Chapter 1: Prologue
Hariel “Harry” Dorea Potter sighed as she sat in her cell at Impel Down, her emerald green eyes taking first sight of the useless seastone chains around her wrists. taking in the dank, gray walls, she smirked slightly as she contemplated how she came to be here, and why she had decided to stay in this cell. How was she supposed to know that the ship she blew up with a well placed Bombarda was a high level marine ship? All she knew was, they were attacking the island town she had landed in, and she could do something about it. Hariel had won the wizarding war, but it took its toll on her. At only 18 years old, she was bone tired and held more than her fair share of scars, though that did not mean she would stand by and do nothing.
Sighing again, Harry leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
I wonder where Luna is right now she thought, knowing that the blonde had left her to go explore a bit more, allowing her sight to guide her. Their first conversation on meeting, way back when she was only 12 years old still rings clearly in her head:
“You were born with a will of D, though you ended up in the wrong place.”
Hariel startled slightly at the sudden light voice interrupting her contemplation on the way back to Hogwarts. Turning towards the compartment door, she saw a small, blonde girl wearing radish earrings, her light blue/gray eyes focused on Harry with an intense stare, though seeming to be somewhat hazy.
“Excuse me?” Hariel stated, somewhat flustered, “What exactly do you mean by that?”
“Oh, I guess the nargles haven’t been talking to you as much as they seem to be, huh?” responded the blonde, her airy voice slightly distant.
“Who are you?”
“Luna Lovegood, and you are Hariel D. Potter, the one whose happiness starts at Impel Down, and whose destiny is with the Ace of Fire.” replied Luna.
That had been the start of their friendship, with Hariel finding every time Luna took the time to actually say something, it always ended up true. Luna was the reason Harry had even gotten to this world, it was her words which convinced Harry to allow herself to be “caught” and brought to Impel Down in the first place, while Luna left to continue to explore the world on the outside.
After all, sometimes prisons were the best place to gather information about the world, and it’s not like they could take her weapons.The Marine’s couldn’t perceive them due to the Notice Me Not charms on all of her stuff attached to her, as well as their belief that she was being drained by the seastone chains.
Hariel crossed her legs, looking down at her rather comfortable heat regulating dragon hide pants and boots, small amounts of blood spattered at the pant hem, checking to ensure that all of her pouches holding potions, weapons, and food were attached where they were supposed to be. She had been here 2 weeks already, and learned much about how this world worked and why they thought these silly chains would keep her submissive.
Apparently, these Marines thought she had eaten a “Devil’s Fruit” of some kind which allowed her to blow up the ship from afar, and that she therefore would have all of the weaknesses associated with it, such as being drained by seastone and being unable to swim. She snorted softly at that thought, as if they could separate her from her magic. Not to toot her own horn, but Hariel was proficient at wandless magic, more out of necessity than anything else, but still, her magic was much too strong for these people to separate from her.
Unknown to her captors, she had gotten herself out of this cell and explored the entirety of Impel Down within the last two weeks, meeting with other prisoners and finding out information on Pirates (which for some reason the Marines thought she was, hence the bounty on her head), the World Government, and the Revolutionaries.
Thinking about it, talking with Ivankov had provided the most information, though he did not understand why she stayed when it was obvious that the Marines really couldn’t hold her.
“Why aren’t you trying to escape?” Ivankov asked the third time she came to him to ask questions. Her time here was beginning to show, her dark hair, tousled hair looking like she had just gotten out of bed, slightly chapped lips, and ripped shirt barely hiding the bruises and mild cuts that come from the Warden trying to break someone. He knew this woman in front of him had a different agenda. She was strong and was able to get out of the cuffs and cells, as demonstrated by her presence on his level.
“Why would I leave now?” she replied, her voice soft and husky, a small smile fluttering at the edges of her mouth, green eyes alight with mischief, “I haven’t gotten what I came for yet.”
*******END OF FLASHBACK*******
She was waiting, anticipation seeping down her spine as her magic started to churn within her breast, telling her that the time Luna had warned her of was coming.
She looked up as a door opened at the end of the cell rows, peering out as the Marines dragged a tall man chained in seastone cuffs, towards her cell.
Goon 1 as she privately thought of him, his name not being important enough for her to remember, leered at her as he, to her surprise, unlocked her cell door.
“Got ya a roommate, bitch.” He laughed as he motioned for the other two to bring the man into her cell and chain him to the opposite wall.
She stayed quiet, allowing the guard’s words to fade into the background, as her sharp eyes took in all the details of not only the guards, but the man they had just chained opposite her. The guards’ uniforms were unsullied, but there was blood dripping from the back of the man’s head, which was hanging down as if he were asleep. He had bruises and small lacerations decorating what she could see of his chest and arms, which considering his shirtless state, was quite a bit. Still, she held her tongue, ignoring the guard that had continued to taunt her and the new prisoner. She knew how to fade into the background, to prevent extra attention to be paid to her, not responding being one of the key ingredients to her easy survival here.
Seeing that she wasn’t responding to the taunts he was giving, the blonde marine sniffed and turned, motioning for his two guards to follow him out of the cell.
“We’ll see if you get fed today,” his high, nasally voice called over his shoulder, “after all, the dead don’t need to eat.” He laughed here, as if he had made the best joke ever.
Silently, she listened to his footsteps retreat, sharp green eyes following him out of the cell block before returning her gaze to her new cellmate, studying as he seemed to jolt awake. Black eyes rose to meet striking green, shock slackening his freckled face as he recognized that he wasn’t alone in the cell.
“Nice to meet you,” Hariel stated, green eyes glowing with mirth and sparking with mischief, “I’m Hariel, apparently your new cellmate.” Her magic was moving restlessly underneath her skin, waiting for the reply.
He stared at her for a long moment. Taking in her ripped shirt, showing off fading bruises and healing cuts, undamaged pants, and to his surprise, pouches and what looked like weapons still attached to her belt, seastone chains wrapping her wrists.
“Portgas D. Ace,” He replied, his voice low and smooth, “How do you still have your stuff?” Her magic sung, and a grin made its way across her face, playfulness shining in her eyes. This was what she was waiting for.
Chapter 2: Chapter 1
It took a moment for his question to register in her mind. He can see behind the Notice-me-not charms? Maybe its a “D” thing? He is the first person in this world that I’ve met that was a “D” like Luna said I was meant to be. Harry thought to herself.
“You are the first to see it. But yeah, its magic” she replied, knowing that she would not be believed. Her prediction was right, as the moment she stated it was magic, his face closed off and he started to eye her suspiciously, as if she was some trick the Marines were trying to play on him.
Ace, on hearing her answer, looked at the young woman suspiciously. Why? Why would the Marines capture someone and leave them with all of their stuff? He studied her face, trying to find a trace of a lie, but couldn’t. For some reason he wanted to believe her, felt drawn to her, like she was what he was missing his entire life. This feeling caused him to be even more suspicious. What if one of the Marines ate a Devil Fruit that allowed them to affect his mind? He wondered. Well, nothing I can do about it right now , he thought, guess I have to be careful and feel it out.
Harry noted as Ace went silent, nodding her head slightly, assuming correctly, that he was somewhat suspicious of her. That was a good thing in her books; it keeps you alive. Constant vigilance , she thought sardonically, a great trait to have, but it's going to make escaping this place all that much more difficult. Based on the way her magic responds to him, she was certain that he must be the ‘Ace of Fire’ that Luna told her of all those years ago, but she can tell that trust wasn’t going to come easily between them, due to both of their trust issues.
“How did they get you, Portgas?” She asked, hoping to start at least a dialogue and make their new arrangements more comfortable.
Ace was quiet for a long moment, a dark, angry look overtaking his face before he forcefully blanked his face.
“Why do you want to know? What do you care?” He asked, suppressed rage seeping into his tone.
Harry blinked, shocked at the difference in the man before her, from the incredulous, young man to this suspicious, angry one. Damn, she thought, I really stepped into it this time. She recognized his behaviour as somewhat similar to hers, knowing he had been hurt before. After thinking over her options, she decided blunt honesty would get her the best results in this situation, a good thing for her, as she hated lying. She spent the majority of her life living a lie, so while she was good at faking it, she never wanted to return to that person. The martyr the wizarding world had wanted, created, the role they had forced her into, and then blamed her for surviving it.
Taking a deep breath, and looking up into Ace’s black eyes, she laid it all out. “I’m ready to leave this place; I’ve gotten all the information I need about the World Government and its Marines, as well as the major players and pirates around, by name though not by picture. There is no better place to get information than a prison, as the guards and prisoners are all loose with their words in places like this. Since I ended up here with Luna, and accidentally made an enemy of the Marines. Which by the way, I stand by my decision to sink their bloody ship, they deserved it. I figured I needed to get more information about the world and with them pursuing me, I wasn’t able to get my bearings very easily, therefore I let them capture me so I could get the information I needed. The only information I now need is access to the actual bounty posters in order to put the names with faces”
Ace couldn’t help it; his jaw dropped in shock. This woman, if she wasn’t a plant, was insane. Go to prison in order to get information? He thought, what kind of person thinks like that?
He opened and closed his mouth a few times, but before he could form a response, the door at the end of the hall opened again, both prisoners turned towards the sound.
Vice Warden Magellan strode down the hall, stopping at their cell. He barely glanced at Harry before his eyes focused on Ace.
“How’s it feel to have your so called ‘brother’ turn you in, pirate?” he taunted, “You are gonna die, and it’s going to be a painful process, Fire Fist, and I am going to enjoy every minute of your suffering. You should have never been born, anyway, son of Gol D. Roger.” Harry’s eyes widened slightly, Fire Fist, Ace of Fire, well now I know why my magic likes him. Good thing I already planned to get him out of here with me, she thought.
“Shut up,” Ace yelled, “My Father is Whitebeard!”
“No, he isn’t,” responded Magellan, his words barbed for maximal pain, “and when we kill you, everyone will know the truth. You are worthless, weak, useless, couldn’t even protect your so-called family, much less avenge them.”
Hariel couldn’t stay silent any longer as she watched Ace hunch into himself as the words struck deeper than any knife.
“The worthless one here is you, ‘ Warden’ ” she stated, voice cold and her words dripping with disdain, “after all, your precious government had to be handed him, already injured, in order to actually bring him here. I find that when it takes betrayal and backstabbing in order to overwhelm an opponent, it means that one is lacking. And, well, looking at you, I can see a lot is,” she purposefully drags her eyes up and down his frame, a smirk curling her lips, “lacking.” Clearly her words had an effect as the wardens face reddened with rage.
Wow, she thought, He gets more purple than Vernon ever did . The quick backhand slamming her head back and causing her lip to split was slightly stronger than she had expected from her observation, but as she never got out of the habit of antagonizing her enemies, she was ready to move her head with the force of the blow, decreasing the damage she would have otherwise taken.
“Uppity, no name bitch,” Magellan spat out, “looks like not only will Ace be getting his welcoming present today, but you will be needing a new course in manners.”
Hariel cut her eyes over to Ace, noticing that he had come to his feet and had moved as far as the chains on his wrists would allow, as if trying to protect her. As their eyes met, a silent understanding came to be: they would be leaving, and doing so, together.
Slowly turning her head, Harry spat out the blood that collected in her mouth from the split lip he gave her at Magellan’s feet. “Oh so powerful, you are,” sarcasm positively dripped from each word as she looked up at him, eyes glowing slightly with her magic as she fought to keep it from lashing out and tipping her hand. “Beating on those not only chained in seastone, but the very cell made of seastone meant to drain us. Obviously you wouldn’t stand a chance if either of us were outside these chains, much less the cell.”
Magellan flinched back from the poisonous look in her eyes before recovering, brought himself up to his full height, and turned to leave, pausing only to glare down at her. “The specialists will be down to see you soon,” was flung over his shoulder, not quite running away, but only just.
A grin split Harry’s face at the fear she could see the large man hiding. She knew just how intimidating her eyes could get when glowing with her suppressed magic, it was a useful tool during the war. As soon as the door at the end of the hall closed, she couldn’t stifle her laughter anymore. Loud, free, body shaking laughter burst from her, soon joined by a lower but no less forceful laughter of her companion.
“I’ve never heard of him ever getting flustered,” Ace commented, humor lacing his words, once their laughter had calmed down, “and by a girl so much smaller than him.” Suddenly a loud rumbling noise filled the cell. Harry looked over at Ace, seeing him start to blush a bit, and realized it was his stomach.
“Ummm, how often do we get food here?” he asked sheepishly, trying to move his arms, before glaring at the chains on his wrists attaching him to the wall behind him and limiting his movement.
Giggling, she replied, “Not often, and definitely not anything actually fit to eat. However, I have enough food to share if you need it. How long has it been since you last ate?” concern shining in her eyes as she remembered what it felt like to go without food for days on end back in Surrey, before forcebly locking that particular memory into a box and shoving it to the back of her mind with all the other unsavory memories she didn’t want to think about.
“A few days, I guess. But how do you have food? Even with you still somehow having your possessions, those pouches don’t look like they could actually hold much,” was the reply, scepticism coating his words.
With a cheeky grin, she pulled a pouch off her belt, opened it, stuck her entire arm into it, and summoned some sandwiches she had under a stasis charm. Pulling her hand out, holding a sandwich, she floated it over to hover in front of his face for him to eat.
“I told you before: magic.” she said with a wink. Well, she thought, at least there is some form of truce going between us now, as she watched him dig into the sandwich, gaze roving over his form again. Suddenly is struck her, she was checking him out, and finding him attractive! Oh great, figures that it only takes another bloody world for me to get a crush! And in a bloody prison of all places! Ignore it, it doesn’t exist, he isn’t absolutely gorgeous! Just fit, like...like, oh bollocks, I’m screwed.
She was startled back to the real world by Ace’s voice.
“Thanks. So...you said something about leaving this place?”
Before Hariel could answer, a silver platypus seeped through the wall, filling the otherwise cold cell with warmth, turned to her, the bill opening and Luna’s voice spilled out.
“Hariel, you’ve spent too much time trapped in cages and dungeons already in your life, get out. Leave a double, though, can’t have too much changing, after all, the fates would be upset, and ruin would follow. Green spells can rid you of the Dark, and save a vast headache, and seastone chains would be good to have around. Leave the Queen, he’ll be needed later. Oh, and when you are out, I’ve met a wonderful talking Bear, and a boy made of rubber who saved a mermaid. I can’t wait to introduce you. Being hard to notice, bubble heads, and sea serpents will be your friends for leaving. See you in the morning.”
With the end of the message, she looked back up at Ace, only to see his head hanging down, fast asleep. Okay, now that’s new , she thought, how’d he fall asleep so fast? What now? In the time it took her to process those thoughts, Ace jerked awake, and looked at her again.
“What happened? How’d you fall asleep so fast, and then wake up” she asked, genuinely confused.
“Oh, forgot. It just happens sometimes,” he muttered. “What was that silver thing, anyway?”
“That was a patronus from my friend Luna. A bit of advice on how to get out of here and to trick the Marines. Ready to leave this place?”
Fire flashed in his eyes, “Hell yeah!”
Chapter 3: Chapter 2
With that confirmation, Hariel stood up, “ Alohomora ” under her breath, her seastone chains opened, allowing her to grab them, wrap them up and tuck them into another pouch on her belt, before sauntering across the cell towards Ace, sitting with his back against the wall, jaw dropped. Smiling at the initial shock on his face, she sauntered towards him.
“Cat got your tongue?” was the cheeky question as she leaned over him, reaching towards the chains holding his right wrist. “ Alohomora.” Looking up from her task once the manacles popped open she caught saw him quickly avert his eyes, and looked down at her position. “Eep.” she would forever deny she squeaked slightly at her position, almost losing her balance. She was standing, straddling his folded legs, her hand propped on his shoulder for balance as she bent to reach towards his outstretched wrist. Blushing faintly, she studiously ignored the mirth and fire in his eyes as she quickly released his other wrist before quickly backing up, almost tripping over the large chains on the floor, before warm, large hands caught her hips, steadying her.
“I guess magic is real,” he stated as he let go and stood up, noting that her head came just above his chin. “How come the guards haven’t come yet? Is the Surveillance Den Den Mushi not working or something?”
“Oh, technology, even Den Den’s don’t work properly with active magic. The one in this cell has been asleep and not recording since I first performed magic in here. Now, we need to get out of here. Bend your head down please, this will feel somewhat unpleasant, but should prevent anyone from seeing us, as long as we are quiet. At least, it has worked for the past two weeks while I explored this place.” She kept up the monologue as she reached up, tapped the top of his head while performing the Notice-me-not charm. He shuddered at the feeling as if an egg was breaking over his head.
“Now,” she murmured, more to herself than to him, “decoys, solid or illusionary, now or later; I always was pants at long term transfiguration, but in the short term it might help keep them off our tail long enough to leave, and has the bonus of providing an actual body for them to see and interact with. But it would probably be more draining than I want…”
“What’s next,” he interrupted, mentally placing the unfamiliar words like transfiguration into the back of his mind to be addressed later.
“Oh,” she snapped out of her diatribe, “I was just trying to figure out the best course for escape. If we don’t leave a decoy now, something to hide the fact that we are gone, there is a large chance that the alarm will sound earlier than we want. However, if I create decoys now, since I am not amazing at complex transfiguration, it will probably drain my core enough to not allow me to keep my trump card for the fights that will most likely come at the top of this tower.”
“No decoy,” he replied, “we both need to be at the strongest we can be in order to get out. And without the chains, I will be able to fight at close to full power. Is your magic the only way you can fight?”
“No, it’s just my ace,” she said absently, not even realizing her unconscious pun on his name, causing a smirk to tug at the corner of his lips.
“Okay then, why don’t you get yourself covered, and we can get going. Don’t want to stay here longer than I have to, personally,” was the reply.
“Whoops,” she commented flatly, quickly murmuring the notice-me-not charm on herself before turning and opening the cell. “Follow me, and quickly.” she stated while reaching out and grabbing his hand, noting distractedly that it was warmer now than when she first touched him to unlock the chains.
With that, they left the cell, and she led him through the prison. He kept his hand in hers, not ready to let go of her smaller hand, actually enjoying the sensation of holding onto someone again, though he would never admit it. He was in awe over the way she moved, like a large predatory cat, a gliding walk, stopping and starting suddenly with him following suit to prevent discovery. How is she so good at this? He wondered, Was she a thief? Pirate? Where was she from? While his mind was racing with questions about this attractive woman, guiding him through a thought to be inescapable prison with confidence, he still kept focus on their steps, every turn, and detour to avoid interaction with or detection by the guards.
Forcefully turning his thoughts away from the curiosity of the ravenette holding onto his hand, he looked around when she suddenly stopped near a small hallway. “We are almost there. Judging by the lack of light coming from this hall, it’s still night out, which is good for us,” her voice soft, barely a breath on the breeze, ensuring none but he could overhear, “once we get out there, you are going to have to trust me, completely.”
“I’ve trusted you this far and its gone pretty okay. Its not like you are gonna make me jump into the ocean or something,” he huffed out. Silence. He looked down at her again, seeing her looking up with a worry and determination written in her eyes, lips tightly together. “Your not serious!” the shocked response was louder than he wanted, causing him to quickly clamp his free hand over his mouth as they both froze, ears straining to see if his loud statement was heard. Both breathed a sigh of relief when no one came. Quietly he hissed at her, his hand releasing hers, “I’m a Devil Fruit user! I cannot swim; in fact I sink like a stone and can’t do anything once in the water! Why bother dragging me out of there, making me believe in getting freedom back, when you plan to kill me a different way!” He had started pacing, running his hand through his hair, betrayal written across his face.
Lunging forward, she grabbed his jaw, forcing him to look at her, glowing green eyes meeting black, capturing his full attention, “Listen Ace, I wouldn’t suggest this if I didn’t know, for certain, that I could ensure you live. Understood?! We will escape, it will be uncomfortable for you, but you will survive. Is that clear?!” Fire flashed in her eyes, as he took in her serious demeanor.
Studying her, he finally gave in. “Okay, I’ll trust you.”
Her shoulders relaxed, causing the ripped shirt to dip off her left shoulder, exposing whip marks and the start of a scar that seemed to go towards the middle of her chest.
“Before we go any further, it's time to make a copy of you,” was her simple statement. “We haven’t had to fight at all yet, so I think it's best to have them ‘capture’ you while escaping; it will ensure they don’t follow us off the island.”
“But didn’t you say you weren’t good that that transflageration thing?” was the incredulous response.
“Yes,” she stated simply, “but that was before. I have been thinking, and I believe it's a necessary risk at this point.” With that she reached up and pulled a hair out of his head, causing him to swallow a yelp of surprise. “What was that for?!”
“It will make the work easier.” Her reply was distracted as she first pulled out a piece of paper with a strange symbol on it, tying his hair around the paper, then pulled out an 11” stick with a handle, and started making complicated gestures with it, pointing at the wrapped paper. His eyes widened as the paper started to morph and grow, eventually becoming a replica of him, tattoos, scars, bruises, hell, even his shorts, torn and dirty as they were.
His doppleganger looked at her, and his voice came out, just as cocky, “I’ll go make some ruckus, good luck.” With that, the copy turned away from them and started running down the hall, fire lighting his shoulders.
“What the fuck, how can that thing control fire?” was the only thing he could bring himself to ask.
With that he looked at her, noting that she seemed slightly more drawn and tired than she had for their entire journey to the top of Impel Down.
“The paper is special; the rune for fire was etched into it, and that, along with your hair, which contains your essence, allows it to act like you and gives the construct a limited amount of your abilities,” she explained, “now, I just need to get a pepper-up and I’ll be right as rain.” With that her arm went into another pouch, retrieving a small glass vial, which she opened, and threw back like a shot, grimacing at the taste, and startling Ace slightly when steam came out of her ears.
With a deep breath, she settled herself, ready to fight again, as that was a very real probability in order to get to the water. “Be ready to fight, but we are trying for stealth, if at all possible. Understood?” Her voice was hard, like a commander expecting to be obeyed. She had settled into what Luna referred to her “Commander mode,” which she used to survive the war last year. In the back of her mind, an idle thought of whether or not her birthday had come yet, making her 19 instead of 18, was quickly dismissed.
Ace nodded before he could stop himself, being reminded of the orders given to him by Pops, or even Marco in serious situations. He knew what this type of mission entailed, and would follow to the best of his abilities…Though he also knew he was not the most stealthy of fighters, he would try.
With that agreement, they slipped down the hall, to find a window which she deftly and quietly opened. They quickly clambered out the window with her taking the time to quietly close and lock it behind them, climbing down to the ground level carefully, sitting behind some conveniently placed crates and barrels. When she didn’t appear to be moving from the spot, he glanced down at her again, leaning close to the point his lips brushed her ear, “what are we waiting for,” was breathed out, barely a whisper.
Turning towards him, whispering “the copy needs to make a ruckus first,” he noticed just how close he was to her, their lips almost touching, causing his face to grow hot with a blush. He was just now figuring out that this slender woman was highly attractive, and way too close for comfort. Before another word could be said, a loud alarm rang through the building behind them.
“That’s our cue,” she grinned, as she launched herself out of their hiding place, running at a pace that belied her small body. Seeing her move, he quickly followed, assuming she knew where they were going. Around streets, over buildings, jumping, rolling acrobatics were in every move she made. She even took a flying jump and knocked out a Marine before he could sound another alarm, without even stopping. He had to admit, if only to himself, watching her in action, twisting, jumping, taking out her enemies without using that strange magic stuff, was hot. When they arrived at the top outer wall, he knew this was it. The part where he would have to trust her with his lift, because into the sea was the only way out of this. Miles of sea surrounded them, Marine ships as far as the eye could see, and sea kings swimming leisurely in the swirling water. He stopped, looking at the odds, then looking at Hariel.
“What’s your full name?” He found himself asking, trying to stave off the uncertainty of whether or not he would really get out of this alive.
“Potter D. Hariel, as you would say,” she replied, taking his hand, “trust me.” Using her other hand she cast the bubble head charm on herself and him, not that it could be seen of felt outside of the water.
With a deep breath, he squeezed her hand, “I do,” and with that, they jumped into the water below.
Immediately upon hitting the water, his eyes closed and body went cold. He couldn’t move his limbs, sinking like a stone, the only consolation was the feel of her hand still in his. Holding his breath, hoping that she was able to swim him to the surface to breathe, he felt them go further and further down, her hand still in his, before hearing her laugh a little. Startled to hear it so plainly, his eyes opened, seeing a bubble-like thing surrounding her nose and mouth.
“Breathe,” she laughed as she finally pulled his arm, winding his limbs around her shoulder and torso, as her strong legs started to kick, moving them forward through the water.
He took a shaky breath, finding it strange to be attempting to breath underwater, and it working like he was in the air. In that instance, with water surrounding him, he closed his eyes again and concentrated on the feel of her body under his, her back against his chest, the coolness distressing him somewhat, as he had felt her warmth before they hit the water. Suddenly they stopped moving forward, instead she was treading water. Opening his eyes he was confronted with a large serpentine Sea King. Shit! He thought, and I’m completely useless!
As the Sea King opened its mouth, presumably to attack, Hariel started hissing.
“Stop. We need your help to the next island, please.” Harry hissed, keeping her cool just like when she fought the basilisk.
“You speak? A speaker? Of course I will help a speaker!” the creature hissed back, swimming closer, placing its head under her. Without thought, Hariel grabbed onto the spine protruding from the back of its head. “Please keep us under water until the large ships are no longer in sight,” Harry requested, knowing that was the easiest way to continue unnoticed.
“As you wish, speaker,” the Sea King responded, “the others are going to be so jealous that I found the one prey that isn’t prey. They think you don’t exist.”
Hariel shook her head somewhat to clear it, carefully casting a sticking charm on both her and Ace to prevent them from sliding off of their new ride. Glancing towards Ace, she reveled in the dumbfounded look on his face. “We’ll be to the next island by sunrise,” she said, and she got herself comfortable as she could for the cold ride, casting a warming charm that she was sure wouldn’t last long on both herself and Ace. “After all, Luna is waiting to meet you.”
Hariel looked over at Ace’s form, sprawled out on the Sea King’s head; he had fallen asleep again, and she had to confess she was jealous. She hadn’t actually slept for more than a couple hours at a time since going to Impel Down. It was too much like being held in Malfoy Manor, hearing the screams of her friends as the Death Eaters hurt them, trying to get information about her and her plans; trying to break her into sharing her plans. The dreams had come back with a vengeance in that place, but even under water, stuck to the Sea King, he was able to sleep, though the narcolepsy might have something to do with that.
Within a few minutes of her thoughts she noted they were getting closer to the surface, coming close to an island, tropical by the warmer feel of the waters. She waited, closing her eyes as they broke the surface of the water, the island coming into view. It was a large jungle type island with a mountain in the middle, serpents around the top of it and the word “Kuja” carved into the cliffside. She shivered slightly as the sea air brushed against her still soaking wet clothing, hair dripping water down her back.
“Amazon Lily,” Ace’s voice rang out from behind her having woken up on breaking into open air again, causing her to glance over at him, as he was still stuck laying down on the large Sea King’s head. “Care to let me up?” he asked, head turned towards her.
A blush overtook her features as she mumbled an apology, quickly releasing the spell that had kept then both attached firmly to the sea king.
Quickly turning away from his attractive, soaked form, she spoke to the sea king, “Would you please allow us off at the cliffside over there?” pointing to a peak on the right side of the island, which seemed to climb straight up from the sea, which would allow the sea king to place its head on the edge for them to jump off onto solid ground.
Following her finger, Ace could see a small speck of pale yellow reflecting the colors of the sunrise currently occurring. The sea king hissed something back, which Ace assumed was affirmative, as they turned slightly towards where she pointed, quickly approaching the cliff.
“You know, Amazon Lily won’t accept me onto their island,” he pointed out, “women only.”
Harry looked over her shoulder as he walked up behind her, “Yes, they will. Because I don’t break promises, and I don’t leave those I’ve claimed behind,” was her simple response.
“Claimed?” he echoed in disbelief. As he brought his eyes back to her, he watched as a bright blush effused her face, traveling down her neck and disappearing under her shirt. Wonder how far that blush goes , the wayward thought travelled through his mind without his say so. Before she got a chance to reply, the sea king stopped, and a light, airy voice captured the duo’s attention.
“You’ve found your Ace, Harry,” Luna, in all her eccentric glory commented, “but then again, even you can follow directions that direct dear.”
Harry did a double take when she got a good look at her friend. She was wearing what amounted to a muggle bikini with a cape around her shoulders and boots, radish earrings and bottle top necklace still in place.
“Wotcher, Luna-luv,” Harry squeaked up, “What’s with the wardrobe change? And can we come aground, please?”
“When in Rome, Harry-dear, when in Rome,” Luna replied before turning towards Ace, “And you, Ace of Fire, you are claimed as Harry’s, learn to live with it, for she won’t let you die.” Turning back towards Harry, her tone changed. “I have negotiated a short stay here, an exception if you will, for Ace to come onto the island on your behalf. He will be your responsibility and not allowed to go anywhere on the island without you. Additionally, you will have to spar with him, in front of the witnesses chosen by the island women, and at least come to a draw, if not an outright win. Commander, do not share your magic with anyone here, for they would want to keep us, and we are needed in other places. Oh, and I also found your lost dog; he will prevent the death of another father.”
Hariel’s eyes were sharp, taking in the information, nodding along with what her friend and comrade discussed, before stopping as the last sentence made it through her head. “He’s alive?!” she yelped, struck by the thought that her godfather had survived, and ended up in the same world she got to.
“Wait, dog?” came Ace’s confused voice, “and claimed? What does that even mean? How do you know this stuff?”
Hariel jumped from the sea king’s head, turning to tell it a quick thank you, studiously ignoring the conversation going on at this point. She was exhausted, the sleepless nights taking their toll and the pepper up potion starting to wear off. She blinked slowly, her mind starting to slow down, now that she was relatively safe with her trusted Luna to watch over and keep both her and Ace safe.
Luna, for her part, ignored his inquiry, “You may want to catch her,” she stated simply. Upon speaking, it was as if the cords holding Hariel to awareness had been cut, blackness closing off her vision, as her fatigue and lack of sleep finally caught up to her. Ace barely moved fast enough to catch her body as she crumpled. He cradled Hariel’s body in his arms, his questions departing his mind as worry creased his brow. He noted how cold her skin was, unconsciously ramping up his internal temperature to help warm her up.
“She will be fine,” Luna assured, observing his actions with a secretive smile, “she used a lot of power to ensure your copy would last long enough, and even use some of your abilities. That, on top of not sleeping for the past two weeks or so while waiting for you, has just exhausted her. However, if you wouldn’t mind, warmth and comfort tend to help her actually sleep through the night, especially when it’s from someone she has claimed.” The blonde turned away, “Now, please follow me. I will bring you to your temporary home.”
Without any other options, Ace followed the blonde, his grip tight on the woman in his arms, holding her close to his chest.
Luna led him to a small one room building, hidden within the forest. Gesturing to a mat off in one corner, she said, “You can put her down there. I will need to dry her off and get her into something more substantial to sleep. I can also give you something to cover yourself so your pants can be washed as well.”
Ace was hesitant to let Hariel go, as she was the only person he knew and had earned his trust by not going back on anything she had said to him so far. He knew that she trusted this “Luna” and they appeared to have a history, but he was still wary of her, especially as she had refused to answer any of his questions.
“If you put her down, I will answer the questions that I can,” Luna said airily, seeming to read his thoughts.
With that assurance, he strode across the room and gently laid her down onto the mat, gentle hands brushing her still damp hair off her face. “Are you able to get into those pouches she has? The ones that give her access to all her supplies?”
“No,” was the simple reply, “those specific ones are blood locked, only she can access them. However, I am a bit better at transfiguration than her, so I have already changed one of the outfits I have from the Kuja to something she would be more comfortable with wearing.”
Luna stepped over and without another word started to undress Hariel, leaving Ace to quickly turn away to give a modicum of privacy. While he still wanted to keep an eye on her, he knew her privacy should come first, especially since he owed her now for saving his life.
A few minutes later, Luna’s amused voice broke the awkward silence, “You can turn around now, I believe I promised you some answers.”
Almost a full day later found Ace sitting next to Harry’s still passed out form, watching the sunset through a small window, contemplating the information Luna had provided. First off, Harry had used up a great deal of energy ensuring the copy of him would last for up to 2 months, so that he would be safe. That was how Luna knew she had claimed him, because she didn’t bother to make a copy of herself, at all. Hell, she ensured that the Notice-me-not charm on him made him practically invisible, whereas hers was somewhat shoddy, enough so that one of the Den Den Mushi surveillance cams was able to spot her with his copy while at the prison, causing her to get a new name from the Marines as well as increase her bounty. The funniest part was they still didn’t actually know her name, which is why they kept giving her epithets. Her first bounty was apparently under the name “Green Lady” but was now “Ace’s Lady,” for a cool 400,000,000 belis. He snorted at that one. The Marine’s somehow assumed that they knew each other prior to Impel Down just because “he” had helped her escape. He was still unsure as to what being claimed really meant, as Luna just got a secretive smile on her face, and refused to answer that question.
However, he did get to learn more about both Luna and Harry, though he would admit he was more interested in learning more about his fellow escapee than the blonde. When he had asked how powerful Hariel was, he was not only immediately told to call her “Harry” instead, but also that she was much more powerful than Luna. Comparatively, Harry with use of her magic was as strong if not stronger than an Admiral in the Marines whereas Luna could be compared to a high level rookie pirate crew. Luna had pointed out that Harry without use of her magic would be able to hold her own against Ace without his Devil Fruit abilities for a while at least, as her stamina was too low to go for long in a purely physical battle, and stated she probably had the ability to use Haki, but not the training.
“She led us in war, taught us to defend ourselves against those that would cause us harm and even kill us. She gave us food while she starved because she knew from experience that she could handle it. She freed our society from prosecution for things we had no control over.” Luna’s voice had been soft and underlined with sadness, “she was forced to kill, she protected me from torture when we were captured. I, no we, owed her everything. And then they betrayed her, because she did nothing more than live when they believed she should have died a martyr. Her will to protect those she has claimed, is unparalleled. She came back from death to protect us. Harry, once she claims you, she doesn’t let you go.”
A whimper from the direction of the mat caught his attention, bringing him out of his thoughts. Looking over, he saw Harry twisting on the mat, a light sheen of sweat upon her brow, face scrunched as if in pain, breathing labored. Reaching over on instinct, he lay a hand on her shoulder, causing her eyes to fly open. He had no time to react as all of a sudden he was flat on his back, her over him, what he had learned was her wand at his throat, green eyes open but not fully registering what was happening.
“Harry,” he said softly, not wanting to startle her and not using his flames so that he wouldn’t hurt her, “it’s okay. You are safe, it's me, Ace.” Slowly her eyes cleared as she became aware of her surroundings.
Blinking back into awareness, her grip on her wand slackened. Without thought her head lowered as she put her wand away, resting her forehead against his collar bone, soaking in his warmth for a moment before her position truly registered. Her bare legs were splayed on either side of his hips, breasts pressed to his chest. Freezing, she slowly lifted her head, green eyes meeting black, desire and attraction zinging between the two.
A throat clearing interrupted them. Ace finally took in exactly how little Harry was wearing, seeing the scar that he had only caught a glimpse of before, stretching from her shoulder down between her breasts, the shape of a lightning bolt, slashes across her shoulders, a large round pucker in the middle of her right biceps, revealed by the short camisole covering her torso. They both turned bright red, as they looked over towards the giggling blonde.
“My, my Harry. Never seen you be so literal with your claiming,” teased Luna, taking this rare moment to see Harry truly allowing herself to start to live.
Harry jumped off of him, looking down at herself for the first time noticing how many of her scars were on display and frantically looked for something to cover herself with. With a glare at Luna, Ace got up and grabbed Harry’s wrists gently, getting her to focus on him before stating with a calm voice that belied the anger he felt at seeing the results of the torture she had endured, “Do not hide your scars; you survived, and they are a testiment to your strength. Okay?”
Green eyes searched black for any hint of falsehood, finding only sincerity, before nodding, letting go of the blanket that she was trying to hide behind. Turning away from Ace, not noticing that her hands were still trapped in his, the warmth of his body radiating towards her.
“Luna,” she took in the laughter in the blondes light blue eyes, “did you come here just to make fun of me, or was there a real reason for your coming?”
“I brought dinner,” Luna said, gesturing toward a table Harry hadn’t noticed on the other side of the room, “You need to eat and cannot keep just using provisions to get by, Harry.”
Ace looked at Harry in disbelief, “You haven’t been eating?! But what about that sandwich you gave me at Impel Down?”
Harry shrugged, feigning nonchalance, “I’ve gone longer on less; You needed it more than I did.”
Luna looked at her, disapproval on her soft features, “Eat, Harry, you aren’t going to get out of it this time. We have too much to do to ensure the changes turn out favorably. That, and you will need all your strength in order to spar your Ace of Fire in order to keep him on the island safely without being attacked by the Kuja.”
Harry and Ace both blinked at that reminder before looking over at each other, sizing up their would be opponents.
“You’ve convinced me, lets eat!” Ace smiled as he said this, all but running towards the table full of food.
Harry sighed, knowing that if she was to go up someone as physically fit as Ace appeared to be, if his fighting ability was even half of what Ivankov had told her, she would need to be at full strength. “Fine, fine, you win Luna-bell. I’ll eat whatever you put on my plate.” She didn’t really want to fight with Ace; most of her moves were meant to kill, not subdue, a by-product of the war. She needed a workout, and she also needed to know that she would not accidentally kill him by instinctual magic use.
As she started to eat she noticed Ace’s head fall down right next to his plate, food still in hand, and blinked before turning to Luna, “Apparently he does that,” she stated, “do you know what that is? Seems awfully inconvenient…”
Luna shrugged in response, “He’s yours, Harry, nothing’s wrong. You don’t need to fix anything here.”
“If you’re sure,” she stated looking back at his sleeping form, hunched over his plate, food in hand. Her eyes lit up with mischief looking at him in this state. He would be the perfect victim for pranking with something like this occurring regularly. Luna laughed, noticing the suspiciously innocent look on her face, Ace waking up with a start and beginning to eat once again, as if it hadn’t happened. This will be fun , thought Hariel looking over. “When is the spar scheduled for?” she addressed Luna, “and when do I get to meet those these Kuja?”
“Tomorrow morning,” was the prompt reply, “They know you as my Commander, Harry, my leader.”
“Good,” responded Harry, “now, catch me up on what you’ve found out and what I need to know to make plans in the coming weeks.”
With that instruction, Luna’s entire demeanor changed from unfocused, airy girl to competent soldier responding to her commanding officer, providing all the information she had found out during her travels and news that had been published through the NewsCoo as well as any necessary information for procuring the best outcome for the future out of those that Luna had glimpsed.
“You now have a larger bounty from the Marines and are associated with Ace, they are calling you ‘Ace’s Lady’ now instead of ‘Green Lady’ and your bounty is up to 400,000,000 Bellis for breaking out of Impel Down, even with the assumed help of Ace. You would do well to finish your animagus transformation, as you know all you have to finish is the last step, and it will be useful, if not needed, later. Ace is the only one in this world who will be able to ride your form for long distances without protection. The Marine’s are planning to execute the copy of Ace that you made in one month’s time, though it is unclear as to whether or not that time will be moved up last minute as a surprise.
You must make the first conscious step in claiming Ace before going into the battle that will be held on Sabaody where the execution is to be held. Ace can fight with you, but if he uses his Devil Fruit power while there, if you have not perfected your animagus form, he will end up dead. Planning for the battle would be better if reunited with your dog and the help of the Phoenix.
On other notes, during tomorrow’s spar, you cannot use your magic externally or to boost your speed as you normally would, only to cushion blows and even the odds a little. I’ve looked into it, and you were right with your original conclusion: our bodies are not as resistant to injury as the indigenous people of this world, so we have to compensate in order to stay alive, especially during fighting, though your natural speed and reflexes are generally higher than even some of the more infamous people around here, probably closest to that of a man by the name of ‘Hawk-eyes Mihawk,’ who looks somewhat like he could be related to Madame Hooch with the eyes.
There are several types of power in this world. One that everyone has: Haki. It's basically willpower given physical effects. There is observation, armament, and Conquerors. I suspect that you may have Conqueror's considering how you were able to knock out that group of Death Eaters without any magic back when you were 16. However, I digress. Other powers are those of Devils’ Fruit, which come in three main categories: Paramecia, which give a power, Zoan, which give an animal form like an animagus, or Logia, which provide control of an element. Ace over there ate the Fire Logia type, whereas that blonde revolutionary I met, Sado or Sabo or something like that, the amnesiac with the beautiful scars and manners of a noble ate the air one. And the rubber boy I met ate a Paramecia.”
“Send a patronus message to my dog, Luna. Tell him to come to Amazon Lily, as soon as possible.”
Hariel closed her eyes, picking apart all of the information provided by her friend and seemingly new second in command. With a sigh, she opened her eyes, only to find Ace staring at them both, a contemplative look on his face.
Seeing that he now had Harry’s attention, he asked, “What did she mean about consciously ‘claiming’ me?”
Harry rubbed her brow, “That is a much more complicated question than you probably know.” She went quiet for a moment, thankful Ace was giving her time to fully form her thoughts on how to explain it. “I am in a unique position. In order to truly explain what a conscious claiming is you have to know a bit more about me. Luna and I are from a different world. We are witches, with magic, and we both have survived war. In fact, I had to lead a war; I’m sure Luna, Ravenclaw that she is, has already filled you in on some of this, so I won’t rehash negligible details.
I am stronger in magic than the others in my world. This large magical core, combined with my less than stellar upbringing, means my magic is not only stronger, but also much more autonomous than usual in its protection of me and those that I consider to be mine. My magic judges people that I come into contact with and either claims them as mine or not. The key with this is that those people are compatible with me. The more compatible, the stronger the urge to truly claim them. Now claiming only happens with excessively strong magic, as claiming helps to ground, or anchor the person’s magic, giving it another outlet. Luna was the only survivor of the war we were in that was one of my claimed people, not that most of them knew, as they had their own relatively strong cores. With exceptional compatibility, one that I have claimed will be imbued with a portion of my magic that they can utilize and that will jump to their defense like it does for me. It’s the closest that my world came to having ‘soul mates’ though it was mainly legends, with no concrete evidence, until I found out about it.
My magic has already tagged you, reacted more strongly to you than any of my other claimed. It sings for you and has already latched onto you somewhat, like a sticker. If, or should I say when, Luna’s right, which she always is. I consciously wash you with my magic, with the intent to claim you as my ground, the claim will be finalized. It will not change how we interact, how we think, just give a small boost and allow us to more easily communicate without misunderstandings and allow us to have a general sense of whether or not the other is well. Based on how much my magic likes you, I would guess it will be somewhat more intense than what I have with Luna, which is just a background knowing whether or not she is okay or in danger.
To be honest, I don’t know how much more intense it will be with you, Ace. My magic has never latched onto anyone quite as strongly as with you without conscious effort on my part.”
She fell silent, waiting for Ace’s response, seeing flames flickering around his hands as he slowly clenched and unclenched his fists, absently noting that Luna had left the room and was sending the message for Sirius, and hopefully the Phoenix. Seeing no response forthcoming from Ace after several long minutes, she sighed. “Alright, let’s get some sleep. We have to spar in the morning for the Kuja, and I know we both need to be at our best, or at least close to it for that spectacle.” With that, she withdrew to the sleeping space on the other side of the hut and layed down and went back to sleep, the slight flickering of flames casting a warm glow within the confines of the house.
Sirius looked up at the red headed man with a pompadour hairstyle lying prone on the bed in front of him. He was so very grateful he was finally able to repay this man who saved his life. The man in front of him, called Thatch, still had no idea that the massive black dog he had rescued was really a man. Sirius had been warned by his pup’s blonde friend to always carry with him the essentials for healing, such as dittany, phoenix tears, blood replenishers and healing potions, but also to have at least one vial of Draught of the Living Death and Wiggenweld potion, for they would be needed to save a life very dear.
Sirius had fallen into this world a few years ago, probably around 3 or so, and immediately changed into his animagus form. He knew he had a better chance at survival as a dog than a man in this new world, especially as he still needed time for his mind, body, and magic to heal from his long stay in Azkaban, followed by the abrupt disappearance of his goddaughters magical claim on him, stabilizing him. So he had hunted in the forests of the island he landed on, and occasionally trotted like any other stray through the streets of the town. It was on one of those visits to the town that he had met Thatch.
He was running, black fur flashing, paws hitting the pavement, muscle burning with exertion. Yells and hollers chasing him as he all but flew around a corner, away from those trying to kill him for the prank he pulled. His best yet, he had ‘accidentally’ knocked paint with glitter on top of two of the most obnoxious pirates currently visiting the town. They had harassed some of the kids that liked to feed him and been grabby at some of the women around town that would sometimes take pity of the poor old dog and leave him treats of dried meat. But now, he just had to outrun them before they made good on their promise to turn his fur into a rug. His thoughts were cut off abruptly when he hit something and crashed to the ground. Shaking his head, he looked down, his large furry body splayed out over a rather tall redhead with a strange pompadour hairstyle.
“What the...oh, you are a really cute dog. What’s got you running like that?” The man exclaimed.
Sirius just cocked his head, gray eyes sparkling. Before another word could be spoken, the two pirates chasing him careened around the corner into the alleyway, stopping abruptly at seeing Thatch, the 4th division commander of the Whitebeard pirates, with the dog they were chasing sprawled atop him.
Sirius quickly moved off of Thatch, and tucked himself behind the man that had sat up and was staring at the spectacle the men made. They were glistening in the sunlight, glitter filled paint covering them from head to toe, dripping down their faces and saturating their shabby clothing.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHA,” Thatch burst into riotous guffaws at the prank that had gotten these two idiots.
One of the idiots started to turn red under the paint, “Listen here,” he hissed furiously, “We are of the Picadilly crew, and no one laughs at us. Hand over the mutt, and we won’t kill you.”
Thatch’s laughter abruptly cut off. In a moment he was on his feet, sword in his hand. He quickly disposed of the pranked idiots, only knocking them out instead of killing them, as their pride already took a major beating, and it just wasn’t worth the paperwork. Turning back he studied the dog animagus.
“Any animal that can pull off that is good in my books. What do ya say, grey-eyes, wanna come with me? Oh the pranks we can play...you just gotta hide from Marco. He would ruin all my fun, stick-in-the-mud pineapple bird that he is.”
-----END OF FLASHBACK------
Thatch had proceeded to sneak him onto the Moby Dick and sequester him in his personal cabin, purposefully buying slightly more food than normal on his excursions, easily hiding the fact that there was another mouth being fed on board due to the fact that he was the main chef. Sirius genuinely liked Thatch, and had even started doing small things around the man, gauging whether or not he would be trustworthy to reveal himself to the man. His magic had already started a small familial claiming on the man, similar to the claim that he had had with James. Then that man had attacked him for a stupid fruit. Thankfully he had been close enough, fast enough, to transform and give Thatch the Draught of the Living Death, before transforming back and hiding. The Draught, though, hadn’t worked as fast on Thatch as it did on Magicals, oddly, which could be both a good and bad thing. The tall, attractive blonde, the one that Thatch always referred to as ‘pineapple’ when he could get away with it, Marco, had found Thatch and attempted to heal him using his phoenix form. It was too bad that he turned to a winter phoenix instead of the more well known fire phoenix, as their ability to heal was less effective on others and more draining from what he knew.
The black haired kid, the one that turned to fire and the only one outside of Thatch that definitely knew about him, had been devastated seeing Thatch, believing him dead. He immediately blamed himself and left after that traitor. Sirius had thought that that boy, Ace, was someone he would have liked to introduce to his god-daughter as he had learned more about him from Thatch. He had heard the kid was captured a couple days ago, and knew he would have to make a decision soon.
He needed to come clean with the crew, especially Marco, Whitebeard, and, when he figures out which potions and spells to use to fully heal Thatch and give him the Wiggenweld potion to wake him back up, Thatch.
Marco sat behind his desk, reports stacked in front of him being completely ignored. He looked down at the Vivre card in his hands: Thatch. He knew Thatch was dead, the doctors had stated his heart stopped, but the card was still there, it had started burning, and then froze halfway through, like time had stopped. Is this defective? Marco wondered. He had never heard of anything like that before. Making a quick decision, he abruptly stood and left the room, heading towards Thatch’s room, where his body had been placed temporarily, before a proper ceremony could be held.
As he walked down the hall, getting close to the door, he spotted a strange silver, translucent figure run across the hall, disappearing into Thatch’s room. Quickly following, he burst into the room, to prevent any further desecration of Thatch’s body, before freezing at the sight before him.
A large black dog was sitting by the bed holding Thatch and a silver platypus was standing in front of it.
“What the hell is going on here, yoi?” He exclaimed, losing his composure for a moment. The dog spared him a glance, intelligent gray eyes, judging him as not a threat, before turning back to the platypus, whose bill had opened up.
“Hi Sirius,” a light, feminine voice came out, “your pup needs you. It’s been too long, and there is always more to do. Give the chef a blood replenisher, then the Wiggenweld will do the rest of the healing. You need to come to Amazon Lily as soon as possible, and bring the Phoenix and chef with you. We are safe for now, but men don’t last on this island for long, even with your pup’s protection. The phoenix and chef would be helpful with getting us off this island, as once she finishes her animagus, her new claimed will be the only one who will be able to be carried by her. After all, fire won’t burn, and her scales can withstand lava, easily. And no, Phoenix, you are not dreaming or hallucinating; trust Sirius, he’s the reason the chef lives. Avoid the nargles, Snuffles, and see you soon.”
Sirius blinked, recognizing that Luna had seen something again, and was instructed to contact him. If she had contacted him on her own, her words would not have been half as succinct and easy to decipher. Unless asked to complete something by his pup, Luna tended to talk in riddles with a liberal smattering of imaginary animals to explain things. Well, time to face the music, I guess. The gig’s up. With that thought Sirius turned towards the attractive blonde that was currently gaping at where Luna’s patronus had been, and reached towards his human form.
“Wotcher, mate,” he stated, his low voice slightly gravelly due to lack of speech for so long, taking in the quick change from stunned to ready, admiring the quick reaction and readiness for action, a deceptively relaxed posture, ready to move at a moment’s notice and take him out with extreme prejudice. Sirius put his hands up to demonstrate that he was, as far as the other man could tell, unarmed.
“Who, what, are you, yoi? You don’t feel like a Devil Fruit user.” Marco commented, keeping a tight hold of his emotions, falling back under his unflappable mask as he studied the slightly shorter man. He wore some sort of robe with slight tears in the fabric over some type of leather pants and boots with a collared shirt and vest. Black, disheveled hair fell over piercing, grey eyes, shadowed with horrors seen and experienced, but sparking with mischief, set in a pale, aristocratic face, like one of the Nobles.
“If you’ve already forgotten, I’m Sirius, wizard, animagus, and prankster extraordinaire. But on a more serious note, we gotta move fast, my pup is waiting, and she’s waited long enough.” With that said, he turned away from the blonde, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the two potions Luna had told him to use, double checking the labels, before stepping closer to the man laying on the bed. However, before he could give Thatch the first potion, blood replenisher, a calloused hand grabbed his wrist, stopping him. Grey eyes clashed with blue as Marco assessed the dog turned man.
“If you hurt him in any way, I will kill you, yoi,” Marco hissed, before releasing Sirius’ wrist and stepping back, muted hope shimmering within his eyes.
Quickly, Sirius administered the blood replenisher, watching color start to seep into Thatch’s face, before tipping the Wiggenweld potion into his mouth, massaging his throat to get a swallow. The effects were immediate. His wounds closed up and he started breathing as if he was sleeping. Mischief sparkled in grey eyes as Sirius shot a look over his shoulder at Marco and transformed back into a dog just before Thatch’s eyes opened.
Marco hovered anxiously over his brother’s form. “You’re alive, yoi,” he breathed out, reaching out and grabbing the other man, hugging him solidly before backing off.
“How?” croaked out Thatch, “There’s no way I could have survived that attack.”
Marco turned towards the dog sitting at the end of the bed, all but exuding false innocence. Thatch followed his gaze, “Ummm, about the dog, I’ve kinda, sorta had him for almost a year. I can keep him, right?”
Marco laughed, “Only if he wants to be kept, isn’t that right, Sirius?”
The dog huffed before changing back into human form. “I’d love to stay, but I’ve got a pup to go after, and your presence was requested,” he said, his voice still slightly rough but his accent decidedly upper class.
“Okay,” Thatch all but squeaked out, realizing that the dog he had been catering to was in fact a man, more importantly, most likely a Devil Fruit user. Then again, the man hadn’t ever attacked them, so he figured this Sirius was harmless enough.
Marco took this moment to interrupt, “We will leave as soon as you are cleared by medical, Thatch. I am going to tell Pops the good news, yoi.” With that said, he turned and walked out the door, trusting the man with Thatch for the time being. After all, he had saved Thatch’s life. Now he just had to get permission to sail with only a small amount of his siblings to Amazon Lily. Deuce would have to be brought with them, as would Izou. Maybe a few more, but only enough to sail the boat. One of the nurses wouldn’t go awry either, as Marco could only heal so much. Shutting the door, he walked quickly, a large smile stretching across his face where usually a bored, almost sleepy look normally was. He couldn’t wait to tell Pops that not only was Thatch alive and well, but also Ace had escaped Impel Down, despite rumors to the contrary, something about and “Ace’s Lady” whom Ace had sacrificed himself in order to help escape. Things were finally starting to look up again.
Sorry about the massive re-uploading. I went through and actually did some editing and revising with one of my friends to make the writing a bit clearer. There was no change in plot points.