20. The Thunderer


{The second artifact is The Spider's Fang.} Hadrian watched as the Princess jerked back as if slapped.

{The Spider?} Hadrian asked, confused.

{Yes, The Spider, the very same that spun so much of the realms apart.} The shopkeeper said calmly.

{And what gives you the right to own, let alone sell something like that?} Lilómëa asked her tone ice cold. Hadrian didn't understand but he could tell Lilómëa was very upset and wanted to give her no excuse to be angry with him.

{The right of conquest. I have had them in my possession for a long time, but have never had the desire to sell them until now, granddaughter of Neith.} Lilómëa's eyes widened and she took a step back, Hadrian had woven a very strong identity-concealing spells into her magic before they had left to go shopping.

{Who are you, Artificer?} Hadrian said calmly, grabbing Lilómëa's arm to halt her from stepping up to the dangerous elf.

{Now you ask, I am Erevan Ilesere, very nice to meet you, Hadrian Potter, of Midgard.} Hadrian looked confused even as

Lilómëa dropped to a knee.

{Umm... What does that mean?} Hadrian enquired confused. {Who are you?}

{I am the Elven god of tricksters and merchants, thieves and artists. Welcome to my ethereal storefront.} Hadrian looked at him in shock, and at the slightly shaking form of Lilómëa in shock. Apparently, this was a pretty big deal, and unlike the previous times he had interacted with divinity, god knows where Albus was.

Pausing to think about what Albus' would have suggested, Hadrian realized that now that the deity had revealed himself if Hadrian did not show some level of deference, he risked a political and social disaster. So, against his own wish, Hadrian bowed crisply to the Elven god, there was little point in prostrating one's self when the deity was not one of your own. Dealing with the likes of Il'sensine and Il'sens'agron had taught him this.

Such inter-realm customs and the consequences for likely not even trying to observe them were a part of the experience that he had little to no desire to engage in.

{Well met Erevan Ilesere,} Hadrian said respectfully.

{Well met young Thunderer. It has been an age since I have seen even the oldest of new gods, and your presence bodes of change. Change that I fear may affect us all.}

The elven god paused and seemed to shake his head as he looked at the Artifact that lay idle on the counter.

{ I suppose that the Spider would have wanted one of her progeny to have such an artifact, how about this, - I will give you the Spiders Fang and two hundred thousand Celeban for the necklace - the Fuinfin will likely make up for the loss of profit I am taking by giving it to you at a severe discount. } The elf god seemed to muse seemingly to himself.

Before Hadrian could accept the offer Lilómëa touched his arm gently, and he paused looking at her in confusion.

{I personally think that 50,000 Celeban paid by the house of Neith and the Fuinfin should be a fair reward for the return of the artifact once belonging to my grandmother. The Royal house of Neith will be ever grateful for the return of its Birthright.} Hadrian's eyes nearly bugged out as the normally softspoken Lilómëa tried to negotiate with Erevan Ilesere, the Elven god of tricksters, merchants, and thieves, over the sum of 150,000 Celeban.

Hadrian paused expecting to be smited as the two haggled back and forth. As much as Hadrian loathed admitting it, he did not have a cotton balls chance in hell if things got ugly with an Elven god in its own realm, but he trusted Lilómëa and knew that she would not needlessly put them both in danger, or risk offending the god.

The two carried on for a while, and he couldn't deny the audible sigh he let out when the elven god's melodic laugh broke an increasingly tense silence that had stretched between the bartering duo.

{Fine fine, I am sure the spider would have insisted you have it anyway, really it is yours, to begin with, I really was more interested in that fantastic ring that you have there.} The Elf divinity nodded as he slid over the Spider's fang. Lilómëa bowed her head respectfully to the god, they had no real idea of the value of the ring, and truth be told, it was more than likely that it was still a great deal for Erevan Ilesere, even if it did not solve the monetary issue the two did not really have.

He supposed if it was anything like Eldingr then it was worth a lot more than the yearly revenue of a kingdom. The Spider's Fang was in appearance quite different to what he had expected. It was very un-fang-like.

As soon as the Drow princess picked up the fang-shaped dagger it shifted into a bracelet, with fang inlays, much to the interest of both Ereva Ilesere and Lilómëa. Sliding it on to her wrist, Lilómëa smiled sweetly at the Elven god.

{You had mentioned another artifact of interest,} Hadrian asked as it seemed that Lilómëa was content to busy herself admiring her new bracelet.

{Ah yes, come here,} Hadrian at the elven divinities beckoning moved to the side, leaving Lilómëa to her admiration of her grandmother's weapon.

The two approached a random column that had what was clearly a single covered sphere. The velvet cloth obscuring the face of the crystal ball-sized ball had a variety of symbols embroidered into its weave. As they approached the pedestal, Hadrian noticed the massively powerful runic circle surrounding the item, carved into the stone of the floor.

{I suspected that you of all people would appreciate this,} Erevan Ilesere said with a smile. As he stepped over the ward line without a misstep. Reaching out, with a flourish the elven god ripped the cloth from the object revealing what lay beneath.

What met Hadrian's eye was nothing short of underwhelming, a black polished sphere of some stone, swirls dotted its surface.

{Forgive my ignorance, but is that a crystal ball?} The elf laughed.

{I am not so foolish to keep something as useless as a crystal ball here in my shop, young thunderer. Those are but poor imitations of this Palantír. This is one of the oldest relics of the elven people, something that has become increasingly rare. It will allow the holder to see into any realm that he wishes and scry anything he has the ability to scry. The difference is a Palantír is not so limited by pesky things like dimensional walls or anything less than a ward specifically meant to block their sight, something I think you can imagine would be near impossible to find.}

Hadrian's eyes widened. This was an unbelievable piece of magic. An artifact that showed the might of information over any weapon. With this you could see every move an enemy made before they even made the order, you could stand in their midst and none would be the wiser. Distance was of no consideration, and there was no risk physically or of discovery to the gatherer of said information.

He could have news of Albus, at least see if he is ok. It would be so nice to see if his companion was well beyond their bond connection. Suddenly Hadrian's mind came to a screeching halt and he sucked in a broken breath.

Here he was concerned with finding out about Albus when he had the perfect opportunity to learn about the thing that had given Albus so much anxiety about the ongoings of Midgard.

{What do you want for it?} The Elf god laughed.

{You mistake me, young friend, you have nothing but your very soul perhaps that is worth parting with this treasure over. I would however be willing to allow you to use it a single time for a price.}

Hadrian nodded, it made sense, this ball had the ability to be the ultimate trick - the ultimate information-gathering tool, the ultimate network source. He doubted even a third of the lives in a single realm's souls would be worth such a treasure.

{How much?} Hadrian knew by the smile on the Elf's face, that he was in for a brutal loss of wealth.

Hadrian and Erevan Ilesere had agreed on a 'fair' price of 15,000 Celeban for a single use of the Palantír, and so he found himself standing over the innocent-looking stone ball.

Hadrian closed his eyes, breathed in deeply, as he began slowly connecting his magic to the dark orb. He was cautious with the clearly arcane and ancient artifact. There were far more deadly things in creation than what he had faced, and those had been trial enough.

Focusing on Midgard, Hadrian let himself sink into a state of calm, at the least he would get to know something about what was happening in Midgard.

As his magic touched the orb, he felt a rush as suddenly he found himself gazing into the Great Hall of Hogwarts for the first time in who knows how long.

The hall was filled with students, but there was an air of fatigue to the hall that muted the normal bustling he had been used to. Sitting in Dumbledore's chair was a Wizard he did not recognize, the other professors were with the exception of a few new additions, as expected. He swiveld his perspective, sweeping his gaze across the nearly filled room, and looked around the hall for Daphne.

What he found hardly even looked like the girl he had left. Daphne had always been outstandingly attractive, and even as 'socially stupid' as he had been Hadrian had always recognized that much in his friend at least, but the girl that sat there had clearly come on to her own.

She had an almost etherial glow to her, her beauty seemed like it was more than skin deep.

It was obvious he had missed a fairly significant portion of her life. That there was something different about her, and seeing her like this made him almost ill at his lack of ability to communicate with her, to shout to his friend that he was inspite of the best attempts of anathema beyond the wildest dreams of the wizarding world still alive. But he could not, and it was maddening.

Soon enough Hadrian was rescued from his musings as the hall quieted as the wizened man stood.

"Welcome students and faculty alike to another year of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Hogwarts!" there was a spattering of applause from the seemingly much larger and paced hall. Far more young students than what had been in the hall before filled the tables of the four houses, the number of young faces disproportionate to the older ones filling the seats

"I would like to thank the Ministry of Magic for their assistance getting everything right over the last year, I know it has been a trying one since one of Hogwarts own, and the venerable Albus Dumbledore went missing. The delay of the much-awaited Triwizard Tournament, the increase in "mysterious disappearances", are all tidings of Dark times. But fear not, we will, as always, persevere together." Hadrian committed as much as he could to memory. The man was a good orator if a tad dramatic for his taste, then again maybe he just disliked the man in Albus' seat.

"It is a well-known fact that the number of incoming students has nearly doubled every year and more magical children were being born in the last year than in recorded history. As such, we at Hogwarts, have had to grow to match the needs of Wizarding Britain's elite. While we strive to accept only the best and brightest at Hogwarts, it is clear that there are just that many more worthy of joining our premier school of Magic than ever before."

Hadrian's eyes narrowed, something very important had changed. This was an unprecedented change - growth on a level that was beyond understanding. But why? It seemed that why was a well-known fact to everyone around, as no one batted an eyelash at the shocking revelations by the mystery Headmaster, who after a sweeping gaze continued.

"This year we have four new professors joining our elite faculty at Hogwarts, please give a mighty welcome to Professor Slughorn, who is returning after years to take over Advanced Potions, Professor Gregor Drivatski who will be teaching the resurrected Paranormal studies elective, and Professor Diana Gemme who will be teaching the first-ever course on Wardbreaking for our upper year students. Professor Grindlage who will be taking over the ever-exciting Defence of the Dark Arts position after Professor Charleston's unfortunate run in with that Lithuanian vampire coven." There were a few snickers at that but they were swiftly quelled by the thunderous glare McGonagall leveled at the offending students.

"I think each of you will find their presence in this castle a welcome treat to your educational experience here at Hogwarts. Now, as you may have noticed, along with the change in faculty, there has also been a rather dramatic change in experience at Hogwarts. Thanks to the continued presence and assistance of Lady Marchbanks, Hogwarts' Faculty and Alumni have been tirelessly working to create a more modern and cutting-edge curriculum while all of you were enjoying your summer vacations. It is not enough to say we are the best, we must indeed strive for it as well."

Hadrian's eyebrows furrowed as he looked at the older man, as incredible as the Palantir was, he wished he could get a name so that he could know who was making all of these changes, though it seemed not to be as the Headmaster had shortly afterward begun the feasts after a few more customary announcements about Quidditch and other newer sporting events.

As the students began to eat, Hadrian could feel that his time was almost up as the edges of his vision seemed to darken slightly.

Spinning around to catch one last look at Daphne, Hadrian would have blinked had he has actually been there as he found Daphne appear to be staring right at him with a look of disbelief on her face. Looking back at her he felt more than he saw the flicker of recognition in her eyes just as everything collapsed around him and he once again found himself standing across from the Elf god, wishing for not the first time that life could be easy for once.

Hadrian sat lying under a strange-looking blue tree reeling. There was a peacefulness in the air since he had crossed the border to the Elvish Realm. It made Hadrian a little uncomfortable as he couldn't really remember the last time he felt that. Safe might be the word.

He missed Albus. It was not just the man's presence but more the connection to home and his humanity that he felt acutely, even more so since he had seen what he did in the Palantír.

He reached in his mind for the connection that they shared and relaxed as he felt the dull presence of Albus and the muted emotions. Hadrian knew that without it, he doubted he would be fairing as well as he was. To realize the fulfillment of your dreams and goals, was in Hadrian's opinion, overrated.

Hadrian barely moved as he stared up at the sky.

"Hey," Lilómëa asked as she walked up to the tree he was lounging under, sitting down next to him, the elven clothes that they had bought together in the market making her look lighter than normal in the afternoon sun.

"Hello," Hadrian responded absentmindedly to her greeting. They sat in comfortable silence for a while, as Hadrian watched some magical birds play with one another, weaving through the branches.

"You seem troubled Hadrian, do you mind if I ask what you saw in the Palantír?" Lilómëa asked cautiously as she lay down next to him, tucking her head onto his shoulder, her silky white hair tickling Hadrian's face as he breathed in her scent.

"It was the Great Hall of Hogwarts - Albus' school- they were having their welcoming feast, it seems that it has been over a year and a half on Midgard since we left on our journey." Hadrian sighed and closed his eyes, opening them to find her face inches from his own.

"It is just that I wanted to know what was happening back in Midgard for so long, now that I have a scrap of information, it makes me want to know so much more. Every single question that was answered has led to fifty more unanswerable ones and it is maddening." Her purple eyes were searching before they seemed to decide something, closing the distance between the two and capturing his lips in a gentle caress.

Hadrian's breath caught and he felt his entire body relaxing into her embrace, setting aside for a time the questions plaguing him for a much more enjoyable distraction.

The group of Elves headed to the warzone, departing on Unicorn back to the frontier a day later, the new acquisition of the Spider's Fang had changed Lilómëa, it was nearly unnoticeable, but he suspected it was like the spark he had been given or his contact with Eldingr, she had a buzz to her.

Contact with divinity had its own ways of twisting and changing those around them, and it seemed to be for the best as Lilómëa seemed to have a completeness to her that was previously unnoticeable, but absent.

There was also the small fact Hadrian found he liked when she was happy, it made the time they spent a lot more enjoyable.

Lord Aldugalad's commanding officers lead a tight and orderly platoon. They moved far faster than any army that he had spent time with yet, and it was clear that the saying one elf was worth a thousand men was more or less accurate. The couple had his trunk to stay in, and it had been more than enjoyable compared to the endless darkness that prevailed in Svartalheimr to witness the majesty of the Elven realm.

It was a peaceful journey, the land blurring around them for hours as their steeds bent space and time as they moved their riders towards their destination. Still neither Hadrian nor Lilómëa complained when they reached the raid-outpost-city of Kilma.

It seemed like the Elves were not ones to mince words as the city's name meant edge, as in the "edge: of the wargates. The city was far different than Doraeglir, where the city in the mountains was a masterful sprawling set of glorious buildings mixed in with shimmering trees. Kilma was something, dare he say, a tad bit more practical.

There was still the elegance that all elves oozed of course, but there was also a hardness here that Hadrian had never seen in Doraeglir, one that surprised him when he first noticed it.

It was nothing obvious but small things, like the lack of children perhaps that made the city feel a bit more like Dhemdarum than what he came to expect in elven lands. The city was a glorified fort, there were shops, but none that didn't sell weapons, armor, and other gear. What stood out to Hadrian the most were the training grounds where all manner of beings could be seen training, it would be something that he would want to check out later, but for now, Hadrian and Lilómëa had to find somewhere to stay.

The two companions found themselves outside a Dwarven Tavern called the Yawning Cavern Tavern, while they had no doubts they could find nicer accommodations at an elven establishment, they were not really planning on using their residence for anything other than trunk storage, and they had plenty of dwarven coin.

"Are you sure you want to stay here? Surely you had enough of them in the deep?" Lilómëa asked with a slight wrinkle on her nose. Hadrian rolled his eyes and nodded with a grin.

"Aren't you curious to hear news of the dwarves since we departed? I for one would love some more information on Otho and the ongoings of the deep while we are able to."

"I suppose," Lilómëa said with a shrug, why anyone would want the hospitality of the dwarves when you could be enjoying the glory of Alfheimr obviously beyond her, but the trunk was pretty nice so it didn't really bother her.

As the two stepped through the door to the inn, they found themselves buffeted by cheering and the smell of roasted meats, and the sloshing of Ale. A grin spread across Hadrian's face as he took in the scene. The Tavern bar was packed with rowdy men in Norse armor, furs poking out amidst mixes of armor weaves and beards. Hadrian felt Eldingr buzz happily from its place at his waist and blinked. That was unusual.

Striding up to the bar, his left hand seeking out Lilómëa's as he led her through the crowd of people, Hadrian stood in front of the bar and signaled the bartender.

"Greetings, I don't suppose my companion and I could have a room for the night?" the bartender was a bald man with a bombastic mustache who looked at them through surprisingly delicate glasses before snorting.

"Yes of course! That will be two Celeban a night." Hadrian shrugged and handed him 20 and magicked himself and Lilómëa a seat at the bar much to the surprise of the Bartender.

"It isn't often you see a Human and a Dark Elf traveling together. You wouldn't happen to be the one who slayed Il'sensagron and the companion to Otho Orzûm would you?" The Bartender asked curiously. Hadrian blinked, he hadn't realized that his meeting with Otho Orzum would become the most famous of his accomplishments.

"That would be I," Hadrian said with a nod.

"Mighty good to make your acquaintance friend, quite the stories are sung of your battles with the alog'aat, sorry the Illithid in your tonuge." Hadrian waved off the clearly excited Dwarf.

"Not only are you the first topworlder to come down in centuries, but they say you even fought the Many-Tentacled-One himself!" a Dwarf next to the couple gushed at Hadrian's confirmation.

"Is it true you found the Dragon's hoard?" another Dwarf asked rather hungrily the crowd around them growing at each question.

"What was it like being in the Mines of Kshal'tul?" another dwarf shouted, they were drawing a small crowd it seemed as people realized who it was that had entered the Yawning Cavern Tavern.

"Did you find any Algatham?" A seedy goblin-like dwarf asked, looking at him with a vicious glint in his eyes. Suddenly there was a current in the air, the hum of a thunderstorm prickled at his skin, and Hadrian was saved from having to answer by a booming laugh that silenced the entire crowd.

"Come friends, let us not overwhelm the lad, a tankard for all on Asgard to celebrate his victory over many a mighty foe," like the crash of thunder a voice cut through the din of questions, silencing the entire tavern before sending all into a cheering frenzy.

Hadrian turned to where he had heard the voice and gaped. Standing but a few feet away was a tall, muscled bearded man, it was not the armor or the beard that told him who he was, it was the fact that he held in his hands the most distinct hammer Hadrian had ever seen in his life.

"Greetings Hadrian Potter, I am Thor Odinson, it is a pleasure to meet you Thunderling, do join me for a meal in your honor, it would be my pleasure to feast for your victories." Hadrian figured he must have been gaping, staring at the literal Norse God of Thunder, because he felt Lilómëa pinch his hand firmly in a clear message to respond to the offer.

"I-it-t would b-be my Pleasure Lord Odinson," Hadrian said, shaking off his nerves at meeting Eldingr's old master.

"None of that now, save the titles for the court, call me Thor," the God said even as he gestured them towards a private room to the quiet disappointment of the rest of the Tavern.

The private room was a simple thing, nothing grandiose, a fire pit, and a long table with four chairs, all made of stone. On the table was a sizable feast, enough food for maybe 15 people beyond the three of them.

"Come friends, sit, sit! Let us break bread and feast together, and when you have had your fill we can talk," the thundergod said with a smile.

They sat down and dug in, there was butter, some kinds of eggs, soups with what tasted like bacon, some rye bread, and more kinds of food than Hadrian had seen since he had left Hogwarts. While he wasn't starving, he certainly took his time to eat his fill. It was clearly something that was important to the God, and Hadrian had no desire to insult him.

What shocked him was his fiance's food choices. He had never seen her eat with as much, dare he say enthusiasm, as she currently was. Some of the things she helped herself to were alien looking enough that they gave him more than a momentary pause. It was as if she had not eaten in weeks, which was far from the case.

His shock must have shown on his face as he found himself nearly sent sprawling out of his chair to the ground as one of Thor's hands slammed into his shoulder from where the god sat to his left, while the thunder god laughed boisterously at the young man's expense.

"You are mighty lucky lad, it's a rare lass outside of Asgard that knows how to enjoy Asgardian hospitality. This is an Asgardian feast lad! Enjoyment is the goal, we save the ceremony for what comes before the feast, and use the energy for what comes after." Hadrian nodded with a smile plastered around his face, Albus' lessons on politicking hiding completely the fact that, even with his changed physiology, the shoulder that Thor had jokingly clapped felt like it had just been hit by a mountain. His nod froze as the young mage realized what exactly Thor was implying, hit him less gently than the god's hand had and he knew based on the god's grin he had gone very red.

Lilómëa flushed for a moment at Thor's comment before narrowing her eyes, wiping a bit of gravy from her lips regally and staring at Hadrian with an arched eyebrow.

"Erm- uh," Hadrian awkwardly stammered looking between the two, unsure of what would hurt the least, offending the god by disagreeing or offending his demigod fiance with his assumptions.

Apparently, Thor found this even more funny as he started laughing again at the expression on the midgardian's face. The laugh was a booming manly laugh, the god's face getting a bit flushed as he stared at the reddening face of the thunderling.

"The slayer of I'lsensagron is a VIRGIN," Hadrian wondered if he would even see the battlefield as he was fairly confident he would die of embarrassment before ever getting to fight a single demon.

He let his head fall into his hands even as he heard Lilómëa's chuckles at his mortification join Thor's laughter, maybe it wasn't worth it to meet his heroes.

Levity aside, things took a more serious note after the trio moved towards the fire, and at the god's request began sharing with him their interaction and journey thus far, the mirth fading from the god's face as Hadrian's story progressed as he stared into the fire.

"Things in all of the realms are far worse than I had guessed. That the Illithid of all things were strong enough to gain a foothold in Svartalfheimr itself would have been cause for alarm, that they were able to be a force powerful enough to bring the Dwarves and the Dark elves together is perhaps the only boon in their cursed existence. I was but a young god when the veil was created, many don't realize that its effects came at a great cost to the magically stronger realms like Asgard and Alfheimr."

"Travel amongst the realms is not what it once was, information, trade, whatever we might receive is limited. It was the god of the Bifrost that gave his existence so that the realms might remain connected during the great sundering, none could have predicted how important he was, especially once travel amongst the realms became so difficult." Thor rotated his hand, lightning lazily crawled from his hand, his fingers like the roots of the tree the trunk glittering lightning.

"A healthy tree needs good branch placement," Thor's hand made a claw, and the tree of lightning twisted and suddenly branches that were clearly healthy and beautiful were ontop of each other, blocking each other and withering.

"Yggdrasil suffered the most out of everyone, and perhaps all we achieved through the sacrifice was delaying the inevitable, especially since the demons are far more active in their agenda than they have been since the last war. We are far from what we were. Time has not made all of us stronger, young Hadrian, it has simply made us forget that we were always strongest together" Thor relaxed his fingers, and gazed at the tree sadly as the lightning tree slowly withered and disappeared into twinkling lights.

"I am gladdened to meet you, your adventure and accomplishments remind me much of my own as a young god, may I ask are the rumors true, have you taken up my old companion?" Hadrian felt a chill go down his spine at the god's phrasing and noticed Lilómëa's shoulders tense as she looked at the god and Hadrian in veiled concern. There was little chance even if they wanted to, that he would be able to prevent the god from taking Eldingr by force if he so chose to do so. Especially if the sword wanted to return to Thor.

"I found the Tomb of Godred the Hunter, it seems that the Elves had given it to him as a gift when he married their princess, it was buried with him in the crypt." Hadrian hoped honesty was the way to go about telling the god of thunder that he had essentially stolen the weapon.

"If you would be so kind, I would love to see how my old companion fares." There was no mirth in the previously jolly god. This was a test of some kind or a trap, Hadrian knew that failing would be nothing short of disastrous.

With a flicker of his will, Hadrian summoned the sword in its wand form, and without a glance had it return to its true form. Laying the sword flat across his hands, he offered it to the God of Thunder who didn't even bother sitting up as the sword flipped out of Hadrian's hands into the hands of its original wielder. Hadrian felt his connection to his companion snap.

The god glanced at the sword as a tiny sneer flickered on his face, Eldingr looking like little more than a twig in the massive god's hands.

It took every single ounce of willpower to not collapse at the feeling of emptiness that filled him as the second of three constants since he began this entire journey was taken from him.

The god looked down at him, his face cold, something that was so out of place on the previously kindly man that it was like looking at a completely different person.

"You know, I had planned to seek you out after my time here was over. See if the rumors were indeed true: that a mortal had rediscovered Thor's Lost Toothpick. I had to see if you were worthy of such a weapon. Not all weapons are so endowed with worthiness charms like Mjilonir. The god stood, and in a flash was face to face with Hadrian. His previously kind eyes turning into roaring balls of lightning were the last things Hadrian saw before he was struck by the largest bolt of lightning he had ever seen.

Hadrian awoke to the feeling of grass on his face and the smell of ozone, with a groan, he checked himself over with a small status spell. He was mostly fine, with some minor burns from his runic protections but somehow he had not been hurt worse.

Groaning as he sat up Hadrian looked around, surprised to find himself on a field under the open sky. The clearing was massive, more of a field than anything.

Hadrian gritted his teeth, his own connection to Eldingr still gone. Without it Hadrian felt Naked.

In retrospect, he had been relying too heavily on Eldingr. Its power a shortcut to greatness. Without its presence, he felt like he was missing an arm and doubt filled him. Was there a single thing, a single enemy that he would have defeated without Eldingr's companionship? Could he have slayed I'lsensagron? Fought the Avatar of the God of madness? Survived the Nightmare dimension? Would Albus have taken him seriously had he not had the artifact? With it being taken from him he had now lost two things he had come to depend so much on. Albus, and now Eldingr.

The hopelessness welled in him, filling him like rain fills a river bed. Like storm clouds fill the sky. He was no match for Thor, God of Thunder, Odinson. Whatever interaction the two had had up til now had proven that much.

"Good, you are alive." a booming voice said from behind him. Hadrian whirled around to see Thor sitting under a lone tree, his moment of self-pity broken by the deep voice of his once hero.

Yes, he felt hopeless, but hearing the voice that a short while before he had laughed and joked with he realized he felt something much stronger. Anger.

Like thunder breaking the silence before a storm, he felt his mind clear. When he had first gone on this quest, he wanted to experience myths and legends brought to life and the life of a mage unbound by the rules of a stagnated Wizarding World. He had done so and had grown accustomed to a certain set of rules.

The bad things were bad, the 'nice things' were nice from a certain point of view, but could and would still destroy you in an instant; nothing was as it seemed etcetera ecetera. In his own excitement, Hadrian had let his guard down around the god of Thunder. He was embarrassed to admit that he was a little hurt and scared. But, more and more, he was becoming very angry.

Angry at himself for falling for the ruse, for losing Eldingr, for trusting someone who he should never have trusted as he had, and angry at the god in front of him for putting him in the situation he was in.

"I hope you didn't think that I would let just anyone have a weapon that was mine, even if I discarded it, unsuited for me as it was, it was still mine to give" Thor monologued, "The elves gave it to a Midgardian, but he never dared to take it up, to use my blade, it was little more than a trophy for him." Thor whirled around stalking up to the tree he had been sitting under previously and frowned.

"I was given Eldíngr when I was young and unused to wielding the power that was my birthright. But even so, to see what was mine, Prince of Asgard's, weapon in the hands of a mortal like you, to see you using it to spin your own tale is something that I cannot tolerate. Even with your list of great accomplishments, you are still unworthy of wielding my legacy. I plan on showing you exactly how weak you are, no matter how strong you believe yourself to be.

Rage flared in Hadrian as unbeknownst to him, the sky darkened. Thunder boomed. Though Hadrian did not see it, Thor's eyes flicked up in surprise.

Weakness. That is all the other beings saw in a Midgardian, allowed only the dredges of magic, left bereft of their knowledge and the truth of the grandeur of the universe. Ignorant. Pathetic. He had earned Eldingr, as Albus had the Deathstick, and no one, not even the God of Thunder was going to tell him otherwise.

Hadrian was far more than his wand, he was the might of House Potter, Apprentice of Albus Dumbledore, the Arcanist, Thunderer of the Deep. Wand or no wand, artifact or no artifact, those titles he had earned. He breathed in and blew the air and his own doubts and anxieties out. He had earned Eldingr's allegiance once, he would just have to do so again. He was worthy.

He could have attacked the Prince of Asgard, but he had no doubt doing so would have sealed his fate. But he was more than the blunt instrument people thought of him.

Folding his hands behind his back, Hadrian looked dead into Thor's eyes and smiled.

"I never knew that the Prince of Asgard would be prone to such acts of cowardice, to take from me my weapon without even an uttered challenge. I may be weak by your standard Lord of Thunder, but I was always under the impression that cowardice was not your style." Hadrian paused and smiled at the god, taunting him.

"But perhaps I was mistaken and you are a god of trickery." Hadrian knew that insulting the Asgardian was foolish. He knew that it was an exercise in stupidity to run his mouth, but he needed time. He needed Thor to be angry and miss the dance his fingers were doing behind his back.

The god spun towards him, a sneer plastered across his bearded face and the veins on his forehead bulging at Hadrian's words. To compare him, the Thunderer, to his trickster family was the height of insults. To insinuate that he had needed to reclaim his weapon through anything less than honorable combat, unforgivable in its presumptiousness.

In his rage, the dark sky turned black and churned as if the two were standing above the maw of a massive hurricane.

Thor roared.

Hadrian roared back.

Thor then thrust his hand forward and an enormous blast of lightning engulfed the entire area where Hadrian had been standing.

It flowed around Hadrian as it burned away the illusion he had woven around himself. The massive shield guarding his form burned with a myriad of gossamer lines as the lightning revealed the full extent of Hadrian's sigilic magic.

It stretched out for meters, circles upon circles of sigils and glyphs in countless languages adorning his arms in bands of eldritch power. His casual wear from the tavern burned away, replaced by his Arcanist robes, Hadrian's eyes glowed with blue light as the glowing gold script on his robes showed him channeling his magic in pathways he had not used since he had first retrieved Eldingr.

He had forgotten.

Even far from his mentor, the man still guided him through his trials.

Albus and he had argued over the use of the memoriastum before their first true battle in the depths of Svartalheimr, and after it when he thought he realized why Albus had been against their use, Albus had told him something.

"The truth of life is that it is rarely the destination, but always the journey that one learns from, I had advised you against the memoriastum, in spite of the difficulties I know we would have, for the sole reason that you would not be Hadrian, nor I Albus if we shed our journeys for our destinations. In the end it is not the result of our journeys that makes us who we are but the sum totality of our journey that does. Any tool we have is only a means to choose how we express that."

It was not the entire wealth of arcane knowledge in his head that he had never been able to nor had the wherewithal to use. It was not the wand that got him to break the mold that was his boring life. In truth, both were simply tools to shape his journey.

Eldingr alone was not what made him Hadrian Potter the Arcanist, it was him, and it always had been. The sculpture is already complete within the marble block before the artist starts his work. It is already there, the artist needed only to chisel away the superfluous material.

The greatest power he had was his own, and Eldingr or not, Thor was going to regret this.

So it was with a large grin that he stood, smoking slightly as an extra diamond on the Darhain cuffs crackled with energy, the glow of his sigils more opaque than ethereal.

Hadrian had become quite reliant on his artifact, something that he was sure he would rectify once he got it back, but for now, he was going to educate Thor on the downside of being a one-trick pony in a circus.

Thor's eyes widened as the Midgardian was not only unharmed but also apparently had used the divine energy to charge some sort of power matrix. He had to give the young mortal credit: he had ended more battles than he could count. with less than he had put into that strike.

With a snarl, he rushed forward, flickering as he closed the space between them. The only reward he received was being blasted back by a torrent of water soaking him and the ground even as it began to harden into ice. He felt his irritation growing. He hated fighting magic users.

The mortal clapped his hands together and bent reality to his will as the earth itself folded downward, Thor's eyes widening in alarm as the valley clapped together with him in the center. It hardly gave him pause as the god ripped himself free of the earthen prison before charging the Thunderling. His fist slamming into the sigilic magic that the boy used to protect himself, sending the mortal careening through the air.

The cretin was leaving him few choices but to actually summon Mjolnir as two more spells hit him, and carved lines in his immortal flesh. They were naught but flesh wounds, but still. It would not do.

Lightning bolt after lightning bolt was sent at the mortal, each one only serving to boost the irritating mortal's protections, the gossamer lines now more like thick beams.

Giving up on the easy solution to killing bugs and irritating mortals, Thor stopped trying to smite the mortal Thunderling. With a growl, the God of Thunder breathed in deeply. This whelp was not the only one who could use tricks.

Hadrian watched with concern as Thor seemed to suck in a deep breath of air. He felt it in his ears even before he could act. The pressure change was extreme. He barely had enough time to reinforce the aural shield he always used due to his preference for lightning magic, as the air seemed to collapse, his body was thrown from the ground like a ragdoll as a blast of lightning created a vacuum that immediately destroyed the entire clearing.

Hadrian's face burned, the runic magic boiling his skin as it tried and failed to protect him from the massive displacement of air that came from vaporizing all of the air around him and allowing the vacuum's displacement to slam him with a clearing's volume of air.

Hadrian groaned, his sigils in tatters as the God of Thunder landed near him. Thor clapped his hands, each clap creating a small shockwave as he walked toward the downed mage.

"It is a rare individual who survives such an attack, you never realize how heavy air is until it is falling upon you all at once." Thor rumbled, his voice echoing from all around him.

Hadrian spat blood onto his hands and smiled a bloody grin. Swishing his hands through the air, blood flowing like ink as he crafted a glyph of protection that hovered between the two. The Potter memories flitted through his consciousness as the experience of his ancestors flowed through him. Rows of glowing diamonds on his cuffs faded to grey as he pulled magic from his blood, his cuffs, and the air itself as he did something that none of his ancestors had dared to try.

Before Thor had the chance to do anything, Hadrian felt his ward take hold around what was left of the clearing. He had created a temporal and mystical separation of the realm around the two combatants, almost like placing a glass jar over two spiders. Then, his true attack was revealed.

It started as a small pin prick between his hands, and just as Albus had shown him soon a laser of sunfire exploded in the clearing. His sigils burned so hot he felt like he was standing on the sun just from the backlash, and that was without even truly feeling the heat from his spell.

The grass curled and burned, and the ground itself glassed as the brilliant Sunfire bathed everything in the heat of a star.

Thor was blasted back from the force of the spell. Even so, the god finally summoned his legendary hammer with a crack of thunder and used it to block most of the blow.

But the thing with such spells is that they were grand and powerful, but far from easy to cast, and burned as fast as they did bright.

In a few moments, the light cleared and Hadrian saw Thor standing there, singed and definitely smoking, but otherwise unharmed, and knew that there was little he could do to this being.

At the god's side, his famed hammer Mjolnir glowed an angry orange as the Thunderer used his divine weapon to block what would otherwise have been a devastatingly painful blow, even for him.

It also meant he suspected the deity was done fooling around.

Hadrian felt himself at the edge of despair. As powerful as he was, he was out of ideas, and very soon he knew his luck would run out, all of that had been without the main weapon of the god, he had no doubt that what was coming next would be beyond his capacity to deal with.

Looking up, and partially expecting to meet his doom, Hadrian was stunned to see Thor sport a look of bewilderment.

Lilómëa stood in the tavern in shock as she pushed down the welling panic at what had just unwound infront of her. She had heard many tales of the Asgardian prince, but none had suggested that he was cruel or possessed in him such a lack of sportsmanship.

Her eyes narrowed as a clearly Asgardian companion walked in and handed her a letter.


My deepest apologies for the ruse, my intent is not to injure or slay your companion, but rather see for myself his worthiness to wield my weapon. I will do my best to return him to you, unharmed.

After all, you have that Asgardian meal of yours to work off with him.



As she finished it, she couldn't help but relax. Thor was a mighty god, but just for that last line, she hoped her intended made him work for whatever he was hoping to achieve.

How dare he comment on her eating habits, she was just trying to be polite.

Thor stood there in amusement, this mortal Midgardian was full of surprises. For the life of him, the god couldn't decide whether or not it was a good thing or not.

Power did not necessarily have a requirement of self-control or morals. But also he had kidnapped and attacked the mortal with no indication or provocation on the side of the mortal, who did not know it was a test.

He could have undoubtedly crushed the mortal had he wanted to, but certainly, he had not expected the Midgardian to make him draw Mjolnir. He had proven himself worthy

He Pulled out the Sword to return to the boy, but before he could, it was wrenched from his grip. Flipping through the air into the hands of the now airborne mortal.

Hadrian felt power ripple through his body as the artifact that had accompanied him through the entire journey was once more joined to him. Lightning roared through him as he slammed into the god blasting him backward.

Thor responded by blasting Hadrian with a stream of crackling lightning, Hadrian deflected it with the eldingr, its tip glowing a dull red even after the attack stopped. His Darhain cuffs were refilled and glowing once more.

"Wait, I mus-" Hadrian had no interest in letting the god speak again. Pushing more power into the artifact, he launched a flurry of spells at the god, his wand flickering as he no longer was limited by the need to cast sigilic magic or use glyphs.

As the god batted the spells away from himself with his hammer, Hadrian changed tactics and returning eldingr to its bladed form sliced his palm, a smattering of red and gold covered its edge.

"Demmi jorbtek" explosively a blast of raw magic exploded from Eldingr, and rippled through the clearing.

Raw power being forced into the blade as Hadrian pulled power from his bood and from his gauntlets, raw magic flooding him even as the blood coating the Eldingr was well beyond any he had ever tried to challenge. Well beyond what he could hope to control.

Hadrian's eyes widened, Eldingr was glowing an angry blue, pure magic roaring through its form as he realized his mistake too late- his blood was no longer mortal - containing the essence of magic, it now had ichor. The small golden flecks, each of which was a potential gateway into power beyond limit. And he had cast Blood magic with it on a divine artifact.

Thor was buffeted with spells, until he tasted it, the taste of blood magic. Asgard was beyond such rudimentary uses of blood magics.

A wave of power beyond what this mortal was capable of, impressive as he might be, exploded from the being. This attack was not one he would want to weather with the mere trappings of his power. His avatar as the Wandering Prince was not meant for such conflicts.

With a flicker of his will, the mortal form of Thor opened himself up to his true reserves of power. Power that stretched beyond the realms, into the abstract. Unbidden, Armor of Mithril formed around him. His messy hair braided itself and a helm adorned his brow. Gone was the wandering prince.

Standing in his place was the heir to Asgard's throne, God of War Thor Odinson.

Thor threw Mjolnir directly at the beam of power rocketing toward him. He was no god of madness to be goaded, and interesting or not, this was beneath him. He had come as the wandering prince to see the worthiness of the mortal. And he was worthy. Worthy enough that he would teach him, prevent him from being driven mad by the ichor in his veins. Teach him that sometimes there were better answers than to fight till the death.

So let this be his first lesson. Until he had ascended properly, do not dare challenge a god of war in battle.

His war Hammer slammed into his future protege's sword and the boy's world exploded as the god stared impassively at the scene. His old sword managed to hold off the might of Mjolnir for a second before it was overwhelmed by the god's symbol of power. It let out a whine and blasted the boy off of it even as it paid the price for its defiance against the power of Thor, and exploded, shards of metal peppering the ground around it in a smattering of glowing blue shards.

A twinge of sadness flickered through the Prince's consciousness at the sundering of his own weapon. The one he had used when he was in the process of ascending like young Hadrian. It was too bad that it had paid the price for his new protege's folly.

The spell that Hadrian had launched at him washed over him, not even scratching a single scale on the god's armor in spite of its fearsomeness. He would have to work on that.

The slumped form of the mortal lay on the ground surrounded by the shards of his old weapon. He saw potential.

Now to handle the small army of elves and other beings that had come to investigate the disturbance so close to the fort. Who were watching from outside the clearing outside the bubble that surrounded them. He had to give the boy credit, he had done what he had to to stop their conflict from harming others. Trapping himself in with a god to prevent harm to the fort and others.

Stupid, but brave.

Still, he had no doubts the Elves would be in a tizzy over the Midgardian fighting the Crown Prince of Asgard in Elven lands. A political nightmare he imagined. The mortal would end up executed before the day was over, and no one not even the daughter of the Spiderling would be able to save him.

It would be such a waste.

This was an Asgardian matter, and they would not interfere, he would vouch for the boy himself.

The boy and his companion would enjoy the hospitality of Thor. For if nothing else, the mortal had earned it after managing to survive as long as he had against the God of Thunder and War.

A/N: Hello friends,

My apologies for the incredibly late chapter, as always real life is a total pain, and I found myself lacking the time to really devote to the chapter these last (several) months. That said, I am already on my way through the next chapter and am NOT planning to abandon or otherwise leave this story unfinished, so please have some patience - i think we all know how much of a sucker I am for a halloween themed Albus chapter - and that is exactly what I hope we will get.

If this seemed like an interlude, that is because it was. I have been working on the elven realm for a while, and so I wanted to do a few things, but sadly none of them were really big enough on their own to have a whole chapter about them.

Deal with the elven god of merchants. - explore how that worked,

Sell some stuff and buy some stuff

Do the thing every good DnD campaign does, which is take you to a frontier city pub/tavern.

Meet Thor. And see for ourselves how complex the personality of a god is.

Ok, so I did this to myself, I started to re-read the comments and am so touched at all of you guys who took the time to leave a review/comment.

Some general things, I am glad people liked Luna, even more glad you are all scratching your heads over the time line, because it means I manage to share the lack of sense to mortal minds the time stuff works with people like Luna involved.

I am sorry to all the people who don't like the courting, believe it or not this is my first *first* piece of writing I have done.

Originally my goal was to write an arcanist/Starwars fic, one I still want to write, but I was unsure if I would be able to. I fully intended everyone to hate this and treated it lightly at the beginning. So this was my sandbox- to try to write and get better at storytelling.

One of the hardest things for me, is trying to do things, I don't know how to do- and as romantic as I can be in my own real life. I know I am not an expert at writing love fics. ( I might have to get better, a good friend told me how much they make writing smut and I was like DID YOU ADD SOME ZEROS WTF time to quit my job and use my powers of writing for evil.) Anyway, if any one of my readers is an author who writes those scenes PLEASE HELP ME. I will not be writing smut in this story, I have family who reads this and would not want to taint what is to me a good exploration fic with graphic themes. but I would love to learn from you and talk with you and run them by you. A big part of the quality jump is how much you guys help me get better. So please don't be shy, shoot me a DM, join the disk-card and lets make them better!

I am glad you guys liked the lack of a fight scene. I am a bit disappointed. I wrote a massive scene with Dracula using the cloak and cool vampire slaying magics and it was so fun. And then I read it and was like - you know this doesn't fit ALBUS.. Lets go to his roots and see what he would do. Oh yeah. Not fight. So maybe Ill do something with it, but either way, I am glad you guys liked it.

Tukuta- to answer your question - magic shenanigans, one of the things that I really tried to portray is that time outside of 'midgard' makes no sense. And is totally weird/impossible/disorienting. And I wanted that to be especially true for Luna. She often is portrayed as nuts- but having her have 0-1000 years a night crammed into her head all the time would make anyone nuts.

Also - my apologies about the drafts- they are truely an absolute nightmare to deal with updating and correcting small issues like that - thank you for catching it. I will have to go back and fix it at some point.

FlyingHighBD- you said "Is it like she has a split personality disorder but with actual different souls, or is it more like one soul split in two?" - to this I say - I don't know - it is like the experiences that trigger her true identity as the product of an eldritch being and the experiences that let her be innocent luna are both parts of her - by her nature - she is curious - hard to be curious if you know everything... so i look at it like split personality

I hope you liked the chapter- you seemed to get where I was going there with this - and as for the phobia- we shall see - I personally think that my story has alsorts of unintended consequences for the characters- and maybe a phobia is one for the future.

This arc will be the last one that they are separate for - I think realistically it will go another 4-5 chapters, maybe a coumple more - but then we will be back in midgard.

I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter

As always I appreciate the comments and reviews you send me, feel free to let me know what you thought of Thor.

Again, thank you for reading.