The Next Great Adventure

Hi everyone and welcome to The Next Great Adventure. This is my first attempt at Fanfiction so please be nice.

I am looking for a proofreader if anyone is interested. If so, PM me.

Feedback and constructive criticism is welcome. Note, I am a lot more likely to respond if you PM me. I can then give you a more detailed response and put a bit more time into it as opposed to responding to reviews, particularly anonymous ones.

As far as Disclaimers go:

I don't own any of this. That honor goes to the Authors themselves and their fantastic Minds.

So without further ado, enjoy!

'Does it hurt?'
The childish question had fallen from Harry's lips before could stop it.
'Dying? Not at all,' said Sirius. 'Quicker and easier than falling asleep.'
'And he will want it to be quick. He wants it over,' said Lupin.
'I didn't want you to die,' Harry said. These words came without his volition. 'Any of you. I'm sorry- '
'I am sorry too,' said Lupin. 'Sorry I will never know him … but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.'

A chilly breeze that seemed to emanate from the heart of the Forest lifted the hair at Harry's brow. He knew that they would not tell him to go, that it would have to be his decision.
'You'll stay with me?'
'Until the very end,' said James.
'They won't be able to see you?' asked Harry.
'We are part of you,' said Sirius. Invisible to anyone else.'
Harry looked at his mother.
'Stay close to me,' he said quietly.

'No sign of him, my lord,' said Dolohov.
Voldemort's expression did not change. The red eyes seemed to burn in the firelight. Slowly, he drew the Elder Wand between his long fingers.
'My Lord- '
Bellatrix had spoken: she sat closest to Voldemort, dishevelled, her face a little bloody but otherwise unharmed. Voldemort raised his hand to silence her, and she did not speak another word, but eyed him in worshipful fascination.
'I thought he would come,' said Voldemort in his high, clear voice, his eyes on the leaping flames. 'I expected him to come.'
Nobody spoke. They seemed as scared as Harry whose heart was now throwing itself against his ribs as though determined to escape the body he was about to cast aside. His hands were sweating as he pulled off the Invisibility Cloak and stuffed it beneath his robes, with his wand. He did not want to be tempted to fight.
'I was, it seems … mistaken,' said Voldemort.
'You weren't.'
Harry said it as loudly as he could, with all the force he could muster: he did not want to sound afraid. The Resurrection stone slipped from between his numb fingers and out of the corner of his eyes he saw his parents, Sirius and Lupin vanish as he stepped forwards into the firelight. At that moment he felt that nobody mattered but Voldemort. It was just the two of them.
The illusion was gone as soon as it had come. The giants roared as the Death Eaters rose together, and there were many cries, gasps, even laughter. Voldemort had frozen where he stood, but his red eyes had found Harry, and he stared as Harry moved towards him, with nothing but the fire between them.
Then a voice yelled -
He turned: Hagrid was bound and trussed, tied to a tree nearby. His massive body shook the branches overhead as he struggled, desperate.
'QUIET!' shouted Rowle, and with a flick of his wand, Hagrid was silenced.
Bellatrix, who had leapt to her feet, was looking eagerly from Voldemort to Harry, her breast heaving. The only things that moved were the flames and the snake, coiling and uncoiling in the glittering cage behind Voldemort's head.
Harry could feel his wand against his chest, but he did not attempt to draw it. He knew that the snake was too well protected, knew that if he managed to point the wand at Nagini, fifty curses would hit him first. And still, Voldemort and Harry looked at each other, and now Voldemort tilted his head a little to the side, considering the boy standing before him, and a singularly mirthless smile curled the lipless mouth.
'Harry Potter,' he said, very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. 'The boy who lived.'
None of the Death Eaters moved. They were waiting: everything was waiting. Hagrid was struggling., and Bellatrix was panting, and Harry thought inexplicably of Ginny, and her blazing look, and the feel of her lips on his -
Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear -
He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone.

He lay face down, listening to the silence. He was perfectly alone. Nobody was watching. Nobody else was there. He was not perfectly sure that he was there himself.

A long time later, or maybe no time at all, it came to him that he must exist, must be more than disembodied thought, because he was lying, definitely lying, on some surface. Therefore, he had a sense of a touch, and the thing against which he lay existed too. Almost as soon as he had reached this conclusion, Harry became conscious that he was naked. Convinced as he was of his total solitude, this did not concern him, but it did intrigue him slightly. He wondered whether, as he could feel, he would be able to see. In opening them, he discovered that he had eyes. He lay in a bright mist, though it was not like mist he had ever experienced before. His surroundings were not hidden by cloudy vapour; rather the cloudy vapour had not yet formed into surroundings. The floor on which he lay seemed to be white, neither warm nor cold, but simply there, a flat, blank something on which to be.

He sat up. His body appeared unscathed. He touched his face. He was not wearing glasses any more

Then a noise reached him through the unformed nothingness that surrounded him: the small, soft thumpings of something that flapped, flailed and struggled It was a pitiful noise, yet also slightly indecent. He had the uncomfortable feeling that he was eavesdropping on something furtive. Shameful.

For the first time, he wished he were clothed.
Barely had the wish formed in his head, then robes appeared a short distance away. He took them away and pulled them on: they were soft, clean and warm. It was extraordinary how they had appeared, just like that, the moment he had wanted them …

He stood up, looking around. Was he in some great Room of Requirement? The longer he looked, the more there was to see. A great, domed glass roof glittered high above him in sunlight. Perhaps it was a palace. All was hushed and still, except for those odd thumping and whimpering noises coming from somewhere close by in the mist …

Harry turned slowly on the spot, and his surroundings seemed to invent themselves before his eyes. A wide-open space, bright and clean, a hall larger by far than the Great Hall, with that clear, domed glass ceiling. It was quite empty. He was the only person there, except for-

He recoiled. He had spotted the thing that was making the noises. It had the form of a small, naked child, curled on the ground, its skin raw and rough, flayed-looking, and it lay shuddering under a seat where it had been left, unwanted, stuffed out of sight, struggling for breath.

He was afraid of it. Small and fragile and wounded though it was, he did not want to approach it. Nevertheless, he drew slowly nearer, ready to jump back at any moment. Soon he stood near enough to touch it, yet he could not bring himself to do it. He felt like a coward. He ought to comfort it, but it repulsed him.

'You cannot help.'
He spun around. Albus Dumbledore was walking towards him, sprightly and upright, wearing sweeping robes of midnight blue.
'Harry.' He spread his arms wide, and his hands were both whole and white and undamaged. 'You wonderful boy. You brave, brave man. Let us walk.'
Stunned, Harry followed as Dumbledore strode away from where the flayed child lay whimpering, leading him to two seats that Harry had not previously noticed, set some distance away under that high, sparkling ceiling. Dumbledore sat down in one of them, and Harry fell into the other, staring at his old Headmaster's face. Dumbledore's long, silver hair and beard, the piercingly blue eyes behind half-moon spectacles, the crooked nose: everything was as he had remembered it. And yet …
'But you're dead,' said Harry.
'Oh, yes,' said Dumbledore matter-of-factly.
'Then … I'm dead too?'
'Ah,' said Dumbledore, smiling still more broadly. 'That is the question, isn't it? On the whole, dear boy, I think not.'
They looked at each other, the old man still beaming.
'Not?' repeated Harry.
'Not,' said Dumbledore.
'But …' Harry raised his hand instinctively towards the lightning scar. It did not seem to be there. But I should have died – I didn't defend myself! I meant to let him kill me!'
'And that,' said Dumbledore, 'will, I think, have made all the difference.'

Happiness seemed to radiate from Dumbledore like light, like fire: Harry had never seen the man so utterly, so palpably content.
'Explain,' said Harry.
'But you already know,' said Dumbledore. He twiddled his thumbs together.
'I let him kill me,' said Harry. 'Didn't I?'
'You did,' said Dumbledore, nodding. 'Go on!'
'So the part of his soul that was in me …'
Dumbledore nodded still more enthusiastically, urging Harry onwards, a broad smile of encouragement on his face.
'… has it gone?'
'Oh, yes! Said Dumbledore. 'Yes, he destroyed it. Your soul is whole, and completely your own, Harry.'
'But then …'
Harry glanced over his shoulder, to where the small, maimed creature trembled under the chair.
'What is that, professor?'
'Something that is beyond either of our help,' said Dumbledore.
'But if Voldemort used the Killing Curse,' Harry started again, 'and nobody died for me this time – How can I be alive?'
'I think you know,' said Dumbledore. 'Think back. Remember what he did, in his ignorance, in his greed and his cruelty.'
Harry thought. He let his gaze drift over his surroundings. If it was indeed a palace in which they sat, it was an odd one, with chairs set in little rows and bits of railing here and there, and still, he and Dumbledore and the stunted creature under the chair were the only beings there/ Then the answer rose to his lips easily, without effort.
'He took my blood, said Harry.
'Precisely!' said Dumbledore. 'He took your blood and rebuilt his living body with it! Your blood in his veins, Harry, Lily's protection inside both of you! He tethered you to life while he lives!'
'I live … while he lives? But I thought … I thought it was the other way round! I thought we both had to die? Or is it the same thing?'

He was distracted by the whimpering and thumping of the agonised creature behind them and glanced back at it yet again.
'Are you sure we can't do anything?'
'There is no help possible.'

'Where are we exactly?'
'Well, I was going to ask you that,' said Dumbledore, looking around. 'Where would you say that we are?'
Until Dumbledore had asked, Harry had not known. Now, however, he found that he had an answer ready to give.
'It looks,' he said slowly, 'like King's Cross station. Except a lot cleaner, and empty, and there are no trains as far as I can see.'
'King's Cross station!' Dumbledore was chuckling immoderately. 'Good gracious, really?'
'Well, where do you think we are?' asked Harry, a little defensively.
'My dear boy, I have no idea. This is, as they saw, your party.'

'I've got to go back, haven't I?'
'That is up to you.'
'I've got a choice?'
'Oh yes.' Dumbledore smiled at him. We are in King's Cross. You sat? I think that if you decided not to go back, you would be able to … let's say … board a train.'
'And where would it take me?'
'On,' said Dumbledore simply.

The two of them sat in silence for several minutes as Harry pondered his choices.
'Of course, there is one more path you could take dear boy.' Dumbledore stated as he slowly began to rise. 'But that is alas not for me to discuss with you. So, this is where I depart. If you do decide to take the chance, I daresay you could do quite well for yourself.'
Harry stood up to join him.
'Know that whichever path you choose, I am so, so proud of you Harry-' Dumbledore was cut off as Harry rushed forward and grasped him in a hug. Dumbledore looked down in surprise and smiled fondly at Harry, patting him gently on the back.
'But now, I think it is time for me to board my train finally. It is about time; I am ready finally for the journey again.' Harry slowly separated himself from Dumbledore and tried to keep the tears from his eyes. 'Remember, Harry; The ones that love us never truly leave us. No matter where your path takes you, the ones you love will always be with you. Goodbye Harry.' And with those parting words, Dumbledore moved towards the platform and boarded a white train which looked almost like the Hogwarts Express that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Dumbledore turned around one final time and with a twinkle in his eye, waved at Harry before the doors closed and the Train faded out of existence.

With the departure of Dumbledore, Harry was rather confused. As was his way, Dumbledore had not given him any solid information and with the man gone, Harry had no idea what to do next. That was, until he noticed on the other side of the platform, a figure staring at him.

As he looked up and noticed the figure, they began to walk towards him. He couldn't tell whether they were male or female, as they were wearing a long white cloak, with the hood raised, obscuring their facial features. Harry considered running, but after realizing that he couldn't run anywhere, he instead waited patiently for the figure to arrive before him.

When the figure finally stood in front of him, Harry and the figure stood in silence for a few moments. Harry watched as the figure slowly lifted the hood from their face revealing the face of a woman, with purple hair and silver eyes.
'Greetings Harry Potter.' The woman said as she seemed to stare right through his eyes and deep into his very soul.
Harry was taken back by the woman's beauty and stammered for a second before finding the ability of speech once again.
'Hello ….' Harry was somewhat lost for words. Despite this entire situation of dying but not being dead and then meeting and having a nice chat with his dead headmaster for a while. In even his wildest dreams of what could happen, meeting this woman had or would never factor into it. So, Harry was somewhat confused about how to approach the situation.
'I have been observing you for quite some time.' The woman said softly as she continued to stare straight into his eyes. Yet despite her soft voice, the woman had such aura of power surrounding her that her voice seemed to carry like a tidal wave.
'Who exactly are you?' Harry questioned, quickly becoming nervous around the woman.
'I have been called many names over the Eons but your people know me as Fate.' The woman said as she moved to sit down on the same seat as Dumbledore had sat in, inviting him to join her with a wave of the hand. He nodded and quickly sat down beside her, waiting patiently for her to continue and trying his best to not display his shock at what the woman had just revealed to him.
'I don't like wasting time, so I am going to get to the point. I owe you a great deal of thanks for dealing with that man. I am here, to repay my debt.' Fate said firmly as with a wave of her hand a massive file with the name 'Tom Marvolo Riddle' on the front in big bold letters appeared. She continued as she began to read through the file, which was substantially large.
'I don't understand, why would you owe me anything?' Harry asked, as he watched Fate rapidly read through 'Tom's file' at a rather rapid rate.
'Because Mr Potter, on the night Mr Riddle killed your parents he should have died. That was his fate as I decreed. But with those pesky Horcrux things of his, he has been causing me a supreme amount of paperwork.' Fate stated as she firmly closed the file with a thud, looking back up at Harry. 'As you have killed him finally, restoring balance to the natural order, I owe you a debt, and that is something I don't like to be in for long so I am here to once again restore the balance.'
'Wait, what do you mean dead?' Harry questioned.
'Dead as in dead, Mr Potter. Do you have any idea how much energy is released in the destruction of a Horcrux? A lot of energy in fact. There is a reason making 'living' Horcruxes is extremely risky,' Fate explained. 'Because you willingly walked to your death for the love of your friends you invoked some extremely powerful magic, not even Mr Dumbledore was aware of.' Fate continued as she waved her hand again and a Tea Set appeared in front of the Bench we were currently sitting on. As she spoke, she began to pour us both some tea and gestured for me to help myself to milk and sugar. 'The moment that Killing Curse hit you, an explosion ripped through that clearing and took about a mile of the Forbidden Forest with it in every direction. Mr Riddle, his entire army, the final Horcrux in that dreadful snake of his; all are gone. The War is over.'

So, it was finally over? He didn't need to fight anymore. He could go join his parents and finally enjoy peace or go back to the Land of The Living and finally get a chance to live the life he always wanted. But then Harry remembered Dumbledore mentioning a third option.
'Both you and Dumbledore mentioned a third option. What exactly is that?'
'Ah, of course, there is always the choice of a new start. Quite literally in fact. This is something I rarely if ever offer to Mortals but you are a very, very special case and due to your special circumstances, you present me with somewhat of a dilemma.' Fate responded, as she once again seemed to stare directly into my soul.
'Indeed. As you are no doubt aware, you are now the Master of Death, which means you now have a third option; rebirth.' Fate paused and sipped at her Tea. 'There are many worlds out there Mr Potter. I would like to offer you a second chance in a new world.' Fate said bluntly.
'Why?' Was all Harry could think to say.
'Because, not only should Mr Riddle have died that night, but you along with him. With both of you dead, the Prophecy would have been fulfilled and everything would be as it should be. While you could return if you wish to, and I won't stop you if you do, I would prefer it if you chose the third path as it would be much more manageable for me.'

Admittedly, that did make sense. Harry supposed from Fate's point of view this entire adventure must have been extremely frustrating if none of it was supposed to happen in the first place. At least she was giving him the choice, when she could quite easily force him to move on or even kill him if she wanted to.
'Ok, so if I take the third path, then what would happen and where would I go?'
'Well, that is quite simple. You will be reborn in a new world. A new and fresh start. I do have a specific world in mind as having someone of your … character around would make things infinitely easier a few years down the line. Of course, there will be certain changes but certain aspects will stay the same.' Fate said, as she poured herself some more tea.
'Like what?' Harry asked, as he helped himself to a biscuit.
'Well now that you have united the Hallows you have mastered death, which makes you Immortal.'
At that piece of information, he spat out his Tea, coughing and spluttering in surprise.
'Well, of course, you are Immortal, what did you think being Master of Death meant?' Fate shook her head at him as if his surprise was quite silly. 'Anyway, yes you will be Immortal which does rather restrict my options on where to put you … ah yes, either of them will do nicely. I will, as they say, let Fate decide.' Fate said with a snort of amusement.
Harry was barely following Fates trail of thought so simply sat there silently, waiting for her to continue.
'Now with the death of Mr Riddle, his magic would normally simply return to the chaos of the void and eventually return to the cycle. But on this occasion, I do believe I will make an exception. Now you may notice a few gifts along the way, but as one of my gifts to you, I give you Mr Riddles magic. I do believe it is quite substantial. With the destruction of the Horcrux inside of you, your magical core will finally able to reach its full potential so I dare say you will probably now be one of, if not the most powerful wizard to have ever lived. A fair way to thank you, I think.'
Harry couldn't have responded even if he wanted to. He might well be going into shock.
'Of course, like most things, there will be some give and take. As this will be a new start, your life as Harry Potter will be over.' Fate paused and again looked me directly in the eyes. 'Once you make this choice, there is no going back. You will get this offer once, and only once. So, choose carefully Mr Potter.

With that, Fate sat back and focused solely on her cup of tea, leaving me to my thoughts. So, what did I want? Did I want to go back? Yes, the Weasley's were like family, and they meant the world to him, but his actual family was all dead. Mum, Dad, Sirius, Remus … They were all gone. When he had gone into the Forest, he had the full intention of dying, with no way of coming back. He had come to terms with it. Did he really want to return and face all that pain of seeing his loved ones dead?

Then there was Ginny. There were feelings there. But thinking about it now, he wondered whether he liked her for slightly selfish reasons. While he was sure that if he returned, he could build a life with her and be happy. He had used her as an anchor. She was what kept him going and what kept him fighting. He had admittedly quite a miserable life and Ginny just fit. She was from the family who had accepted him as their own and knew him as more than the boy who lived. Is it any real surprise that he latched onto her as soon as he realised, she was quite attractive? Saviour of the Wizarding World or not, he was still a hot-blooded teenager!

Hermione and Ron … He knew that they would always be there for him, but with the realisation that building a life with Ginny would be somewhat selfish, he knew that eventually he would just get in the way. They were going to start a family and that just wasn't on the cards for Harry. For years, he had deep down expected to die before the age of twenty and a life beyond that truly didn't interest him anymore. He knew he would miss all of them but the pain of loss was just too much. He had been fighting so hard for so long and now that it was over, he just wanted peace.

Harry had come to a decision. He would miss all his friends, but the war was over now. His job was done. They didn't need him anymore, and if anyone had earned the rite to a new start then it was him. Maybe he would be happy, maybe he wouldn't. But Dumbledore had been talking about The Next Great Adventure for so long that maybe it was time for Harry to truly give it a chance?

With his decision made, Harry felt truly at ease for the first time in what felt like forever. Fate must have sensed it because she stood up. The tea set and Tom Riddles file vanishing as she did.
'What is your choice, Harry Potter?' Fate asked.
'I think a new start is just the right thing for me.' Harry said confidently. 'There is nothing left for me there, not really. What do I do now?'
'Well, that is quite easy really. All you have to do is get on a train.' Fate said as she gestured to the white train waiting silently on the platform behind us.

'Thank You.'
With my parting words, I stood up and walked across the platform, entering the train. Just as the doors were closing behind me, I heard Fates parting words:
'I wish you all the best, Harry Potter. May you find peace at last.'
As Fate finished her farewell, I was enveloped in a bright white light and I knew no more.

Elsewhere, deep in the vast forests of Du Weldenvarden in the far north of a land known as Alagaësia, the Elves that resided deep within, were mourning. So great was their sorrow that the very air of the forest was thick with pain. The Blood Oath Celebration had arrived, normally a time of great joy and happiness for those which resided within the Woodland Realm. But so great was their grief, none of the Elves were preparing to dance or sing songs, so great was their grief.

The Elven King Evandar was dead, slain in battle by the great evil known as Galbatorix. For the Elves, each of the losses their race had suffered in the recent war were almost physical blows to their very souls. Vrael and all the other Dragon Riders, as well as their riders, were slain. All by the hands of Galbatorix and the Forsworn. Hundred of their kin had also been slain in the Battle of Ilirea. All that was left was Oromos and his Dragon Glaedr. But even they would never be whole. The wounds the pair had suffered escaping the grip of the Forsworn would pain them for the rest of their days. To the Elves, all seemed to be lost.

So, it was with heavy hearts that Elves prepared for the Blood Oath Celebration. But this time, not as a time of celebration but instead of mourning, to remember all the lives lost battling the great evil that now plagued their world with no end in sight.

Islanzadí Dröttning; the Mate of King Evandar and now the new Elven Queen watched as the Elves slowly gathered around the Menoa Tree, to begin the Celebration. Her young daughter, Arya stood silently beside her, but Islanzadí could hear her softly crying. The body of the King, Arya's father had only just been returned from the battlefield. Islanzadí had to remain strong for her people and be their strengths, but Arya was so young. At just under two years old, she couldn't possibly be expected to handle the emotions raging through her right now. But grieving or not, the celebration had to be honoured. For Islanzadí, grieving could wait till she was behind closed doors.

She gazed around the hearing, her heightened senses allowing her to see a fair distance around the colossal Menoa Tree, looking for Oromis, the last free Rider alive. She truly hoped that he would come to the Celebration, but alas it seemed not. She wasn't surprised. When he had arrived, grievously injured with the Human Rider, Brom, with him. He had seen to their injuries and then retreated to Crags of Tel'naeír, no one has seen him since. She hoped both him and Glaedr could come to terms with their loss, both physical and emotional for the free peoples of Alagaësia would need their council and strength desperately if they were ever going to have a chance of overthrowing Galbatorix.

Finally, it seemed the Celebration was ready to commence. Islanzadí stepped forward, raising her hands into the air, and in a loud clear voice said:
'Let us gather kin, one and all. Let the Celebration of the Oath between Elf and Dragon, commence!'
With those symbolic words called out to the heavens in the Ancient Language, the Blood Oath Celebration commenced. For the Elves, this was without a doubt one of the most important events of this kind in their entire history. There was equal joy and sorrow displayed that first day. Joy, in remembrance for the lives, lived by their fallen brethren, and sorrow for the unimaginable loss they had suffered in recent years.

On the third day as the festival itself drew to a close; The Caretakers, Iduna and Nëya stepped forward to begin their symbolic dance, in remembrance of the sacred bond between Elf and Dragon. Islanzadí glanced behind her left shoulder and in the distance saw Oromis and Glaedr staring at the Caretakers as they began their dance. Islanzadí was glad that they had chosen to attend, even in this minimal capacity. Not even they, with all their grief, would miss this moment.

As the dance continued, those watching slowly began to realise that this time, something was different. The magic in the air felt somehow stronger, wilder and more powerful. Without even realising it, Oromis had approached and now stood to her right.
'Something is wrong.' He said simply as he stared at the events unfolding before them.

Before the Queen could respond a great flash of light illuminated the clearing bringing with it a huge pulse of magic spreading out in all directions which doubtless could be for hundreds of leagues in all directions. When everyone eventually got back to their feet and stopped shielding their eyes as the light died down to the darkness of the night, the Elves in attendance were shocked at the sound of a cry; the cry of a baby.

As the Elves processed this, they all felt an incomprehensibly vast mind envelop their own. All in attendance knew of only one thing which could be as vast as the mind touching theirs appeared to be. The Menoa Tree had awoken.
'Listen brethren and listen well! Before you is a child of Fate and Destiny. He has been given to me to bring to this world and he is my gift to you. Remember my children, the night is always darkest before the dawn. Protect him and he will restore our people to the strength we have long since lost!'
With those words, the immense pressure on their minds dissipated and the Menoa Tree seemingly returned to its great slumber, watching over the trees of its domain.

All eyes in the clearing turned towards the Queen. All were wondering what she would do, all thoughts of their grief momentarily forgotten. For while no Elf officially answers to the Menoa Tree, any Elf who ignored a command on the extremely rare occasion when she addresses anyone would be a fool. The Menoa Tree had not spoken in almost two thousand years so when it did speak, all who heard it were wise to listen.

As the pressure of the Menoa Trees mind disappeared, the Queen slowly realised that the clearing was still pulsing with magic. More so than usual anyway. Using her heightened senses, she realised that the origin of that magic was the baby, lying nestled in the roots of the great tree before them.

Slowly, the Queen stepped forward towards the child, handing her daughter to Oromis as she went. As she got nearer, the wails of the child pulled at her heart. Children were extremely precious to Elves as they were so rare to their race. On the rare occasion an Elven child was born, that child would be treasured and loved by the whole kingdom. So, it was not surprising that the sounds of crying distressed the Elves present greatly.

As she finally stood before the child and knelt before it, she gasped in surprise. The child before her was a newborn Elf! With a few locks of Velvet Black Hair upon its head and eyes like Emeralds staring back at her. The child had skin as pale as snow, and was radiating magic so strongly, it was thick in the air.
'It is an Elf!' The Elves present let out a multitude of sounds ranging from gasps of surprise to squeals of joy. Voronwe, fetch blankets quick!' She called to her chief nursemaid, who had served both her and her mother before her. The Elf ran out of the clearing like a flash of light and returned moments later carrying blankets to wrap the child in.

The moment, she reached down to pick up the child, he stopped crying. His eyes had been tightly shut, holding back the tears. But at that moment he opened them again, staring deep into Islanzadí eyes and let out an honest and joyful laugh. Reaching up with his tiny little hands, he cupped the Queen's face. The Queen was completely in awe of this child. A gift from the Menoa Tree. A child of pure magic, and he had been gifted to their people to nurture and protect. There was just something about the child that called out to her. He had this aura around him that seemed to push away her grief and sadness. He was a great source of light in the darkness.

She glanced over her shoulder towards Oromis and with a nod he stepped towards her. As he came closer the child's focus shifted towards the Ancient Rider. As Oromis continued closer the child scrunched up his face and with a giggle of joy and to the surprise of the Elves watching his features seemed to melt before their eyes and to the amazement of those present. The Baby appeared to be an identical twin, albeit somewhat smaller to Oromis. Down to his long Silver hair and grey eyes.
'Ho … ho … how did he do that?' Voronwe questioned.
'Oromis, have you seen anything like this before?' The Queen asked.
'This…this isn't possible.' Oromis muttered. He took a few moments and made sweeping gestures over the child, while quietly muttering words of magic in the Ancient Language.
The Queen noticed that the council was approaching with Lord Fiolr and Däthedr, her chief advisors leading the way.
'Fiolr, Däthedr, your thoughts?' The Queen asked.
'We must discuss arrangements for the child, your majesty. My House would be honoured to raise the child, Naudra and I have always wanted a child. We would treasure him and raise him as our own.' Lord Fiolr said firmly, staring down at the child in wonder, watching as the boy laughed loudly all the while changing his features to resemble one Elf after another as if it was some sort of game.
'Däthedr?' The Queen prompted, playing for time while she came to terms with what was happening before her eyes.
Däthedr paused in thought before speaking. He had always been a valuable advisor to the crown, and was well known for never saying a word before he had thought extremely carefully about what he intended to say.
'We must heed the Menoa Trees words very carefully my Queen.' Däthedr paused, to observe the child's antics once again. 'This child's magic is like nothing I've ever seen before. If Galbatorix learns of him …'
'He will either want him killed or will use the power for himself. He will turn him into a weapon.' The Queen finished for him. Däthedr was right, about Galbatorix. He was willing to do anything for power and even an idiot could tell that the child was powerful. The ability to transform your face to anything you desire is not just a rare gift it has never been seen before. If he can do that now, as a newborn? Then what will he be capable of in twenty or a hundred years? Däthedr was right. The child has to be protected at all costs.

She turned to Lord Fiolr once again and assessed him as he gazed in wonder at the child in her arms, seemingly unaware of her focus on him. Lord Fiolr was one of the oldest elves left alive in Alagaësia. He had served the people as a member of the council for centuries now and throughout that time, he and his Mate Naudra had tried desperately to have a child of their own, sadly without success. He was much more … disciplined man, in many ways, then most Elves. Most Elves are quite free, in their way. Self-Expression had always been a key aspect of the Elven people. But with Fiolr, discipline had always been a key aspect of his character. He lived to serve his people. Certainly, one of the more militaristic members of the council.

But when she looked at his eyes, she just saw love. Pure love and wonder for the child in front of him. And perhaps a desperate need for happiness, which she could certainly admit he and his Mate readily deserved.
'Lord Fiolr, you say you and your mate are prepared to care for the child?' The Queen asked. She was trying desperately to remain professional but she could admit that she was struggling. Attempting to focus on the issues at hand instead of playing with the baby was taking a lot of willpower.
'Yes my Queen, I swear that the child will know nothing but love.' Lord Fiolr said, as he stepped forward, struggling to remain formal and not eager. Behind him, a Beautiful female Elf Islanzadí knew to be Lady Naudra stepped forward, bowing to the Queen.
'Very well then Lord Fiolr. I am leaving the child in your care.' Islanzadí said firmly as she gently handed the child into the arms of Lord Fiolr.

As Fiolr and the child touched when he gathered him in his arms, there was another bright flash of light. Lord Fiolr felt something within his mind. A momentary connection with the child in his arms, he felt something within him … change. He turned to the side and saw that Naudra felt something too. He looked down at the child and saw him staring at him, with this look in his eye. Sort of like he had come to a decision of some kind.
'What was that?' He asked in wonder.
Oromis stepped forward and muttered a few words in the Ancient Language once again.
'I believe the child has done another impossible thing, Lord Fiolr. It seems, he approves of the Queens choice to allow you to raise him. He seems to have adopted you as his own. He is now the blood of your blood.' Oromis said in a tone of voice which suggested he was one more surprise away from a heart attack.
'Well then, Lord Fiolr, it seems this wondrous child is happy with the decision. Pray tell, what shall this child be called?' The Queen inquired.

'Fëanor' Fiolr said firmly. 'He shall be called Fëanor after my father.'