply picked up whatever portion was 'club-shaped' enough for its needs.

"Oi!" Harry shouted to get the Troll's attention focused. "I'm not here to cause trouble! I've got what I want so I'm leaving, alright?"

"Graaaahhh!" The Troll roared in response, slamming its large club against the shield again. Trolls weren't the most intelligent of species out there. Their Magically Resistant skin, more like hide really, made them hard to deal with for most Witches and Wizards. Aside from that, their immense strength made them dangerous as well as their mostly carnivorous diet.

Harry grimaced at the Forest Troll as it continued to bang on the Protego Totalum. With a glance down at his waist, where Aethereum was hanging on his hip, Harry looked back at the raging Troll. It would be Harry's first time using his Artifact Sword against a living target. Voldemort did make use of Trolls in the Seventies as well. He might need to do this in the future in a much direr situation. With a deep breath, Harry unsheathed Aethereum and held it at the ready.

"Nothing that could start a fire, but something strong enough to get through its hide." Harry murmured to himself as the Forest Troll continued to rage against the magical shield. Directing his mana into Aethereum, Harry gave it only a single intention; to sever.

The Forest Troll stumbled as the Protego Totalum disappeared as it tried to bash its club against it again. The little prey stood with a shiny stick in its hands. The Troll straightened itself and took a step towards its soon-to-be meal with its club raised high. One good hit should kill the prey and then the Troll could eat. The little prey raised its shiny stick over its' head with both hands. The Troll took another step forward. The prey brought the shiny stick down and almost hit the ground with it. The Forest Troll felt something touch its face, chest, and stomach. Then its vision went dark.

Harry watched as the near invisible line of his spell, amplified by Aethereum's innate Magic, passed through the Forest Troll and then kept going. The spell was quickly lost in the darkness of the forest. The Troll stilled, not taking a third step towards him. Then the large, green creature split down the middle. Then the very air snapped and the ground split!

A violent gale tore through the dark forest just as a large trench formed through the rock and dirt of the ground! Harry's eyes widened as everything in the path of his spell split in two with great force. The line of destruction continued deeper into the forest and Harry heard the snaps of tree limbs, and perhaps even trees themselves, falling to the ground. The trench that was cleaved into the ground had smooth edges, a testament to both the simplicity of his spell and its power.

Seeing the gore that was the vertically bisected Forest Troll, the teen Artificer averted his gaze and took deep, steadying breaths for a few moments. Once he was sure his dinner wouldn't be re-visiting him, Harry sheathed Aethereum. Without a word he picked up the Sage Quartz and activated his Wind Walker. The teen flew high into the air, getting an idea of just how far his spell had reached by the line of destruction through the deep forest. It had to have been close to a hundred meters in length. With another sigh, Harry pulled out his Invisibility Cloak and put it on. Pulling up the hood and becoming completely invisible, he flew back towards the distant point of light that was Hogwarts. He'd figure out what he'd do with the Sage Quartz tomorrow, right now he just wanted to sleep off what he'd seen.

-October 30th ~ Welcoming Feast-

"Did they forget what Warming Charms are or something?" Harry shook his head as he saw a large number of students shaking in the cold night air. The entire Faculty and Student Body of Hogwarts were waiting to welcome the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Harry had simply cast a Warming Charm on himself a few minutes into the wait. Luna, who stood nearby, copied him. He noticed a few others that had done the same amongst the crowd. Hermione, Megan, Padma, and a few other Ravenclaws weren't shivering in the cold. A good number of the Upper Years from the other three Houses had done the same.

"Hey look!" Someone from Gryffindor shouted with their hand pointed towards the sky. Everyone's attention focused on a small dot in the waning light as it grew bigger.

Closer and closer the object got until everyone could see it was a massively large carriage being pulled by equally large, winged horses! The carriage got closer and began to descend. Harry was pretty sure he heard Hagrid call the large horses beautiful. They looked to be Abraxans, which meant that no normal man would be able to guide them. The large Magical horses could easily drag a dozen or more full-grown men around without trouble. The carriage landed with the thundering of the Abraxans' hooves and the sharp thud of the carriage's wheels hitting the ground.

When the carriage came to a stop, the door opened and a teen boy, dressed in the blue uniform of Beauxbatons, tapped his wand on the doorframe. A set of metal steps unfolded from beneath the carriage and the young man stepped down them before standing off to the side. The next person to appear from the carriage was a massive woman, easily as tall as Hagrid, maybe taller, and with a statuesque build that made her look imposing. She walked down the steps and took a few steps forward before the next students emerged in two lines. One line was entirely girls, while the other line was all boys. Harry noted that the girls' line was a bit longer than the boys' line.

"Madame Maxime, lovely to see you again." Dumbledore smiled brightly as he greeted the large woman. "Welcome to Hogwarts."

"It has been a long time, Dumbledore." Maxime replied back with her own smile down to the old man. Her French accent was noticeable, but it was clear she spoke English well enough to not mispronounce words or names. "It is chillier than I remember. Might my students head inside to keep warm?"

"Of course, please make yourselves at home while we await Durmstrang's arrival." Dumbledore offered genially. "Mr. Filch will lead you to the Great Hall; the Ravenclaw table will welcome your students with open arms."

"Thank you, Dumbledore." Maxime nodded as she led her students up the stairs following after Mr. Filch.

Harry looked over the students and caught Fleur's eyes. The two smiled at each other warmly and Fleur even winked at him. Harry grinned and shook his head as he heard the boys around him start acting up from even the passive Allure that Fleur naturally exuded. Apparently the greater control of her Magic let her rein in her Allure even more than before. The flipside being that her Magic was now more in-tune with her body and that made her Allure more potent. Shortly after the Beauxbatons students had entered the castle, someone else called out.

"What's that?!" A younger student questioned as the Black Lake began to churn and throw up waves.

Everyone watched as the water roiled before beginning to swirl around into a massive whirlpool. From the whirlpool a large sailing ship began to emerge. The bow and figurehead rose over the edge of the whirlpool. Then the main body of the ship breached the water and the whole vessel tilted forward and landed on the lake. The ship bobbed violently for a few moments before it sailed right up to the edge of the lake and then dropped anchor. The gangplank was lowered and a man in a large fur coat began walking down the ramp. He was followed by students all wearing the same red uniform. Each of the young men had a fur-lined cloak over their shoulders and a staff in their hands.

"Albus, it has been too long!" The obvious Head of Durmstrang greeted Dumbledore with a smile.

"Igor, good to see you again." Dumbledore returned the warm greeting and the two men gave each other a brief hug with a strong pat on the back. "The Beauxbatons students are already inside. We can join them and get the Welcoming Feast started."

"They came to Scotland in the autumn in those thin uniforms, didn't they?" Igor gave a rough laugh as he motioned his students to follow him. Harry noticed that there were only male students. Once the Durmstrang students were inside, the Hogwarts students were led back into the Great Hall by their Heads of House.

"Mr. Potter, a quick word, if I may?" Dumbledore got Harry's attention as they were headed back into the castle.

"Yes, Headmaster?" Harry asked as they walked side by side.

"It's a bit of tradition that when Wizards and Witches meet and exchange hospitality, that a show of Magic is performed." Dumbledore explained as they approached the Great Hall. "High Master Karkaroff, Headmistress Maxime, and myself have decided to let a student of our choosing from our respective schools perform this tradition."

"I get the feeling you want me to be the student for Hogwarts." Harry looked the old man in the eye. "Wouldn't a Seventh Year be better for this?"

"Perhaps, but perhaps not." Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling and Harry knew the Headmaster's mind was made up.

"Couldn't give me more warning at least?" Harry shook his head with a small grin.

"I believe the best thing for this tradition is improvisation, rather than a rigid routine." Dumbledore chuckled and Harry shrugged.

"Fine, fine, when do we start?" Harry asked as he noticed Fleur at one end of the Professors' Table and Viktor Krum of all people at the opposite end.

"As soon as I sit down." Dumbledore smiled at the teen and moved quickly, for a man his age, to take his seat.

'That old man!' Harry grumbled in his mind. He didn't have much time to think about it though as Viktor twirled his staff a few seconds after Dumbledore was seated.

Viktor conjured up sparkling diamonds of ice and sent them levitating through the hall with a wave of his staff. The diamonds refracted the candle light and made rainbows dance across the Great Hall. The light show went on for a moment before Viktor slammed the end of his staff on the stone floor. The diamonds burst into snow that gently fluttered down onto everyone in the Great Hall.

Fleur quickly took up the performance as she wandlessly conjured birds of flame that flew around the hall. The birds exploded like fireworks and from the explosion, petals of fragrant flowers fell. The petals disappeared as they touched the students, tables, or the floor and Fleur finished her performance with a clap of her hands that sent a wave of Magic through the Hall. Everyone that the spell touched suddenly had a smile on his or her face and Harry realized what his girlfriend had done.

'A Cheering Charm, a nice finish.' Harry admitted to himself with a grin. 'I guess it's my turn.'

Harry snapped his fingers on both hands and a large Lumos Charm appeared over each hand. Another double snap and two more large Lumos Charms sprang into existence. With a thought and the proper application of his mana, each of the Charms turned a different color. There was now a blue light, a yellow light, a green light, and a red light. Shaping his spell, the balls of colorful light took the form of one of the Four House animals. A Red Lion strutted through the air just above the Gryffindor Table. A Yellow Badger scampered along the length of the Hufflepuff Table. A Green Snake slithered through the air just above the Slytherin Table. The Ravenclaw Table was flown over by a large Blue Eagle.

Many students, both foreign and Hogwarts, tried to touch the colorful animals only for their hands to pass through them. They were only light, so it felt like nothing, but it seemed to be a fun experience for the students. When the four animals cleared the table they vanished in a flash. To end his own performance Harry focused on a happy memory and a smile crossed his face. With a large push of his mana, a bright silvery mist formed and then seemed to solidify. The construct twisted and twirled through the air before fully forming.

A cheer rose up in the Great Hall as Harry's Patronus fully formed. The massive Eastern Dragon twisted through the air, glowing brightly. It flew through the Great Hall and the sheer positivity of the Guardian brought smiles, cheers, and laughter to the students and even some of the Professors. Harry guided his Patronus back towards the Professor's Table and had it fly around Viktor with its long serpentine body. The rather surly looking young man actually cracked a smile! Fleur was next and she beamed at him while running her hand through the silvery mists of pure positivity. To finish up Harry directed his Patronus to twist and twine itself behind him and look out over the entire Great Hall. With a clap of his hands, the enormous Guardian burst into a wave of the silvery mist and raced through the hall. This got more cheers and laughter from the students.

The entire Hall burst into applause for the show of Magic and Harry felt like the tradition was complete now. The three students bowed to the students, then turned and bowed to the Professors, they quickly retreated to their assigned tables afterwards. Fleur easily caught Harry's hand and the two sat beside each other at the Ravenclaw Table next to the Beauxbatons students.

"With a marvelous show of Magic from our students, I declare the Welcoming Feast open!" Dumbledore was all bright smiles as food appeared on all the serving platters instantly. Harry quickly noted several dishes he'd never seen before and correctly guessed them to be from the various countries that Beauxbatons and Durmstrang took their students from normally.

"That was wonderful, mon amour!" Fleur beamed at him before leaning in to catch his lips. Harry returned the gentle kiss and they broke apart with smiles.

"You were amazing too." Harry leaned in and kissed her cheek.

"Thank you." Fleur grinned at him as they began to fill their plates. Fleur was naturally attempting to get Harry to try some new French cuisine.

After the desserts disappeared some time later, the Welcoming Feast began to die down. It was as the last of the students turned their attention to the Professors' Table that Dumbledore stood up again. Harry and Fleur both listened as Dumbledore had Mr. Filch bring in a case and open it. The Headmaster withdrew a wooden goblet from within and placed it on a pedestal so that all could see it. Harry's eyes quickly took in the simple-looking object before coming to a conclusion.

'That's an Artifact.' Harry would guarantee it.

Dumbledore went on to explain that the Goblet of Fire would be the impartial judge that would pick the three Champions that would compete in the Triwizard Tournament. Harry and Fleur's hands found each other's under the table and entwined their fingers as they listened. Harry really wanted to look over the Goblet in greater detail, but knew he probably wouldn't be getting that chance.

"What's an Age Line? Is it like a Ward?" Harry whispered to Fleur after Dumbledore told the students in the Hall how the Goblet would be protected against underage students.

"Oui, a basic one, but one that is impossible to fool." Fleur whispered back with a nod. "It only lasts about twenty-four hours unless recast, so it's actually a good choice for this situation."

After the explanation on how the eligible students would submit their names to the Goblet of Fire, the students were ushered off to bed. Harry and Fleur walked slowly together. The couple was happy to spend time together again after two months apart. Harry walked her all the way back to the Beauxbatons carriage hand in hand. When they stood in front of the door to the carriage they both leaned forward and pressed their lips together. This kiss started out soft, but became more heated as it went on. The separation had fanned the flames of their desire for each other. The teens were full-on French Kissing before they were interrupted as the carriage door rattled and they broke apart.

"Miss Delacour, please come inside and prepare for bed." Madame Maxime requested as her eyes took in the two students. "Classes start at their regular time in the morning. I'm sure you and your paramour can find time after classes to spend together."

"I'll see you tomorrow, Harry." Fleur kissed his cheek with a smile.

"Goodnight Fleur." Harry returned her smile as Fleur entered the carriage and the door was closed behind her by Maxime.

'Won't she be surprised when she sees the gift I have for her tomorrow?' Harry chuckled to himself as he walked back towards the castle. He'd get to show her his hidden workshop and give her the gift. Maybe she'd want to thank him right then and there? He grinned at the thought as he made it into the castle.

-End Chapter-

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Fleur is at Hogwarts! Yay!

Harry is looking into increasing his Runecraft, Alchemy, and Artifice all at once! He even gathered a naturally occurring Magical stone! What does Sage Quartz do? He also tested out Aethereum for the first time against a hostile target. The act of taking a life is never as easy as one thinks, but Harry knows he'll probably have to do it eventually. It's probably best to work up the nerve now, so that you don't falter later.

What will this Triwizard Tournament entail?

Who will be the Champions?

What's Voldemort doing while skulking about out of sight?

What will happen next?

Keep reading to find out!

Current Mana Levels

Harry – 8,862

Tonks – 9,836

Penelope – 8,314

Fleur – 8,790

Until I get your reviews, later!