Harry Potter and the Crystal Song
Walking. It was something Harry had gotten used to long ago. They could go weeks just trudging along on some deserted road out in the middle of nowhere. However, Harry had a destination in mind. Long ago he and Cedric had made a promise. A promise to return to see the Veria once Harry had grown and matured. At level '5' Harry was far below 'matured' fully. However, after all the difficult battles this meant that not only did he 'level' slowly but he had tremendous potential. How much He was unaware. However, Draco drawn Ron and Luna into a discussion of levels; revealing that he Draco was already level twenty and Ron was level ten. Luna was the next lowest at a mere level seven.
Thankfully she knew raise and cure. The two most important magics needed. However, she also had access to Shell and Protect; furthering her value as their cleric. Thanks to her Harry wondered what party would be stupid enough to not have a white mage. She kept them all alive time and time again. Her curative and protective magics were more than enough to warrant a slot on the team at any time.
Harry's self recovery was nice but nothing on Luna's much more powerful spells. Sure Harry had cure, and could cast it on others too but comparing his cure to hers was like a candle to an inferno. His was a fire to be fair, but she completely outclassed his.
Eventually she would learn more powerful versions of the magic she already had as well as haste and slow should she manage to learn under a time mage.
Harry mused thoughtfully as they walked. Draco was a strong warrior, and could take far more hits than anyone else save for perhaps Ron, and that was debatable. They were easily the most bulky of the team. Ron had 'Rend' Techniques that meant the foe would have to fight with less armor or weaponry. Ron had also learned how to cleave into the leg. It didn't cause much pain but it did slow his foe down, making them easier to kill.
Draco on the other hand was all about damage. He could jump tremendous distances and land with the force of an Ultima. Not a lot of things could take a spear strike from above. Especially when the strike came from what Draco claimed to be from the stratosphere. Maybe it wasn't that high up, but Harry couldn't ever see Draco once he jumped and it usually took a goodly while for Draco to land again.
One time they had fought a dragon, a lower level dragon thankfully but they had still been hard pressed until Draco launched himself up and rammed the spear through the spine of the dragon. It had died almost instantly then.
They were headed back toward the Veria forest, and Harry had the others wait back in Isanal, as he didn't want to risk them.
One short trek later and Harry was inside the forest looking for the Veria guardians.
"Don't move." A feminine voice ordered sharply, an arrow pressed against the back of his neck.
"Okay." Harry agreed.
He had sensed their approach of course, he had been waiting for it for that matter.
"What are you doing here human?" The woman snarled.
Harry spoke slowly.
"I made a vow here to some Veria a long while ago that I would return one day. I'm doing so now." The fourteen year old, nearly fifteen year old replied faintly.
The Veria paused before realizing what he meant.
"You're Harry Potter are you not?" She asked to which he simply nodded.
At that the woman smiled, although Harry wasn't aware of it.
"This way." She commanded simply, pulling the bow away and putting the arrow back in the quiver.
Through the woods the duo went. The woman had purest white hair. She wore a revealing black body suit and her oddly animal-esque feet were bare. She walked as only a woman could, she swayed as the trees themselves would in a morning breeze. Of course she towered over Harry as did all Veria. He estimated that she was around six feet tall, maybe a little more.
Eventually however she stopped in front of a patch of bramble before taking a step to one side. The path was blocked and Harry turned to raise an eyebrow inquisitively at the woman. She merely smirked before taking one hand and with a strange gesture the bramble withdrew back into the ground.
"No Hume could ever pull this off." She said confidently.
Harry believed it. Only a species so in tune with nature surely could have done that.
Past the former briar bushes and thorny patches, impossible to pass a small village had been hidden. The homes had been built attached to the trees themselves, pathways of wood and vine bridged the gaps between each home and at the entrance of the village a young woman waited. She was familiar to Harry. The 'Veela' that Harry had gotten the drop on when he had first encountered the Veria race.
"So you finally return." She commented as he and his guide approached.
Harry merely gave a simple nod.
"I made an oath." Harry stated firmly.
The Veela seemed pleased by that, a faint smile etching its way on her face.
"Good, far too few humes follow that path." She commented before growing serious once more.
"This way, we shall see the elder." The Veela woman stated before turning and heading up the path.
She was... Attractive, beautiful, stunning even. However, Harry was surprised about her attire. It was more like a human would wear. She had a simple brown dress on. Although it was a bit short, only going to just above her knees, but she did have a bow nestled in the quiver on her back. As they walked the Veria that had led Harry here took another path, leaving them as they walked down the paths to the elder. Whomever that was.
"Who are you?" Harry finally demanded, still wondering what her name was.
"Fleur. My last name is of no importance." She assured as they rounded a corner, passing by a simple wood house also bound by vines.
The way she stated that told Harry she had little interest in talking to him further and so he let the conversation drop there. Soon the two made their way to a larger home, still made the same way, but surely had several more rooms within. As Harry was observing the roof of hay Fleur opened the door and beckoned. Harry followed feeling a bit reluctant; but he knew that he needed to do this.
An elderly woman resided in the home, sitting on what appeared to be a throne of sorts.
"Welcome young Potter. It's been far too long since we've had a member of your great house meet with us." She smiled.
Although she was old, she had retained her beauty. Only the weakened hands and back bent by time gave the woman away.
Harry bowed politely before the woman chuckled.
"No you have no need to bow to be young man. Thank you though. Now please... Tell me everything that has happened." She requested.
This led to a long story between Harry and the elder. Upon which she frowned thoughtfully. He was a bit worried that this story would make her angry. After all he hadn't left out the part where he had become a drunk for a time, due to his depression of losing his friend Cedric.
"This is indeed curious... A 'Hell Mage'... There hasn't been one in almost fifty years. The last was a man named 'Riddle' but he eventually grew even stronger becoming an 'Arch-Demon Mage.' He became known as 'Lord Voldemort': A terrorist who made the land descend into darkness." The woman's face was taunt with worry.
Harry wasn't sure who this Riddle was or even who 'Voldemort' was but the way she frowned, and the way her eyes shone with her fear made Harry concerned that it was indeed a bad thing.
"We're trying to track the Hell Mage down." Harry assured.
"You'll need a tracker, beyond that of what you've learned. I'll have Fleur Delacour join you." She decided.
"Wait what?" Harry began, consternation evident on his face.
"She's an expert and she knows the bow well." The elder assured.
"W-Well...Okay." Harry decided.
The help from a Veria, or in this case Veela could not be denied. They were experts with the bow, and more importantly could track just about anyone. They had excellent senses of direction and knew the woods as though they were a vital part of their own existences. And in most senses; they were. Having an expert such as her along could only mean good things for their journey.
"Fleur!" The elder called and the Veela woman entered.
"Yes Elder?" She asked eagerly.
"You are to assist Ranger Potter and his entourage until they manage to capture or kill the Hell Mage. You may stay with the party as long as you desire after that." The elder ordered firmly.
"But Elder! To leave the woods..."
"You will do so!" The elder barked in a tone that belied her age.
Fleur slumped in defeat. She would obey as she had been commanded. It was the way of the Veria.
They were to obey the elder, no matter how insane the order appeared.
Reluctantly the Veela woman nodded once.
"As you will Elder." She stated as only a loyal follower could.
Later, after another brief discussion Harry led his new ally out of the forest. To say she was not excited was an understatement. Their walk back was mostly in silence. How was the fourteen year old supposed to tell Luna, Ron, and Draco about their new guest? This mean that the party now had five members. Five members to feed, and five members meant much easier time being noticed. But, he wasn't fully upset. Her skills were surely more of an advantage than the drawbacks.
Once they managed to return to the gloomy city of Isanal, Harry stopped in front of the Tavern and looked to Fleur.
"I think they'll be inside. Can you.. Go in and get them? I... I'd rather not ever enter one of them again."
Fleur sighed a bit reluctantly but gave a faint nod, not really understanding why Harry was avoiding Taverns completely.
It didn't make sense to the Archer. After all, it was just another building to the woman. She didn't know of Harry's past of when he had gotten drunk, trying to bury the pain under the haze of ale, grog, beer, and whatever else he could get his grubby hands on.
At that Harry leaned against a wall, waiting for the others to exit. It wasn't a long wait before the four opened the doors to the tavern and appeared before Harry.
"Wise choice Harry." Ron said in approval as he approached his friend.
Harry gave a tiny grin to the crimson cloaked knight. Ron's armor of course had been changed upon his promotion to knight by Albus Dumbledore and Ron had taken good care of the heavier armor and its blood red cloak, oiling it and rubbing off the rust nightly. Ron was proud of his triumph, and the armor of his station reflected that pride.
If anything, Ron understood pride well, and as such maintained that pride. Was Ron rash? Yes, Reckless? Most of the time. Was Ron stupid? Well, maybe a little, but he had proven himself a true friend.
"Anyways, the Veria have sent Miss Fleur to join us and assist us in tracking down the Hell Mage. We have to stop her. Otherwise she might grow stronger!" Harry said insistently.
"Stronger? So what?" Draco asked arrogantly.
Fleur snarled, her normally calm visage turning vicious for a moment, feathers beginning to form about her wrists.
"So what? So what? If she goes the path of Voldemort we'd have a lot of problems!" She growled angrily.
At this Harry held up a placating hand.
"Easy everyone, this isn't going to solve anything! We've got to hunt down the Mage and make her pay for her crimes! That's all that really matters! The future will come but hopefully we'll have carved the path it will take before then!" Harry stepped between the Dragoon and the Archer, desperate to end the conflict before it'd begin.
Draco and Fleur glowered at each other for a long moment before breaking their gazes and turning to face opposite directions in a huff.
Ron on the other hand seemed cheered by the fact that Draco had been told off. That or he was glad that someone agreed with him on Draco's arrogance. Either way, the Weasley Knight was overly pleased.
The group fell back into a silence, Draco silently fuming, as was Fleur, Ron was walking beside an overly amused Luna Lovegood, and Harry stood at the front shaking his head. What was he going to do about this group? He wondered to himself.
The King had ordered this mission and sent an arrogant; if skilled Dragoon which had forced Harry to reign him in several times. It was a bit frustrating to say the least. However, Harry had no choice but to keep going. He may not have liked it but he didn't like doing a lot of things.
As they walked Harry heard a pair of very familiar voices.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER!" They screamed in tandem and Harry froze.
A moment later and two female shaped projectiles shot into Harry's chest, sending him stumbling back somewhat.
"How dare you! How dare you!" They sobbed.
Harry had instinctively hugged them upon the contact, even as they pounded his chest with their fists.
"I'm sorry." Harry apologized softly, not even sure immediately who they were.
"After we woke up, we... We couldn't find you or Cedric. Then we found out... That... That..." The sobbed.
It had taken Harry a moment to realize where he had met them. Hufflepuff Keep, almost a full year ago. Hannah and Susan; of the great house of Hufflepuff. Harry's hands gently rubbed their heads, through their soft hair, trying to comfort them both. They had both changed dramatically since the last time he had seen them.
Susan's hair had lengthened somewhat, now it flowed down to her mind back, and her body had definitely seen some growth. It caused Harry to blush somewhat but his focus wasn't on her physical attributes. About her waist she carried a Katana and her bow was gone completely.
Hanna still held her crossbow, but beside the crossbow nestled in the quiver on her back was a buckler; a small round shield best used for blocking blades. And her hair had gone from slightly curled to straight. She had also developed.
However, the thing that Harry focused on was... The pain that they were suffering from.
"I'm sorry. Truly. After Cedric died... I... I couldn't take it." Harry whispered ashamedly.
At that the two raised their tear streaked faces to look into his eyes. Their eyes peered into his own and Harry spoke in a near whisper.
"I... Wanted the pain to go away so I... I started falling into everything with liqueur in it." Harry closed his eyes not proud of that time in the least.
"Harry... You started... Drinking?" They asked in chagrin.
Harry merely gave a weak nod before tilting his head towards Ron and Luna.
"If it wasn't for these two I'd probably be still doing that. Or dead. One of the two." Harry admitted.
"He wasn't in very good shape that's for sure. I had to throw him into a barrel of water for a good thirty minutes before he started really shaping up." Ron said cheerfully.
"Thank you Knight of Gryffindor." They said with a faint smile before frowning at Harry.
"And you didn't think of coming to us? We had just lost a friend too! We... We thought both of you had died!" They cried once more.
Harry mentally groaned, realizing that he had truly messed up. Who was he to think he was the only one to lose a loved one? Cedric was loved by these two girls just as much as he had. He was their big brother.
"I think... We should stay in an inn tonight guys, and I can catch up with my friends." Harry suggested.
The others nodded, Draco reluctantly, but they could tell that with the duo of truly hurting teens they weren't getting any farther anyways.
A few hours later the group had managed to purchase a few rooms, one for the ladies, a four bedroom, and one for the men, another four bedroom. However, Harry was sitting on one of the women's beds, holding a crying duo of teens.
"We missed you both so... So much..." Susan manged to choke out, and Harry's own eyes teared.
"I'm... So...Sorry... I was selfish... I... I never thought that..." He tried to keep himself from crying but that attempt failed.
They were hurting, broken, and still reeling from the loss of Cedric, but at last. Healing would begin. It would take time for them but Harry had little doubt that they wouldn't get better.
In the end though Harry, and the two Hufflepuffs stayed up through the night, discussing what had happened, and many more tears were shed. They had migrated out of the bedroom once the other two women needed to sleep but their interrupted discussion had continued back in the main part of the inn in quiet tones.
"We're going with you." Hannah and Susan stated firmly the next morning.
"I..." Harry wanted to protest but he knew that they could take care of themselves too...
Not only that but he had a debt to pay. After how he had responded to the death of Cedric... Well refusing was impossible for him.
"Fine." Harry broke.
The two girls gave him a weak smile before taking flanking positions about him as they headed toward the exit of Isanal. Three allies, two old and one new. He needed to learn how to say no; otherwise he'd have an army instead of a small group.
Actually maybe one day in the near future an Army wouldn't be a bad thing. However, keeping things small and focused was for the best. Still the group of seven had a lot of work ahead of them and seven was a lot harder to conceal than say... Three or two. On the bright side though, Monsters wouldn't be nearly as likely to attack them. There was strength in numbers and they grew quickly.
"Susan?" Harry inquired of the girl clinging to his right arm.
"Yes?" She asked weakly.
"When did you stop... Well..And start using a Katana?" He inquired of the shy Hufflepuff.
"After Cedric died... I... I couldn't draw my bow anymore. It was... Dead to me." She admitted.
Harry gave a faint nod in understanding, rubbing her hand encouragingly.
"I then... Traded for a Katana. It didn't have the memories attached." She admitted, her lips trembling slightly as she remembered her past.
Hannah then spoke, sensing what one of his questions would be before he asked.
"I figured I needed some form of defense. Even with you we still managed to take a beating from enemies. Not that it was your fault of course!" She added hastily.
Harry nodded quickly.
In a sense, nothing had changed. They were still Harry, Hannah, and Susan; close friends bound by a journey. In another sense though... Everything had changed. They were on tender hooks around each other, all of them afraid of offending the other party.
They also knew that they couldn't risk that. They were all hurting too much to actually start twisting the thumbscrews in the other's torture chambers. They were all suffering, Harry was surprised how much the wound of losing Cedric still burnt, still tore into him and Ron had been there for him every step of the way.
He could only imagine how much Susan and Hannah had been hurting. They hadn't tried to drown out their sorrows as he had. They had to face their pain when it was raw, fresh and they hadn't lost one but two friends. Cedric... And himself.
Harry would always feel guilty for that. No matter what they said, no matter how they tried to assure him otherwise. He had hurt them both deeply. Far deeper than he could imagine.
And that was a sin he'd never forgive.
Still, he had a mission laid on his shoulders, to find and vanquish the Hell Mage. Fleur now led the group. Her tracking skills playing a valuable role already.
"It looks like she passed this way." She eventually proclaimed.
Harry paused before staring at her bemusedly. How did she know that? How could she know that? They had been walking about blind for weeks and within a few days she managed to pick up the Hell Mage's trail?
The elder had been right. Fleur was a valuable asset to the team and Harry would have been a total and utter moron to refuse her. Her skills with the bow had also proven themselves quickly as she could easily hit a rabbit with an arrow from over two hundred paces away.
Her eyesight was keen and her powers with fire magic meant they had a pseudo Black Mage. Harry's minor skill in Black Magic was nothing compared to hers.
Ron Jokingly called her a Red Mage, as red was the color of fire. It hadn't gone over well.
"A Red Mage? You dare call me a lowly Red Mage?" She had hissed, her eyes glowing, and taking an avian shape.
Harry had hastily pulled Ron away as he made a mental note: Don't call her a Red Mage.
In a sense though, she had a right to be offended. Red Mages were usually the ones that all the other magic users looked down upon. Unable to call upon higher arts of Black or White Magic they found themselves wanting when facing grievous wounds or powerful foes. However, due to this they had learned to somewhat compensate for this by rapid fire spell casting. Red Mages could calm their bodies to fall into a mode they fondly called 'double cast'. An odd ability that essentially did as it sounded. It doubled their casting speed. While a white mage could only fire off a single Cure a Red Mage would fire off it and a fire spell to boot.
However, few knew of this power, and so the Red Mages were constantly looked down upon. The last strength that Red Mages had over their counterparts was that they also trained in wielding a blade. The consummate Jack of all trades. If Harry had to associate himself with a class outside of Ranger he'd claim to have been trained as a Red Mage. The double cast mode would have been nice to learn at any rate.
His thoughts were stopped abruptly as Draco found himself being pelted by rocks from Susan and Hannah. Great. More things for him to deal with.
"Guys would you please cut off the random fighting already?" Harry asked in exasperation as he approached.
"He started it!"
"They started it!" The two groups growled at almost the exact same time.
Harry knew then it was official. He was going to lose his mind before he reached the age of twenty. He had way too many things to deal with. If he could have Harry would have ordered them to their rooms. However, that was only a fanciful dream.
"Okay, what the hell happened?" Harry demanded crossing his arms.
It only took a few minutes to sort out what had occurred and Harry groaned.
"Draco, stop antagonizing everyone. Hannah, Susan, stop letting him goad you into fights." Harry growled.
"And Draco, mind coming over here for a minute?" Harry added, gesturing with his head to a spot away from everyone else.
"What Potter?" Draco asked sullenly.
"Are you seriously trying to get kicked out of the party for antagonizing the rest of your team?" Harry asked bluntly.
"I'm only here because Dumbledore ordered me to be here."
"Then it wouldn't be a good idea to get booted off now would it?" Harry glowered.
"You can't do that. Dumbledore would have your hide." Draco snarled.
"My mission. My rules. As long as get the Hell Mage I doubt he'd care if I sent a sullen boy back home." He replied staring into Draco's eyes challengingly.
What was with the teen? The only times that he seemed to work with them was when their lives were in danger. Outside of that he seemed determined to trouble everyone and everything.
"Tch... You're a damn fool Potter." Draco snarled.
"Maybe so, but you will obey my orders while we're doing this mission."
That was the job of a commander. He didn't know the answer to everything, and he'd make mistakes of course, but his job was to act as if he knew everything, and to take the actions needed to complete the mission, and bring as many home alive as he could.
Draco was unruly, and this could prove problematic.
"Tch..." Draco scoffed before stalking off.
Harry really wasn't sure what to do with him. But he knew that he'd have to find a solution and soon. Otherwise, when the time came he'd struggle with Draco's arrogance, overconfidence and pride.
Maybe he needed Draco to... Lose. But how and against what? What would make his ego sting but not kill him? Then it hit him. Two Words.
Draco always looked down on the new Knight, and if Harry was honest Draco could probably beat Ron in a fight too without much trouble. If they were to fight today.
Harry glanced at Ron and gave him a gesture, asking him to approach.
"What is it Harry?" Ron asked intently.
"I want to teach Draco a lesson that he's not better than the rest of us. But if I do it it's just because I'm the leader. If you beat him... Well, he's been bested by someone he considers a 'lesser'. But in a fight you'd be in trouble. That jump skill of his is very hard to deal with." Harry explained.
Ron gave a reluctant nod of agreement.
"I'll teach you a skill that will give you a huge advantage against the jump powers of Draco. It's a 'cross class' skill so it'll probably be pretty hard for you to master."
Ron groaned miserably.
Cross Class Skills were skills devoted to another class; in this case archer, forcibly taught to a class that couldn't normally learn the move.
These kinds of skills meant that one had to conform their brain to an entirely different mentality, which is why it was rare to see anyone with a single Cross Class Skill let alone more than one. Scholars tended to call them CCS's.
"It'll help keep you alive in general anyways." Harry replied firmly and to that Ron had no argument.
Thus Ron Weasley began to learn his first CCS.
HAS IT REALLY BEEN THIS LONG SINCE I'VE UPDATED?! Sorry guys! I've been dealing with a lot of garbage for a while now. But here it is! After a super duper long wait!
I'm pleased to announce I finally got another chapter of Crystal song off!
This story will probably clock in between 100,000 to 150,000 Words when it's all said and done so there's a LOT more to do. (That's the goal anyways. Knowing me I'll go a hundred thousand over that...)
Anyways, word count frenzy aside (which I'm finding myself care about so I can make a proper story that's reasonably bulky, fun and enjoyable the whole way!) Descriptions are good for that as they help visualize the setting and also bring the story to life. I need to keep reminding myself to add those. After all you can't see the world. It's stuck in my mind so I need to describe it to you. I did a pretty good job in the opening and hopefully I can get back into that mentality soon.
Had a quick edit to make, so reposted!