Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! We've hit the big 4-0! Chapter 40 is here! Now that Harry has a mountain of new materials to work with, what is a happy Artificer to do? Experiment and create, of course!

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Chapter 40 – The Egg and Materials

"Harry…" Fleur shook her head with a sigh. Her boyfriend was practically lost as he went through all of his new Dragon materials. It was like watching a child in a candy store, if said child had been told they could have anything they wanted. The teen Artificer was currently running his hands over a dragon claw that was almost a meter long. They were supposed to be going over the coded message that had been hidden within the egg. The code consisted of a set of Runes and a written language that Fleur wasn't familiar with.

"Yes?" Harry turned to face her with a beaming smile.

"The Egg?" Fleur reminded him as she held up her own Egg.

"Oh, right, that thing," Harry grimaced at being pulled away from his material examination.

"Yes, 'that thing' that will tell us what the Second Task will be." Fleur playfully rolled her eyes at him.

"I did almost forget something much more important though," Harry smiled warmly at Fleur. When the lovely, blue-eyes of his girlfriend looked at him questioningly, Harry bowed at the waist while holding out his right hand. "Fleur Delacour, would you give me the great honor of being my date to the upcoming Yule Ball?"

"Of course, Monsieur Potter," Fleur placed her hand in his as a loving smile formed on her face. It wasn't as if either of them was going to go with someone else anyway. Fleur wasn't looking forward to the hordes of guys that were probably going to ask her about the Ball soon. She'd deal with it though; it wouldn't be the first time she'd been hounded about a school dance.

"Thank you for the honor, My Lady." Harry gently kissed the back of her hand even as Fleur giggled at his actions. This overly formal way of asking her to the Yule Ball was so out of character for Harry.

"Now, about this Egg, Mr. Artificer…you can figure out what these Runes are and how they relate to the language, right?" Fleur refocused Harry's attention onto the Egg again.

"Yeah, probably," Harry shrugged as he picked up his own Egg and opened it. Looking over the Runes on all four sections, along with the unfamiliar script he began to puzzle out what the Egg was hiding. Going over the various Runes, Harry began to get the gist of what they were implying, but whoever had written them had broken them up with how the Egg was constructed.

Fleur watched on, intrigued, as Harry closed two of the four sections of his Egg while also conjuring a small Lumos Charm. Her boyfriend looked so deep in thought as he studied the Runes inside the Egg. Harry opened one of the closed sections only to close the next one to continue looking them over. Watching him work always brought a sense of awe to Fleur. Harry was something else when he devoted his all to his work; a sense of Magic surrounded him when he delved into Runes. As Harry closed the next section and opened the previous to continue reading -more like deciphering- Fleur had the thought that her boyfriend was born to be an Artificer.

"Hmm," Harry looked thoughtful as he pulled a notebook to his hand with a Summoning Charm; a pen followed as he flipped it open and began writing. Fleur stayed silent, just watching Harry puzzle out the Runescript so that they could make progress on the information within the Egg. "Whoever did this was a bit rough in their understanding. I still get what they're saying, but it could be better." He wrote for a bit longer before stopping. He glanced over what he'd written before nodding. "It's a Rite of Magic, some kind of age-old means by which to compare Magic users against each other. Only figuring out the language will reveal the scope of what we're dealing with though." Harry informed Fleur as he flipped his notebook around to show her his translation of the Runescript.

"I see," Fleur looked at the notes that Harry had made aside from his translation as well. "What's this about at the end though? You have it translated as 'Magic', 'Woman', and 'Insight' in a row."

"Magic woman most likely refers to a Witch. The 'Insight' I can only assume means some knowledge that we need to be able to translate the unknown script." Harry shrugged as he glanced over the unknown language again. He couldn't make heads or tails of it.

"I'm a Witch, but I don't know what this is at all," Fleur let out a bemused chuckle. "Perhaps it's a specific Witch?"

"This thing is going to be annoying, isn't it?" Harry huffed as he looked over to the crates filled with his new Dragon Materials.

"Focus, mon amour," Fleur giggled at Harry's clear desire to study and experiment with his new materials.

"But I don't wanna…" Harry grumbled as he tore his gaze away from the crates and looked back at their Eggs.

"You're pouting is still rather adorable," Fleur's melodious laugh filled the hidden workshop.

"I am not." Harry denied flatly, even as he glared at the two Golden Eggs.

-The Next Morning-

The Daily Prophet was becoming a point of contention with Harry now days. If it wasn't Skeeter then it was someone else writing an article or piece about him and whatever he'd done recently. Honestly, who the hell read about every aspect of his life? It wasn't that interesting, was it? His annoyance was kindled this morning by the headline across the front page detailing the First Task of the Tournament. To be more specific, was the inordinate amount of space his section took up. In his opinion, with three Champions, each of them should get one-third of the article. He had almost half to himself even though Fleur scored the highest and Krum was a Quidditch Star.

"This is ridiculous," Harry huffed as he saw one of the biggest points in the article. "They act like it was easy and that I can do this whenever I please."

His ire was focused on the pronouncement in the Prophet of him gaining the Title 'Dragon Slayer' for his killing of the Hungarian Horntail. Harry wasn't even aware that was a thing! Since when did such Titles exist? Was this like the Grand Sorcerer Title that Dumbledore had? The Prophet was extolling his 'masterful takedown' as if he hadn't expended the majority of his mana on the task. He wasn't planning on hunting down Dragons anytime soon. Yet the whispers and murmurings of the entire student population, including Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, seemed to suggest that the majority thought he would somehow make a career out of it or something.

"It is not every day that a Wizard or Witch takes down a Dragon single-handedly, Harry," Fleur consoled him as she ignored the stares with practiced ease. "When the Wizard in question is still in school, it makes it even more impressive. You're probably the youngest to have ever accomplished the feat."

"She has a point Harry," Padma spoke up from across the table. His study buddies were having breakfast with him and Fleur this morning and Harry enjoyed the extra company. Luna was sitting beside him as she ate her artfully arranged breakfast.

"I don't know of any teenage Witch or Wizard that ever killed a Dragon before," Megan shook her head at him.

"I can look it up, it shouldn't take too long." Hermione offered with a small smile.

"I honestly don't care," Harry turned her down. "I didn't kill the Dragon for honor or glory. I just wanted to complete a Rite of Conquest and use it for materials in my Artifice."

"Remind me never to get in-between you and the materials you have your eyes on then." Megan snickered and Harry, maturely, stuck his tongue out at her.

-Hidden Workshop-

"This is amazing," Harry breathed out as he felt out the Magic within all of the Dragon parts. The Basilisk had been ancient, but had also spent most of its long life in hibernation. Its Magic hadn't grown nearly as much as it would've had it been constantly active throughout its long life. The Horntail was another matter entirely. This was a Dragon that had lived for decades or perhaps a century and had fought and survived against the various Dragons that it shared space with at the Reserve. Its Magic was vast and powerful and that translated over into its Conquered Materials.

"Young Master Harry," Tayla popped into the hidden workshop with a covered tray in her hands. "Tayla be bringing you the roasted Dragon meat you asked her to cook." The little House Elf looked ever so pleased to be getting to feed Harry again.

"Thank you Tayla; set it on the desk, please." Harry motioned to the Professor's desk he'd commandeered long ago. Tayla nodded and set the tray down before popping away to let Harry eat.

'Probably a good thing Fleur decided to go to the library to research that unknown script.' Harry mused as he washed his hands in the smithy's bathroom and then returned to the desk. He sat down and removed the cover over the food. On the plate was a mix of meat that had been sliced, seasoned, and cooked. It smelled good, though all of Tayla's cooking did so that wasn't a surprise. The reason Harry surmised that it was better for Fleur not to be here was because of what part of the Dragon this meal was made from.

"First time trying Dragon heart," Harry chuckled to himself as he stabbed a piece with his fork and raised it to his lips. "Down the hatch." He placed the meat into his mouth and chewed. It had a much different consistency and mouthfeel than anything he'd eaten before. He swallowed the bite and only a second later felt the rush as the symbolic ritual of consuming the Dragon he'd killed imparted some of its mana into him.

'That's way more noticeable than the Basilisk!' Harry thought to himself in shock at the rush he'd just experienced. He continued to eat the cooked Dragon heart until his plate was clean. Each bite gave him a small rush, nothing compared to the first, but each one was noticeable. He drank the tea that Tayla had prepared before eating the veggies the House Elf had made as a side dish. He'd give it a bit, maybe until tonight, before he'd check his mana level with the Test Frame.

"Did Young Master Harry enjoy his lunch?" Tayla asked as she popped in to take the dishware and tray away for him.

"It was amazing as always Tayla, thank you for the meal." Harry praised the House Elf and watched as she practically glowed with happiness at his words. She disappeared with another pop and Harry stood up to continue his inspection of his new materials. The next item he was going to look at was one of the large horns from the Horntail. It was too bad he didn't have enough space here to have all of his new materials. The majority of the processed Horntail had ended up locked away in his smithy at Wood End Cottage.

Running his hands over the large horn, Harry felt it out with his mana. In much the same way that he communed with Artifacts, he could discern the nature and function of a material by doing this. Closing his eyes and delving into the innate Magic that resided within the horn, Harry was filled with a sense of protection and piercing power. This horn had come from the back of the Dragon's head and was used almost exclusively to protect its neck from being bitten by another Dragon. The sharpness was a deterrent to ward off such attacks as the horn could easily puncture the softer insides of a Dragon's mouth.

"So I should make you into something defensive; but with offensive capabilities as well?" Harry mused with his eyes still closed as he communed with his material. Perhaps a Focus of some kind would work best for the horn? A staff, or spear, some type of polearm, maybe? There were many options possible for how Harry wanted to use this horn. Maybe he'd give making a simple Focus a try? He did still have the Sage Quartz he'd collected. Setting it into an item made from Dragon horn or bone could make for a simple, if limited Focus.

Claws and Fangs were much more direct in their usability when it came to Artifice. Form and Function were intrinsically linked and the only purpose of a Dragon's Claws and Fangs was to attack. They were purely offensive tools in the Dragon's natural arsenal. Scales and Hide likewise were purely defensive and suited only for Shields, Armor, or garments meant to cover the body, like clothing. It was in the Bones that multitudes of possibilities existed as their purpose was structure and support. That Function could be applied to as many Forms as one could think of. Every creation required a stable foundation to be built upon after all. The Dragon Bones would be an immense boon to Harry's Artifice and Enchanting.

"So many possibilities…" Harry smiled widely as he gazed at the crates in his hidden workshop.

-Evening-

"Potter…" Snape drawled with his eyes slightly narrowed as he looked at the teen. "A word."

"I was on my way to dinner, Professor," Harry looked back at the dour man flatly. He'd stayed in his workshop for longer than he intended and didn't want to be late for dinner. He'd promised Fleur that he'd meet her in the Great Hall.

"I will not keep you long," Snape looked as if being polite was causing him pain. "I merely wish to inquire about purchasing something from you."

"Purchasing something…from me?" Harry's skepticism apparently showed on his face as Snape looked annoyed.

"Yes, you've apparently claimed the whole of the Hungarian Horntail for yourself," Snape mentioned and Harry had a distinct idea as to what the Potions Master wanted. "I wished to inquire about purchasing some select ingredients from the beast."

"I figured," Harry's face was stoic, a poker face if there ever was one. "What exactly are you wanting?"

"Blood, some of the bile from the fire sac, powdered bone, and part of the liver." Snape laid out his desired ingredients.

"What would you use these ingredients for exactly?" Harry questioned the man that had made no attempts to hide his disdain ever since Harry had first met him.

"Potions, obviously." Snape drawled and Harry had the urge to roll his eyes at the man.

"What guarantee do I have that these Potions won't be used against me in some way?" Harry held nothing back as he outright accused the Professor of having it out for him.

"You'd insinuate that I'd harm a student?!" Snape's face drew into a rictus of cold anger. His glare at the teen showed the same animosity it always did.

"You've never made the slightest attempt to hide your dislike of me, Professor." Harry reminded the man factually. "You'll excuse my suspicions of your intentions in light of that, I'd hope."

"Potter…" Snape held back a growl, if just barely.

"If you want to do business, then I'll need to know what you plan to use the ingredients for and I'll also need assurances that what you brew will not be used against me and mine." Harry stated his terms plainly.

"That is none of your concern, Potter." Snape sneered before turning and walking away with his robes billowing.

"Prick." Harry scoffed at the retreating man's back. He quickly made his way down the corridor towards the Great Hall. Snape must've been waiting around for a while to catch him before dinner. He wasn't remorseful about making the dour man wait in the slightest.

'His desire for fire sac bile and blood does bring up some interesting thoughts though.' Harry mused as he walked through the doors to the Great Hall and headed for Fleur's distinctive silvery-blonde hair.

-The Next Morning-

"What's this?" Harry cast a few wandless Detection Charms on the letter the barn owl was holding out to him. Getting no warnings of anything bad on the letter, Harry relieved the Post Owl of its parcel. The owl flew off and Fleur glanced at the plain-looking letter curiously.

"It's a letter, Harry." Luna informed him with a smile. Harry cracked a smile at the simple statement. It was hard to tell when Luna was being serious and that made it even easier for her to joke around.

"Thank you, Luna." Harry gave her a polite smile.

"You're welcome." Luna smiled back, her eyes alight with contentment.

"It's from…Flamel?" Harry blinked at seeing the name 'Nicholas Flamel' on the envelope.

"Flamel? The Alchemist?" Fleur blinked at the information. Her curiosity had just reached new levels.

"Let's see," Harry opened the letter and read the French with little difficulty. He'd had quite a bit of practice ever since getting to know Fleur as his pen pal. "Huh, he's wondering if I'd be willing to sell him some fresh Dragon Blood for his Alchemy. Apparently it loses potency even when preserved after some time has passed. He'd come pick it up in person so that he can inspect it too."

"I would never tell you what to do with your materials, Harry," Fleur began thought the tone in her voice took on a different lilt. "But if you could agree to this and let me meet Nicholas Flamel I'd be very appreciative."

"Is this because he's considered the greatest Alchemist in the world, or because he's the greatest French Alchemist in history?" Harry cocked an eyebrow at his girlfriend with a teasing grin.

"Yes." Fleur nodded with a slightly smug smile on her lips.

"I suppose I could…since it's for you." Harry pretended to consider the option. He wouldn't mind asking Flamel for at least a hint as to what he was doing wrong with his Advanced Alchemy.

"Mon amour~" Fleur had the cutest little pout on her face and Harry couldn't stop the smile that formed.

"Alright, I'll write back and let him know I'm willing." Harry assured her with a chuckle.

"Merci, Harry." Fleur kissed his cheek gently and the two smiled warmly at each other.

The cry of an owl interrupted them as a large Great-Horned Owl landed on the table in front of Harry. The bird cocked its head as it held out its leg to Harry. Both of them noted the mark on the small leather pouch attached to the Owl's legs as belonging to the Ministry of Magic.

"What does the Ministry want with me?" Harry questioned and the owl let out a bark of impatience. "Hold on a minute." He looked pointedly at the owl and the bird went quiet. He wandlessly checked for as many things as he could; Potions, Charms, Curses, harmful substances, when they all came back clean, he finally plucked the letter from the pouch. The Great-Horned Owl flew off quickly and was out of the Great Hall before Harry had finished reading whom the letter was from.

"From the Minister's Office?" Fleur had only briefly glanced at the letter and saw the seal on the upper left hand corner of the envelope.

"Apparently," Harry sighed as he read over the rest of the envelope. "Office of the Minister of Magic, Senior Undersecretary, Dolores Umbridge, who is that?" The teen Artificer had never met this person in his life. He opened the envelope and began to read. With each line he became more annoyed and he even snorted near the end. "Well now, isn't she a pretentious one?" Harry scoffed at the letter.

"That bad?" Fleur cocked an eyebrow at her boyfriend's response.

"See for yourself," Harry handed her the letter.

"Hmm," Fleur began to read. "She congratulates you on killing the Horntail. Asks you to work for the Ministry? Make Artifacts for Ministry use? You would do well to accept?" The letter wasn't even addressed to her and yet Fleur was becoming angry at the blatant condescension in the words written on the parchment she held. "Where does this woman get off making such thinly-veiled demands of you?"

"Ten to one odds she's some Blood Purity supporting sycophant." Harry shook his head at the letter. "I'm sure the type of Artifacts she'd like me to create would be used to promote her and her ilk's agenda, by force if necessary."

"One would think that Magical Britain would have learned from their mistakes after what happened in the Seventies." Fleur grumbled under her breath.

"Well, I only have one thing to say to this woman." Harry grinned as he took the letter back from Fleur. He held it up between his thumb and index finger for a second. In a flash the parchment was consumed in flames and disappeared into smoke. "I do hope I was clear enough for her to understand."

"You give the bigots too much credit when it comes to intelligence, mon amour." Fleur chuckled as she leaned in to peck his lips.

"Probably," Harry agreed before he returned her soft kiss and the two continued with their breakfast.

-Hidden Workshop-

Harry was humming softly as he worked on his newest item. He'd taken one of the processed Dragon Bones and began to shave it down to shape it. It was strong, but it was still bone and Harry didn't want to risk breaking it. This particular bone came from the Horntail's back foot. It was one of the digits that made up the Dragon's toes. It was one of the smaller bones that he could find that was still of a similar shape to what he was going for. Once he had it shaped as he desired, then he'd fit a chunk of the Sage Quartz into it.

His plan was to make a simple -if limited- Focus that anyone could use. Foci that only performed a single spell would produce said spell to much greater effect than any other Focus. Ones that were more versatile, but still locked to a single Branch of Magic, would express the wielder's intentions through powerful spells. Wands and other Foci that could cast any Branch of Magic, while the most versatile, also didn't add much to the spells cast. Unless of course they were made to do so, much like Aethereum was.

Sage Quartz was known to channel spells tied to the Earth -that is to say soil, rocks, and plants- much better than most any other material. Bone was a good conductor for Magic, being a once living material. So with the Sage Quartz attuning the Focus to earth-based Magics, and the Dragon Bone providing a magical housing for the stone, it should make it not too dissimilar to a wand when it came to spells of that type. Harry may not know wand lore, but he understood the concept of Foci quite well.

'Once I test it out and make sure it works, maybe they'll make good gifts?' Harry could think of a few people he wouldn't mind giving such Foci to. 'I wonder if the Dwarves would like them? They're all about Earth, stones, and ores.'

The fact that to the untrained eye, a non-wand Focus -especially in Magical Britain- would be overlooked and the Witch or Wizard in question would probably be assumed to be using Wandless Magic was not lost on Harry. It could prove to be rather useful in the coming conflict he knew was brewing between Voldemort and himself.

Taking a break from his work to relax his fingers a bit, Harry glanced at the drawer he kept his Test Frame in. He'd checked his mana level the night after he'd eaten his Dragon heart lunch. The boost had been very surprising to say the least. There was a part of him that wanted to see those numbers again though. Those numbers were the physical proof of his increased Magical Strength after slaying the Horntail.

"Ah hell, why not?" Harry grinned to himself as he opened the drawer and pulled out the Test Frame. He held the talisman in both hands and passed his mana through it. "There it is!" Harry chuckled as he looked down at the number made up of glowing light.

16,782

-End Chapter-

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Harry is a happy Artificer! So many materials!

The Daily Prophet still annoys Harry, but that's normal, right?

Snape wants Potions Ingredients from Harry? Hah! Fat chance you prick!

Flamel however, is a different story altogether! Who better to ask for a hint to Advanced Alchemy than the Immortal Master?

What is the Golden Egg hinting at for the Second Task? It's not screeching in Mermish loud enough to make your ears bleed, so does the Second Task NOT involve the Lake?

How mysterious!

What will happen next?

Keep reading to find out!

Current Mana Levels

Harry – 16,782

Tonks – 10,928

Penelope – 9,454

Fleur – 9,812

Until I get your reviews, later!