Harry Potter: Prince of Amber
Sorry it's been so long since I update this, but other stories distracted me.
Some reviewers (Toras, George Heichelheim and StarDuchess) made some good points about Corwin, and I will go back and correct the previous chapters somewhat.
But I will repeat, this is not the Corwin from the books. This is pre-Nine Princes of Amber. So his personality has yet to be softened by his stay on earth. So he will still be slightly OOC.
(Grumbles as people obviously haven't read previous AN on subject.)
Chapter 5: Family
Harry heeded the warring Corwin gave him and didn't say a word as they walked. He didn't have long to think about whether he'd made a mistake following Corwin, before he came face to face with Castle Amber it's it's glory. It was massive and more grand the Hogwarts. Harry hadn't thought that was possible before. It was also a working castle, felt like he had gone back in time to the Middle Ages. There walked though a gate, he looked to see a metal gate above his head, with vicious looking spikes pointing at his head, below his feet he noticed holes in flagstone that those spikes would side into. It made him shiver. This was a castle built to see conflict. Beyond the portcullis there was a massive courtyard. Just in front of the castle it's self there was a stable bigger then great hall of Hogwarts. It must house hundreds of horses. The smell coming from it made him gag. Corwin smirked at him.
There were people everywhere, working on some job or another. They were all dressed in a simple tunics and trousers or dresses for the woman. All them had a rearing unicorn somewhere on their clothes. They must all be servants, Harry realised, the shear number of them was staggering for him. Corwin strode confidently towards the castle, ignoring them all. Harry followed staring openly at everything. None of the people would look him in the eye. He frowned, he'd only ever seen that reaction from house elves. Corwin snapped something in Thari to a couple of servants, who bowed and ran off into the castle.
When they entered the castle proper, though a door rivalling that of Hogwart, a middle aged man approached them. His clothes were of better quality then the others he'd seen, but he was still a servant because he bowed to Corwin. Corwin shot off some rapid Thari, the man answered, Corwin then gestured at Harry and spoke again. The man's eyes shifted to Harry, before lowering. There was a further exchange and servant bowed and left. During this Harry had been trying to recognise anything of the language. But he couldn't place anything, it was completely foreign to any language he'd heard before. He was determined to to learn it though, he hated not knowing what was going on around him especially when it concerned him. Corwin turned to him, and gestured for Harry to follow him.
"We are just in time for dinner." Corwin said, leading the way though corridors. "You get to met more our family, most aren't as bad as Julian, but don't push it." That wasn't a comforting thought. Corwin then looked at him with amusement. "By the way I changed your name." He said of hand. Harry stopped dead.
"What?!" He demanded. Corwin smirked at him.
"Harry is hardly a named fit for a prince."1 He told him. "You can't strike fear in hearts of your enemies with that name."
"I happen to like my name!" Harry said, glaring at his grandfather. "And I don't want to strike fear into anyone's heart!" Corwin chuckled.
"It doesn't matter now, as I've already told the servants your new name, by the time you know enough Thari, to correct them it will be to late." Corwin said with a satisfied smirk. Harry clenched his hands as he seethed. How dare he do something like that! He had no right to change my name like that! However Harry had to admit that Corwin was right until he knew Thrai there was nothing he could do about it. He took a deep breath.
"What is it." He said trying not to shout at the dangerous man in front of him.
"Harden." Corwin said and started to walk again. Harry followed him. Harden? He could live with that, he guessed. He sighed and followed Corwin.
Soon they came to a large room, Harry followed Corwin inside and stopped when he saw the people inside. There was a large table which could comfortably sit up to twenty people. But there were only six people seated. They were all dressed in expensive and old fashioned looking clothes. Were they really his family? Two were women and three men, the forth man was seated in throne like chair at the head of the table, he looked to be about fifty, but Harry doubted he really was as Corwin had mentioned about centuries before. He had to wonder how old that man had to be. Corwin took off his cloak and handed it to a near by servant and strode over to the man at the head of the table. Harry followed, nervous at being watched by the people at the table. Julian, he was glad to see, was not among them. They reached the head of the table and Corwin spoke rapidly with the man, once again in Thari. Harry was by now getting quite annoyed at being left out of conversations. The blue eyes of the man shifted to him, Harry shifted nervously at the hard calculating stare. He realised suddenly, from the throne like chair that was positioned at the head of the table, and the fact that Corwin was a prince, that this man must be the King of Amber. That thought made him all the more nervous. The king suddenly smiled.
"It is always good to meet more of my descendants." He said. "What is your name?" Harry shot a dark look at Corwin, which seemed to amuse the king no end, before he reluctantly replied.
"Harden, sir." The king nodded.
"A good strong name." He said, then gave him a stern look. "I trust you will not disappoint me." Harry swallowed, he didn't miss the threat that statement contained.
"No, sir." He said. The king nodded and turned back to his meal. Harry realised that was a dismissal when Corwin walked away to sit at the table. Harry made his way to last place setting and as soon as he sat, the servants struck. Two glasses of wine appeared, one red and one white. A plate of food was set in front of him. There were three kinds of meat on the plate, along with carrots and what looked like mash potato, but was too yellow for that. After the self service of Hogwarts feasts, and never being taken to restaurants as a child, Harry found being served in this manner quite disconcerting. He started eating, after all he quite hungry after that long walk to the castle.
Harry ate while half-heartedly listening to the Thari conversations around him. To his left sat Corwin and a brown haired man who for some reason was still wearing amour, however he wore it like a second skin. He and Corwin were talking, with the odd comments from one of the women. She had brown hair as well, she also wore amour. Harry looked over other side of table and his green eyes met startlingly blue ones, framed by long blond hair. Harry felt the same pressure on his mind as he'd felt from Snape last year, and hastily looked away. When he glanced back, he saw her smirking at him, she winked and turned to talk to the bear of a man that sat beside her.
Harry shivered, he got the feeling that he'd walked into a snakes pit far more dangerous then the one at Hogwarts. He felt a sudden pang of homesickness. He didn't feel like eating anymore. Why did he leave so quickly? He wanted family sure, but were these the kind of people he wanted to associate with?
"It's not as bad as you think." A voice said from his right. Harry turned to face the last person seated at the table and gasped. It was like looking at a distorted mirror. While Harry had gotten his eye shape and nose from his mother, his eye colour from her and Corwin, and his hair from Corwin as well. Almost everything else was the same as the man in front of him. He could have been James Potter, if it weren't for the lightness of his brown hair and deep blue eyes. They was a sparkle in them that reminded Harry of the Weasley twins. "It's much worse." He said then laughed at Harry expression of horror. The man grinned. "Their not that bad really, just don't piss anyone off. I'm Random by the way." The way that he said it, made it sound like he was making fun of own name, just like Sirius used to. Harry couldn't help smiling back their was something oddly comforting about this Random.
"I'm Harden." Harry said still feeling weird about saying that name. Random smirked.
"Yes, I know." He said. Harry nervously picked up the glass in front of him and sipped on the red wine. Surprised when he found he quite liked the taste. He glanced back at Random and nearly choked as he realised why he looked so much like him. He also remembered the results of the heritage potion. Random was his father! He'd just met his real, flesh and blood, living father!
1: Apologies to Prince Harry, but I really couldn't resist that line! ;)
I know the descriptions of Harry's relatives was a bit brief, but I couldn't quite remember what they look like without reading the books again. I way to late to start that to night. Next chapter.
Plus if anyone can guess who was at the table I'll give you a very big cookie!
Till next... Review! :)