Chapter 1: The Catalyst
“Hello, Mr. Owl.”
Emerald eyes peered above at a snow white owl perched upon a stone pillar in the middle of a green park.
The owl tilted its head to the side, its mismatched eyes peering down, at the young girl of barely six, with curious eyes.
A voice behind them shifted both their attention.
“Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered. I have fought my way here beyond the goblin city to take back the child you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great….damn. ”
“Sarah?” The young girl waved at the other in the gown striding through the field like a maiden of old.
Grass green eyes shifted from the red book within her hands to the young girl across the way from her.
“What would the goblin king truly have to gain?”
The brunette teenager let out a sigh of frustration, “Diana, I’ve told you not to interrupt.”
“I know...its just…” The little girl plopped down on the grassy floor beneath her, her back rested against the stone pillar where the owl still sat. She gazed up at the sky, as she adjusted the round glasses at the tip of her nose. “The fae do not simply give away wishes or dreams for that matter. What made her special?”
Sarah strode forward her pastel skirts flurrying around her as she made her way toward her little sister.
“He loved the girl.”
Diana picked at a dandelion that lay at her feet, taking off each of its petals before gazing back up, “But why? The only thing he’d seen from her was her selfishness.”
“It’s a fairytale, it doesn’t need to make sense.”
“I guess.” Brown sweatered shoulders shrugged.
A rumble of thunder above their heads caused Merlin to bark nearby.
“There you are, Merlin. I wondered where you had gone.” Diana strode forward to bury her head into his grey and white fur before wrinkling her nose at the damp smell it gave off. “Playing in puddles again, ol’ boy?”
A ruff answered her back, causing the small girl to giggle.
The bell of the town square’s clock caused Sarah to let out a cry, “Oh no! It’s already seven o’clock. We need to run. Come on Diana, bring Merlin.”
Sarah picked up her skirts and began running; Diana followed after her only to turn back briefly as she saw a flash of white out of the corner of her eye.
“Bye, Mr. Owl!”
“It’s not fair!”
Diana sighed out loud as she walked in through the back door of her parent’s home, after making sure Merlin was dried off.
“Hello, Irene. I’m sorry we got back late.”
“Thank you for taking care of Merlin, Diana.”
Robert Williams rounded the corner, wincing as he heard his oldest daughter’s door slam from above.
“Of course.” Diana smiled before looking at Toby in his arms. “Have you had a rough day Toby? I’m here now.” Looking back up at her father figure, she held out her arms, “I can take him, Bob.”
He smiled gratefully at her, carefully placing Toby in her arms. It never ceased to amaze him how little Diana’s lithe frame could hold his ever growing little toddler of a son. Toby however always seemed to calm once he was in her arms, mesmerized by her bright green eyes and her gentle voice.
“I can take care of Toby instead of Sarah, Irene.”
The strawberry blonde haired woman smiled bittersweetly down at her, fingering her pearls around her neck.
“You are still too young, Diana.” She shook her head, “Despite how old you might act you are still only six.”
“I’ll go talk to Sarah.” Robert began the climb up the stairs, while Irene paced in front of the front door checking her watch.
“You look very pretty, Irene.”
“Thank you, Diana.” She stopped her pacing and turned toward the little girl holding her son like he was a precious treasure. “You’ll make sure he’s taken care of, won’t you?”
Diana nodded, her shoulder length hair bouncing showing off the odd scar that framed her forehead.
Irene tilted her head at the young girl, a moment of contemplation came over her. She remembered the day she met Robert’s two little girls. Sarah always looked at her like she was the enemy, however little Diana always looked upon her with an appraising respectful air. The brief hesitation she remembered feeling when she found out Diana had been adopted, dissipated quickly when she saw how the little girl’s existence tempered the fiery temper of Robert’s blood-related child. Without Diana, Irene was sure their family life would have been wrought with much more stress; for she always seemed to act as a happy mediator.
“I know you will be fine, you all will be.” The redhead nodded with a smile, just as her husband came down the stairs.
“Ready to go, my love.” Taking his wife by the hand he waved at his daughter and son before they both left for their date.
Toby was crying and she couldn’t get to him. Instead she was stuck in the restroom, hoping that Sarah would come out of her hobbit hole to try and calm her little brother.
She had just finished up when the lights flickered in the bathroom, causing Diana to finish washing her hands quickly before exiting into the hallway.
Toby was no longer crying.
Instead there was only an eerie silence.
Goosebumps spattered across her arms, as she felt what was like static electricity in the air. So much so she thought she could almost hear it crackling in the air.
It was familiar, so very familiar and yet this time Diana knew the feeling wasn’t coming from her. No, the almost electricity feeling in the air was coming from somewhere else. Eyes widening she raised down the hallway before making it through the open doorway of her parent’s bedroom. Running to the crib, she found no Toby.
Diana’s eyes widened as she heard a low-pitched giggle to her left and then a high pitched cackle to her right.
“Toby?” Sarah’s voice warbled in fear behind her.
Turning towards her sister who stood in the center of the room, jumping at every sound, “Sarah, what did you do?”
Lightning flashed at the window and thunder shook the room.
“I don’t know!”
Sarah’s eyes were frightened and ever so guilty. She turned toward Diana eyes wide, “I didn’t mean it, Diana. I didn’t mean it!”
Scratches at the window caused both of them to look toward the window, an owl was seen flapping its wings against it. Suddenly the window burst open and the owl flew toward Sarah’s face causing her to raise her arms in defense.
Diana stepped backwards into the shadows of the room, just as she did the owl flapped once back to the window before turning into something else. It’s shadow turning into that of a man.
As Sarah stared at the Goblin King before her, asking for Toby; Diana peered at him from the shadows. She was sure he was the same owl from the park. He was definitely fae as well, his beauty was too perfect, too angular and sharp to be of any other sort.
Her eyes narrowed as she viewed him offering Sarah a sphere, ‘her dreams’. When rejected the sphere turned to a snake that made Sarah jump back with a scream. When it fell to the floor, Diana peered at it. It’s unblinking stare locked with hers.
As quietly as she could, she spoke to it. ~Come to me, little one. My sister is one who may tread upon you.~
The snake unseen by the two in the center of the room, slithered to the young girl where she offered it her hand. It wrapped itself around her wrist. ~Thank you, speaker.~
Diana turned her eyes back to the scene in front of her, of the goblin king showing his kingdom through the portal he created in her parent’s bedroom window.
Diana hesitated only for a brief moment before she grabbed a hold of the Goblin King’s cloaks train before the three of them disappeared reappearing upon the hill overlooking the labyrinth.
Closing her eyes Diana willed the tingling she felt within her to hide her from view, keep her from being noticed. As she stayed, holding tightly to the king’s train even as he vanished leaving Sarah to complete the labyrinth in order to get Toby back. For Diana knew where the Goblin King went no doubt that’s where her little brother would be.
Chapter 2: Magic's Chosen
The world swirled around Diana before it stopped and she fell to her knees upon a stone floor. The snake left her wrist to slither away.
“What do we have here, a little stowaway?”
Emerald eyes blinked before looking up to meet mismatched ones this time framed in light lashes attached to a man and not an owl.
“Mr. Owl?” Diana shook her head, before stumbling to her feet. Her head still slightly dizzy from the teleportation. “Excuse me, Your Majesty.” Diana bowed low before the king before her.
A deep chuckle resounded from above.
The little raven haired girl glanced shyly up at the monarch through her glasses as she raised her head from her bow. She adjusted her glasses that had slid to the tip of her nose.
He stood tall, his feathery cloak hanging from his shoulders behind him.
“What are you doing here, little raven?”
Gathering up her courage, Diana tilted her head up allowing her gaze to match his. “May I attend to my brother, while my sister runs your labyrinth Sire?”
A sharp grin came over his pale features, lips tight over his canine-like teeth. “Follow me, little raven.”
They walked through stone arched hallways that seemed to warm up only when their king’s shadow graced their moss covered walls.
The sound of activity rose ahead of them. Shouts of goblins, squawks from what sounded like chickens and high pitched laughter echoed.
The king turned and strode into a room that Diana supposed was a receiving chamber of sorts for his subjects. He laid back upon his bone staged throne, gesturing to her brother who sat playing with some little goblins in a pit filled with blankets and ornate pillows.
“Your brother, little raven.”
She smiled and bowed her head once more to him, being careful not to thank him. She remembered reading about the legends of fae and how it was always important to think of how you worded your speech before them, less they take something that you weren’t willing to give.
Toby’s blonde head shot up at the steps echoing in the room that could only come from an adult, his bright blue eyes gleaming happily as he laid eyes upon her. His little hand reached out to her, opening and closing.
He clapped his hands as she sat beside him, her legs cross-legged. “How’ve you been lil’ Toby? Have fun with the goblins?”
“De, De!” His hand was out again, so she held her hand out and helped him toddle over and sit him in her lap.
Diana gazed at the little button nosed boy in front of her, her finger booping him on his nose. Causing him to scrunch up his nose and giggle.
“You are going to be quite the handsome young man some day, Toby.” She tilted her head and looked around at the goblins that seemed to have stopped their own versions of playing to stare at the two of them for a little bit. “However, I think you could make quite the adorable little goblin as well.”
“For the sister of the child and the runner, you don’t seem to be that worried; little raven.”
Diana glanced up from where Toby was playing with her hands to gaze upon the buccaneer like king before her.
She shrugged her shoulders, the strap of her overalls falling briefly down.
“It was inedible...no...in-et...no.” She bit her lip trying to remember the word she was trying to say.
“Inevitable.” He supplied, with an elegant arched brow.
“Yes! It was in-evi-table. After all, as soon as she found that book this was the desired outcome.”
He grinned, white teeth glinting even from far away; “What would make you think that?”
Diana responded with her own mischievous grin, “Well you ended up being everything she expected from a villain. You also are giving her a test of will, like the stories she’s read about. It is all made to reflect what she dreams about.” Bouncing Toby upon her knee, giving him butterfly kisses before she continued on, “Which makes me wonder what you get from it all?”
The king smiled wilder and wider at her, “What makes you think I get something from this?” He gestured at the world around him. “When I can have anything I could desire right here?”
“Well…” Ebony eyebrows furrowed, causing a little hand to reach out and grab at them and Diana blew at the little one’s face in retaliation. “From what I’ve read, fae never do something unless they win in every scenario. So…” She nibbled on her lip and gazed up at the arched stone ceiling. “...all this…” She gestured in imitation to how the goblin king just had done, “You must be getting some sort of power from not only the offering of dreams, in case she had accepted them, but also from the manifestation of a runner’s fears and dreams when they don’t accept your deal from the start.”
A deep boisterous laugh came from the king that startled his subjects around him, nervous tittering following his own laughter.
“How do you know this is not merely her dream that you have been taken into?”
“Well…” Diana looked up at the king from below, “...because Sarah doesn’t have magic. So she couldn’t have done this on her own.”
“Interesting...you seem very accepting of magic.” He tilted his head and rested it upon his hand as he leaned forward eyes narrowing, “Even for one as young as you who still can be caught up in flights of fantasy.”
“Magic is real. It always has been.” She shrugged again, this time not lifting her strap of her overalls when they fell again.
“Yes…” he leaned back into his throne, his eyes staring straight into her emerald ones, “You would not have been able to aparate beside me undetected unless you had some magic within you.”
Toby was upset. No longer were the goblins amusing. No longer were the games he played with his sister.
“Oh Toby…” Diana stood up and bounced him in her arms, “I know this is all very strange.”
Humming underneath her breath she tried to calm him with a lullaby, but he let out a scream of frustration.
The steady tap of the king’s crop against his leg, the goblins fighting amongst themselves and Toby’s screaming were starting to give her a headache.
The king stretched his legs from either side of the throne, tapping his lips with his black leather fingertips, as he looked at the clock. They were only three and a half hours into the thirteen hour time frame. He let out an aggravated sigh.
“Enough of this!”
He stood from his throne, and glanced briefly at Toby and Diana before grinning a wicked smile at a nearby goblin.
“You remind me of a babe…”
The green goblin peered up at its king eyes full of equal amounts of curiosity and apprehension.
“The babe with the power.” The king grinned mischievously as he looked over at his dominion.
A nearby raggedy goblin with a pot on its head inquired next, “What power?”
“The power of voodoo…” The king jumped into the fray of goblins causing them to scatter before perching on the natural shelves in the stone halls.
“Who do?” Diana spoke up starting to see where the king was going with it, a smile upon her face. She watched as Toby’s teary eyes widened as music started to filter through the hall, like an invisible band was playing.
“You do!” The king grinned back.
“Do what?” Spoke up another goblin.
The wild starlight haired king winked at her as he sang back, “...Remind me of a babe.”
The music swelled around and soon the king was serenading his subjects.
[Cue “Magic Dance” sequence]
As the king sang, the goblins came in for some of the lyrics and the chorus. He began to dance around taking Toby into his arms. Dancing with him in his arms, Diana smiled and joined in.
The goblins who had merely been playing before now were full blown partying, Diana laughed as they cheered each other with little mugs of their own ale; before jumping into the fray.
Toby gurgled happily as he was thrown into the air, while his sister and the goblins danced and jumped around him and the king.
As the singing faded away, Toby’s eyes began to droop and Jareth smirked as he handed him back to Diana.
She smiled in gratitude.
Pulling one of the goblins up by the scruff of their neck, the goblin king pulled it toward him.
“Bring the child and the infant to one of the guest rooms.”
The goblin’s eyes widened looking back and forth from Diana and Toby to the king.
“Well...will you make your king do a servant’s job?”
The goblin shook its head, causing its whole body to shake and the king dropped him back to the ground.
“This way lil’ missy.” The goblin grabbed a hold of the bottom of Diana’s overall pants and started to tug her out of the audience hall.
Diana turned back and nodded toward the king in thanks.
Jareth had just come back from setting the cleaners after Sarah and her companion, lil’ Higgle.
She was making it far quicker through the labyrinth than he had anticipated. He hoped that his little surprise would at least change the stakes enough for the labyrinth to provide more of a challenge.
One of his head hobgoblins rushed to meet him at the entrance hall of his palace.
“What is it, Hedgebart?”
The hobgoblin straightened his robes nervously.
“Out with it!”
Beady eyes peered up at the king, “The young girl...in the guest chambers…”
Gold and forget-me-not eyes narrowed, “What of the girl?”
“She is in need of a healer, sire. She had a fit in her sleep.”
Gloved hands tightened into fists at his side, as he picked up his pace toward the guest wing with Hedgebart right behind him.
The cries of the babe could be heard as soon as he reached the wing, and he quickened his steps. He opened the door to their rooms. Seeing the boy perched upon the bed crying and patting at the prone form of his sister on the bed.
“Hedgebart, get one of the lady hobgoblins to take care of the child.”
Striding to the bed his eyes narrowed upon the girl’s sickly pale face, covered in sweat and even more worrying blood coming from her forehead. Brushing her bangs aside to see the wound, Jareth sucked in a deep breath.
“Get my personal healer now!”
The pop of the hobgoblin disappearing was the only thing that could be heard, as the king sat on the edge of the bed. He pulled a silken handkerchief from his pocket, cleaning the child’s forehead of the blood. There on her forehead was the rune, the mark of a Magic’s Chosen.
Another pop was heard as the hobgoblin came back with one of the female ones to take the crying babe; while the king’s personal healer bowed before him.
“You called, Your Majesty.”
“Find out what’s wrong with this child.”
Jareth stood over the child, only allowing space near her for the healer to run her diagnostic spells. A sickly green color was awash on the scan, and with a gasp the healer turned toward her king.
“The child has a magic block on her core.”
Jareth's eyes narrowed, “Thus, resulting in her seizure due to the pure magic surrounding her in the underground?”
“Exactly, Your Majesty.” The healer looked to the child’s forehead, “Is she…?”
“Yes.” Jareth looked to the fae woman beside him, who had been beside him since he was a babe himself. “It cannot leave this room what she is.”
The silver haired woman nodded solemnly in response.
The king sighed and conjured a crystal in his hands, “It seems as if my plans have changed.” Throwing the crystal in the air, all in the labyrinth froze in time except those still within the guest bedroom.
Chapter 3: For The Truth
Emerald eyes blinked open and stared up at a fabric canopy above them depicting a group of fairies playing in the woods.
“At last, you are awake. We have much to discuss, little raven.”
Diana turned her head toward the sound of the king’s voice, wincing as a pain pierced through her head like her eyes were being stabbed with knives. She tightened her lips to keep from crying out, but was not able to stop a couple of tears falling.
“Be careful, your body is still weak from your seizure.”
“What happened, Your Majesty?”
The king was sitting in a nearby chair not far from the side of the bed she found herself in. As she looked down at herself, she saw she had been changed into a clean white nightgown that covered her from neck to her toes.
The Goblin King stared at the child as if he were trying to dissect her very being.
“Do you know what you are?”
Diana’s viridian eyes widened, “I thought I was human, Your Majesty.”
He waved his hand away as if to toss the answer to the side, “Who are you then?”
She bit her lip, “I know how dangerous it is to give real names. However, mine is not the one I was born with so I suppose it will be ok. I’m Diana Williams…” He gestured for her to continue, his gaze had not shifted from her own. “...I’m an orphan, or I was until Sarah’s birth mother and father adopted me when I was 3.”
“What do you remember before then?”
Diana broke her gaze from His Majesty’s, she didn’t like talking about what she remembered from that time. For she did remember it, it was one of the things that made her skip grades in school. She had a photographic memory. So where other children would have trouble remembering much before the age of three, she remembered quite a bit. The only foggy memories came from before she could understand things well.
“I lived with my aunt and uncle. I don’t even know my real name. They didn’t like me much. They…” She sucked in a breath, and self-consciously fingered her burn scar in her left palm; unknowingly drawing the king’s attention to it. “They didn’t like me much. I suppose that’s why they left me at the theater where Sarah’s mother was performing on tour.”
“Yes…” Here the king’s voice tightened as if he was on edge of great destruction, “My healer informed me how…” He breathed through clenched teeth, “...they did not like you much.” He took a deep breath in as if to calm himself, which Diana thought odd for she didn’t know why he would feel anything toward her or her situation. “Were you ever told about your birth parents?”
She nodded, her eyes sad. “I don’t know how ac..u… um...true what they said was but they said they were freaks who died as drunks. That I should be grateful for their hospitality for taking me in, despite how much of a burden I was to them.” Her voice had grown quiet, and she looked back up at the canopy above her, eyes tracing the embroidery.
The king stood and came to stand above her, another question falling from his lips and Diana was happy for the distraction, “When did you first notice your magic?”
Diana touched the downy soft blanket on top of her, “My first friends were snakes. I couldn’t speak English yet but I could speak to snakes when I could barely walk. They would come visit me in the cupboard, and tell me stories from outside.” A little sad smile graced her lips, “They told me that only those who could use magic, could speak to snakes.”
At this she looked up at the Goblin King with curious eyes, “Is that true?”
He sat at the edge of her bed, “It is a rare talent among humans with mage blood. In fact, I haven’t heard of a Parseltongue in perhaps a hundred years or more.”
Diana looked up at him with curiously wide eyes, “I’m a mage then?”
Here his eyes shifted to hers before looking away, “You are of mage blood, however I do not believe you are completely human.”
Diana shot up from the bed, letting out a small cry as she forgot about her pain for a moment.
“What do you mean by that Your Majesty?”
The king surprised her further by moving forward to adjust her pillows so that she could sit up.
“You have the sign of being one of Magic’s Chosen.” He lifted her bangs and hovered his still glove covered fingertips over her lightning shaped scar.
“Um...ok, but what does that mean?”
“A Magic’s Chosen is only chosen once every milenia. Any being that is connected by the magical force that pervades this dimension has the chance to become one.”
The king was surprised for a moment as the child’s eyes narrowed and focused upon his own. The question she was about to say already answered within his mind before she ever asked it, “And you are one of the chosen.” It was a statement but held that unspoken question in the air.
Not breaking eye contact with the child, “Indeed I am, little raven.”
Diana’s shoulders slumped slightly in relief when she heard the nickname from his lips.
“So what now?”
He tilted his head to the side, while she stared into his eyes. Eyes bright with an intelligence beyond her years.
“Should others find out about you, you will not have a quiet moment. Being currently mortal will make you have a target on your back.”
Diana briefly began to nod, before remembering the pain and then sighed. “You spoke of the fact that I had a seizure earlier. Does that have something to do with being Magic’s Chosen and mortal?”
The king hummed beneath his breath before going back to sitting in the chair beside her bed, his legs crossed and his fingers tapping rhythmically against them.
“Those born with the powers of the mage have a magical core inside their bodies. Like the heart that pumps blood throughout the body, the core works similarly except with magic. This allows them to heal quicker, and also extends their lifespans beyond the average human ones.” He leaned back further, truly getting into his explanation. “At the moment they are born, their cores are usually not working as quickly as their hearts may, instead it builds up strength as they age. By the time they are a small child their cores should have expanded to the point that it is functionally properly. However…” Here he lifted up one of his black leather fingertips, “If the core is blocked by another’s magic, it will stagnate and the magic user’s magic will not flow naturally and instead will pool. This will usually cause the user to weaken, have slower healing and any abilities that came with their magical heritage will be watered down considerably depending on how strong the block is.”
He looked up from his explaining to match his mix-matched eyes with her own viridian gaze that watched him intently.
“At some point of your early development, someone placed a magical block upon your core. You either broke down some of it, thus allowing you to heal a little better or the block that was initially put was not supposed to block 100% of your core.” He pointed at her, “So when you were reintroduced into an environment heavy in pure magic, your core’s reserves were overwhelmed.”
“...Causing the seizure?”
“Was your healer able to find out who placed the block on me?”
He shook his head, pale tendrils of his hair falling over his shoulder. “A healer can only scan the body for current injuries or ailments. They would not be able to find out anything about the blocks, except that you had them.”
“How may I remove the block then on my core?”
“You will need to take an inheritance test, it will show not only your mage blood background but anything that might be stopping it from its true potential. As the king of the goblins, I have access to a special branch of goblins who do these very tests for those who live in the mage communities.”
“I see…” Diana bit her lip. She had a dilemma, if she asked the king to help her she would owe him and she wasn’t sure what he wanted. “I know that I will be in your debt, Your Majesty. May I ask for one small thing?”
He raised his eyebrows, and waved his hand for her to proceed.
“Could we perhaps make a magic oath to only speak the truth?” His eyes narrowed, and she spoke up. “Only for a set time frame, perhaps for the next ten minutes?”
The king watched her with sharp eyes.
“Upon my magic, I promise to only tell the truth; until my crystal breaks.” He threw a crystal up in the air, that instead of falling immediately seemed to make its way slowly down from above. “Ask your questions, little raven."
She nodded gratefully, “What do you gain by helping me?”
He smiled, “I get to have a strong ally, that will no doubt grow to be truly powerful one day.”
She bit her lip, realizing she didn’t phrase the question correctly.
“What is the real reason you wish to help me?”
This time his eyes smiled, while his lips turned down in a brief grimace.
“Yes, little raven, that's the correct way to ask the question.” He sat back summoning a stool to rest under his feet. “I have lived long as many fae do, however I have yet to find myself a queen or heir that suits me.” He took a deep breath, summoning several more crystals to juggle in one hand, as if already bored with the conversation. “You will be a good candidate for either one, it all depends on how you grow.”
Diana winced, but pressed her lips together and reminded herself the fae lived for a long time. He did not look lecherously upon her, instead he was stating a fact. “What will happen once I do the inheritance test?”
“You will have a couple of choices. You may live as you had, before you came to the labyrinth, with your core still blocked. Or you could have a ritual here with several of my more experienced goblins that will remove the block and/or other things that might be affecting your magic. However, you will then owe me a favor. You will have to decide in the future whether or not you wish to be my queen or heir.” He glanced at her, “You will have to make the decision, there will be no going back.”
Diana glanced at the crystal that still hovered in the air, now halfway to the ground. “If I decide on the second option, will I have to live in the Labyrinth until I make my decision? Or will I be able to still go back to living with my family until I’m of age?”
“You would be allowed to return, you would age at the pace that your body originally was made for. In the labyrinth, you would age much slower.” He continued juggling his crystals within his hand, however glanced up to make eye contact with her. “Humans with mage blood are expected to have special schooling once they reach their core’s maturity to begin to practice the mage-craft. This age tends to be before adolescence but after childhood, I believe the most recent age it was, was eleven. Thus, you would be expected to go to the special academy dependent on which one you are invited too. Last I heard there were two academies in Europe, one in the Americas and one in the Orient. However they could have grown since then.” Eyes narrowed piercingly, “You will be under the Labyrinth’s protection, without its protection you would be subject to others seeking to use you for your power. I may at times be a cruel king, however I am reasonable when it comes to waiting for you to reach your mage age of maturity. Others would not be as courteous, as you are quite well versed in fae lore I’m sure you’ve heard of some beings taking child-brides?”
Diana nodded, eyes wide with fear.
“Those tales are based on fact. You would be snatched away from your life, and taken as a bride so that another fae ruler could gain influence with your title.”
A grumbling sound came from Diana’s stomach, “If I were to eat something here, would I have to leave my life as well?”
He grinned mischievously, his eyes nearly glowing. “If you choose to accept my help then you will be under the protection of the labyrinth as its future ruler. If you also decide to eat here, then you will become a resident of the Labyrinth. It will provide even more protection, however you will be under my rule. You will become a ward of the Labyrinth. You would be able to live in the above world, however you would still follow our rules.”
Diana let out a small squeak as the crystal crashed to the ground, signalling the end of the king’s oath. She stayed staring at the spot where it had broken, pondering her options. She could remain as she is, awaiting for Sarah to finish the task; then go back home. Be paranoid of what could be taking notice of her, jump at every quick movement someone made near her; always afraid of being taken and used. Always feel the potential of her power, but never fully able to grasp it; it always slips through her fingers. Haunted by the feeling of her magic but never really having it completley. Wait for the time the invitation would come when she was eleven, then figure out the mage world all on her own.
The king watched as the young girl pondered about the decision that would forever change her life, waiting seemingly patient for the first time in his life.
Diana then thought about the other side of things. A life protected by a magical entity, aware of the magic around her. Access to a magical realm, and its resources. Her magic replenished and free from its bonds. A life where she would one day have to decide whether or not she wished to be a queen beside the current goblin king or be on her own as a ruler. A life where he may decide on which he would prefer when the time was right, and she would have no say. A life with so many things unsaid, but a life of potential. A life of purpose.
She knew this decision was too big for someone her age to make, that if life was fair she wouldn’t have to make it right at that moment. But she always knew life wasn’t fair. Having a family, but never truly having one of her own. Always the hesitancy of her parental figures, the hesitancy that caused her to call them by their names instead of what a true daughter would call her parents. Always living her life for others, so that they would be happy but never quite knowing when she would be.
She knew she may regret her decision one day.
“I accept your help, Your Majesty. I would be honored to have your protection and that of your kingdom’s.”
The king stood from the chair, clapping his hands together; “Excellent! I will arrange for the head goblin of the England branch to come here immediately for your inheritance test.” He began to walk back to the guest room’s doorway, “In the meantime rest and sleep well, little raven.”
The goblin that came the next morning, or what seemed to be the next morning Diana wasn’t sure since it seemed as time was frozen, was not what she expected.
He was dressed in a fine suit of silks and leather, with a heavy tome under his arms. He had hair that was thinning on top, and a face that seemed to forever be stuck in a grimacing scowl with sharp teeth over the top of his lips.
Diana was dressed in some new clothes that were provided to her by a lady goblin when she awoke. They were very pretty, gossamer sleeves billowed from her shoulders and a gauzy skirt flowed past her knees. She knew Sarah would absolutely adore it and would be green with envy if she were present.
She sat at a table with pretty white stone chairs with cushioned seats around it, her hands clasped in her lap as she waited for His Majesty to take a seat and then the goblin.
“I have the paperwork, Sire.”
The goblin spoke directly to his king, not even giving a sideway glance at the child that sat to his left.
“Excellent, as always; Ragnuk.”
The goblin barely bowed his head in a nod, merely bringing the tome forward. Opening it, it seemed to be a case and not a book that held parchment, a silver blade, a quill and ink.
He drew out the knife and the parchment, placing both before her.
“Prick your finger upon the blade, make sure only 3 drops of blood fall upon the parchment. No more or less.”
Diana nodded, “I will do as you say, Sir Ragnuk.”
The goblin barely twitched an eyebrow at her address instead he watched with a bored gaze as she pricked her finger and allowed only three drops of her crimson mage blood to drop to the parchment before curling her finger into her hand to not allow any more to fall.
As soon as the drops fell upon the parchment they caused a web of red to form from the droplets, mapping out a large family tree with many boughs reaching up to the top of the parchment. The parchment grew in length as the tree expanded until nearly three feet of parchment were upon her lap, did it stop growing.
Taking a deep breath Diana peered at the parchment before her, hovering her non-pricked index finger over the lines of generations.
“Wyllt, Embreis, Peverell…” They were the oldest names at the top of the parchment. “As she made her way down the family tree she came closer to more recent years, “...Potter.”
A cruel cackle came from the goblin, causing Diana’s head to shoot up glancing to see him grinning maliciously as he turned to his king.
“You have found the lost girl-who-lived.”
The king who had leant forward to peruse the parchment, only raised an eyebrow.
“It would seem that magic is truly in your blood, you have both Wyllt and Embreis as ancestors.”
Diana’s dark eyebrows furrowed, and she adjusted her glasses upon her nose in a nervous habit.
“Are they well-known then?”
At this the king threw back his head and laughed, “Even fae are aware of the two men who came to be known by one name.” Turning his head to her, resting his chin upon his hand he smirked at her, “You are well-learned, perhaps the translated name of the Old Welsh Embreis will give you a clue. Translated it is Emrys.”
Diana whispered the name, “Emrys.” It was definitely familiar, she closed her eyes remembering all the old texts she read. Her mind remembering tales from Camelot, she gasped as she opened her eyes wide, “Merlin!”
“Indeed. The legends regarding Merlin came from the histories of two mages. One was a mage called Myrddin Wyllt. A poet with the sight, who went mad after one of the many wars during his time. The other mage known in Old Welsh as Emrys Wledig or translated Ambrosius Aurelianus was a powerful warrior with a questionable past, who played both sides of the wars of his time. Known for his cunning and his loyalty to only himself.” His grin only widened, his eyes shining with greed, “You, my dear little raven, are related to both mages.”
“Wow!” Diana couldn’t help but stare into space for a moment as the history behind her ancestry sunk in. Her eyes blinked, before re-focusing on the king once more. “What was this mention of the girl-who-lived?”
The Goblin King merely waved away the question, “I have not paid attention to the mage communities politics for some time, you will have to question Ragnuk.”
“Sir Ragnuk, could you explain what you meant earlier?”
The goblin nodded sagely while still keeping his very sharp gaze, “The-girl-who-lived is a legend in the British mage world. It was said that at the age of only a year and a half, the only Potter child defeated the Lord Voldermort.”
“How in the world could a baby defeat a grown mage?” Diana’s eyes were wide and searching the gaze of the elder goblin.
Ragnuk let out a nasty chuckle, “It was rumored that after killing your parents, he cast a killing curse upon you. However, you did not die; instead the curse rebounded and killed him instead.”
So her parents hadn’t been dead-end drunks.
“Why did he attack the Potters?”
“The general public believe it was merely due to the fact that the Potters sided with Albus Dumbeldore politically. They fought against Lord Voldermort and his followers in the battle they like to think was between Light and Dark.”
“However, that’s not the truth is it?” Diana inquired.
The goblin leaned back in his seat, “The goblins are overlooked by mages, because they believe us inferior. However, we have always used this to our advantage. Whenever a seer speaks a prophecy, not only is it catalogued by the political leaders of the mage world but it is also copied to our own vaults.” He took a sip of the drink he had before him, “There was a prophecy that foretold the destruction of a dark lord, it was said that the one that would defeat him was born as the 7th month dies to those who have defied him. The Potter child and the Longbottom child were the only possible contenders for that time. The Potters being closer to the supposed Light side’s leader, Albus Dumbledore, became the intended target.”
Her birth parents were collateral damage in a war she didn’t even remember, since she was too young at the time to be aware of it. Diana waited for the sadness to arrive, but she felt devoid of any grief.
“So the Potter child then became the savior?” Diana didn’t want to think of the baby as her. She wasn’t a Potter anymore, not truly. “Why would they toss me away to abusive relatives then? How does that even make sense?” She whispered the words to herself, confused by the logic the mage world had.
“The mage world seldom makes sense, little raven.” The king spoke up for the first time in several moments. “It would seem someone wished to control you, most likely the person who put the blocks on your core.”
Diana looked back down to the parchment, picking up the very end to see a list of blocks and what were called ‘compulsions’ all placed illegally by the mage called…”Albus Dumbledore.” Her verdigris eyes shot up to the king’s. “He’s the one who placed the blocks on me.” Looking back down she saw the list of compulsions, all seeming to make her be loyal to him and other families, “It seems he also placed something called compulsions on me too.” Also at the bottom she saw a list of withdrawals made by him as well. “He’s been stealing from me, as well.”
The goblin’s face truly grew ruthless, “We can get all illegal transactions back from him, with interest.”
She nodded at him in response, giving the closest to thanks she could get without repercussions, “I would appreciate your help in this matter, Sir Ragnuk.” Turning back towards the king, she inquired, “It lists him as my magical guardian, will that change now that I’m under your protection?”
“He no longer has any control over you, little raven.” His gold and blue eyes glinted wickedly, “He has sinned against a Magic’s Chosen, he will reap the consequences of his actions.”
She smiled gratefully toward the king, “I am honored to have your protection, Your Majesty.” There was one more thing that she was curious about, “There’s one more thing I found odd. It states that I am a…” Lifting the parchment up toward her face, “...horcrux for someone called Tom Marvolo Riddle. What does that mean?”
The king abruptly stood and walked to stand above her, hand out for the parchment.
Only with a brief hesitation, knowing her birth name was upon it, the young raven haired lady gave over the parchment.
The paper crinkled underneath his clenched hands, he looked to Ragnuk; “We will need to get an extraction team as well.”
The goblin popped away without another word, before Diana could even blink.
“What’s a horcrux, Your Majesty?”
The king had begun to pace before her, causing Diana to grow worried. She hadn’t ever really seen the king in such a state.
“Through the ages, mages have sought for immortality in many ways. Many have died in their attempts, while only a select few have succeeded. However, it always comes at a great price. They will lose their humanity, their souls will become corrupted.”
Turning abruptly towards her, he lifted her bangs once more and hovered his gloved finger above her scar.
“Within your scar, beneath the rune there resides a piece of the mage Tom Marvolo Riddle’s soul.” At this the king did a truly surprising thing, he knelt before her. “He is also the man who tried to kill you and murdered your parents.”
She looked at him through her dark lashes, “So he’s not dead then.”
He shook his head.
“Will you destroy the piece after removing it?”
The king's pale brows knitted together.
“Could we perhaps instead move it into a separate vessel?”
“Why would you wish to do that, little raven?”
“Well…” she fidgeted in her seat, tightening her hands in her lap, “He probably has done it before right? So he’s probably coming back no matter what, but if I have something he wants. Something I could trade perhaps for an oath that I not be involved in his war, maybe that will be the best case scenario?”
The king stared up at her from where he knelt, his eyes expressionless for several moments before his face lightened and a truly breathtaking smile came upon his features.
“You will make an efficient ruler some day.”
Diana blushed red at the compliment, reminding her of the reality of the changes surrounding her. In only one day, it seemed as if her whole world had been flipped upside down.
The ritual for removing her blocks and compulsions would happen after they transferred the fragment of the mage’s soul to a new vessel.
Diana would always remember the look of shrewd approval that came from Sir Ragnuk’s face when he was informed of her idea.
She soon found herself laid upon a stone floor, staring up at the dark stone ceiling above her in the chamber where the goblins worked around her making preparations to extract the shard from her.
They laid a clothe smelling of herbs upon her face, leaving only her scar visible, warning her that the extraction was commencing and that she would feel a great amount of pain.
The king had left her to the goblins, only reassuring her that he would be awaiting her return.
At first all she heard was the odd chatter of the goblins growing quiet and then it felt as if her whole body had been submerged into a frozen lake. Pins and needles alighting her skin, and her breath came out in gasps as if she was about to be drowned. Then came the horrendous pain, as if her head was being split open from the inside out. Screaming could be heard around her, and it wasn’t until the pain stopped abruptly that she realized it had been her. She gasped as tears soaked up the cloth on her face and then she felt as if she was no more.
She awoke her eyes blurry and clearing slowly to view once more the embroidered canopy above her head. She was back in the guest rooms.
She reached up to feel her forehead only to be met with a bandage wrapped around her head.
“Your scar began to bleed again, so we treated it for you.”
A silver haired woman with ancient eyes peered down at her.
“Do you need anything, my lady?”
Diana opened her mouth to talk but her voice came out hoarse, “No.”
“His Majesty left to prepare the labyrinth for the next ritual, it must be done at the center of the labyrinth if you wish to become it’s ward.”
“I see.” A thank you was at the tip of her tongue, but she stopped herself.
The older fae woman seemed to understand though, “All's well. Rest and I’ll wake you when they are ready for you.”
The heart of the labyrinth wasn’t what Diana expected it to look like. Instead of stone walls on either side of her, she was surrounded in a forest that seemed to grow beneath the ever changing walls of the maze. A stone ceiling was high above but the plants grew happily as if not in want for sunshine. Moss covered the ground in a spiral pattern in the center of the small clearing-like space.
She looked forward to being free from the pain in her head that had not left her since her first rest after her seizure.
“Step to the center of the spiral, and the goblins will make rune markings upon your skin. They will glow and disappear into you, dissolving the compulsions and removing the blocks from within.”
Diana followed the king’s direction, and walked until she was in the middle of the large moss covered spiral.
She was clothed in a light sleeveless shift that covered her from her chest down to her toes. She kneeled as she allowed the goblins to mark her with the runes that would rid her of the impurities that were tainting her magic.
“The ritual will now commence.”
Diana gave a small nervous smile towards the king before closing her eyes once more. This time as the goblins spoke their language in their rhythm like chants, the spots where the runes sat upon her skin tingled, she could almost feel as they sank deep within her. In her minds eye, she could almost see the magic reaching out to her core. Then like a bottle popping a cork, her magic was set free. She felt its hum within her veins, from the tips of her fingertips down to her toes. She let out a sigh of relief.
“Open your eyes child.”
Opening her eyes she found herself no longer in the clearing.
“Where am I?”
She turned only to see a lady standing beside her and surrounding them was the labyrinth. The woman looked as if she were the labyrinth personified. Her hair fell in ropes down her back, colored to match the foliage at the heart of the labyrinth, beads woven throughout her hair. Her eyes were large and all-seeing, the tan color of the walls of the labyrinth. Her gown that hangs from her tall lithe frame was patterned to match the many pathways of the labyrinth.
“Are you the Labyrinth?”
The woman smiled, “Have you decided? Will you be mine?”
Diana hesitated for a moment had she really decided to become a resident. Or was merely having the protection of the king and his kingdom enough.
The woman glided toward the young girl, her long piano like fingers came out and reached to brush her cheek.
“Do you know why the fae wear gloves?”
The young child shook her head. Her mind’s eye remembering how she never had seen the king with his gloves off.
“To touch a fae’s bare skin means to belong to them and they belong to you. Only the child of a fae or their mate ever have the privilege of feeling their touch.” Still she touched the child’s cheek, caressing it motherly. “Jareth is the only one I’ve touched like this. He was once like you, young and free of attachments. Lonely though, ever so lonely; at least until he allowed himself to be mine.”
“The king once was your ward, as well?”
Light pink lips smiled at the little girl.
“I am not fae. I am not a being either. I am a presence, a sentience. Those I decide to take under my wing, never truly are free from me afterwards.” Spider-like tendrils of the lady’s essence, her magic, wrapped around Diana’s shoulders.
Instead of fear, Diana felt as if a weight was lifted from her shoulders. Looking up into the Labyrinth’s eyes she saw not an ounce of hesitancy. She actually wanted Diana. She wanted her to be hers, her family.
The shifting colors of the being’s eyes gazed into Diana’s, “So what will your answer be little one? Will you be mine?”
As Diana closed her eyes, she knew her answer. As she opened them she was back in the clearing, this time with the slightly shocked eyes of the king upon her. Smiling gently she spoke to the air surrounding her, “My favorite berries are strawberries.”
A slight breeze seemed to tickle her beneath her chin, directing her to her left where a plant grew from the wall. A ripe strawberry came into fruition, with a smile Diana picked up the berry and bit straight into it. A surge of sweetness came over her palate, it was the best strawberry she had ever eaten.
For the first time since she came into the world she let her thanks be voiced, “Thank you. You make the best strawberries.”
Skipping over to the king looking up with a beaming smile, before curtseying “I am honored to call you my king.”
A surprised chuckle burst from the king making the remaining goblins to look at him in surprise.
“I suppose it’s time for your sister to finish my labyrinth.”
Diana smiled, “Indeed. I am grateful to have the best seat in the house.”
I would definitely recommend looking up the origins of Merlin. It's some fun reading.
Chapter 5: One Mission's End
“A peach, Your Majesty?”
Toby was back in Diana’s lap, smiling happily and playing with a wooden toy that he’d snatched from one of the goblins.
The king barely glanced her way.
“Is she a candidate as well?”
The king shrugged elegantly from where he sat in the alcove window overlooking his kingdom as he let another crystal float away in the air.
“She is of age.”
“Perhaps in the mage world it is younger, however in the human one she still has several more years until she’s of age.”
“She’s shown resourcefulness. Using her own kind of cunning to enrapture a coward as a friend, freed a rock-caller who now looks to her in loyalty and a bog knight has decided to follow her as well.”
It was Diana’s time to shrug, “She never did have any problems with making friends.”
This time he glanced her way, an odd quirk upon his lips, his hand cupping his ear towards her, “Do I hear the notes of jealousy?”
She let out a little huff, “I’d rather have one or two good friends, than a myriad of admirers.”
The king laughed, and the goblins gazed at Diana in wonder. Their king had laughed more in her presence than he had in more than a hundred years.
“Won’t Sarah’s fate be now tied to the Underground, now that she’s eaten something from here?”
The king waved his hand over his clothes, changing his attire from looking like a roguish pirate to that of a prince charming.
“The runners that make it through the labyrinth fulfill the end of an unspoken contract. Any harm that happens to them is undone once they return back to their human lives and time begins to flow again in the human world.”
The king was about to throw his remaining crystal up in the air, when Diana approached him.
“May I come with?”
The Goblin King chuckled, “Aren’t you worried your sister will recognize you?”
Eyeing how he was dressed, Diana closed her eyes and focused on her magic. It tingled through her, she imagined it coming from her fingertips and flowing up over what she was wearing. She imagined it changing her overalls into a gown fit for an inhabitant of the underground, with a mask that likened her to that of a raven. Opening her eyes, she found herself peering out through the eye-holes of a black mask. Glancing down at her gown she found it covered in glitter glazed black feathers.
Smiling she looked up at His Majesty, she dropped into a small curtsey.
“Am I still recognizable?”
With a disapproving shake of his head, he offered her his hand and she grabbed on tight.
The ballroom glittered from the candlelight from above that reflected off the floor to ceiling mirrors.
A hundred chandeliers hung from a billowy ceiling of draped cloud-silk.
From the edge of the crowd, Sarah stepped into the fray in the gown she made for her little music box’s doll back home. Puffed sleeves that billowed out from her shoulders, larger than her head, and a glittering skirt reminiscent to the rococo age swirling down to her toes.
Diana smiled from beneath her full face mask, she knew the dress alone was a dream come true for Sarah. However, she knew that the king wouldn’t win this game.
As the king took a dazed Sarah into his arms, his voice echoed through the circular room crooning a love song, they danced; the dancers swirling around them. Diana watched as Sarah’s eyes widened before narrowing at those laughing and dancing nearby.
“There she goes…” Diana whispered through her mask.
She watched as Sarah shook herself free from the king trying to romance her into forgetting her mission. Making her way towards the king, as she knew Sarah wouldn’t look back again, as she was now running towards the edge of the ballroom facing the mirror before her.
Taking a hold of his gloved hand, she took off her raven mask, just as Sarah broke through the illusion’s barrier causing them all to vanish.
The goblins had rushed from the audience hall to the goblin city to defend it against Sarah and their friends.
“Will they get hurt?”
The king glanced towards the girl at his side, seeing her eyes crinkle in worry, remembering how young she truly was.
“As I said, if she completes the labyrinth before the thirteen hours are up, any harm will be undone.”
She looked up at him, “No not Sarah. I know she’ll be fine.” She shrugged, once more in the clothes she had arrived in his kingdom in. “The goblins. Will they be all right?”
The king blinked down at the girl for a couple moments. Slightly stunned, “They are much hardier than they look.”
She bit her lip while gazing down from where they stood on a terrace overlooking the goblin city. “They are just so small.”
“So are you little raven, and yet you’ve survived through your visit.” His eyes almost seemed fond as he looked down at the girl. Jareth thought back on his first meeting of her in the park, how bright eyed and intelligent she seemed for someone so small. Little did he know how much she would change his world. Shaking his own head, he focused back at the issue at hand. “She will be coming here shortly, what will you do?”
“Well, I’d hate to ruin the surprise. Plus, this is her moment. I know her well enough to know that she’d feel…” Diana’s lips tightened as she tried to come to the right phrasing that wouldn’t put her sister in bad lighting. “...unnerved seeing me here, after everything.” Looking up at him, rocking back on the heels of her sneakers. “Could I stay with Toby? Then go back with him.”
“You seem so sure she’ll win.”
It was Diana’s turn to laugh, “Sarah is the most stubborn person I know. When she puts her mind to something, nothing will stop her from achieving it.”
They looked back to the battle that was happening below.
“What will happen after all this? I mean, what’s my life going to be like from now on?”
Jareth was silent for a moment. He had been thinking about this same thing as soon as he found out about her being a Magic’s Chosen. The king part of him wanted to start training her in Underground politics, and harnessing the power of her mage-blood as soon as possible. However, the part of him that saw her as the child she was now had noticed that she seemed much lighter than she had been before. She was brighter, more full of life, since the restraints of her magic were unbound. He knew how the fate of a kingdom could put a heavy weight upon one’s shoulders.
“The sooner you learn to harness the true potential of your power, the safer you’ll be. Your magic has been freed, so your emotions could cause it to fluctuate at any time. You’ll need to learn about your core magic so that you can remain safe and keep your family safe from magical whiplash.” Jareth paused, a plan shaping in his mind. “You have only five years before your invitation arrives for the mage academy. To start I will assign you study materials on magical theory and the nature of magic itself. You will come occasionally to the Labyrinth to study how magic reacts in a different environment from the human world. I will also be visiting you in the human world, perhaps under the guise of a tutor of some sorts.”
He was nearly blinded by the smile that radiated from the six year old from his plans spoken aloud.
In the end, Jareth found out that Diana was always right about her sister. The girl once more had rejected his offering of dreams, as well as the opportunity to rule by his side.
As her last words were spoken, “...You have no power over me” and the Underground’s power released its grasp on her; Jareth found himself in his owl form once more making his way to the Williams house. This time not to watch over the girl who had the legendary red book in her possession, but instead to watch over her younger sister.
Diana smiled at the owl that sat just outside her window.
Opening it she bade him goodnight, “Goodnight Mr. Owl.”
She smiled impishly at him, “I look forward to our future meetings, Your Majesty.”
Yes, the future was bright indeed.
Chapter 6: A Sister Bond
Sarah noticed something odd about her sister after the night she visited the labyrinth. She seemed happier than she had before, and she was a little more outspoken. Diana had surprised both her parents by calling them “Mum” and “Dad” for the first time. An odd little tilt of her head became her trademark whenever speaking with Sarah. Her eyes seemed to always appraise Sarah, with a secretive smile upon her lips.
It wasn’t until one day, several months after the labyrinth, when Sarah thought she was alone in the house and had her friends visit her that things came to a head.
Hoggle, Sir Didymus and Ludo would visit her whenever she began to feel life to begin to bog her down. She could always rely on them. With Ludo’s sweet loveable disposition, he gave the best hugs. His large hairy arms would wrap her around the middle lifting her up in the air and she felt like she was in the safest place in the world. Hoggle’s dry humor never failed to make her laugh, as he expounded on his recent mis-adventures in the labyrinth. And Sir Didymus’s elegant flair never ceased to make her special. Their friendship had taught her so many lessons. Coming back from the labyrinth, she felt as if a whole lifetime had passed instead of one spectacular night.
The challenges she had to face in the labyrinth made the troubles she had with day-to-day life seem insignificant. She knew her parents had started to see the change as well. Her step-mother merely put it to her finally coming out of some teenage phase and her father merely seemed to be relieved whenever he looked at her.
That day Ludo sat in the corner of her room and Sarah sat in her vanity chair across from him, while Didymus and Hoggle sat on her bed giving her updates regarding the labyrinth.
It seemed the king had a change of heart, he still was cruel but no more was he needlessly so.
“There’s even been reports of him laughing.” Hoggle spoke conspiratively in an undertone, leaning forward and almost falling off the bed.
Sarah’s response was cut short as Diana came through her open door.
“Hi gentleman. Hi Sarah, I just wanted to tell you I’m back from my lessons with my tutor.” Diana looked around at the shocked faces around her, smiling brightly. “Is there anything I can get your guests?”
Sarah’s mouth opened and closed. Her eyes glued to her little sister’s open expression, nowhere across her features was there shock or disbelief.
“Why thank you, my lady! Ambrosius could actually use some refreshment.”
Diana turned towards the small fox knight, “I will get some water right away for him.”
She turned and left the room as quickly as she had entered it.
“Why what a lovely little lady!” Sir Didymus exclaimed, a wide grin upon his furry lips. “She must be Lady Diana.”
“Yes.” Sarah had finally her voice back, still she blinked as she stared at the doorway her sister had just exited. “That was my little sister.”
“Fwiend?” Ludo’s voice questioned from behind Sarah.
Before Sarah could answer, Diana was already back in the room, one of Merlin’s spare dishes in her hands filled with fresh water.
“Here you are Ambrosius.” The young girl placed the dish in front of the little knight’s noble steed. “All right then, I will head off to my room to study.”
She turned but was stopped by Sarah who had stood and grabbed onto her arm. Diana’s eyes briefly looked to the hand before looking up into her sister’s suspicious green eyes.
“Is something wrong?” There upon her lips was the smile Sarah had noticed always seemed to light upon her when she was around her.
“How long have you known?”
“Oh, about your friends?” Diana looked around at them all, making a small nod to each one. “Oh, since they arrived.” She tilted her head. “I’m quite proud of you, you know.” Here Diana patted the hand that still held her own arm, “Even though others weren’t sure you would win, I told them you always accomplish what you set your mind to.” She nodded to Sarah.
“What others?” Sarah stared at her sister, several things starting to fall in place inside her mind.
“Well the king primarily.”
Diana continued smiling, her large green eyes peering up at her sister innocently as if she hadn’t just mentioned the king of a realm that shouldn’t exist.
“Oh there he is now!”
Sarah’s friends gasped, as Diana crossed to the window and opened it before leaning out.
“I made it home safely, no need to worry.”
Diana turned to see Sarah right behind her looking with fear at the owl that sat just outside her window.
“Sarah’s here with her friends, so I won’t be alone.”
The owl nodded, Sarah noted it was done in a regal manner she didn’t believe most owls could do, before it flew away.
Diana closed the window, brushing her hands of dust. She let out a sigh as she felt her sister’s narrowed eyes.
“I suppose I have some explaining to do, don’t I?”
Sarah wasn’t sure what to make of the fact that her little sister had been at the castle the whole time she was making her way through the labyrinth. There was also the fact that she knew Diana hadn’t explained everything.
“If you were in the Underground the whole time, why didn’t you ever mention it to me before?”
Her little sister shrugged, “It didn’t seem important at the time. You had just won the challenge the king had set before you and returned home victorious.”
“Why would that change anything?” An incredulous look crossed Sarah’s oval features.
Diana who now sat beside Hoggle, who was looking at her with even more suspicion than Sarah was, sighed. Her legs swung over the edge of the bed, and her eyes focused on the tops of her sneakers rather than look at everyone else. After a bit she stopped, biting her lip she looked up at her sister.
“The labyrinth was always your thing, Sarah.” Diana glanced up at her sister's eyes, before quickly glancing back down. “There was…” She sighed again, and fidgeted in her seat.
Sarah stared at her sister, but deep within she felt the stirrings of what she knew to be guilt. With a loud dramatic sigh of her own, she knelt before her sister.
“Are you in trouble with the king, Diana?”
Emerald clashed with grass green eyes.
“Oh, no! He’s been very accommodating!”
Hoggle began to sputter to her side in disbelief, “As if Jareth could ever be so generous!”
“Sir, I would watch what you say. I understand you don’t see eye-to-eye with His Majesty, but he is still your king!”
Hoggle’s eyes widened before narrowing to glare at the girl, “What would you know about the king, you're just a silly little girl!”
At this Diana jumped up, causing Sarah to tumble back.
“I know that the king is doing the best he can! It doesn’t help that he has subjects like you that decide to disrespect him whenever his back is turned.”
Hoggle too had now come off the bed, his whole body shaking in rage and his finger pointing at her, his mouth open as if to curse her.
It was Sir Didymus that broke up the tension, “It seems Lady Diana has seen a side of the king, not many have seen for some time.”
Sarah looked to her sister, still sitting on the ground. “Diana?”
Diana looked back to her sister, her cheeks and face turning a bright red that seemed to clash with her otherwise dark features. She sighed, then plopped down before Sarah. Taking her older sister’s hand into hers, she decided to tell her a bit more.
“I was at the castle tending to Toby, while you ran the labyrinth. I didn’t fib about that.” She glanced up at her sister, before looking back down at her sister’s hand in hers. She tightened her hold on it as if afraid her next words would cause her sister to draw away.
Sarah could see the emotions war across her sister’s face, the niggling sense of guilt she felt came back. She tightened the hold of their hands, and with the other hand she tilted her sister’s chin up.
“I’ll try my best not to be angry, just tell me the rest Diana.”
“Ok.” Diana worried her lip for a little bit more before speaking up once more, “I guess before I explain there’s something else I need to ask. Do you remember when we first met, I was three and you were twelve?”
“Of course.” Sarah smiled, “You looked like a tiny little doll. I wanted you to be my sister instantly.”
“Do you remember when we would play and…” Here Diana paused again, shifting her legs so they were crossed in front of her, “And strange things would happen.”
Sarah’s brows furrowed.
“Lights would flicker sometimes, or what we would call fairy lights would appear around our room at night?”
Diana glanced up at her sister, Sarah nodded in response.
“Well, I know you thought that maybe it was a trick of light or our really active imagination; but it wasn’t.”
With another sigh, Diana waved her hand and the lights turned off in the room causing the room to dim in the only sunlit room.
Hoggle and Sarah gasped in unison, while Ludo and Sir Didymus looked on in wonder.
Diana then turned over the hand that held Sarah’s, so that the back of her hand still was in Sarah’s palm. Closing her eyes she focused her magic, imagining a ball of light within her hand. At the sound of her sister sucking in a gasp of air, she knew she achieved it even as she felt the tell-tale warmth in her hand.
Looking up at her sister, she saw her stare at her hand in awe.
“It’s magic! You can do magic, Diana!”
“Yep.” Diana sighed, “I always was able to do a little bit but my magic was...I guess congested is a good way to put it.”
Sarah stared at wonder at her sister’s hand. Her mind going back to all the times her sister seemed to know more about the lore of fairy stories than she did, or how her sister always just had this ‘knowing’ quality about her. She always was slightly envious of her for it, her father and Irene always seemed to commend Diana for her academics. It wasn’t until this moment, that Sarah realized that it was more than that.
Shaking her head, Sarah looked back at her sister. “What does this have to do with you being in the labyrinth?”
“Well, while there I got really sick.” Diana glanced up and looked into Sarah’s eyes that had drooped in the corners in concern. The rock that had seemed to rest in her stomach dissipated at the sign that her sister still cared. “The king had his healer look over me and they found that at some point when I was a baby someone placed several blocks on my magic. So when I came to the Underground, which is full of pure magic, my body couldn’t stand it because I wasn’t producing enough magic or something like that. He explained it a lot better at the time.”
Sarah grabbed onto Diana’s hands once more, “Are you ok now?”
Diana nodded her head, “There are certain goblins that are able to remove blocks like the ones that were on me, so they were able to do so. My magic is now free as it should be and I’m not in danger of getting sick again when introduced to a heavily-filled magic environment.”
Sarah’s eyebrows furrowed, “When would you be in such an environment again though?”
Sarah’s eyes watched as her sister began to fidget again, biting her lip in nervousness.
“Those with magic, well those that are human are called mages. My birth parents were mages. So one day I’ll be expected to go to a school that would teach me how to use my magic. When I do then I will be in a very magical environment.” Here she paused, wondering how much more she should tell her sister.
Her hesitance was not lost on Sarah. “What else?”
“Well the king decided to help teach me about my magic too.”
Sir Didymus gasped, “What an honor, the king is known throughout the Underground for his talent in manipulating magic!”
Sarah sat back, “So this tutor you’ve been going to...?”
Diana nodded, “He’s the king. He comes here to the human world since he knows I can’t always come to the Underground.” Her voice had gotten really quiet, her lips had started to tremble.
Sarah looked on in surprise as her sister looked up at her with tearing eyes.
“You don’t hate me now, do you?”
“Why would I hate you?”
Diana shrugged one shoulder and tucked her chin to her chest, “It’s just...I thought…” She looked around at Sarah’s friends and then back up at her sister. How did she explain she thought she’d hate her because she had magic and Sarah didn’t? Diana sighed, “I didn’t know if you would still....like me.”
Sarah’s eyes widened. Her sister was magic and yet as surprising as it was it wasn’t as surprising as she thought it would be. Somewhere deep inside she’d always seemed to know. From the first time she saw the little three year old, before she had a name, she had been so tiny and skinny. Sarah had made it her mission to take care of her, make her better. She remembered watching as the little girl grew healthier and didn’t seem to flinch anymore when someone came near her. She remembered the first time the little girl had hugged her, it was after Sarah had stood up for her; claiming she wanted her part of their family. Barricading herself and the little girl in her hotel room until her parents agreed that they would adopt the little one. Sarah and her birth mother had come up with her name, so it matched Sarah’s. Diana meant princess, and there was actually a Princess Diana in England at that time. It had seemed to be kismet. Diana became Sarah’s whole world. As she got older though and got into high school she had got distracted with theater and her own problems and fantasies. Yet Diana was always there for her, always the one on her side.
Looking at Diana at the moment, she realized she’d been selfish. She could see herself for once through her little sister’s eyes, and she felt ashamed. Diana was scared she would hate her, because she had magic and Sarah didn’t.
Pulling her sister into her arms, she kissed the top of her sister's midnight colored hair.
“I’ll love you no matter what. You are mine, my little sister and you always will be.”
Sarah held her sister only tighter as she heard Diana break down in tears against her chest. Signalling for her friends silently to take their leave, she bid them a silent farewell. The rest of the night she spent it with little Diana, her curled up into Sarah’s side like they used to do when they were younger.
When Robert, Irene and Toby came home that night they were surprised to see the two girls curled up next to each other in Sarah’s bed sleeping soundly. Robert closed the door with a smile on his face, kissing his wife’s cheek as they went to put down Toby for the night as well.
Chapter 7: Changes & Preparations
The years passed and the sisters' bond only grew.
Even as Sarah said good-bye to her friends from the Labyrinth for the final time, she didn’t let go of her little sister. It was Diana that encouraged her to follow her dreams, whatever they might be. Even though Sarah’s parents disapproved of her going to college for theater, her little sister looked up to her with stars in her eyes. Sarah knew that in Diana’s eyes, she could do no wrong.
Still Sarah had yet to see the Goblin King again (only his owl form occasionally), despite the fact that he regularly tutored her sister.
It wasn’t until her little sister received her letter for the magic academy that things changed once more.
Sarah had come home from a long day working at a nearby diner, which helped to pay off her student loan fees, only to find her little sister in tears in front of the door of her apartment.
“Diana, what happened?”
The little eleven year old looked up at her sister, her forest green eyes flooded with tears, her nose running, and she let out a sob.
Sarah quickly unlocked the door to her apartment, and ushered her sister inside.
“Would you like some hot chocolate?”
Diana nodded up and down before setting herself up in front of the kitchen counter on a bar stool.
Sarah passed her a tissue box and then promptly started making her little sister some of her famed hot chocolate.
Looking back at her sister, she found her wiping her tears and blowing her nose but some hiccups had started up.
After the beep of the microwave, Sarah took out the hot chocolate. Walking over to her fridge, she took out some whip cream and made sure there was a nice swirl on top of her sister’s hot chocolate. Then adding some final touches of cinnamon and hot cocoa powder on top she placed it in front of her sister, before leaning forward onto the counter. Sarah waited for her sister to calm down enough to take a sip of her hot cocoa, then she leaned forward to wipe the whipped cream mustache from Diana’s upper lip.
“Now will you tell me what happened?”
Diana stared down at her hot chocolate, finger tracing the handle.
Taking a deep breath, she looked up at her sister with sad eyes. “The letter came.”
“Did they not accept you?” Sarah stood up, indignant. “How could they! You have every right as any other magical person to go…”
“No…” Diana interrupted her older sister’s righteous tirade. “I got accepted.”
Taking a shuddering breath Diana looked up at her sister, “Mum and Dad...no, Irene and Bob…”
Sarah’s dark brown eyebrows furrowed, Diana hadn’t called their parents by their names since she was six.
“They...They…” She took another shuddering breath, “They didn’t take it very well.”
Sarah’s eyes widened as the picture of what happened started to become clear.
“A professor arrived from the school, they explained everything to them.” Diana let out a sigh, “They didn’t say anything at first, just took the information and said what they needed to for the professor to go away.” Diana’s trademark when she was nervous came to the forefront as she bit her lip while adjusting her glasses, “But after…” A small choked sob came from her. “Sarah, they don’t want me anymore.”
Sarah quickly made her way around the counter and took her little sister into her arms.
“I’m sure they are just surprised…”
Diana began shaking her head against where it laid upon Sarah’s chest, “No...no, they said that...that if I went to the school then I shouldn’t come back home.”
Sarah’s heart tightened inside her chest, she had always known her parents were traditionalists. They were always aware of what their peers might think about them. But to reject Diana because of what she was?
“What am I going to do?” Diana began to wail in Sarah’s arms. “If...if...I can’t go back to them, then social services are going to take me away and then...then…” She let out another sob.
Sarah pulled Diana towards the sofa in the other room, and then pulled her down so that she sat next to her with her feet in her lap.
“I won’t let that happen, I promise.” Sarah looked Diana straight in the eyes. “What does the king...Jareth say about all this?”
“I haven’t told him yet.” Diana worried her lip and glanced up through her dark lashes at her sister, “I was worried that if I told him, that maybe...he would make me stay in the Underground and I wouldn’t get to see you regularly anymore.”
Sarah’s brows furrowed, she knew her sister was worked up. There was a lot going on in her little world right now. “From what you’ve told me about him, he’s reasonable now isn’t he?”
Diana nodded hesitantly.
“Then, do you have a way to contact him? Can you bring him here and we can talk about it together?”
Despite the fact that Sarah didn’t particularly want to see the Goblin King in person again, she knew that she would do anything for her little sister to smile again.
“I don’t really have a way to bring him here, but I can bring you there?” Diana sniffled and looked up at Sarah hopefully.
Sarah let out a sigh of resignation. “Let me get into something a little more appropriate for meeting royalty and then we can go, alright?”
Diana nodded quickly, a small tentative smile starting to appear on her lips.
Jareth had had a busy day. Several new laws had to be passed and he had been meeting with the goblins all day regarding his protege’s upcoming introduction into mage society.
He knew her letter would have arrived earlier that day, and his thoughts were lingering on how she was doing when a pop could be heard in his entrance hall causing him to sit up in attention.
Standing in the center of the hall was his protege and a very mature version of Sarah Williams. Sarah had her arms wrapped around her sister protectively, and little Diana’s eyes were glistening.
“Little raven, what a surprise! I was not expecting to see you today.”
To his furthering surprise it was not the little raven who spoke up, instead it was the older Sarah.
“Jar...Your Majesty, I believe there is much we need to talk about. Diana has had a harrowing day.”
Sarah’s sharp eyes stared straight through the king’s nonchalant mask, causing him to stand from his throne.
He directed them into a private sitting room, that he only had his highest clearance goblins and advisors meet him in.
“What is it you need to speak to me about?”
His little raven was being uncharacteristically quiet during the whole time since they arrived.
It wasn’t until Sarah’s stomach grumbled, causing her to blush furiously that Diana started moving again.
Rising from her chair she made her way to her sister, a bag in her hands; out from it she brought out a sandwich bag with a sandwich, a bag of chips and a water bottle before placing them in front of her sister. She glanced up at her sister’s eyes shyly.
“So this is what you were doing while I was taking a shower?” Sarah gazed at the youth with eyes glimmering in affection.
Diana shrugged, “You shouldn’t eat anything from the Underground but I also didn’t want you to be hungry.” Blinking up at her sister, a small quirk of her lips threatened to start a smile. “And you are always hungry after a shift at the diner.”
“Thank you, princess.” Sarah smiled and kissed Diana’s head before turning her around to face the king. “Now it’s time for you to update him, Diana.”
Diana nodded and let out a sigh.
Jareth had watched the exchange with curious eyes, seeing Sarah’s almost motherly attitude toward Diana caused his respect for her to rise. She had truly grown up.
“My letter came. A professor came with it and my...parents didn’t take it well. They don’t want someone who can...do something as unnatural as magic in their home around their impressionable son.” Her voice had soured at the word ‘unnatural’, and Jareth’s eyes narrowed.
At her last words she looked up at the king, her eyes pulling in tears once more.
“They don’t think Toby is safe around me.” Her voice was hoarse, as the tears fell down her cheeks.
“Oh, Diana.” Sarah looked upon her sister knowing that that fact was what hurt her the most. The fact that after everything, after all the times she showed unwavering loyalty to the Williams family; they still didn’t believe she would keep them safe. That she would hurt them.
“They are fools, little raven.”
Sarah gasped as she watched the proud king kneel before her little sister.
“I don’t want to be taken away from them. I don’t want to be taken away from Sarah.”
Jareth offered his hands to the young girl, and she placed her own in his gloved ones. He turned his head briefly to Sarah.
“Would you take guardianship of her in the human world, Sarah?”
Sarah nodded without hesitation, “I would if I’m able too. I’m not sure how I'll be able to support the two of us, but I’ll do whatever I can to make it work.”
The king waved his hand as if dismissing the last comment, “You will have no need for money. Diana has an inheritance from her birth parents that could cover any expenses, and even if that weren’t so she is a ward of the labyrinth. I have wealth beyond that which any human can imagine.”
Sarah’s eyes widened, “She’s the labyrinth’s ward?” Turning her head toward her sister, “Diana?”
Her sister winced and shrunk back but the king held onto her hands tightly, before answering on her behalf.
“When she accepted my help originally she knew that she would have my and my kingdom’s protection. She decided on her own that she wished to become an inhabitant of it as well.” Jareth’s starlight haired head tilted to the side, “I suppose you could say she has dual-citizenship here in the Underground and that in the human world.”
Sarah’s eyes narrowed, “Why did you offer your help? I learned from the past you do nothing for free.”
The king chuckled in response, before standing and helping Diana back in the chair beside the room’s large stone fireplace.
“Her and I came to an agreement.” He turned back to Sarah, “Perhaps she’ll tell you someday what that was, but for now we have more pressing matters.” He strode to the chair opposite to the one Diana sat in and gestured to the food in front of Sarah.
The preliminary plans were set in motion. The goblins were informed of the change of guardianship for Diana Williams, and they set forth to make all the legal changes in both the mage and human world. Sarah informed her parents that she would take care of Diana, there was very little fighting from their end. They seemed resigned to the fact, but Sarah could also see that they still cared at least enough to be relieved that Diana would be taken care of by her sister.
There were many tears as Toby was separated from his sister. Sarah remembered feeling a bit of vindication when she saw the regret in her parents eyes, and yet they made no moves to change their decision to cast off their youngest daughter. They still allowed Diana to send letters and call Toby occasionally, but it was not the same.
Sarah after some deliberation decided to get a working visa for Britain, that the goblins through their many avenues expedited, so that she could be closer to Diana when she came home from holidays and summer.
Due to some William’s girl luck, Sarah was able to join a theater company in main London. Her resume from the States was extensive, since she had started being in community theater at an early age when her birth mother got her started in the same field as herself.
Sarah and Diana were happy to find a nice flat in the outskirts of London, that had good transportation places. The goblins from the banking establishment under Ragnuk, instructed some of their employees to come and install a floo in the flat that had direct access to the Gringotts bank in Diagon Alley London (by order of their king).
Sarah was still unsure about the agreement that her sister and the king made, however she did see that they had a good relationship. The king always seemed almost professional, if that was the right word, around Diana but occasionally Sarah would catch a fond glint in his eyes.
Soon the day came for Diana to get her school supplies for the mage academy called Hogwarts. After much persistence from Diana, the king had agreed to come along briefly. He stated he would only be able to stay for the trip to Gringotts and the buying of Diana’s wand, but to her that was more than enough.
Sarah came from her bedroom in their flat, to find both the king and Diana already waiting for her in front of the floo. She looked down at the odd robes she was wearing.
“Are you sure this is what they wear?”
The king let out a small huff of frustration, and just as he opened his mouth to make a retort Diana spoke up in his stead.
“Yes! We did very thorough research!” Diana smiled at her sister, “You look very pretty in the latest trends of the mage world, sis!”
Sarah smiled at her sister. She supposed the trumpet style sleeves in the satin-like material were quite gorgeous. She felt like she was a teenager again dressed up in one of her old costumes. Over the silk inspired gown with the gorgeous sleeves, she wore a coat with puffed sleeves that opened only to let the gown’s sleeves to show through. The colors were reminiscent of her youth as well, the cloak-like coat was in a soft blush pink and the gown was in a lighter magenta with embroidered blossoms along the sleeves.
Diana wore a matching coat with the same shape and cut except it fell just a little past her knees, where her knee-high victorian style boots rose to meet it, but in a pastel blue. Her sleeves billowed before coming to crystal cuffs at her wrists.
Jareth tapped his boot irritatingly, a crystal tipped cane in his hand and his robes cut with more sharp angles but with a regency-like suit beneath them in his trademark velvet night blue.
“Well, the day is wasting away. I do have many important things to do.”
“Of course, Your Majesty.” Diana grinned at him, before combing her bangs nervously once more to make sure they covered her scar. “Go ahead and go first, Sarah and I will be right behind you.”
Gringotts was alive and busy with many patrons. Diana was glad they had special access behind where most went up to podiums to request access to their accounts.
A familiar face waited for them as they stepped from the floo.
“Child, I see you’ve finally arrived at the mage world intact.”
The goblin barely blinked as Diana directed her sunbeam-like smile his way, before curtseying.
“Indeed.” Turning to her sister that had arrived beside her, “Sarah, this is Sir Ragnuk. He was ever so helpful and discerning when he came to the Underground for my inheritance test. Without his unbiased explanations, well I wouldn’t be aware of many of the expectations the mages have for the Potter heir.”
Leaning forward conspiratively she whispered to her small audience, “Though thankfully they won’t know who I once was, all for the help of this mighty goblin.”
Ragnuk didn’t preen at her words but Jareth watched as his advisor straightened his spine ever so much more.
“This way, Heiress. We have much to discuss.”
Sarah looked around her face in awe. It was quite a grand building, tall golden columns framed the hallways and gilt chandeliers lighted their way.
Soon they were directed into an office that looked more like an artillery room. Swords with dried blood adorned the walls. Axes were set up in displays, and daggers glinted in the corners of the office’s many shelves.
Ragnuk went behind the massive desk in the center of the room that seemed to dwarf him in size. Waving his hand over his desk a pile of paperwork, three boxes and what looked like a wizard’s staff appeared on the table.
“Sir Ragnuk before we begin, I would like to make sure that the goblins have received back anything that they own from any of my vaults.”
Sarah looked curiously to her sister, and Diana turned towards her to explain. “Anything that is goblin made belongs to the goblins.”
“Little raven, I’m glad you have been diligently studying all the texts I have been assigning you.”
Diana smiled in response knowing that the king’s statement was as close as he was going to get to a compliment.
“I would have spoken in Gobbledegook as well, however I wanted Sarah to be able to understand our proceedings. After all…” Diana turns toward Sarah, “I want to make sure that you’ll be able to withdraw funds whenever you need them.”
Ragnuk let out an aggressive grunt, “In that vein, here is the paperwork that I need you to sign with signature and blood. It will make Sarah have access to your trust, and correspondence when His Majesty is unavailable.”
After reading over the paperwork, Diana made both signatures.
“Excellent! Now that that’s done.” He handed Diana a box that looked very much like a letterbox. “We will be able to communicate with you through this letterbox, it’s safer than an owl post. Mages are notoriously nosy.”
“May I purchase an extra as well for my sister, and also include a spell on mine that allows me to communicate which sender I wish to send my correspondence to?”
With a wave of his hand, Ragnuk created a new letter box and with a tap added the enchantment on hers.
Sarah turned to Diana, glancing behind them at Jareth who was leaning against the wall seeming very bored. “Do you already have a way to easily communicate with His Majesty?”
Diana nodded and Sarah sighed in relief.
“Lastly we have your heritage rings and staff.”
“I’ve read about the Heiress rings before but never before have I heard about a staff.”
At this the king came forward, a smirk upon his lips as he dragged a fingertip over the staff.
“One of the mages that became to be known as Merlin?”
The king turned his smirk towards her, “Indeed. It can be changed into whatever defensive tool you might need; a wand, a staff, a shield…” He waved his hand to indicate ect.
“How wonderful!” Reaching forward Diana let her magic seep into and imagined it as a protective charm. The staff obeyed her magic’s will before shimmering and shrinking into a necklace that glistened unnaturally but looked as if it were made out of the boughs of a branch, the center ending with branches twining around a forest green stone.
Ragnuk watched with greedy eyes as the child lifted the necklace that once was a staff and placed it around her neck, her sister fastening it behind her. He glanced at his king that also watched with eyes glinting.
There were very few who had known the king for as long as he had, he admired the fae before him for finding another treasure for the goblin kingdom. The child was exceptionally powerful not only with mage blood flowing through her veins, but also with pure magic. She was connected to true magic, which no human mage in history had been able to succeed having a connection with.
“Sir Ragnuk, what of the other heirship items? I knew of only Potter heirship having family magic.”
The goblin’s incisors showed glinting menacingly, his wicked grin only widened as he saw the child’s bonded sister shivered from his countenance.
“There is the Potter heirship ring, however there is also Peverell and Black.”
Diana’s eyebrows crinkled, “I thought Black was only a godparent, surely I’m not also their heir.”
The goblin’s bloodthirsty grin only sharpened, “The Black line didn’t end up having any direct heirs, your godfather was sentenced to Azkaban before he could have any heirs of his own. Thus, by default this makes you his only heir.”
Glancing up at the king, “Isn’t Azkaban the mage prison?”
He nodded his head toward Ragnuk.
Ragnuk cleared his throat so attention could be back on him.
“He was accused of betraying the Potters, and was thrown into prison shortly after their deaths.”
“Did he have a trial?” It was Sarah that spoke up this time.
The goblin’s smile became more predatory, “No. The mage called Albus Dumbledore made sure he didn’t have one.”
Sarah turned towards her sister, “Isn’t he the one you said put the blocks on your magic?”
Diana nodded, “The very one.” She bit her lip before turning to her sister, “I’m going to stay with you no matter what, but would you be hurt if I look into this.”
“Of course not!” Sarah spoke up passionately, “If he was wrongly imprisoned, he needs justice.”
“Alrighty then.” Diana turned back to Ragnuk, a wolfish smile to match on her face, “I would like the goblins to investigate Sirius Black and bring him justice if found innocent.”
“Opening your parent’s will to the general public would be a good start.” The king spoke up.
Receiving heirships could be done before a will was read, since parents often set out provisional funds before they ever died.
“Let’s do that then. We might just be able to give Dumbledore a taste of his own medicine while we are at it.”
“Of course, Heiress.”
Chapter 8: Pure Magic
Stepping out from Gringotts with a spring in her step, Diana turned towards Sarah and Jareth with a large grin.
“That took longer than I expected.” Jareth frowned back at Gringotts.
“Come on then, Your…” Diana bit her lip, she remembered he was undercover. “Jareth.”
Pulling on Sarah’s arms, Diana made her way through the crowds toward the direction the goblins gave her for Ollivanders.
Jareth strolled leisurely behind despite his previous complaints. His little raven was shimmering. He knew that only those with the Sight and other beings connected to true magic would be able to see it. She would be a force to be reckoned with, but he knew her path within the mage community would be throth with prejudice; especially since she insisted on keeping her heirship rings under a glamour and keeping true to her last name of Williams.
Soon the king was instride with Sarah who also couldn’t seem to keep in pace with her younger sister.
“It’s good to see her smile again.”
Sarah looked back and up into Jareth’s eyes with a surprised look. He merely glanced at her before turning his gaze back to his charge who he could see up ahead despite the crowds around them.
Soon they arrived at the building with its windows full of stacked wand boxes. Diana was waiting patiently outside waiting for them to approach. Already the magic from within the building was starting to react to the two beings of pure magic outside, the building almost seemed to vibrate.
“Is this an earthquake?”
Sarah glanced around, eyebrows furrowing as she noticed the rest of the street was still except for the bustle of the crowds of mages and children.
The doors of the shop opened to let out a pale tall couple and their clone-like son. They were aristocrats to their cores, Sarah could see it from their steel straight postures to the tip of their noses. The family barely glanced their way, before stopping in their tracks.
“Come, little raven, it’s time to get your wand.”
Jareth merely raised an eyebrow at the couple who watched with hawk-like eyes weighing the king’s appearance and that of his companions critically. Paying them no more mind, he took his charge by her arm and led her through the still open doors of the building before holding it open a moment longer for Sarah to pass through them.
As the king perused the room, he noticed that no other families had yet to enter. He raised his hand, causing the doors to the business to become locked shut and the blinds to come down.
“Do you think my wand will actually help me in any way, your…” Diana sighed, not used to calling the king by his first name, “Jareth?”
His eyes were critically assessing the interior of the place, watching as the wand boxes had started to levitate around them and some even rattled the shelves they were stacked in.
“It is needed to channel your mage magic when you are young, however it is not essential for your inherited magic to thrive as it matures.” Jareth eyes narrowed to a particular tall stack of wand boxes, knowing that’s where the wandmaster hid. “However, for the most part it is what mages do, thus you must play your part and do it as well; at least for now.” Striding forward until his legs hit the front counter, Jareth tapped his cane against the stack of boxes. “Wandmaker make your appearance, we have things to do.”
An older mage with grey hair sticking straight up from his head rounded the corner behind the stack of boxes.
“I have not heard of wizard’s magic being called mage magic in some time.”
His large eyes widened even further, before he bowed his head in respect before Jareth.
“It is an honor for you to grace my shop.”
“Yes, yes…” Jareth waved his hand in a bored gesture. “My charge needs a wand.”
The wide slightly crazed eyes of the wandmaker turned and focused on the child to the side of the fae.
“Why if it isn’t the lost Potter?”
Diana stood tall, her head held high. “I do not go by that name, please do not mention that name to any other. My name is Diana Williams.”
The wandmaker nodded, “Of course, of course…” With a flick of his wand, a tape measure floated toward Diana and began making measurements; from her height to the breadth of her wingspan. His eyes looked the child up and down before looking around at his shop where the wand boxes were all floating, their ends all magnetized toward the power of the two in the center of the room. “None of these will do...no none of these will do…” Making his way back into the stores of his shop he came forward with a dusty wand box, blowing at the top a cloud rose from it. “Try this…” His hands shook as he offered the wand from within. “Elder wood, phoenix feather core…”
His words trailed off as soon as Diana touched the wand it combusted causing wood splinters to shoot every which way. The king thankfully put a protective barrier around both her and Sarah in anticipation of such an outcome. The wandmaster wasn’t so fortunate with slivers across his face, his wide spectacles the only thing protecting his eyes.
“I don’t believe it is this one sir.”
Diana’s smile was slightly wobbly.
“Too powerful for a normal wand...very unique...special indeed.” Ollivander looked up at the child, “You will need a wand created instead.”
The king let out a sigh, “I had a feeling this would happen.”
Conjuring a crystal in his hand, it dissolved into several objects that began to shine and sparkle when Diana’s fingertips hovered above them. She let out a gasp as a tingling sensation rushed through her fingers and through her whole body.
“Wandmaker, do you have any silver lime wood?”
Ollivander nodded, “I have barely enough for one wand left, it was quite popular back…”
“Yes, yes...no need for the history lesson.” Jareth came forward with the objects in his hands, “Make her wand of these.”
The grandmaster gaped at the pickings before him, “Fairy wings, not ours though, thunderbird feather and…” Lifting a tendril of magic frozen to look like a shimmering piece of hair, “What’s this?”
Diana gasped as she looked at it, her fingers reached out and touched it. For a couple brief moments she was no longer in the mage world, instead she was back in the Underground and the Labyrinth was smiling gently at her.
“I’ll always be with you.”
Blinking she was back in the shop, “Your Majesty! How?”
He turned toward her with a genuine smile tugging at the corners of his lips, “She insisted. She knew that no normal mage materials would be able to be right for you.”
Jareth was surprised as suddenly Diana hugged him around the middle.
Sarah looked between the two in surprise, “What is it?”
Diana’s eyes were tearing, “The tendril of magic from a place that accepted me without hesitation.”
Their attention was drawn back to the wandmaster who spoke up, “A source of great magic indeed. I will take great care. The wand should be ready by the end of the day, you may come back in three hours to retrieve it.”
“I am most grateful to you, Great Wandmaster.” Diana curtseyed toward the old mage causing the man to blush pink.
“Yes...yes...well...it is a great honor to make such a wand.”
Jareth parted the two ladies with a smirk upon his lips and a spring in his steps.
Sarah and Diana excitedly made their way to the next stop they knew they would spend quite a bit of time in, the bookstore by the name of “Flourish & Blotts”.
After making their way through the crowds, and only asking for help once they got all the books from the academy’s list.
“Now, let’s get whatever looks interesting!” Diana grinned up at Sarah, “That means you too Sarah. I know you are ever so curious.”
Sarah nodded, a large grin spreading across her elegant features. The world around them was overwhelming but it was a world that was a part of her sister, thus Sarah planned to learn everything there was to know.
“Let’s go over to the Customs & Etiquette section first. Just from that one family we saw, I know it will come in handy.”
“Good idea, sis!”
Diana pulled her sister through the narrow book aisles swamped in brightly colored robed mages.
“ A Heiress’s Guide to Political Alliances ?” Sarah lets out a small giggle at the title of the book as she shows it to Diana, blushing as a passing mage aristocrat gives her a glare.
Diana smiles, “I have a better one, The Ways to a Suitor’s Heart Through Expressions .” She let out a giggle as her and Sarah both made eye contact.
They both chime together, “Well, that’s it we must have both!”
“Perhaps you two would take better to reading the books instead of making fun of them.”
Both girls turned to see the aristocratic lady that had left, with her family, from Ollivander’s when they arrived. Twin cheeks blushed, and lips pursed trying to stop another bout of giggles to burst forth.
Diana sobered up, a smile still adorning her face, as she curtseyed. “I apologize if we offended my lady.”
The woman had tightly coiffed silver blonde hair and sharp features that only slightly softened at Diana’s genuine response. She nodded in response.
“May I recommend several essential texts?”
“Yes, please.” Diana looked to Sarah and nodded at her. Sarah moved in response to allow the lady to approach the bookcase they were looking through.
She perused the shelves with an elegant gaze, barely tilting her head, before she began to take several books and placed them in Sarah’s hands.
“If you are truly earnest in wishing to learn Britain’s wizarding customs these books are the best on the market.”
“I appreciate your help, my lady.” Diana nodded toward the lady.
The lady this time nodded in response, “I am Lady Narcissa Malfoy, and whom am I making acquaintance with?”
Diana nodded back, “I am Diana Williams and this is my elder sister, Sarah.”
The woman’s eyes narrowed, “I am not familiar with the Williams’ family. Are you Americans?”
Sarah nodded, “Indeed.”
“How curious…” The woman seemed to take a second look at the both of them, critically analyzing their style of dress.
Diana simply winked at her sister and smiled, knowing that the lady was no doubt a Pureblood who was having trouble figuring out the two of them.
“Lady Malfoy, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. My sister and I must continue shopping for the rest of things on her list.” Sarah caught on quickly to the form of address and although her American spirit was roaring within about all the Lord and Lady ‘nonsense’ she sucked it up and smiled for the sake of her little sister.
“Of course.” Lady Malfoy nodded, effectively dismissing them. However, her sharp gaze did not leave them as they went through the store. The power radiating off the young girl was truly insurmountable.
Sarah and Diana were absolutely exhausted by the time they finished the rest of the shopping. Both were thankful to the wonders of magic for the ability of shrinking their packages and making them completely weightless.
Coming back through the door of Ollivander’s they both let out a sigh of relief knowing they were almost finished.
“Ah, the Williams! I will get your wand shortly, once I finish up with my current customers.”
Both Sarah and Diana nodded, both though at their wits end.
Sarah whispered to Diana, “I can’t wait to have a nice long bath when we get home.”
Diana nodded, “I just want to faceplant first thing into my bed.”
An explosion from a wand test before them made them both jump then wince from their sore muscles.
The boy before them was coughing from the smoke that came from his last try for a wand. He looked to his parental figure, a tall straight-laced man in a non-mage suit who looked like he was fed up with the whole mage world in general.
“What happens if no wand accepts me.”
Diana looked at the boy in curiosity, he had such sad eyes.
She stepped forward, “How many have you tried?”
The boy startled before looking behind him, “Um...twelve.”
“Sir Ollivander, do you think he was like me? Do you think he needs his wand built?”
Ollivander glanced at the young lady that pulsed with pure magic before looking at the boy who looked like he was trying very hard to not start crying. With his hand to his chin, “Perhaps we try one more before coming to that conclusion.”
“I’m going to wait outside Kevin and have a smoke. Come out when you finish up.” The dark haired man made his way out quickly without a glance back. The boy’s shoulders slumped.
“Perhaps it’s not a question of no wand working for him, wandmaster.” Diana’s head was tilted to the side, “What’s the most important thing to you in the whole wide world?”
The boy Kevin peered at the short haired girl in blue, shifting his feet side to side and looking down his brows furrowing in thought. “The most important thing?”
Diana nodded when he glanced back up.
He looked outside, then back at the girl.
“My mother and my little sister.” He whispered it as if afraid that the brusque man from outside would hear.
“What do they think about you being magic?”
“Being magic?” He looked at her, his dark chocolate eyes pooling with a disguised emotion. “They...they…” He sighed.
Sarah had come up behind Diana, placing her hands on her shoulders.
“They are proud of me.”
“As they should be.” It was Sarah who had spoken, her hands tightening on Diana’s shoulders in reassurance. “So it shouldn’t matter what anyone else says.”
The boy began to nod, his slightly curled hair flopping upon his head.
“So, this time when trying the new wand, don’t think about anything else except for the love you feel inside and the pride you have for your magic.”
Diana looked up at her sister, “Exactly.”
The boy straightened up, a new light in his eyes. “Mr. Ollivander, may I try the next wand please?”
With a flurry of movements the wandmaster brought out the final box, the boy came forward and with a deep breath took the wand in hand.
It didn’t burst in flame or explode, instead a swirl of magic seemed to circle around him as he waved it in his hand.
“This is it! This is my wand.”
Diana looked up at her sister who had just looked down happily, as well.
The boy excitedly paid for the wand before turning to the two young women. He thrust his hand out, “Kevin Entwhistle. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Diana smiled back at the boy, “Nice to meet you, Kevin. My name is Diana, Diana Williams.”
It would seem that Diana wouldn’t just leave Ollivanders with a custom wand that day, no she would also leave it with a friend.
Chapter 9: A Little Raven
Both Sarah and Diana were in tears at the station between 9 and 10, also named 9 ¾ , both hugging each other, not wishing to let go.
“Jareth said he would make contact with you after your arrival.” Sarah stood her hands on her sisters shoulders, “Write me as many letters as you want, I know I will be writing many.”
Diana hugged her sister around the waist tightly not wishing to let go. “I don’t want to leave you.”
Sarah hugged her petite little sister tighter, kissing the top of her head, “I don’t want you to either.” She sighed before stooping so she could make eye level with her sister, “But we’ve got to do this. I’m only a letter away, and I’m sure if you really need a hug from me Jareth might be able to fernaggle something for us.”
Diana giggled at the image of His Majesty coming all the way from the Underground just to transport her to her sister for a hug. A bittersweet smile came to her lips, as she fought the urge to continue crying.
“You have everything?”
“Yep, I double and triple checked right before we left this morning.”
“Ok, ok.” Sarah didn’t like the idea of not seeing her sister for several months, they hadn’t been apart for that long before and with their recent more co-dependent relationship with the parting of old family it was even harder. Taking a deep breath, she started walking her sister to the waiting train, “Now don’t forget to always be careful, be safe and be aware of old coots.”
Diana let out a wet laugh, “Especially old coots.”
Sarah pushed her forward, until she was making her way up the stairs of the train inside.
“Love you too!”
Kevin ended up finding Diana where she had holed herself in a back compartment, her eyes glazed over as she watched the scenery pass by.
She jumped in her seat, before turning toward him with a smile, “Oh, hi Kevin. Did you have a safe trip to the station this morning?”
He nodded before settling across from her, also turning his head to see the passing scenery, his luggage already stowed above his head.
“Are you scared?”
Diana blinked and turned toward her new friend, “About what?”
He shrugged and sat back, “Well everything.”
“Oh.” Diana tilted her head to the side, pondering her response. “I don’t think I’m scared, more nervous.” Looking back out the window, her chin upon her hand and her elbow upon the window sill, “I’ve been preparing for this for the last five years. So, I know what to expect; its just all so real now.”
Kevin had tilted his head to the side, his face open and curious, “Only five years? I thought you might be one of those…” He gestured his hand toward the cabin’s door.
His dark eyebrows furrowed, and he opened his mouth to ask but Diana had turned from the window to engage him in the conversation at that moment.
“Mage blood is mage blood. There is no difference, no matter what someone will tell you.”
“Then why is there so much…”
The tan boy in his collared shirt and pressed dress pants nodded.
Diana sighed, “It’s all a misunderstanding that has been more than a hundred years in the making.”
Kevin leaned forward, his attention caught.
“Something you must understand is that magic is all about intent. There will be those who will try to pressure you into thinking that there are Light and Dark, Good and Bad sides to magic; however there aren’t. Magic is not bad, it is neutral energy; however those who use it for their own gain and seek to hurt others while doing so are what is bad and they are what give magic the bad reputation.”
“What about the Dark Lords and dark rituals and that kind of thing?”
Diana gestured her hands as she spoke, “Those are all separate things. Dark Lords are not dark because of the magic they use, they are dark for the way they use it. Take the most recent Dark Lord, you’ve read about him right?”
Kevin nodded, “I’ve been reading non-stop since I got my letter and found out magic was real.”
“Ok, then you’ll know the basics. He rose to power with the old families with mage blood, or Purebloods as they like to be called, backing him. The reason they backed him comes back to the original misunderstanding. The old families wish to keep to the traditions that honor magic for being a life force, the interconnectivity of all things. Some of these traditions are classified as ‘dark’...” Diana made quotation marks in the air with her fingers, “...because some do them with the intent for bad. However, as a whole most magical traditions are merely a way for giving back to the magical force in all things.”
“Why would they need to back someone who has the reputation of being ‘dark’ in order to conserve those things?”
“It comes down to politics. There are those who champion for the ‘light’ side, who wish to take the attention away from magic and put it on the users of it. Which is all very ironic if you think about it.” Diana let out a little huff of laughter. “So when new mages come in from the no-maj world who have no experience with the old traditions, instead of being taught them these leaders have sought to keep them ignorant. There used to be classes in Hogwarts about the old traditions, and about magic theory but they’ve been taken away. So with their ignorance, those new mages or as this world calls them ‘muggleborns’ they end up compartmentalizing magic and using it like a tool rather than realizing it is part of their very makeup, their very DNA. Which in turn ends up alienating them from the old families who grew up knowing what magic actually is, and because the ‘muggleborns’ don’t know this they continue to show what the old families feel is disrespect toward magic itself.”
Kevin’s eyes widened, “Which then creates the divide between the two types of wixen or mages?”
Diana nodded encouragingly, “Exactly.” Taking a deep breath she continued, “So when these essentially dictators or ‘dark’ lords come around, the old families rally with them because they are the only ones that petition for magic itself. However, their techniques are all wrong. Both Grindelwald and Voldermort went the direction of Hitler and everyone in the no-maj world knows how those kinds of rulers end up.”
Kevin sat back, after having leaned forward in eagerness. “Wow! So as the two groups of magic users clash against each other it just makes the misunderstanding grow further.”
“Yep! So if you are called a nasty slur by one of the famed ‘pureblood’ families just remember that side of things. It doesn’t excuse their behaviour but it at least educates you so that you can’t fall into the same patterns of other muggleborns before you.”
Kevin’s dark almost black eyes were wide, “How do you know all this?”
A Jareth-like smirk came upon Diana’s lips, “I had a very good teacher who was completely unbiased when it came to the happenings of the mage world.”
The rest of the journey to Hogwarts was spent with both of their noses in books. They were only interrupted two times by kids looking for a Miss Hari Potter, but both merely shrugged in response and were left alone shortly afterwards.
As they stepped from the train, Kevin made a small bow toward Diana with a small smile upon his lips, “My lady will you join me as we walk to the awaiting boats?”
“Why yes kind sir!”
Kevin and Diana laughed, their heads nodding at each other as Diana took hold of his offered elbow.
Once situated in one of the many boats lining up upon the shore, both children sat forward looking toward the sparkling gem ahead of them.
Soon the boats began to move forward and they both gasped in awe at the castle as they drew closer.
Diana was no novice when it came to magical architecture after visiting the Underground for the last five years but still she was in love with the turreted building they were soon to arrive at.
Once their boat bumped against the shore of the Hogwarts academy grounds, Kevin and Diana grinned at each other before he helped her from the boat and they walked with linked arms toward the grand structure.
Soon they were ushered in through the massive stone doorway that seemed to even dwarf the giant-like man that had led their way up to it.
They grinned at each other as they both gazed around them with wide eyes, jumping when several other muggleborn students screamed in fright.
Diana laughed at what she saw that frightened the other children, leaning toward Kevin she whispered, “They are not even ghosts. Merely the magical energy left over after the mages death with only an imprinted amount of memories, sort of like the portraits here.” She gestured with a black robed arm toward a portrait to the side of the staircase they were just led up.
Kevin smiled in response, happy to have a friend that was such a wealth of knowledge by his side.
After the matron-like woman introduced the Hogwarts houses, she ushered them into two single file lines down the aisles of a large room.
A girl with hair larger than her head and a voice as clear as a bell was speaking to her companion next to her, “It's not real, the ceiling. It's just bewitched to look like the night sky. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History."
Diana leaned forward and tapped the girl on the shoulder. Deep chocolate brown eyes turned toward her.
“I think you would make a great Ravenclaw.”
The girl who seemed to be expecting a different response, closed her open mouth before blushing.
“Thank you! My name is Hermione Granger, what is yours?”
“I’m Diana Williams and this is my friend Kevin Entwhistle.”
“A pleasure.” The girl’s lips tugged at the corners, before her head swirled to the front where the woman who led them in plopped a weathered old wizard’s hat upon a stool at the front of the room.
The hat began to move on its own and then as a crack or seam along the top came open a voice pierced through the air, "Oh you may not think I'm pretty, but don't judge on what you see, I'll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me."
[Cue Sorting Hat song]
“Well I wasn’t expecting that.” Diana giggled.
“Come forward when your name is called in order to be sorted.” The elder woman spoke with a commanding voice up front.
Diana squeezed his hand, as he let out a nervous breath; “Whatever house you are sorted in, we’ll still be friends.”
He grinned at her, “I don't think I'll have to worry about that.”
He strode forward and sat upon the stool up front, then the lady placed the hat upon its head.
The hat hmmed and hahed before speaking up in a loud voice, “RAVENCLAW!”
Diana clapped loudly as he blushed his dark cheeks darkening even more and his robes changed to be trimmed in dark blue and bronze.
“You’ll do great!” Diana whispered encouragingly to the girl, she had a feeling the girl wasn’t used to her peers encouraging her.
Once the big haired young girl sat and the hat was placed on her head, the hat seemed to still and the ridge up towards the top of the hat that made Diana think of eyebrows furrowed.
It began to mumble, “Very informed, quite the memory, ambitious, hmm….but she’d be safer in… RAVENCLAW!”
Diana applauded once more grinning happily as she saw the girl blush once more and made her way over to the Ravenclaw table to sit beside Kevin.
Diana’s thoughts began to drift after that, only to awaken shortly after a Malfoy was called which only a second later, “SLYTHERIN!” was shouted in the air.
The whole hall suddenly became deathly quiet, all waiting for the famed legend to step forward. But no one did, the students in the line began to look around and Diana hid a smile as she did the same as if looking as well.
The mage woman who was reading the list looked up with a worried glance to the throne-like seat where the Headmaster sat. Diana frowned at the sight of the old man.
“He desperately needs a fashion stylist.” She mumbled beneath her breath.
The name was shouted again and Diana clasped her hands in front of her to stop herself from double checking that her forehead was covered. She knew her scar would not show, after all she had charmed her bangs to stay still no matter what may happen.
All the tables began to talk amongst themselves wondering where the famed Potter heiress could be.
However, no heiress showed up and so the lady professor was forced to continue.
Diana hid a yawn behind her hand as the sorting continued, letting a relieved breath when at last her name was called.
She strode forward, her head held high and her robes immaculate. She perched upon the stool like any pureblood lady would have been taught or in her case an etiquette teacher Jareth had gotten her.
Diana directed her thoughts to the hat, ‘Please do not speak of what you’ve found aloud.’
‘Of course, my lady’ the hat chimed back within her mind. ‘I haven’t been able to peer into a mage’s head like yours in quite some time. This is truly a treat.'
Diana smiled and thought back, ‘I already know where I think I belong, what do you say Sir Hat?’
‘Ever so polite, to be expected for one who is a ward of the Underground. I believe you are right, although you do have the ambition of a Slytherin, as well as the cunning. I think it would be best if you were in…’
Chapter 10: Manipulation & Science
The next morning at breakfast, Jareh arrived to find his little raven sitting with a group of children all reading books. If he could chuckle as an owl, he would have. Instead he gracefully landed upon her shoulder.
“Hello my little king.” Diana spoke to him with a smile upon her lips, “Was your trip here safe?”
Jareth nodded, before lifting his form’s leg a letter tied to it.
“Is this for me?”
She smiled at him, before nuzzling him with her nose knowing she could get away with it with him in his current form. He shook out his wings and pecked her nose, before taking flight back to his realm.
Opening the letter, Diana smiled.
Meet me on the seventh floor, left corridor.
Walk back and forth 3 times and think of the first place where we met.
I expect you there punctually as soon as you finish your classes today.
She was running late, she knew he wasn’t going to be happy. She hoped her excuse would pass.
Diana had just come back into the castle after her first Flying lesson, which felt a bit anticlimactic for they weren’t allowed to do anything except hover over the ground. She knew she would have to ask His Majesty to teach her how to transform into a bird, since his nickname for her was little raven. She wanted to change clothes before making her way up to the seventh corridor, when a student ran up to her out of breath.
“The Headmaster is requesting you. Here.” The student thrust a piece of parchment into her hands before running off.
She was not looking forward to meeting the old coot, she had seen him from afar at the Welcoming Feast and that had been enough.
Making a detour she started going to where she heard the Headmaster’s office was before deciding to change course.
If the old coot was trying to corner her, she would just have to use a trump card.
As soon as finding out who her Head of House was Diana couldn’t help but grin at her Williams’ girl luck. Half mage and half goblin, perfect for her future plans.
Knocking on her Head of House’s office door, a small voice from within spoke “Enter”.
“Hello, Professor Flitwick?”
Diana poked her head through the door and began step one of her plan. She blinked shyly at the teacher, her long lashes fluttering softly upon the top of her cheeks; as she looked down to the side of the door.
“Come in, Miss Williams was it?”
“Yes Professor.” Diana stepped into the room and dove straight in, “I know you are probably very busy, but I was wondering if I could ask a favor.”
She kicked a small pebble upon the floor with her mary janes.
“I am indeed busy.”
“However…” the small mage smiled gently towards her, “I always have time for one of my eagles.”
Diana wondered why ravens weren’t the mascot of Ravenclaw, just like she wondered why gryffins weren’t the mascot for Gryffindor. She shook her head from her thoughts before stepping further into the room.
“I was informed by a fellow student that the Headmaster wishes to speak to me, but I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong!” Diana glanced up and fixed her professor with a wide innocent look, being careful to keep it natural. “I read in the Hogwarts by-laws that a student whose guardian is unreachable for a last minute meeting with a headmaster, that the Head of House of the student may instead join them if needed.”
Professor Flitwick took his small spectacles from his nose and wiped them upon a handkerchief he’d pulled out.
“That is true, however I’m sure you have nothing to work about.”
“I see.” Diana allowed her eyes to lower and speak with a lower tone, “I’m sorry I bothered you Professor, it’s just I don’t feel comfortable being alone with a man I just met. And you made me feel immediately comfortable when you were welcoming all the first years last night that I thought…” She bit her lip.
“Of course I’ll join you. One moment please while I finish this one review I have and then we will go right away.”
Professor Flitwick had seen many students pass through the halls of Hogwarts but none quite so much a contradiction as the girl he had walking beside him.
For a muggleborn student, she held herself with the grace and poise of a pureblood.
She had the cunning of a Slytherin as well. As he led her into the Headmaster’s office, he watched as she gave quite the performance with crocodile tears included.
“Filius, you may go.” The Headmaster tried to dismiss him as soon as the two entered the room.
“No, please. I ask that he stays, Headmaster.” Diana’s eyes watered, and her voice pleaded.
The old man with his garish robes, twinkling in his eyes and ever poised mask merely brushed what she said to the side.
“There is no need for him to be here, my dear.”
The young girl then straightened in the chair, her spine straight, “I will have him stay, Headmaster. It is my right as a student of Hogwarts, per by-law 138.”
Filius admired the girl for her strength, not many would pointedly refuse Dumbledore to his face.
“Now…” A smile sat upon her lips, one that was demure and superficial. “What did you need to speak to me about, Headmaster?”
Albus Dumbledore was silent for a while, as if stunned by her as well. Before his smile came back, if not a little strained at the corners. Filius had to purse his own lips to stop the grin from seeing her make a crack appear in Dumbledore’s facade.
“Do you know why you received an invitation to Hogwarts?”
The young girl shrugged, “I assumed it was because I’m a witch.”
If Dumbledore noticed the slight pause before she said ‘witch’ there was no indication from his face.
“There is an American school. Only those who have familial connections to Hogwarts would receive invitations.”
The Headmaster paused as if expecting her to give some sort of reaction, but she merely shrugged.
“Irene and Bob never came to Hogwarts.”
The Headmaster’s furry grey eyebrows furrowed, “You call your parents by their first names?”
At this the girl in dark blue and bronze tinged robes sighed and shifted in her seat. To others it would look like she did so out of discomfort. However, Filius’s experienced dueller's eyes saw it as it was, it was her rook move as if they were merely playing wizard’s chess.
“I’m not on...speaking terms with my parents right now.” She looked down at her hands, which were clenched tightly in her lap. “They didn’t take well to learning that I’m a witch. My sister is my guardian now.” She looked back up, blinking her eyes slowly as if to dislodge tears from her eyelashes.
The Headmaster’s eyes narrowed slightly, “You remind me of two students who came in a generation past, you could even pass as their daughter.”
“Oh really?” Diana tilted her head to the side, her hair falling to that one shoulder but her bangs not even swaying. She smiled, “What were their names?”
“Perhaps you’ve already heard of them; they are quite famous, James and Lily Potter. Of course, Lily was an Evans in the days she was here at Hogwarts.”
“That would make me Hari Potter though wouldn’t it?” Her smile was tight upon her lips.
Filius noted how the Headmaster’s eyes had not parted from his focus on the girl the whole time.
“Indeed it would.”
“Well, that doesn’t seem to be it. After all, Hari Potter and I were both called out for the sorting ceremony. Unless the school’s registry made a mistake…”
The Headmaster’s eyes burrowed into the young girl’s, however she didn’t even flinch.
“Was that all, Headmaster?”
The serious demeanor that had crossed over the Headmaster’s face evaporated as if it had never been there in the first place.
“Yes that would be all.”
The girl rose with almost royal like poise then headed for the office door, but not before nodding toward the Headmaster in respect.
It wasn’t until he and the young eagle were on their way back to the common room that Flitwick decided to speak regarding his observations.
“Miss Williams it would seem as if you should have been sorted into Slytherin. I’ve never quite seen a student so effectively put on such an act before the Headmaster and get away with it.”
“The mage world is a dangerous political landscape right now, Professor.”
“As true as that may be,” He stopped and looked to the young girl that had stopped beside him in her eyes a very shrewd look beyond her years, “I ask that you never put on that act for me again. I would like to think my students can trust they can come to me for anything, however in return I’d like to be able to put that trust in my students.” This time when Flitwick looked at the young girl her cheeks had reddened in the first sign of real emotion he’d seen thus far.
She nodded humbly, “I understand.” She sighed, “In that vein, I must part ways with you Professor for I am already very late for a very important date.”
He smiled and called after her, “If there are to be crumpets at the unbirthday party, please save some for me. I especially like them with elderberry jam.”
Diana grinned when she heard the Professor caught the reference and waved before she disappeared around the corner.
“I know. I apologize, Your Majesty.” Diana had just run into the room out of breath. “The old coot asked for my presence.”
Despite his anger towards her tardiness, the king couldn’t help the chuckle that burst forth.
“The Headmaster also known as Albus Dumbledore.”
“Ah,” The king came forward checking her to make sure she wasn’t hurt anywhere, “He didn’t do anything untoward?”
“Oh no, he wouldn’t dare to. Especially since I made sure my Head of House was with me, as per the by-laws.”
“Clever girl.” He reached out his gloved hand as if trying to decide to pat her head or ruffle her hair. Instead he dropped his arm, and stood back. “What did the illustrious Headmaster have to say?”
“Oh mostly curious how I got an invite to Hogwarts and heavily implied I was Hari Potter.”
“Hmm…” Jareth tapped his gloved finger upon his lips.
Diana smiled at the king’s trademark thinking pose.
“I’m pretty sure he was the reason why Hari Potter was called at the sorting ceremony.” Mimicking his thinking pose, her finger to her lips. “However, don’t you think its strange? Like I was under the impression that the whole mage world knew Hari Potter was missing.”
Jareth solved their questions, by summoning a crystal and speaking into it, “Ragnuk come here, now.”
With a sound like a whip cracking, Ragnuk appeared by Jareth’s side.
“You called, Sire.” His nonplussed attitude caused Diana to giggle to the side. He nodded in her direction as well, “Heiress.”
“SIr Ragnuk.” Diana nodded her head in return.
“Enough, enough. Ragnuk when you first met Diana you told me I had found the missing Potter child, as if to imply that the mage world was already aware of her being lost.”
“Yes, because the goblins were aware that the child was no longer in Britain.”
Diana spoke up with her brows furrowed, “How could Dumbledore have not been aware of the fact I wasn’t even in the country for eight years?”
Ragnuk let out a wry chuckle, “His blood wards were ineffective. He assumed that as long as the Potter child was in the muggle home, the blood wards would remain active. However, due to their treatment you left behind DNA that was held in stasis from the potent magic. So when you were no longer there, the wards did not fall since they still sensed your essence there.”
“Those filthy humans…” Jareth had spoken under his breath, but Ragnuk acted as if he had not spoken.
“I do love how goblins are aware of recent science discoveries, the mage world has much to learn from you.”
“Indeed.” Ragnuk grinned, “It would be irresponsible not to, thankfully Dumbledore was not aware enough about the sciences to realize his plan had failed. Or else he would have found your location relatively easily.”
“Thank magic he did not.” She tilted her head to the side, “Wouldn’t others tried to find me though, like Voldermort’s followers?”
“Your sister bond was enacted while you were still in Britain, thus magic recognized you as a Williams.”
Diana nodded, “So because they didn’t have a piece of my DNA they wouldn’t be able to search for me, through advanced spells and would only be able to search for me using my name?”
Ragnuk replied with a quick nod.
“That is all for now, Ragnuk.”
With the king’s dismissal Ragnuk vanished.
Chapter 11: Of Poems & Schemes
Diana quickly found that mage magic was very restrictive when compared to using pure magic. Diana could create a crystal from thin air with pure magic, with mage magic there were so many rules.
Although the Transfiguration teacher was very passionate about her subject, Diana found herself absolutely bored in the class. Even when using her mage magic it was simple, however when she would look around at her other classmates she supposed she had been a bit spoiled with phenomenal teachers for the last five years.
The only two classes that she felt she could enjoy since it felt as if she truly was learning something brand new was Potions and Herbology. She was familiar with many magical fauna and flora from the Underground however she wasn’t regarding the plants in the mage world. Potions she enjoyed despite the suspicious looks she’d catch her professor giving her and his occasional cutting remark here and there.
She sensed a great sadness from the man behind the Potions Master.
It was after one class that she stayed behind.
“Professor Snape, I know this might be a personal question…”
“Then don’t ask!” He interrupted as he began to clean his desk.
“Why do you look at me with such hatred? But then with such great sadness afterwards?”
His hands stilled, then clenched, crumpling the paperwork that had been in them.
“I only ask because if there is anything that I can do to lessen your suffering, I’ll do it.”
Diana wasn’t sure what made her say the last bit, it just came tumbling out and she regretted it as soon as his eyes flashed with something dark as they shot back towards her.
“I do not need your pity, Miss Williams.”
“I would never…”
“Leave!” His eyes were wild, and Diana nearly fled his presence.
Later that same evening, Severus would find the most gorgeous set of crystal glass vials he’d ever seen sitting on his desk, once he had come back from dinner. A small note would read, “‘Poetry is about the grief…’”
Professor Quirell, and by extension his persistent shadow, were confused. What was the girl named Diana Williams?
Quirrell was in the mindset that she could not actually be a muggleborn, not with the power that seemed to radiate from her.
She paid expert attention in his classes, like any good Ravenclaw would, however it was her questions that confused him.
When speaking about the vampires in Albania, she asked, “Modern day vampires rarely group together, and they definitely do not hunt in packs. So I wonder what a group of them were doing in that forest that day, with no immediate food source available to them?”
When speaking about the dangers of being out on the night of a full moon, she asked, “The most dangerous werewolf is the one who isn’t one with their wolf, far too volatile. So if that’s so, why aren’t there more reports of people being bitten both in the muggle and wizarding worlds?”
The Dark Lord was confused because although the child had the capability to do so she never called Quirrell out on his blatant lies, instead she proposed accurate questions that caused many a thought-provoking discussion. She was highly intelligent.
It wasn’t until one day after a lesson he found out just how smart she was.
“Miss Williams...may... I sp...speak with you briefly?”
Waving on her friends, she turned back to the professor her head tilted to the side. “What did you wish to discuss with me, professor?”
“I was... mer...merely wander...ing when you we..were intro...duced to the wizard...ing community.”
She tilted her head to the side, and then promptly sat back behind one of the students' desks.
“Is it truly relevant?”
He nodded in response. His eyes narrowed as she stared at him for a moment before smiling brightly, causing him to blink in surprise.
“I came to Diagon Alley rather early before the school year began, it was shortly after my sister and I moved to London.”
“You...seem...to be almost like…”
At his well-placed hesitation, she responded with a sly grin, “Like a Pureblood?” Once more he nodded in response. “As soon as arriving in the mage...sorry wizard world my sister and I sought to learn everything we could about it. We didn’t wish to offend anyone by wolfooly being ignorant of current customs and traditions.” She tilted her head to the side and leaned back in her seat while staying perfectly poised, “I have a photographic memory, so that helps as well.”
“Ah, that...that does make more sense.” At this Quirrell tilted his own head in parody, his eyes darkening as his stutter fell away. “If only more mudblo...muggleborns sought to do the same.”
She grinned her teeth seemed to glint in the low lighting and for one moment both the dark shadow and the professor had a brief flash of a goblin’s grin. “If only the so-called Light side of politics would help new witches and wizards in this aspect.”
The Dark Lord now in full control of Quirrell viewed the girl before him with a fair share of curiosity and the smallest piece of him in trepidation. What was the child’s angle?
“If...or rather when I support a political leader in this world it will be one that realizes magic isn’t a tool to be used by the pions, rather it is a way of life the very fabric of this universe.” Her goblin-like grin only sharpened. “They will have my full backing as long as they realize that all magical blood is equal. However…” Here she stood and lifted her finger as if to prove her next point, “They will have to truly respect magic for what it is, the very life force of every magical being on the planet. Thus, something to be respected and not used with disregard.” Her eyes almost seemed to glow for a moment with emerald fire, “The traditions of old where those with magic in their blood gave back to this force will have to be upheld, or else the very fabric of the universe could unravel.” She shrugged, “Then there would be nothing left of mage blood, no...instead pure magic would reign.” The little girl let out a cold laugh, she shrugged once more, “Of course, I suppose that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.” The magic that had been building up around the room broke and an almost wind like wave of power left the room with a sigh.
After the child had left, the Dark Lord would ponder on what transpired for some time. The child would be a force to reckon with in the future, already her power was extraordinary. At the end of his thoughts he concluded that he would have to have that power on his side, or else he would need to find a way to destroy it before it in turn would destroy him.
Chapter 12: Of News & History
Albus Dumbledore was at a loss. This was something very new for him, and he didn’t like it one bit. Ever since Professor McGonnagal had come back from Privet Drive, only to announce that Hari Potter was not there, he had been at his wits end. When inspecting the Dursleys' memories, his wits did not receive a break for he found that Hari Potter had not been at their residence for eight years.
The toddler had been abandoned at a theater, the Dursleys’ memories were fuzzy and they did not remember which theater it was or what day it exactly was that they had done it. Covering his tracks he wiped the whole family’s memories of Hari Potter, and removed all traces of Hari ever being in their home. His wards had failed him, and he had no idea where the child could possibly be.
He remembered suddenly five years prior when the goblin’s discovered his questionable withdrawals from the child’s inheritance and vaults. He had known that the magical guardian ritual would only fool them as long as the child was under his control. However, why hadn’t he investigated further when the goblins refused him access? At the time he had access to other sources of revenue and he was busy with the Wizengamot, he cursed his dismissal for that which should have been his first clue that something was wrong.
When he instructed for Hari Potter’s name still to be called he hoped perhaps she would come from the woodwork, that things would be set back in place. However she never came forward. Instead there was a child with Lily’s eyes and James’s hair with another name, her bangs hid her forehead from view making it unclear whether or not underneath was Hari’s trademark lightning shaped scar. Despite the muggle name, the child comported herself like a child from the Sacred 28. When speaking to her the next day, no progress was made; instead he found a child with a mind like an actual labyrinth. Despite being well versed in Legilimency, he continuously got lost in the fathomless stone corridors of the child’s labyrinth shaped mind palace.
He then turned to his professors reactions to the child trying to see if she broke character or gave any sort of clue to them. Each had a say in how powerful and talented she was, even Professor Quirrell expounded on her intelligence. Professor Snape, in the privacy of Dumbledore’s office, didn’t show any enlightenment only mentioning the same thought that she could have been Lily and James’s child merely by looks. He was oddly reticent about her though, his face pulled in a frown but not in a scowl as Dumbledore would expect if he spoke of his childhood bully’s child.
All in all Dumbledore had a conundrum that only intensified when the Daily Prophet was dropped by his plate on the day of Halloween.
Diana had to practice every sort of training Jareth gave her to not to burst out in laughter when she saw Dumbledore’s face when the morning post came in and when the Daily Prophet front page’s article was set before her.
POTTER’S WILL CLEARS SIRIUS BLACK’S NAME!
Just a day ago the Daily Prophet office received a private invite to the reading of a will.
Once arriving at Gringotts for the private reading, it was announced that it would be the Potter’s will that had recently been unsealed by a relative that had come forward. Despite questioning, the goblins did not give any clue to who this relation was. Among the viewers were Amelia Bones (Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement), Lord and Lady Malfoy (representing the closest representatives for the Black family), and Cornelius Fudge (Minister of Magic). Here at the Daily Prophet we were given the special privilege of being able to print the Potter’s will for our readers. It is as follows:
“We, James Potter and Lily J Potter, with a sound minds and sound bodies do bequeath the following in the instance of our deaths:
To Padfoot, a brother in everything but blood, Sirius Orion Black (which nothing could compare to the value of your friendship & loyalty): 1,500,000 galleons
To Moony, a brother whose conscience has been invaluable, Remus John Lupin: 1,500,000 galleons
To Wormtail, on the concession that you did not betray us as our Secret Keeper or any other capacity, Peter Pettigrew: 1,500,000 galleons
To Andromeda Tonks: 1,500,000 galleons
To our dearest little princess, our daughter Hari Lily Potter: the remainder of the Potter vault.
On no certain terms should our daughter be left to Lily’s sister, Petunia Evans in the event of both our deaths.
Her godparents: Sirius O Black, Remus J Lupin, Alice Longbottom and Andromeda Tonks.
To close we wish for it to be made clear, if we die prematurely by any violent act we have been betrayed by one we held in our utmost confidence, Peter Pettigrew. The Secret Keeper ceremony was held at the Potter manor on October 1st, 1981 witnessed by Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.”
The surprise of all who attended was palpable. Outrage filled the air as we all realized that an innocent man, a lord of an old wizarding house, had been put in Azkaban. Immediately, Amelia Bones and Cornelius Fudge went back to the Ministry to set in action the processes to free Sirius O Black.
Questions have arisen from this discovery: Why did Albus Dumbledore convince the Ministry to put an innocent man behind bars? Who was the relative that opened the will to the public? Was it the Potter heiress and if so where is she now?
For more on the Potter tragedy, see page 5.
For more on Albus Dumbledore, see page 10.
Diana smiled into her hand as she finished reading, before folding the paper and setting aside to finish her breakfast.
Thursdays had the shortest amount of school sessions of the whole week, Ravenclaws only had Double Charms with the Gryffindors.
Despite the relatively easy subject matter, since charms although having fancy latin names all had specific intent behind the magic, Diana enjoyed the class since her Head of House taught it.
This particular day they were paired up, most were pairs of one Ravenclaw and one Gryffindor to inspire inter-house loyalty.
Diana was paired with a bubbly but not too bright Gryffindor by the name of Lavender Brown. The girl was nice but a bit vapid, most of the time she was staring either into a pocket mirror checking her appearance or staring over at the redhead that was paired with Hermione. Poor Kevin, though, he had it the worst. His partner literally only had explosive results from any try he made of the levitation charm.
Diana and Hermione both achieved the charm on the first try and spent the other half of the period trying to teach their partners how to do it correctly.
By the end of Double Charms that day, poor Kevin had been sent to Madame Pomfrey along with his partner after a specifically horrible explosion for a first year.
Hermione and her had just left the classroom and made it across the courtyard when the redhead in front of them got especially loud.
“She’s a nightmare! No wonder that muggleborn doesn’t have any friends.”
Hermione had stopped in her tracks, staring at her feet and her arms tightened around the books in her arms.
“Hermione, he’s just an idiot.”
Hermione shook her head and turned on her heel to run away.
Diana sent a stinging hex the redhead’s way before running after her.
“Hermione! Please wait up!” Diana chased after the other girl, at last catching her elbow when she made her way to the staircase to the Ravenclaw tower.
Taking a deep breath, she trotted up a couple of stairs so that she could be in front of Hermione.
“I’m your friend, and I think you're brilliant!”
Hermione’s chocolate brown eyes were watering, “Really?”
Diana flashed her a smile, “Most definitely!”
Hermione sighed before walking up the stairs so that she was beside Diana.
“I thought it would be different here.” She glanced at the dark haired girl beside her, “I didn’t have friends...back home. I was always odd because…” She sighed.
“Because you are smart?”
Hermione turned her head back forwards and nodded, “But I came here and suddenly I’m still...a freak.”
Diana’s emerald eyes turned frosty, before she turned her friend towards her holding her in place. “Never let anyone call you a freak, and never let yourself call yourself one either.”
Hermione’s eyes were wide as she looked into the eyes of the girl before her, realizing she didn’t really know much about the girl but in that moment she realized that they might just be kindred spirits. Hermione’s eyes were still filled with unshed tears but this time she took a deep breath and offered her hand to Diana.
Diana’s cold expression melted into a kinder smile, and she took her friend’s hand as they continued up the staircase.
“I skipped kindergarten and first grade when I started school. I didn’t really understand the other kids, to me they all seemed...well stupid.” She gave a wry smile, and Hermione giggled in response before tightening her hold on Diana’s hand. “I have a photographic memory so I always remembered things that other kids wouldn’t, the good and the bad. So when I say that I think I can understand a little bit of what you feel…”
“I understand, thank you.”
As they made their way into their common room, Diana turned toward Hermione her eyes bright with something that if Hermione didn’t know better looked like mischievousness.
“I was planning on going to the Forbidden Forest tonight, for what other mages call Samhain.”
Hermione’s eyes widened, “What happens if we get caught?”
“We?” Diana grinned.
They both made their way into their empty dorm room, and Hermione turned to her friend after placing her things down.
“Well you don’t expect I’ll just let you off go someplace alone do you?”
Diana grinned, “We’ll just have to be really smart about it. Now…” she plopped on top of her bed, “what do you know about Samhain?”
“Well, its an ancient Celtic festival held around November 1st to celebrate the beginning of winter.”
“In general, yes.” Diana made a general wave of her hand, “Mages of this age have long since forgotten what was actually done during this time, some things they have right though. The veil between this world and others are thin on this night, but still not in the way that many believe. There are no such things as ghosts, so it isn’t a veil between the living and the dead. No instead its the veil between those with mage magic and beings of pure magic.” Diana looked over to friend who sat on her bed across from her, her eyes wide with curiosity. “The mages of old that knew the truth would give back to pure magic, but not in offerings like old families do today. Magic is not an entity, it does not have sentience; instead its the energy that’s within all of us. Even some no-maj have very small percentages of it within them. It’s part of our very DNA, which sadly not a lot of mages are aware of since they don’t think its worth getting to know the sciences of the earth.”
Hermione scoffed, “It’s silly.”
The honey brown haired girl leaned forward, “Then what are you supposed to do on this night?”
“It is an ancient tradition to give a small bit of your own magic back to nature. In turn, those who are beings of pure magic may deign to visit and may even socialize and dance the night away with you. However…” Diana raised her finger, “This is very important. You do not wish to give too much of your magic, once given it can’t be taken back. Second, if you are able to speak to those from the other side of the veil be very careful of the words you speak. A ‘thank you’ or even an apology can turn into a contract where you owe something to those beings. Best course of action is a respectful nod.”
Hermione nodded, “Will we actually be able to meet any though?”
Diana shrugged, “It all depends if they wish it or not.”
Quickly making her way off her bed, Diana made her way to the trunk at the foot of her bed. Throwing it open she pulled out two masks, she handed one to Hermione, “Now let’s get dressed. We have to be in the Forbidden Forest before sundown.”
Chapter 13: A Night to Remember
They weren’t the only ones out in the forest, but they were the only ones who were prepared to meet trickster beings from beyond the veil.
Hermione and Diana watched from beneath their cloaks and masks as several other cloaked children made their way into the forest. They followed behind quietly and more slowly, when they came across the children setting up their offerings before a bright bonfire.
Diana sighed as she looked over the offerings, “Magic is not a deity. I don’t understand how traditions could have been changed so much over time.”
Hermione looked to her friend, a question at the tip of her tongue, “I thought that they may be for the beings…” She drifted off as she saw her friend roll her eyes.
“They are not deities either, Hermione. They deserve our respect but not our worship.” Diana sighed as she looked as some of the older children began to transfigure twigs into tables that soon became laden with food and drink. “Oh! That reminds me, don’t eat any food tonight or until after we head back to the castle after sunrise.”
Hermione looked curiously at the food and then back to the girl, “Isn’t it only food from fae and fairies we are not supposed to eat?”
Diana gestured for her friend to follow her across the clearing to where a circle of rocks and fungi made a fairy circle on the ground.
“That’s true. However, it is far too easy for them to switch food during the merriment. It is better to be on the safe side.”
As the sun began to dip below the tree line of the surrounding forest, Diana began to bring out the little saplings that she had prepared for the event.
“Here, Hermione, can you place a sapling by each rock on that side?”
Hermione nodded before picking up an armful of the small saplings and went to the other side of the fairy circle. The girls worked together around the circle placing a small sapling beside each stone around the fairy circle. Soon they were finished and looked up across the wide circle at each other with smiles curling up beneath their masks.
As the sky began to darken into deep shades of red, magenta and fiery orange the festivities across the clearing began to pick up.
“I will start singing a fairy folk song that I learned for this, it’s ok if you don’t know the lines. Just hum or harmonize along whichever you feel you can do with your heart best. As I sing I will be planting each sapling, giving each sapling only a wisp of my magic so they can start to grow.” Diana smiled over to her companion, Hermione was wearing a white shift and an amber cloak upon her shoulders mirroring Diana’s outfit well. Diana had a less dramatic version of her raven mask from the labyrinth masquerade, and she’d given Hermione the tawny owl mask. The russet almost has gold feathers around her eyes, making her eyes spark with their own amber fire. “Ready?”
Hermione nodded, her cloak’s hood slipping a little bit back but catching upon her unruly hair.
[Cue Diana singing “The Elfin Knight”]
As Diana sang, she began to plant the saplings feeling as her magic seeped from her fingers into the saplings roots, willing them to grow into the earth until she moved onto the next one. Only glancing up when she heard Hermione’s bell like a voice joining, softly but beautifully. Emerald and amber met, eyes smiling before they continued around the circle.
Both voices melding perfectly as their magic began to mix as well. They made their way to opposite sides of the fairy circle, their voices naturally rising even as darkness came upon the clearing. Hermione could feel it in the air it was almost suffocating and yet as she went to take a deep breath she felt as if a rush of something came back into her. With a blush she realized it was her magic, it was almost tangible on the tip of her tongue as the words of the folk song alsorolled off her tongue.
With a flicker, Hermione could see her friend's feather masked face once more as she lit torches several feet away from the circle but following the pattern until there were long torches sunk in the ground surrounding the circle. The light from the flames flickering across the growing limbs of the saplings they had just planted.
Diana opened her mouth and began singing a new song.
[Traditional Celtic song, FILL-IÚ ORO HÚ Ó]
Swirling her cloak from her shoulders and setting outside of the circle of fire, she smiled as Hermione followed her lead before taking the hand Diana had held out.
Lifting her skirts she took off her shoes and did the same as her cloak, Hermione followed her lead.
Lifting her hands above her head, Diana began to dance around the ring singing until her voice rose with the boughs of the now trees to the skies.
Letting out a laugh toward the dusk lit skies she smiled at the trees.
[Cue song similar to: The Sky & The Dawn & The Sun]
The girls’ laughter rose into the air with the embers of the torches and with their magic. Lost in song and the euphoria that came from the feeling of their magic tingling across their bare skin they danced around the ring not even noticing that some of the other children had started to creep closer to see their feat of magic.
It wasn’t until the unified gasps of the surrounding children filtered through their laughter and singing did they notice the little balls of light starting to flit through the tree branches from around the ring. Hermione stilled as she watched one of the balls of light grow bigger until it landed on the ground still within the ring of light.
The light seemed to lengthen, until within the light something sparkled; her eyes widened as she began to make out a face that looked like it had been carved by the masters of sculpting in the past. Long golden hair fell upon bare shoulders, the light grew brighter further down until dropping to show the surprisingly tall being before her. Hermione closed her mouth with a click, Diana’s advice from before whispering in the back of her mind.
The honey haired youth dropped in a small curtsey before the being of pure light. Heat from the fairy’s magic brushed past her and out from the circle of light, Hermione rose from her curtsey to watch as two translucent wings unfolded from behind the being’s back. She jumped as she felt a hand slip into her hand that had fallen to her side, turning she found Diana’s eyes glittering in the firelight. Diana turned to nod back to the circle of trees, Hermione turned to see more balls of light coming from the fairy ring forest.
Before neither girl could blink it felt as if the whole clearing was filled with beings of pure magic. Some looked like the fairies of old, like the first one Hermione had seen. While others looked as if they were completely different creatures yet still humanoid. Male beings with scaled wings, and long hair that seemed to glisten in the light. Feminine featured beings with eyes slitted like that of a serpent, fangs and razor sharp fingernails. Then there were those that Hermione couldn’t seem to assign any sort of gender to; they were nimble and quick, features so blindingly beautiful it almost hurt to keep looking at them.
Music began to play; filling the clearing with harp, mandolin, drums and even bagpipe melodies.
Before long she was swept into the arms by one of the winged beings, a wicked grin upon their lips as they spun her around the fairy ring in their arms. Despite the fear that lodged itself in the back of Hermione’s throat, she found herself throwing her head back and letting free a joyful laugh as she was spun around. As the song stopped, the being merely passed her to another to be swept around. In one of the loops around the firelight, she saw glimpses of Diana dancing with a being that dwarfed her size as well. A truly bright and sincere smile upon her lips as she spoke and chatted to the being as they danced. There was something slightly different about the being beside her friend, but Hermione was swept into another dance before she could find out what it was.
Hermione was finally given a break, only because Diana and her being came up. She curtsied before the last dancer, “Than…” Hermione bit her lip, “I appreciate the chance I had to dance with you.”
The being who happened to be the first one that had swept her into a dance, had a disappointed smile upon his (?) lips. His eyes narrowed and seemed to glow in the low light, before he gave her a small little tilt of his head, a bell-like voice whispered in her ear, “Perhaps next year you won’t be so lucky.”
Hermione shrank back from the being as he swirled away to join the merriment on the other side of the clearing.
Diana came up to her, her eyes narrowed after the being that had just left, “Are you ok?”
Hermione nodded, she didn’t need a mirror to know her face was pale. Diana had placed her hands on either side of her cheeks, and was staring into her eyes as if searching for something specific.
“You are so cold. Come over here and warm up.” Diana dragged her friend over to where the being who had danced with her waited. She sat right down next to the being with his regal poise and spiky starlight air, as if she wasn’t sitting next to a powerful being that could squash her like a bug. Hermione shivered, rubbing her arms.
Diana’s eyes were still narrowed on the back of the being that had left behind a frightened Hermione.
“Is he a Gancanagh?”
Hermione looked up for a moment thinking she was talking to her, but was surprised to find Diana with her head turned to the being at her side.
The being also had his mix-matched eyes staring after the other. He shook his head.
“He’s something much worse.”
Diana leaned forward and pulled Hermione into a hug, as if to protect her. She waited until her friend's shivers died down before she spoke once more, “What did he say to you?”
Hermione shook her head, before clearing her throat. “I almost thanked him for the dance but stopped myself. He seemed kind of angry that I didn’t and told me maybe I wouldn’t be as lucky next year.” Hermione shivered again.
“Bastard.” Diana whispered it, but Hermione still heard causing her jaw to drop slightly. Her eyes darted to the other being, who she thought may be a fae in fear.
The fae did not even look in her direction instead he chided Diana, “Little raven.”
Then, Diana rolled her eyes. Hermione gasped and spun her head to see the fae’s reaction.
His lips split into a grin and then he let out a laugh that sounded like what warm dark chocolate might sound like if it had a sound.
A high pitched giggle distracted Hermione before she could say anything from her shock. She glanced to the side to see two Slytherin boys, who she vaguely recognized as the boys that always followed Draco Malfoy around, on either side of a gorgeous scaled feminine being.
Diana turned toward Hermione, “Isn’t that Heir Malfoy’s two stooges?”
Hermione merely nodded in response, a cold shiver of dread going down their spine.
“She’s a Leannán Sí. They are in trouble.” Diana stood from the log she had been sitting on with the fae. “Hey boys! You better be careful.”
The boys weren’t listening, both transfixed by the dangerous beauty even at the age eleven.
“Where is Heir Malfoy when you need him?” Diana let out a sigh, “I’ll be back Your Majesty. Could you perhaps keep an eye on Hermione, I’d hate for some being to cart her off somewhere.”
“Your Majesty?” Hermione was gaping at the two of them, before she registered what her friend had just said. “I can take care of myself!”
The royal fae ignored the girl at his feet before looking absolutely bored and shrugged, “I suppose I could, little raven. However, you’d owe me.”
Diana threw back her head and let out an aggravated sigh. “What will I owe you?”
“That’s for me to know and you to find out, little raven.” Sharp pointed teeth flashed, causing Hermione who still sat before him shiver in fear.
Diana looked down at Hermione, then looked back at the boys, then back to the king. She let out another sigh, “Fine.”
The king chuckled as he watched his charge head off to play the hero.
It took longer than Diana would have liked to find the platinum blonde pureblood. She had nearly given up, when she saw a flash of his tell-tale mane to the side. Another Slytherin who Diana felt like was named after a flower, but for the life of her could not remember what it was, was hanging onto him like he was her lifeline.
“Heir Malfoy? May I have a quick word with you?” She bowed her head in proper respect, and pitched her voice just a tad bit lower just in case he recognized her even with the mask upon her face.
The blonde looked up his ice cold grey eyes flashing with what looked like almost relief as he extracted himself from the embrace of his classmate.
“Draco! Where are you going?”
“I promise I’ll have him back shortly, Heiress.” Diana hoped she was a heiress at least.
Draco glanced curiously at the disguised girl before speaking up, “Pansy, I’ll be back soon.”
“Pansy, I knew it was a flower.” Diana whispered to herself, before blushing beneath her mask as Draco looked at her funny.
After they were several paces from Draco’s clingy girlfriend, he spoke up, “What did you wish to speak to me about?”
“Come.” Diana gestured for him to follow her, they walked until they were in eyesight of the goons and the dangerous fairy. “Your followers are about to get themselves in a whole load of trouble.”
Diana gestured to the two a couple of paces away.
“Oh, Crabbe and Goyle?”
“The woman in the midst of them is a Leannán Sí. A temptress of the fairy world, if they are not careful, she’ll trick them into being her slaves.”
Draco looked at her contemptuously, “They are only eleven. Why would she bother?”
Diana sighed and fought to not roll her eyes in frustration, “Because she can. In her eyes they are prey, ripe for the picking. Young enough to be trained to be the perfect snacks when they are old enough.” What she failed to say was they were easy prey because of how dim they were, however that wouldn’t help her in the long run.
His icicle eyes narrowed, “How do you know all this? How do I know you are not one of the fae in disguise trying to get them for yourself?”
At this she did roll her eyes, then against her best instincts she looked around before lifting her mask so he could see her face underneath before placing it back over her features after his eyes widened in recognition.
“You’re....you're that mudblood. Williams!”
“Yes, yes. Now that we have cleared up that I’m not a fae trying to eat your friends, can you now go over there and draw their attention away from…” The urge to curse came to her once more, for right across the way the fairy was offering both boys a crystal goblet that looked suspiciously like elven wine. She grabbed Draco’s arm and started running, “Hurry, they can’t drink from those goblets or they are hers!”
Draco and Diana ran towards the boys. Draco shouting, “Stop!” But it was too late, Crabbe had already taken a sip. “Goyle don’t take a sip!” But Goyle whose eyes were hazy put the cup to his lips, but Diana shot a stinging hex to his hand making him jump back and drop the goblet in alarm. The fairy hissed in Diana’s direction, before soothing the boy who was crying regarding the pain in his hand. Leaning forward the dangerous fairy kissed the boys hands, causing him to blush. Her other hand offered him a little dainty pastry which he grabbed and ate with no preamble. She smirked at the two youth who stood panting out of breath, her voice coming out sickly sweet, “Such simple children aren’t they, they’ll make such sweet treats as they age.”
Draco jumped forward, “No!” But the fairy had already disappeared in a flurry of light, taking the two dazy eyed Crabbe and Goyle along with her.
Chapter 14: Some Deeds Cannot be Undone
The next day would find Draco Malfoy sitting with Pansy but staring at the two empty seats in front of him with a look of horror.
Hermione had gotten over her fear from the night before and had resolved that the encounter she had had just reinforced how much she wasn’t aware of magic.
“So I was thinking….Diana?” Hermione turned to see Diana gazing off into thin air. She shook Diana’s shoulder, causing her to blink at her in surprise. “Are you ok?”
Diana shook her head, “I’m just wondering what’s going to happen when Crabbe & Goyle’s parents find out they were taken from last night’s festivities.”
“Who?” Hermione looked at her with her brows furrowed.
Diana looked at her friend, “You know Heir Malfoy’s two goons that are always following him around, Crabbe & Goyle.”
Hermione now was looking worriedly at her friend, “Diana, Malfoy has never had two friends by the name of Crabbe & Goyle or like what you mentioned.” She raised her hand to Diana’s forehead, while raising her own hand to hers, “It doesn’t feel like you have a fever, maybe you should stop by Madam Pomfrey’s just in case.”
Diana shook her head and looked at her friend, how could she not remember. Sure maybe the two blokes were a little forgettable, but them hanging around Draco Malfoy like an entourage was known throughout the school. Plus, Hermione had seen them with the fairy just last night. Worriedly she looked across their table to Kevin who was reading from his Charms book to catch up on his interrupted lessons from the day before.
“Kevin, you know who I’m talking about don’t you?”
Kevin raised his eyes, an eyebrow up in a very Jareth-like fashion.
“You know Crabbe and Goyle, you mentioned just yesterday how if they became beaters next year Slytherin would slaughter the other teams in Quidditch.”
He looked at her blankly, before a worried expression came to his eyes, “I never said anything like that, I think I’d remember it if I had.” He glanced over to the Slytherin table, “There was never a Crabbe and Goyle at the sorting ceremony. They would have been right before and after me, so I would have remembered.”
Diana looked down at her breakfast plate, what had remained of her hunger dissipating quickly and suddenly she felt sick. Her eyes flickered over to Draco, he looked up just as she did. He stood from his table abruptly, and jerked his head towards the Great Hall door before leaving.
Diana stood from her breakfast, “You guys are right, maybe I should go to Madame Pomfrey.”
Hermione made a move to stand and Diana waved her away.
“You have class soon, I’ll let you know how I’m doing later. Go ahead and finish breakfast.”
Striding from the hall, she found Draco Malfoy standing outside waiting for her. He gestured quickly and they made their way to the 7th floor, where he walked back and forth three times before a door appeared.
Diana followed him in, barely able to take in the surroundings of which she assumed mirrored the Slytherin common room before Draco had spun to face her.
“No one knows who they are! It’s as if they never existed!” He’d thrown his hands up in the air, “I don’t know what to do.”
Diana nibbled her lip, “Have you asked your Head of House, Professor Snape?”
“Of course!” Draco raged on, “It was the first thing I did after coming back this morning. He was the first one I spoke to about it, and he had no clue who I was talking about!”
Diana sighed, “I might have someone I can ask, but Draco you have to understand fairy and fae rules are very strict. As soon as they took food from her, they were hers. I’m not sure if my contact could even bring them back if he tried.”
His eyes were rimmed in red, his face even paler than what was natural. He turned his head down and his hands tightened into fists at his side, his eyes shot back up to glare at her; “If you don’t get them back, I’ll hold you responsible. If you don’t get them back, I’ll...I’ll...claim a feud against you!”
He ran from the room not even waiting for her response. Diana sunk into one of the armchairs beside the grand stone fireplace in the center of the room. Letting out a sigh, she threw her head back.
“What am I going to do?”
Jareth arrived in the Room of Requirement just a couple of human world hours after he got the message from his charge.
What he found was his little raven pacing back and forth in a green and velvet room muttering endlessly to herself.
She didn’t seem to hear him, and so Jareth let out a kingly sigh before walking til he was right in her path. Only then did she look back up at him.
“Is there any way to get someone back from a Leannán Sí after they’ve already eaten the food offered?”
“Not even a hello to your king, you should be ashamed of yourself little raven.” Jareth mocked her, one of his cruel smirks alighting upon his lips.
Diana sighed before looking up at the king, and curtseying before him, “Your Majesty.” Her eyes narrowed, “Now could you perhaps answer my question?”
“No you won’t answer the question? Or no, there is no way to get them back?”
The king turned and summoned an armchair to him, then sat upon it like he did upon his throne back in the Underground.
“It is near impossible to remove a Leannán Sí from their target, or targets, once they have chosen them. It is impossible to then take their prey away once they are in their grasp.”
“And there are no loopholes?”
The king let free a cruel laugh. He waved his hand and a crystal rose above their heads showing several histories past of those who had tried to get back the humans that were in the grasp of the fairy. They all ended with the rescuer, becoming the prey as well.
“The Malfoy heir is going to declare a feud on my family! What happens if his family goes after my sister in the mundane world?”
“What did you think would happen when you decided to play hero, and reveal your identity, little raven?”
Diana sat, in a chair she summoned that was across from the king.
“I don’t know what to do.” She looked forlornly at the ground, “Either way I would have felt like it was my fault. Even if I hadn’t gone and gotten Malfoy.” She let out a sigh.
“Little raven.” The king leaned forward his voice sharp, “You are not responsible for other mages. It is their own fault for not researching their own customs, and forgetting about pure magic.”
Diana let out another sigh, sinking further into the plush chair. “What am I going to do now?”
“That is not something I can help you with, whatever comes next you must reach your own solution.”
The king vanished from the Room of Requirement shortly afterwards, leaving Diana in no better a mood.
Hermione and Kevin had started to grow worried, Diana had grown despondent in the week that followed the night of the veil opening.
Surprisingly in the end it was the mostly incompetent Professor Quirrell that ended up breaking through to her.
He had been walking back to his quarters after dinner, when he heard raised voices coming from an empty classroom. Curious he hid to the side of the door and listened in.
“This is all your fault!” The voice, Quirrell recognized as the young Malfoy’s.
“It is not my fault that they were stupid enough to go against every fairy rule there is! If anything you should be thanking me! I went to you to get them help!” The professor’s brows furrowed as he recognized the young Williams girl’s voice.
“Little help that did, Crabbe & Goyle were still taken! And now no one even knows that they existed.”
The professor’s wheat colored eyebrows furrowed as he tried to place the names but couldn’t, however his shadow seemed to flicker with recognition.
“There isn’t anything that can be done, everyone who has ever tried to rescue victims of the Leannán Sí have become victims themselves. All legends point to her purposely weaving paths just so the heroes can fall into her own traps.”
Leannán Sí, now there was a name the professor hadn’t heard of for quite some time.
“I don’t care! I’m going to tell my father, and we will put a feud upon the Williams' name. Try living a normal life now, we will destroy you!”
Draco rushed from the room not even seeing the professor in the shadows.
The Dark Lord had taken over Quirrell’s body just as the girl ran out of the room bumping straight into his body. Her eyes downcast; she didn’t even see his eyes flash crimson, before she looked up in surprise.
“Oh, I’m so sorry Professor!”
The Dark Lord looked at the girl before him, she looked as if she hadn’t slept in days.
“Come, let’s talk in my office.”
The girl nodded and followed sedately at his side, as he tried to make sure his limp wasn’t too noticeable.
As they reached his office, the Dark Lord gestured to the seat in front of his desk.
“Would you like some tea?”
The girl nodded quietly. With a wave of his hand he summoned a tea service from the kitchens, it popping in existence on top of his desk.
The Dark Lord watched as she brought the teacup to her lips. She hesitated and mumbled before the cup the smallest flash of light seen over it, that he would have missed if he hadn’t been looking for it. His eyes narrowing, turning once more a crimson like sheen, she had checked the tea for enchantments and poisons with barely even thinking about it.
“Now what is this I hear about Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle being missing?”
Her eyes shot up to his crimson gaze, that with a blink was back to its normal baby blue hue.
“You remember them? How do you remember them?” Her eyebrows furrowed as she looked upon her teacher with a penetrative gaze that if the shadow didn’t know better looked as if she was reading his mind. “That’s very strange indeed.”
The shade straightened his puppet’s body and leaned back into the chair, “Yes, now what happened?”
The little girl pursed her lips, before taking a deep breath. “Well on the night of October 31st we had some fae and fairy beings visit the festivities in the Forbidden Forest.” She paused, her dark brows furrowing low so that they peeked out from beneath her long bangs. She glanced up at the professor, before continuing at his nod. “When the night was nearly over and it was close to sunrise, I noticed Crabbe & Goyle with a lady fairy; which I recognized as a Leannán Sí. I tried to call out to them to get away from her but they didn’t listen. So I thought I’d get their friend instead and maybe he’d be able to get through to them.” She sighed again before taking a small sip of the tea, and then shrugged, “But they still did not listen and before we could stop them they had taken of the food and drink offered to them by the female fairy. Then she took them back to her realm.”
The Dark Lord pondered what was said, as his eyes drifted over the features of the girl. She knew quite a bit about pure magic and its beings, far more than even the old magic families did. It was definitely strange.
“He was right, I shouldn’t have tried to play hero. It was stupid.” She whispered it, but the professor still heard.
Leaning forward in curiosity, “He?”
She glanced up at him with large green eyes as if just remembering he was still there, before glancing to the side. She nibbled her lip as she replied, “A being I met at the festivities. He said I should not have involved myself.” She shook her head, “So now Heir Malfoy is making a feud against the Williams’ family.” She mumbled again, “What happens if it ends up hurting her?”
With aggravation, the Dark Lord took a deep breath before inquiring once more, “Her?”
“My sister. The Malfoy family hold a lot of power and not just in the mage world but also the mundane. They could easily find out who my sister is and then cause her trouble with her work.” She shook her head, her hand tightening around the teacup so that a small tension crack started to appear on its veneer. “No, I can’t let that happen. I’ll just have to make sure they can’t.” Jumping from her seat, Diana looked at her professor for the first time in awhile with a light starting to shine in her eyes again. “Thank you professor for listening. I’ve got to go, I have a letter to write!”
The Dark Lord watched as the girl left again once more in a flurry of energy and power.
Chapter 15: Friendships & Revelations
Hermione and Kevin looked at each other over breakfast as they saw Diana studying what looked like stock magazines at the table the next morning. As soon as they finished, they stepped up on either side of her and dragged her back to the common room, a toast still in her mouth.
Once they had her sitting in a little alcove, which they had claimed earlier in the year as their own, they both looked simultaneously at Diana and spoke her name, “Diana.”
Diana looked back at the two of her friends, darting her eyes between both their serious expressions.
“What’s going on with you two?”
“What’s going on with…!” Hermione was set off, and she threw her hands up in the air.
Kevin patted Hermione’s shoulder, “I think what Hermione is trying to say is….well.. Aren’t we your friends, Diana?”
Diana looked shocked at the question, her eyes looking from Kevin’s worried face and sad eyes, to Hermione’s still upset features but worried eyes.
“Of course you are.”
“Then why haven’t you been talking to us?” Hermione threw her hands up in the air again, and Kevin winced at her wild gestures. “We know that something has been wrong but you haven’t told us. You’ve been distant, barely eating and barely sleeping.”
“Oh, she says!” Hermione sighed a small pout coming to her lips.
Diana shrugged, “I’ve had a lot on my mind. I…” She looked to her friends again before looking down at her hands clasped in her lap. “Some things happened on that night Hermione, that you can’t remember and since then I’ve been paying the price.”
Hermione’s expressions grew more worried, “Did I do something?”
“No!” Diana shouted before quietly continuing, “No, Heir Malfoy is blaming me for something that I couldn’t have stopped or fixed. Now he’s declared a feud against my family. So I’ve been making precautions, in case that affects my sister.”
“Thus, the buying of stocks?” Kevin asked, remembering what she was reading this morning.
Diana shrugged, “Among other things.”
“Ok well...Diana you can’t keep things from us. Especially things that we can help with, I’m great at researching.”
Diana smiled at Hermione and turned to Kevin who began to speak up as well.
“My...father is actually an investment broker. So I know some things.”
Both were nearly blinded with the smile that came from their best friend, causing both to sag their shoulders in relief, glad to see their friend back.
“So, enough about me. What have I missed?”
Hermione scooted forward her voice down low, “You won’t believe what is in the third corridor!”
“When were you going through the third corridor…?”
Kevin leaned forward, “We were running away from Filch’s cat because it was past curfew, and we’d spent way too long in the library…”
Hermione spoke up her nose in the air, “There’s never too much time spent in a library…”
Diana laughed, causing her friends to grin as well. “Yes, of course but then what happened?”
Kevin grinned, an almost mischievous light coming to his eyes that Diana hoped to see more of, “We were about to be found but then we had accidentally made our way into the third corridor.”
Hermione interrupted to continue the story, “So Ms Norris almost found us when we were able to hide into a previously locked room…”
“Which Hermione opened with an amazing Alohomora.”
“Thank you, Kevin. Anyways, when we turned around guess what we saw?”
Diana laughed at Hermione’s excitement, “What was it?”
Diana’s emerald eyes widened, “What’s a cerberus doing in a school filled with children?”
Hermione shrugged, “Who knows? But that wasn’t all, it seemed to be guarding a trapdoor that sat underneath it.”
The dark haired girl’s eyes narrowed, “So not only has the Headmaster allowed a dangerous creature to be placed right in the halls of a school but he’s also hiding something oddly important here as well? What in the world is he thinking?” Then her eyes widened slightly, remembering vaguely of Professor Quirrell having a limp, could he have been after whatever was hiding in the third corridor but then was bitten or something when he tried to get it.
At their weekly meeting, Diana brought up the strange circumstance in the school.
“The old coot’s hiding something valuable in the school.”
Jareth raised his eyebrows in question.
“Not only that he has a cerberus guarding it!”
“You didn’t see the beast did you?” He looked at her, his eyes glinting and his face pulled in an expression that almost resembled worry.
She shook her head, “No, Hermione and Kevin came across it accidentally.”
“Stay clear of whatever it is. You should have learned by now not to get involved with other mages’ problems.”
Diana sighed, “I know.”
“How goes your solution to that other problem?”
“Heir Malfoy has claimed the feud. So I contacted Ragnuk to take safety features. I now own the theater company Sarah is in, as well as have shares in other theater groups around the city. I also broached a deal through a middleman with Lord Malfoy, so now we are partners of his investment firm. I sent Sarah a protection charm from one of my vaults that Ragnuk personally had picked out for me that will ward off most curses, hexes and spells and will send me a signal if she is threatened. It’s something that changes shape so she can wear it with whatever costume she wears at work or her day wear.”
“You’ve been busy, little raven. Despite making an incorrect choice initially, you have made sure to cover all your bases going forward.”
Diana noticed the under-handed approval and complement and smiled up at the king in response.
“Winter break is coming soon. Will I be spending any time in the Underground during it?”
He tilted his head to the side, “Perhaps. I have some things that have been keeping me busy. I’ll notify you, if you are able to come.”
Diana nodded before her eyes drifting off as her mind got consumed with her thoughts.
“Oh!” Diana spouted and the king raised an eyebrow in response. “There was one other thing I wanted to ask!”
He gestured for her to continue.
“How could someone remember Crabbe & Goyle if they weren’t directly there, like Malfoy and I, to see them disappear?”
The king leaned forward ever so slightly in his seat, “It should be impossible, since they would have been wiped from existence in the human world. There wouldn’t even be documentation anywhere that they existed. However…” He tapped his upper lip with his gloved index finger. “There have been instances when magical creatures remembered, but only very few. They would have to have no active brain of their own.”
Diana’s brows furrowed, her mind trying to think of a human equivalent before her eyes shot forward, “Like with a symbiote and a host?”
The king turned his head in her direction, as if pondering his response. “Yes that would be the equivalent. In that scenario, the host would have had their mind wiped of the memory however the symbiote would still remember.”
“Then that means…” Diana’s mind went back through all her encounters with Professor Quirrell. She gasped, “Your Majesty! One of my professors is a host then and the symbiote has been the one talking to me. It makes sense now, Quirrell has a stutter but whenever he’s talked to me after class or yesterday he hasn’t had the stutter.”
At this king stood and walked over to his charge, kneeling before her, “Little raven, promise me that you’ll be careful around him from now on. Keep an eye out for any other strange behaviour. If he even gets an inkling to what or who you are…” He trailed off.
“Why would he care though?” Diana’s eyes widened, “Is the symbiote somehow fae or fairy in origin?”
“No, I believe he may be mage. Think, little raven, who has no body but we know is still alive in the mage world.”
“You don’t mean…” Diana leaned forward and whispered, “Voldermort or…”
The king nodded and held onto one of her little hands, “Or Tom Marvolo Riddle.”
Chapter 16: Introductions & Research
Sarah didn’t know whether to be happy or frustrated. Sure she was excited for the arrival of her sister at the station, however she was not looking forward to the conversation she was going to have with her.
After all, how do you go about telling off your little sister for buying your place of work. It was an odd conundrum.
It didn’t help that the winter holidays were going to be filled with work, having the goblin’s check-in on Diana’s godfather and Diana’s trips to the Underground. Sarah’s thoughts drifted as she waited for the Hogwarts Express to pull in.
She remembered the devastation she felt when she saw the man, Sirius Black, in chains in the mage world’s court. Sarah had gone with a goblin representative to watch over the proceedings on behalf of Diana. He was so very gaunt and thin, scruffy and his eyes were wild. It seemed like he barely seemed to register what was happening around him. He only seemed to perk up when Albus Dumbledore was mentioned, he became so deathly still that Sarah remembered leaning forward in her seat afraid that he was in shock. But no it was anger that shook his bonds. She didn’t understand why through the whole trial he still had to be bound, the will proved his innocence and yet the Wizengamot still had him take some sort of truth serum before coming to the verdict that he was indeed innocent of all charges. The hunt would be out for one Peter Pettigrew, a rat in every sense of the word.
Sarah had watched from the sidelines as their goblin representative approached the newly freed Sirius Black. They vanished right from the courtroom, since a goblin could apparate with pure magic while mage’s could not. She wondered how the man fared, the goblin representative would have taken Lord Black to the Potter estate where he could reside until he was well again. Diana had arranged for a small group of highly recommended mind healers to help the man, as well as hired a healer to live in the Potter Manor until Lord Black was well enough.
Sarah’s green eyes blinked as she came back to the present, her eyes searching until they landed upon her little sister. All reservations from earlier were forgotten as she held out her arms and her little sister jumped into them.
They held each other tightly, neither one wishing to let go.
“How have you been, my little princess?”
Diana’s face flushed at her older sister’s pet name for her.
Sarah didn’t miss the hesitation, but before she could ask her sister had turned toward her friends that were trailing behind her.
“Sarah, you've already met Kevin.”
Sarah smiled and nodded toward Kevin, “It’s nice to see you again.”
Kevin’s eyes widened and looked down bashfully.
“This is Hermione!” Diana gestured to her other friend.
“It’s nice to meet you Miss Williams.” A small girl with hair in large honey brown curls stepped forward.
Hermione smiled back, “Sarah.”
Diana hopped up and down, “Did you get the tickets?”
Sarah chuckled and nodded, before taking out the tickets she had gotten for her winter show.
“Where are your parents? I’d like to meet them, so I can give them their gifts.”
Hermione and Kevin both claimed they were waiting outside the station.
“Shall we meet them then?”
All the children nodded, and Diana slung her arm around her sister’s waist, her hand linked in Hermione’s while Kevin walked sedately behind the three young women.
Hermione ran toward her parents, a couple of blondes who were middle aged. They stood tall next to one another, and looked down at their daughter with stars in their eyes.
Sarah glanced across the way to where Kevin was more sedately making his way to his family. His father had the same displeased expression that he had at Ollivander’s, however beside him were a woman and small girl with complete opposite expressions. With darker features compared to the man, they had gentle eyes and fond smiles as they watched their family member draw close. With some encouragement Sarah watched as Kevin led his family over to where Sarah and Diana stood, Hermione’s parents approaching as well.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs Entwhistle. It’s nice to meet the parents of one of my sister’s dear friends.” Sarah smiled toward the couple, controlling her features in order to not respond to the cold look the father gave and instead focused on the elegant and soft features of the mother.
“It is wonderful to make your acquaintance as well, Miss Williams.” The woman smiled, her eyes appraising both Sarah and Diana. A soft look of fondness coming upon her features. “I believe it’s thanks to Diana, that my dear boy has gained much confidence over the last couple months. I am grateful to her for this.”
Sarah glanced to the side where Diana dipped her head in respect.
“Kevin is the first friend I made in London, I’m thankful to have him by my side as well.”
Diana turned her head to see the little girl who hid behind her mother’s skirts, “Is this Claire?”
The little girl, with bright blue eyes that matched her father, nodded before quickly darting back behind her mother while still holding on tightly to her big brother’s hand.
Diana only smiled in response. Before turning toward Hermione’s parents who had just arrived by her side.
“It’s good to meet you, Mr and Mrs Granger. You’ve raised a highly intelligent daughter, who has the makings of being someone quite great.” Diana smiled as she viewed their shocked expressions before turning and smiling at her friend who also grinned. “My sister and I would be honored if both the Entwhistle family and Granger family could join us for the opening of my sister’s winter show.”
Sarah stepped forward and handed each family head an envelope filled with tickets for each family member, “If you are able to make it, it would be wonderful. Diana also was thinking we could meet up afterwards if you were able.”
Diana smiled at both families, “I wished to show my appreciation to both families for raising such amazing friends, as well as give everyone a gift for the holidays. My sister and I have a contact at Le Papillon and were able to make reservations if you would like to join us.”
Diana watched as Kevin’s father’s look of uninterest turned into one of greed at the mention of the high class restaurant. He no doubt had thought that the two would have not been able to afford the finer things in life.
“Has the theater business got more lucrative since last I checked?”
Diana heard Kevin and his mother suck in a breath at their family member’s snobby comment, however she just smiled.
“Sarah is quite talented, however we also had a large inheritance that has allowed us to live quite comfortably.” Diana smiled serenely at the man before her, knowing his greed would make him attend the show and be seen by high society at the restaurant. “As a thanks and gifts for both families, the 3 course meal that will be served has already been taken care of.”
Both Sarah and Diana couldn’t help a mutual sigh of relief when they at last made it home. Both thinking how dealing with the Entwhistle father had been more nerve-wracking than dealing with the Purebloods of the mage world.
Diana was grateful to be back in the Underground. Although once she arrived she found the king was unavailable, she was still able to explore. After all, she had a personal project she had set for herself over the holidays.
After the discovery regarding Professor Quirrell, Diana realized she needed a failsafe. She would allow him to go after whatever it was Dumbledore was hiding however in case he involved her somehow she needed a plan.
In the weeks leading up to the winter holidays, Diana kept an eye on Professor Quirrell and she noticed something slightly disconcerting. He was weakening. From her research of natural sciences, she came to the conclusion that the symbiote must be more like a parasite. It was drawing out all of Quirrell’s energy and magic. Soon Quirrell would be nothing more than a husk, and the symbiote would be looking for a new host. There was also the possibility that whatever was hiding in Hogwarts was somehow the key to the symbiote getting its own body. If that were the case, then there wasn’t much to worry about. At least not in the immediate sense, as long as he stayed out of Diana’s way she would be fine.
However, just like a Williams’ girl’s luck was great for good things it also was a magnet for trouble. So with this in consideration, Diana thought she needed to find a host or a place for the symbiote to reside until she found the best way to bring him back. After he had agreed to her terms though, of course.
Thus, while the king was busy elsewhere Diana found herself scouring the palace’s archives and library for an answer.
Several hours later, the king arrived to find his charge in the midst of several towers of books, with several open in front of her and Diana hunched over a particular one mumbling as she read the ancient language open on its pages.
“How are your subjects?”
Diana jumped in her chair and swirled her head to view the king who leaned against the table peering down at her.
“Yes…” He waved his hand, in the sort of way he did when he was generalizing something, “I believe their names were Herbert and Kev.”
Diana blinked her two emerald globes from behind her glasses as she tried to sort her thoughts, “You mean, Hermione and Kevin?”
“Yes, yes; that’s what I said.”
Diana shook her head with a smile, “My friends,” she put emphasis on ‘friends’, “...are doing well.”
“Hmm…” He looked down at her, “Have you marked them as your own, yet?”
At this Diana gasped in horror and sat back, “They are not slaves or servants, Your Majesty!”
“I didn’t mean a brand…” His cruel smile flickered, “I don’t even do that to my own servants. I meant have you given them your insignia?”
Her brows furrowed, “Insignia?”
The king let out a long disappointed sigh, “Have I taught you anything?”
She shook her head, “I haven’t made my own insignia yet. Even if I had they don’t know anything about the agreement I’ve made with you, my sister for that matter doesn’t know.” She whispered the second part, her eyes downturning.
A gloved fingertip brought her chin back up, “They do not need to know about any of that yet. However, as your subjects…” He paused, a smirk upon his lips as she glared at him for calling them subjects again. “They need to be protected by you. Your sister already has the protection charm upon her, that cannot be lifted from her person by anyone but yourself. They need something similar.”
Diana's raven hair fell to the side as she tilted her head, “Some sort of protection charm.”
“Yes, however your mage academy’s rules are very strict about the use of certain magic. So it might be best that it be something that protects them indirectly.”
“Hmm...I feel like I might have read something during my earlier studies with you that might be of help.” Diana placed her chin in her hand and closed her eyes as she sifted through all the information within her mind palace. With a smile, her eyes opened and she looked excitedly upon the king. “The Turul, a three-eyed bird of prey and guardian for those of royal descent in Hungary. It is said that their eyes are a rare commodity, because if you look through one side of one eye you can see through the other eyes. So if I were able to get all three from the same bird, I could look through my own and see the location of where any of my two friends were!”
Diana looked to the king, who had the kind of fond smirk that she thought always came upon his lips when he was proud of her. He stood and held his hand out to her, she took it before looking questionably up at him.
“Where are we going Your Majesty?”
“The Hungarian mage black market of course!”
Chapter 17: The Hungarian Mage Black Market
The king and his charge made their way deftly through a crowd of brightly clothed Hungarian mages.
Diana tried her best to keep her expressions to the minimum and not allow any to slip through the black mask upon her face. The mages of Hungary dressed in heavy textiles of crimson, beryl, gold and black. Unlike that of the purebloods back in Wizarding Britain these mages were proud of their heritage from the country of their birth. They showed it from their expressions and from the top of their heads that had the traditional tribal striped fedoras to the tips of their shiny black shoes. Heavy custom threaded brocade that told the mage’s family story went down either side of their heavy cloaks, the brim of their hats low upon their masked features.
It was like Diana had stepped into a whole new world and it was fascinating.
The king directed her down one of the alleys of the market that had tapestry-like cloth billowing above their heads.
“Ragnuk mentioned the shop we are looking for is well hidden down this alley.”
“So it has a hidden entrance?”
Diana tipped her own fedora covered head up at His Majesty, who looked both strange and vaguely threatening in his undercover Hungarian wear.
Humming beneath her breath, tightening her grip upon her king’s arm; Diana held out her hand and brushed the stucco and stone walls that they passed. Her eyes drifted closed as she recalled all the books she had read on trap doors and hidden passageways.
Opening her eyes once more she peered down the deserted alleyway, taking a deep breath through her nose and then another through her mouth. Her sense of smell picked up the distinct smell of wet earth and the bitter smell of bay leaves, upon her tongue she tasted the sweet peppery taste of marjoram. Stopping abruptly she turned her head and raised it to look at the peaked roofs at the top of the buildings. One particular one had a turret-like tower that rose from it, but she knew that there was no door to it. At least not one that could be seen, picking up her pace she walked over to the wall that led up to the tower like structure and noted how the stucco like material was nowhere to be seen on the wall instead it looked like solid stone.
Jareth watched his charge curiously as she began to almost caress the wall in front of her, before letting out a laugh as her magic found the entry point.
A deep voice seemed to bellow out in Hungarian, “Ki megy oda?” [Who goes there?]
With a quick grin back at the king, who nodded in return, the girl stepped forward, “Azért jöttünk ide, hogy megnézhesd a finom áruidat. Hallottunk kincseinkről, és kérjük, hogy mutassuk meg őket.” [We come here to see your fine wares. We have heard of your treasures, and ask that we may peruse them.]
The deep voice inquired further, “Hány a cégnél?” [How many in your company?]
“Írja be most.” [Enter now.]
A crack came down the stone wall in front of them, and one final warning came from the voice before they entered.
“Ha mások követnek, akkor elégetik őket.” [If any others follow, they will be incinerated.]
Holding herself back from gulping nervously, Diana put her hand upon the crook of the king’s elbow and allowed him to lead her into the dark hole in the wall.
The mysterious shop ended up being much brighter inside then she would have expected. Many lamps from numerous cultures lit the space, from Venetian lamps with their mosaic like pieces of glass to Morroccan lamps in numerous colors. The lamps caused the air to sparkle with little pieces of light bouncing about like fairy lights and colors shifting across the stone walls of the shop. Furniture from all varying times of history lined the hallways with ornate pillows upon them. Ornate tapestries depicting from the fantastical tales a child would adore to the gory sort of tales that would keep even adults wide awake at night.
It wasn’t until they came to the far reaches of the shop that they found what looked to be an old woman sitting upon a rocking chair as she smoked from a pipe. Crinkled eyelids lifted and showcased a pair of piercing violet eyes that burrowed into the figures before her.
The older woman gestured around her, “Do these treasures not please you?”
Diana held back her gasp of surprise when the woman spoke in English rather than Hungarian.
“They are indeed beautiful and frightening.”
The woman tilted her head to the side before letting out a boisterous laugh far too big to fit in her small frail body.
“Indeed they are.” The old woman shifted her attention to the youth before her, already knowing that the fae behind her was not the one who wished to shop. “What is it you seek unoka?”
Diana pursed her lips when she heard the familiar term come from the woman’s lips, “I wish to see if you have a set of eyes from a turul.”
“Hmm…” The woman continued to eye the child before her, “Why do you wish to have such valuable items?”
Diana could sense the woman was testing her, and so spoke the truth. “I wish to protect those close to me.”
The woman chuckled drily, “They are not charms, unoka.”
“Yes. However, if I believed them to be in danger I could quickly find out where they are and then go protect them.”
The old woman continued to stare at Diana, their eyes did not part from each other and Diana tried her best not to blink. She couldn’t feel the woman in her mind, however she believed the woman’s test was still in session. Her eyes began watering, but the woman smiled and so she blinked. A quiet pop echoed through the room and when Diana opened her eyes, the woman was across the room behind a glass counter that hadn’t been there before. Diana came forward cautiously as the older woman brought forward a small chest, before opening it. Three little globes sat within a velvet lining. Diana would have thought them to be a large set of marbles, had she not known better.
The older woman smiled slyly before pushing forward the small chest.
“Take it, little one.”
At this, Diana’s eyes narrowed. “What do you wish to have in return?”
The woman chortled once more, “I wish for you to take something off my hands.”
Diana’s brows furrowed, and she felt the king come closer behind her. His magic’s heat warming her back.
The old woman made a series of complicated movements with her hands over a shelf behind her before an old style candle oil lamp appeared. The old woman brought it forward and placed it before the girl. It’s magic radiating strongly, it called to Diana; asking, begging her to touch it, asking her to rub it’s side.
With a gasp, Diana’s gaze shifted from it and turned to the old woman. “Is this a djinn’s lamp?”
The old woman’s eyes had not left the rusty lamp before her, even as she answered the child.
Diana peered at it, a thought coming to her mind that quickly started blooming into a plan.
“Why do you wish to part with it?”
The old woman broke her gaze from the lamp, “I have no need for wishes.”
Diana sighed, “Neither do I.” Diana’s eyes still narrowed as she viewed the shopkeeper in front of her, “However, you could still sell the lamp for much. Get favors, anything else you might need.”
The woman shook her head, “Anything coming from a djinn either by its wishes or by the selling of one only leads to misfortune.”
Diana looked back upon the lamp with narrowed eyes, “Is this lamp cursed?”
The woman chortled once more, a hand to where her heart may be.
“No more than a djinn is already cursed.”
Stepping forward, but not before sending a reassuring smile to the king who had placed a tight grip on her shoulder, Diana summoned her bottomless bag to her side. She smiled as she remembered the gift Ragnuk had given her, it was ‘borrowed’ from him however he did not give a return date. Waving a hand over the top of the lamp, she lifted it with her magic and placed it into the bag.
“I offer my appreciation then for the eyes. They will be helpful.” Diana nodded to the old woman, who waved her hand a stone wall opening to the opposite side of the store.
One last warning came from inside the store, before Diana left it with the king beside her, “Be careful unoka. A djinn is never to be underestimated.”
The king watched his charge as she brought forward the lamp, still being careful to not touch it, setting it down in front of her. The firelight dancing off the metal that wasn’t covered in rust.
Diana sat back with a sigh of relief, eyes trailing up to the ceiling of the king’s private sitting room.
“That was a fun trip. I appreciate you taking the time to bring me there, Your Majesty.”
The king did not respond, but Diana could feel his eyes watching her. With a sigh she looked back down, “What is bothering you, Your Majesty?”
“What do you intend to do with that?”
The girl tilted her head to the side, “Well I’m planning to set him, or her, free. I’ll need the lamp for my personal project. It was quite fortuitous now that I think about it. Which I suppose does make me slightly uneasy.”
The king tilted his starlight haired head, now free from its cumbersome jail cell that was the Hungarian fedora.
“Your side project?”
“Yes.” Diana tilted her head before leaning forward slightly to place her head upon her hand. “The symbiote has been weakening its host. I needed a place to put him, in the case that he decides to hurt myself or one of mine in his search for a new host.”
The king nodded, “So that’s what you were researching in the library.”
“Indeed.” Pointing towards the lamp, “Once that’s empty, I plan on putting him inside. I will release him of course but only after he’s agreed to certain terms and made certain oaths.”
“Clever little raven.” The king smiled at his charge knowing once more that he made the right decision all those years ago.
Chapter 18: The Djinn's Wish
For the first time in eons of time, he could hear voices drifting down to his chambers. He listened to the plans of his new owner, and couldn’t help the grin that stretched his handsome features.
How long had he been stuck in his prison, how long had he waited to be free from the same walls surrounding him. He even hoped for a wisher, hoped for a new master; just so that he could feel sunlight upon his features once more, breathe in fresh air and see the outside world once more.
He could not even sleep in his prison, he’d been awake for so very long with no rest in sight. He could not have dreams or nightmares. With the time that he spent forever trapped, his memories had faded long ago. He could not remember who or what he was before, before the lamp. Before he wiled away the endless amount of time hoping for a new master, before he was reduced to the waif that he was now.
A dry crackle of a laugh came from him as he heard his new master state they didn’t plan to make any wishes. How many times had he heard that before, how many times had he been promised to be set free; he’d lost count.
The voice that drifted down to him from above though was much younger than he believed. It was soft, tender and yet wise in an odd sort of way.
Willing his garments upon himself, he prepared for the inevitable. A flurry of his prison’s magic swirled around him and suddenly he could breathe. He felt bright sunshine upon his skin. A small breeze swirled around him and a long drawn out sigh escaped him.
His eyes opened to find that his master was....a child. He looked upon the child, a girl child with eyes brilliant like jewels. A small cautious smile upon her lips.
“I have a couple questions before I let you free.”
He blinked and hovered above her.
“What is your name?”
When was the last time he was asked that? He could not remember.
“I do not remember my name.” The pain that should have panged through him was just a dull echo. It had been so long.
“I suppose you can choose a new one then.” She tilted her head further back to view him floating above her, her hands behind her holding her up as she sat on the cobbled stone ground beside the lamp which had been his forever prison.
“Will the lamp still remain when I set you free?”
Part of him wanted to not answer, the part of him that was tired of having to obey a master; the part of him that still seemed to remain even after so much time.
He shrugged. It was the best he could do, he could not directly disobey her.
“Hmm…” She set her chin upon her hand and stared at the lamp unseeingly. Her mind seemed to be elsewhere. “I hope this plan works, or else its back to the drawing board.” She let out a sigh. A small whisper coming from her that didn’t even seem conscious, “I wish you could always tell the truth to me.”
He shivered as he felt the lamp’s magic press upon him, forcing him to grant her first wish.
“Your wish is my command, master.” Teeth gritted, and a hand waved over himself and then over her.
Her head shot up, eyes wide with horror and she jumped up.
“Oh no! I made a wish. Damn!” She ran her hand through her short black hair, before a small breeze ruffled her bangs so that they for a moment lifted.
The moment was long enough, for a shiver ran down the djinn’s spine and his eyes narrowed upon the child. She was a Magic’s Chosen! There had not been one in… His eyes widened as a brief flicker of a memory came to his mind of a green countryside, sheep roaming and a young man with golden hair...before the memory was gone.
“I’m so sorry. Now you’ll be stuck with that wish even after I’ve released you, won’t you?”
He was silent, still staring at her in a mixture of horror and awe, before what she asked drifted back to him.
Her eyes widened, “Crap!”
“I...I just apologized.” She bit her lip, “What do you want in return?”
He could see her beating herself up inside for such a stupid mistake, he tightened his own lips to stop a wicked grin from appearing upon his lips. Thinking of what he gained, despite having the wish pervading the time after he was set free.
“I will think of something.” He allowed a more sedate smile to cross his lips.
Letting out a dejected sigh, he could barely hear her mumbling, “After all the times I’ve been good, I just had to apologize now.” With another sigh she looked back up at him, “Pinch me next time I start with a wish. I don’t want to accidentally make another wish or two and then not be able to release you.”
He nodded silently as he looked upon the girl once more. This time he really looked, she couldn’t be entering womanhood yet. She was small for her age, perhaps ten or eleven. She had the flush of youth, but her eyes when not wide with horror from a wish said were intelligent. Even as she sat slightly relaxed, she still seemed to hold herself with a poise unlike he had ever remembered seeing for someone so young.
“So I suppose, I’ll ask again.”
“The lamp will stay after you release me.”
He blinked as she answered him with a brilliant smile that made her small face shine.
“Oh good!” She sighed, biting the edge of her lips. “Do you know if I could….store,” she wrinkled her nose at the way that word had sounded, “...someone else in the lamp?” Her eyes flashed up to meet him before her eyes widening and she waved her hands around, “Without entrapping them as a djinn?”
His eyes looked over her once more, recognizing a wise look in her eyes. “Yes, it is possible. However, they would still not be able to get out without you willing them to.”
“Oh good, that works along with what I need.”
“May I ask, mistress…” Her nose had wrinkled again, “Why do you wish to place someone in the lamp? Is it meant to be a prison?”
“You may call me by my name…” She caught how his eyes had narrowed, “It is not the name I was born with but its the one magic recognized me as. So, you would have no power over me by calling me it. It’s Diana.”
“Diana…” He sounded out her name in response.
“I do not wish to imprison him, exactly. Although I suppose many from the world of my birth would think he deserves it.”
He tilted his head to the side, in the universal sign of curiosity and she responded in kind.
“You see he killed my birth parents and tried to kill me; but that backfired.”
At this he grinned, “Because you are a Magic’s Chosen.”
He watched as she tried to stop herself from reacting from surprise, “I mean you no harm.”
She looked upon him warily and he found for some reason he didn’t like her looking at him like that.
“Anyways because of that stunt he split himself up and became a symbiote that could only attach itself to a host in order to survive.”
“Ah…” The picture she painted was becoming clear into his mind’s eye, “So the lamp would then be a substitute for a host or body.”
She nodded, her midnight hair bouncing as she did so.
“Best case scenario, I would like to make the inside of the lamp as comfortable as I can for him. As well as include some ‘light’ reading for him.” She grinned, an almost malicious grin. “When I have found how to make him whole again, I would then give him a proposition. He could stay forever trapped, or he could ally with me.”
He peered at the girl below him with an appraising gaze, “You are quite ruthless for one so young.”
At this she shrugged, a smirk upon her lips, “I learned from the best.”
This time he looked around him and soaked in his surroundings. They were in a maze. Stone walls surrounded them, strange fungi on the walls that had eyeballs at the end of their tentacles. Something familiar tickled at the back of his mind.
“Are we in the Underground?”
“Yes!” She smiled up at him, “In my favorite place.”
He peered down at her once more assessing the high class clothes she wore, and rose higher in the air so that he could look over the top of the stone walls. Not so far away a stone palace rose up in the air.
“Interesting we are in the Goblin Kingdom.”
The girl stayed silent this time before she looked back at him, eyes narrowed once more.
“Do you mean harm to this kingdom?”
“No.” He replied looking down upon her, before glancing over the wall to see a line of goblin guards seeming to spy or perhaps watch over the young girl below him. “I have no reason to, after all my master seems to live here.”
She sighed once more, this time with a melancholy air. “Didn’t I tell you, I wi...um...I want to set you free.”
He let out a dry chuckle, “I have heard that countless times before, and no one has kept their word.”
“I will.” She stood down below, peering up at him with such determination. He looked down at her, his thoughts swirling. All his time spent in the prison, all he wanted was to be set free; but now an odd sort of change was coming over him. The child was powerful, she would no doubt become a fearsome force of nature for the whole Underground one day and perhaps other worlds as well. If he stuck by her side, he could have a share in that power. She was speaking again, “...do you wish to be?”
His hand was upon his chest, “Me?”
She only nodded in response and he wondered. Who did he wish to be? He knew in the past, before his memories had faded he had been powerful; some part of him instinctively knew he had been punished for some reason to be forever locked within the lamp. If he returned to what he was before would that be what awaited him in the future as well? There was a feeling of malicious delight that was rising within him, the idea of taking over the Underground and the Aboveground. All magic would be his, mages and beings of pure magic all beneath him. He could be reviled as a god. His shoulders sunk, that was his problem from before, before the lamp.
“What do you know of power, little one?”
He looked over the labyrinth and waited for the child’s response.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.”
“Indeed.” He looked down at the little girl, his head tilted to the side and his hair floating around him in long waves. “What of those who do not hold much power?”
The girl looked up with her eyes full of emerald light, her lips pursed as she thought of her answer, “They must be protected. They must be taken care of by those who hold the power.”
There was the difference. There was the change he wanted to want. He wanted to want to be a power for those who had been crushed and imprisoned, he didn’t want to have the constant disdain that resided in his soul. However, deep down he knew that was not something he could achieve by himself. On his own he would always seek for more, more for himself rather than for others. The child below him was more wise than he could ever be, for he knew she would never be the villain he was. She was strong, she held a determination in her eyes to govern and to rule but never to dominate.
“I know what you will owe me.”
He saw as she nervously fidgeted below him, the image reminding him how very young she was.
He floated down until he was several paces from her nervous fidgeting.
He smiled, trying his best for his lips to show a genuine and gentle one. The girl peered up at him.
“The wish and my request will be one.”
She tilted her head to the side, in a way he had begun to associate with her.
“I wish to be always by your side, so that I may keep you protected.”
Her eyes widened, “But I’m going to set you free. Why would you wish for that?”
This time his smile was more genuine, “You have shown me something I want more than freedom.”
Her brows furrowed and he got the oddest desire to touch them and make her brows no longer wrinkly.
“You are not a pervert, are you?”
He was so surprised by her question, a roar of laughter left him before he could help it.
“No, I am not a...pervert.”
“To stay by my side, you would need to be a mage and be my age again. Are you sure that’s something you want?”
“Perhaps it is more in line to what I need.”
Her nose wrinkled again.
With a sigh, “For my final wish, I wish for the djinn to be set free and become a mage or whatever he needs to be to stay by my side.”
With a swirl of magic, the slavery cuffs around his wrists broke free and the mists from within the bottle curled around his form until he stood on his own two feet before the child.
Before he could second guess himself, he knelt before the girl.
“I promise upon my magic, soul and mind to protect Diana, Magic’s Chosen until my last dying breath. I promise to stay on her side always. So mote may it be.”
With another swirl of magic, the being that knelt before the child was forever bound once more.
Chapter 19: Reactions & Family
To say Jareth was displeased, when Diana came back from the labyrinth would be an understatement of the most magnificent proportions.
He glared at the man that stood beside the girl, magic swirling between the two.
“So he swore himself to be your protector?”
The girl had the right idea at least to look embarrassed when she nodded in response.
“How did this come about exactly?”
“Um…I..” she mumbled so quietly that he couldn’t even hear her with his fae hearing.
“I accidentally apologized when I made a wish that he’d be held to even after I set him free.”
Jareth resisted the urge to rub his eyes in frustration.
“Have our lessons been for nothing?”
“No, Your Majesty! I just…” She bit her lip and turned even more red.
“Show me exactly what happened.”
His little raven glanced behind her before looking at him, then summoned a viewing crystal up in the air. The crystal played back all the events he requested.
“I see.” Jareth walked back to his throne and sat upon it, his legs crossed and fingers tapping against the throne’s armrests. “Well, there’s nothing that can be done. At the very least, this will provide you more protection at the academy.”
“Is that you, Diana?” Sarah’s voices called out from her bedroom when she heard a couple of pops from the living room.
Sarah grew a little worried from the nervous tinged voice of her sister.
“Was Jareth a jerk to you?”
Sarah came into the room a sweater over her head.
“Ah! Sarah, hurry put your shirt on!”
“What? It’s not like we have…” Her sweater came over her head, just in time for her to say, “...guests.” Her eyes falling upon the stranger next to her little sister. Before her grass green eyes shot towards her sister, and she ran over to pull her behind back; putting her hand out to grab the closest thing that happened to be a lamp to wield in front of her like a sword. “Who the heck are you?” Sure the guy was gorgeous, but he had a slightly menacing air that made all the alarm bells in Sarah’s head to ring.
“Sis! This is…” Diana had jumped in front of the strange man with the piercing dark forest eyes and long dark hair similar to those hot men in historical asian dramas. “Um...he doesn’t remember his name.” Diana glanced back at the man with a sheepish expression, “That’s one of the things we need to figure out.”
“One of things? Diana, there is a strange man in our living room. You better start telling me what the hell is going on!”
“Um so…” Her little sister took a deep breath while rolling her eyes. “So, Jareth said I should get something to protect my subjects, well my friends, since I’m responsible for them. So that led us to this really amazing Hungarian black…” Her eyes widened, “Just a normal kind of market for mages. Anyways there was this store that sold the eyes that I needed…”
Sarah’s face became ashen, “Eyes?”
“Yep! I’ll explain later, anyways the old lady wouldn’t let me pay for them instead she made me take a djinn lamp instead because she thought it was bad luck to have it around or something like that.”
“Like a genie lamp, like in the Arabian nights fairytale?” Sarah sat on their antique fainting couch, her eyes wide as she followed along with her sister’s story, only to briefly glance at the man’s humorous expression before looking back at her sister, “What does this have to do with him?” She waved her manicured hand at the man.
“Oh, he was the djinn. But I released him.”
“Right…” Sarah glanced between the two again, “Why is he here though?”
“Oh… well I kind of said something I shouldn’t have thus owing him a favor. All he wanted was to become my protector after he was freed. So it could have been much, much worse.”
“Ok.” Sarah laid back on the couch, an arm slung over her eyes. “Our lives are never going to be normal are they?”
Sarah sat up immediately when she heard the sad tone, “Oh I’m sorry Diana. I didn’t mean it like that.” Patting her seat next to her, Diana came over and Sarah pulled her into her arms. “So now what?”
“I was just going to make the pull out sofa more comfy for him, before we go back to Hogwarts.”
“How is he…”
The man grinned and with a deep voice spoke up, “That reminds me, perhaps this appearance will be better.” Waving a hand over his clothes, they began to change along with his body as it de-aged until he was an eleven year old boy.
“So yeah…” Diana sighed, her head still on Sarah’s shoulder. “Sorry about all this, sis.”
Sarah still eyed the boy suspiciously, the whole situation was creepy.
“I’ll call in the morning about including him in the reservation for the restaurant and then also an extra ticket.” Diana looked up at her sister.
Sarah shook her head to clear her thoughts, “Ok I guess. Actually that reminded me of something.” Getting up, Sarah went over to the kitchen table where some investment files were. She picked them up and then brought them back to place in her sister's lap, “Care to explain to me about Wyllt & Ambrosius Investments? And why exactly owns my place of work?"
Diana let out a sigh, “Are you mad?”
Sarah sighed in response, “I was at first, now I just want to know why you did it.”
Diana sighed again, “Let’s get some hot chocolate for this story.”
Sarah now knew why her sister had looked so tired coming back from school.
“You need to communicate these things to me, sis.” Sarah pulled her sister in for a hug, “I could have helped.”
The man-boy person spoke up from the other side of the room, “The Malfoy family will probably not even make the feud, even if their heir makes a complaint. The magic of the night of the veil opening takes all evidence of the children ever existing who break fairy law. Even if the child claimed the other two existed, his parents wouldn’t remember.”
“I must agree.” Sarah spoke up, “Plus, if I remember right Lady Malfoy seemed to like us. You might not have noticed but she watched us throughout the remainder of the time we were in the bookstore. I think she might have noticed your magic.”
Glancing up at the time, Sarah smiled. “Now I know of a little brother who is waiting to hear from you.”
Diana looked at her sis, a tired smile on her lips.
Each ring in her ear made Diana worried that maybe no one would answer. Right as she was about to hang up, the voice of Irene came over the phone.
“Williams residence, this is Irene.”
Taking a deep breath, Diana spoke “Hi Irene, it’s been awhile.”
“Oh, Diana! It’s so good to hear your voice.”
Diana bit her lip, a tear threatening to fall down her face as she heard the voice of her mother figure.
“Oh, dear. I…” Irene got quiet, so quiet Diana thought maybe she hung up. “I’m so sorry for how we treated you. It was just such a surprise, magic being real. You having magic, I didn’t…” Irene sighed, and Diana could hear the characteristic clink that came from Irene’s pearls being fiddled with, “I’m still not sure what to think about it, but I shouldn’t have…” Irene sighed.
“Thank you, Irene.”
“I was just so scared, you have to understand Diane. You were with Toby all the time, what happens if…” She cut herself off, “I would like to hear from you more Diana. I’d like to talk to you, after you talk to Toby. I would like to maybe come to understand. I just needed time.”
“Ok. What about my...Bob?”
“Your father he…” Irene got quiet in the way she did when she wasn’t sure what to say.
“He feels the same as before.” Diana spoke up instead.
There was some clattering on the other end and then a bright cheery voice came over the phone.
Diana smiled as she heard her little brother’s voice.
“I can sing all my abc’s now! And...and I can count to 150!”
“Wow! You are so smart Toby, I’m so proud of you.”
“Daddy says that I’m the smartest!”
She could hear as her little brother was hopping up and down in the background.
“When are you going to come and visit?”
Diana bit her lip and told herself not to cry, “I’m going back to school in a week. Then I won’t be back for awhile.”
“Oh…” His voice dropped.
“But I could send you some English candy soon. Also there’s a candy shop right down the hill from the school I go to, which is a castle.”
“You go to school in a castle?!”
She found herself smiling as she could hear his excitement.
“Yep, I’ll send you some goodies soon. I still have the last drawing you sent me pinned up on the wall above my desk in my dorm at school. Everyone asks about it and I always tell them about how I have the best little brother in the whole world!”
Diana smiled as she heard his giggling on the other end, before she heard Irene take the phone back.
“I have to take him to school now, but it was wonderful to hear from you Diana. Please call again, soon.”
“I will, Irene. Good-bye.”
An echoing good-bye came from Irene and a shout of one came from Toby. As soon as the phone was back in its holder, Diana broke down. Sarah’s arms came around her and Diana turned around to cry in her sister’s embrace.
“Ok here is the list of possible names I have for you.” Diana handed over her notebook to the ex-djinn.
His dark forest eyes perused the list, “Salazar, Loki, Arthur…” He hummed at the rest but seemed to keep coming back to those three.
“I’ve always loved old Arthurian legends about the king’s adventures and Camelot. Salazar Slytherin was one of the founders of Hogwarts and I just love his first name. There’s not enough about him, since everyone in the mage world is kind of prejudiced against Slytherins. After he left Hogwarts, he seemed to disappear from history.” Here Diana shrugged, “I’ve always loved a good mystery, plus Salazar comes with the easy nick-name of Sal. Then there’s Loki the God of Mischief, which I thought fit you really well for some reason. But it might be too much of an ostentatious name.”
“Perhaps a derivative of Loki?”
“Hmm...that might work. Maybe for a last name. Look, Ki, Key...ooh what about Locke, like lock but with an ‘e’, for a last name?”
The ex-djinn tilted his head to the side, “Arthur Locke...no….Salazar Locke. I think I like it.”
“Great! Ok, Salazar Locke it is. I will see about setting you up with a background with the goblins. Then, we can have them contact Hogwarts on your behalf.”
Kevin and Hermione both were a little wary of Salazar at first but by the end of the night, at dinner, they were easing into approving of him.
“So Salazar how long have you known Diana?” It was Kevin’s father that spoke up, he had seemed irritated with the boy’s presence since being introduced.
The boy smirked recognizing the look of greed he’d seen in the man’s expressions from before.
“It feels like I’ve known her for forever, Mr. Entwhistle.”
The man merely frowned in return, “I see.” Before he went back to cutting his filet mignon.
Mrs. Granger looked up from her meal, a small blonde curl falling over her shoulder. “Where are you staying right now?”
“The Williams have been very kind to welcome me into their home and family.”
Mrs. Granger turned her head toward Sarah and Diana, smiling gently towards them. “It was nice of them to take you in.”
Sal looked back down at his food, hiding a smirk upon his lips.
“Did your parents die?”
It was little Claire that chimed in this time, her large blue eyes looking over the crest of the table to peer curiously over at the strange new boy.
“Claire! That is a very rude thing to ask!” The father nearly shouted across the table, causing the little girl to shudder and shrink back.
Diana shot an angry look at the father’s way, particularly after seeing how his child flinched in his presence.
“I’m fine. They died long ago, I don’t even remember what they looked like any more.”
“I’m sorry.” The little girl’s lips trembled and her eyes filled with tears.
“Claire, stop with that infernal crying…” The Entwhistle father’s cold voice permeated down the table causing everyone to tense.
“It’s ok, little Claire. I’m not sad. You don’t need to be sad in my stead.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Sal could just make out Diana’s approving smile as he went to console the small child.
The table grew quiet again, before the adults on the further side of the table began talking amongst themselves.
Hermione, who had been unusually silent for most of the night leaned in and whispered conspiratively, “Did you hear about what happened to the Headmaster?”
Kevin shook his head, “We don’t get the Daily Prophet. My father doesn’t like owl posts in general, so…”
Hermione turned to her purse and took out a rolled up newspaper, “Here I can give you mine when I’m done with them.”
Kevin hadn’t even placed his hand on the newspaper, when his father spoke up from the end of the table, “Kevin, no reading at the table. Mind your manners.”
"Yes, sir." Kevin kept his head down and made sure to put the newspaper in his lap before turning back to Hermione, “So what did it say about the Headmaster?”
“He’s on probation. He was petitioned to be removed as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and the board of directors for Hogwarts have him on probation as Headmaster.”
Kevin furrowed his brows in confusion, “Why?”
Hermione opened her mouth to reply, however Diana spoke up, “He pressed for an innocent man from an old wizarding family to be sent to Azkaban with no trial.”
“I thought that was just rumors.” Hermione spoke up, her eyes wide.
Diana shook her head, an odd sort of smirk upon her lips.
“He will not easily get away with what he has done. Not only that he is responsible for the missing girl-who-lived.”
Sal was watching Diana carefully, he had seen how she had taken quite a bit of delight when Hermione had mentioned the Headmasters punishment.
“I’d even go so far as to say this is only the prequel of punishments he will receive.”
“Isn’t what’s happening to him a little too harsh as it is? It seemed like he had good intentions, when…” Kevin broke off as he found his friend’s face turned to one of cold fury.
“Oh, he should be grateful he’s being punished by the mages. If it were completely up to me, I would have made sure he underwent full goblin retribution for what he’s done.” Diana’s hands were clenched into fists in her lap, “He deserves every bit of it.”
As if a storm had just passed, Diana’s face that was once set in cold fury simmered down to a face of cool detachment. She glanced back up to see her friends staring at her with wide eyes.
“Which reminds me,” Her smile was sharp, “...there’s some things I should share with both of you but its not safe for me to do so yet. That’s why I made your gifts kind of a two-parter.”
From her own little purse, she drew out two small jewelry boxes and two thick books. She gave Kevin and Hermione each a book.
“Occlumency?” Kevin looked at the book’s table of contents.
“Yes, the books before you are very important. I have the original book, since there is only one remaining in existence; those are copies of it. Lopter Laufey is the only author I’ve found that has ever given a detailed and accurate representation of what occlumency is and how to to achieve it.”
“Not that I don't want to have such a valuable book, but…” Hermione trailed off, “Why would we need to have the skill?”
“There are those in Hogwarts who have positions of power that allow them the perfect opportunities to illegally peer into the minds of the children they are responsible for.”
Hermione’s eyes widened, “You don’t mean…”
Diana took in a deep breath, “Indeed. In fact, my second day at Hogwarts I was called to the Headmaster’s office and it was done to me.”
Diana and Kevin jumped slightly from the sound of silverware clanking against a dish as Sal tightened his grip on his cutlery.
“Thankfully I already built an excellent mind palace that has its own occlumency shields naturally built into it.”
This time Kevin leaned forward his face had turned ashen, “Why would the Headmaster do that to you?”
Diana smirked, “He was trying to find out if I was hiding the fact that I’m Hari Potter.”
Both Kevin and Hermione gasped, both opening their mouths to ask the same question.
“I am Diana Williams.” Diana stared back at them, “I have come to care about you two greatly, you’ve come to be close to…” Here the usually hidden sadness flashed through her face, “my family. I want to be able to tell you anything, but I can’t.”
“At least until we study up on this new subject and can successfully practice it.” Kevin looked at Diana with a very perceptive expression.
Hermione’s eyes glanced over at Sal, “Do you know?”
His answering grin was all she needed.
“Why does he know already?”
Diana waved her off-handedly, “He’s one of the things I’ll be able to tell you about once you complete the assignment I’ve given you.”
Hermione’s eyes narrowed at Sal, before sighing.
“Fine.” She looked over the book again, a small smile coming across her features, “I always do love a new book.”
Diana smiled, “Thank you, both of you, for understanding and trusting me.”
Kevin straightened in his chair, “I already knew there was stuff you hadn’t told us. I’m just glad you don’t have to bear it alone anymore. You have Sal now, and you’ll have us to support you too.”
Diana smiled in return, before standing and making her way to Kevin’s chair. His other gift in her hand. Opening the box, she brought out a tie pin with a strange grey marble at its center.
Kevin nodded, he’s cheeks flushing slightly. Diana continued forward and pinned it to his tie, a small shock came from the pin, like static electricity, that signalled that the protection charm was now active.
“This part of the gift is to protect you both. It will automatically transfer to whatever clothing you are wearing.” With a lower voice, knowing that from the time she had stood Kevin’s father had started paying attention, so that only the four of them could hear, “I have a matching one.” Diana tapped the marble, “If either of you are in trouble, mine will let me know, and I’ll be able to find out your location by looking through it.”
Diana then went over to Hermione showing her the dainty necklace she’d made for her with the marble-like eye. Hermione lifted her hair in turn, so that Diana could fasten the necklace.
After sitting back down, “They can change to whatever kind of adornment you like, just tap it and speak what you want.” Diana sighed then turned her head to show the hair clip that had the matching marble. She tapped it and said, “Necklace.” The jewelry piece seemed to slither from her hair down to her neck where it reformed itself into a necklace with the circular object at its center.
Once they made it home, Diana turned towards Sal.
“Go ahead and change into some of the casual mage clothes we got you yesterday. I need to take you somewhere for your gift.”
Diana then turned and went to her room to change.
Salazar was already ready for her, standing by the floo, once she came out.
Smiling at him after tossing the floo powder into the fireplace, she walked in and called out, “Gringotts London Branch.”
After brushing themselves off of soot, Diana made a gesture for Sal to follow her.
Down the gold columned hallways they went, until they reached a stone door. Once knocking, Diana entered.
“Sir Ragnuk, I’m here for our appointment.”
“Ah yes, Heiress. The documents have been all made and the background of Salazar Locke and Loki Locke have been dealt with. The Hogwarts letter arrived today, as well.”
Sal raised an eyebrow, as Diana turned toward him with a smile.
“Since we got everything for you yesterday, you are now all set for Hogwarts. However, there was one more thing that you needed.” Diana got up and grabbed a file and a key from Ragnuk. “Here.”
Salazar looked at the key in his hand, inscribed in small type was Vault 771. After opening the file he found a certificate for a credit for an inheritance test. Then there was Vault 771's statement and then below that was paper with information for a job as Vice President of Wyllt & Ambrosius Investments with a business card attached with the name Loki Locke.
He looked back at the small girl before him to find her still smiling happily at him.
“I thought perhaps one day you’d like to find out who you were, thus the credit for an inheritance test (valid at any Gringotts). Then I thought about how awkward you looked when we were shopping, and well I don’t know much about male pride but I figured you’d like to have something of your own so that’s why the vault. Last but not least, we created the Loki Locke identity for when you are your normal age. I’m sure you are going to get tired of being surrounded by kids all day long every day, so with that identity you’ll still have access to that vault anywhere you are and I made you vice president of the investment company because I thought if you are bored and want something to do you could have that job.” She shrugged, but was surprised when the adult Salazar lifted her up for a hug. “Ok, ok, you can put me down now. Stop before it gets creepy.”
With a deep boisterous laugh Salazar placed the little girl back on her feet, “You didn’t have to do all this.”
Sal had crouched to match her height, and so Diana was able to poke Sal in the chest, “Yes I did! You are finally free. I want you to feel free, even if you decided to tie your fate to mine.”
“Ok, little raven.” Sal leaned forward and ruffled her hair causing Diana to pout.
“Only His Majesty can call me that!”
“Oh really…” Sal laughed again, “Well then I’ll just have to think of something else to call you.”
Next chap: back to Hogwarts.
Chapter 21: It All Started with Forgotten Last Rites
A small part of Diana was relieved to be back at Hogwarts. Sure the meddlesome Headmaster was still there, but so were her friends.
Diana was leaning forward on the bench, facing the center of the room in anticipation for Salazar’s sorting.
“Welcome back students!” Dumbledore was standing at the front of the Great Hall.
“And here I thought his fashion sense couldn’t get any worse.” Diana mumbled. For Dumbledore was wearing grey blue sparkly robes with brown and crimson red suit underneath.
Kevin chuckled under his breath when he heard Diana’s comment.
“With a new year we begin a new semester full of possibilities. Before you start eating we have a new student, Salazar Locke. We will do his sorting now.”
Sal strode to the seat in front of the staff dais with a smirk upon his lips and confidence in his steps. His dark hair, tied with a velvet silver tie, swinging behind him.
Hermione leaned over and whispered, “Which house do you think he’s going to be sorted into?”
Diana who was sitting between both Kevin and Hermione leaned back so she could see both of their faces.
“Most definitely Slytherin.”
When barely a moment passed, where Diana could see from Sal’s face he had been arguing with the hat, she was proven right as the sorting hat shouted, “SLYTHERIN!”
Diana clapped first, Hermione and Kevin joining before the rest of the students did; but none as enthusiastically as Diana. She beamed as she watched his robes change so that they were lined in silver and green. As he glanced toward her his look unsure but there was a spark of joy within his features that Diana couldn’t miss. She nodded and he responded with one of his own before making his way to the Slytherin table.
Several weeks after coming back from break, Diana and Sal were about to part ways after the weekly meeting with His Majesty when they both overheard a heated conversation.
Quickly both cast the disillusionment charm on each other, but not before holding hands to keep track of one another. Creeping closer to the angry whispers, they peered around a corner to find the conversation was between one Professor Snape and one Professor Quirrell.
“...the stone.” Professor Quirrell stuttered, the two hiding children only hearing the end of his sentence.
At this, Professor Snape gripped the front of Quirrell’s robes bringing him up to his height, “I would be very careful on how you proceed. I better not find you endangering any of my students again, you should be very grateful that the Headmaster took the fall for your troll incident. If you go after the stone and do not heed my words you will find what it means to be my enemy, and you do not want to be my enemy Quirrell.”
Letting go of the other professor’s robes, Snape marched away his own dark robes billowing after him. Professor Quirrell sagged against the wall.
“Yes, you do not wish to become someone’s enemy Quirrell. However, it is not Snape’s.” The voice came from the other side of the column, as if the person was standing right on top of Quirrell. The voice was deep, but almost sounded weakened and ever so angry.
Sal tightened his grip on Diana’s hand, as he felt a shiver run through her.
After the remaining professor left, Diana was still for a moment before dragging Sal back through the halls until they reached the entrance to the third corridor.
“There’s a cerberus here, Sal and now we know that whatever Dumbledore is hiding is being sought after by...the shade.” The shade had become the code word they had decided on, for when talking about the attached parasite to Professor Quirrell.
Diana winced as light from a lantern fell upon their forms, wishing she had kept the charm upon them as Mr Filch neared them.
“What do we have here? Two little ickle kiddies about to enter a forbidden corridor.” He let out a dry chortle.
“I apologize Mr. Filch we got lost and ended up here and…” Diana nodded respectfully toward the caretaker before she was interrupted when he spoke once more.
“And you are not getting off that easy, come there’s a detention going on right now with Hagrid you will join.”
Filch took them down through the grounds of Hogwarts until they reached the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest.
There Hagrid stood beside his large affectionate Boarhound with a couple of Gryffidors shuffling to the side. As they neared, Diana recognized the smaller posture and flaming ginger hair of one of the boys.
“Great, detention with that Weasley.” She muttered underneath her breath, Sal looking curiously at her. Diana wouldn’t have minded any other Weasley but it just had to be the one who had hurt Hermione’s feelings at the earlier part of the school year. It didn’t help that she had yet to see any of his redeeming qualities, whenever she saw him in the halls he seemed very narrow minded and a bit obsessive when it came to mage sports.
“Hagrid, brought you two more troublemakers for your investigation.” As soon as Filch had said his piece, he left limping back up the hill toward Hogwarts with his familiar following leisurely behind him.
“Well, the more the merrier. ‘Course this is not much of a happy task. Tonight we will be trying to find out what’s been killing some unicorns.” R Hagrid tried squinting at the two to make out their features, but the darkness surrounding them had blurred them.
Diana glanced at Sal, her eyebrow raised incredulously. They expected to take children into the forest to search for a beast killing unicorns. How in the world did that make any sense?
“We will split into groups…”
“I can go with just Sal, the rest of you can go with Hagrid.” Diana spoke up. Casting a lumos quickly, “I’ll send up a flare if I find something.”
Pulling Sal into the forest quickly, looking behind them to make sure they weren’t being followed; Diana pulled to a stop along the path they were on.
“Now without them watching I can use a quicker method.” Breathing in deeply through her nose, lifting her arms above her head and then breathing out as she let them drop to her center. Feeling the pure magic within her rising to meet her, warming her hands; Diana opened her eyes. Moving her hands forward, “Hopefully this will work.” The air seemed to spark around them as her magic seemed to become almost visible between her two hands, focusing on her magic she seeked out other pure magic around her. The forest was alive with so much of it, narrowing her search as she continued to take deep breaths through her nose and mouth she searched for weakened forms of pure magic. A pull almost like a magnet came, “I think its this way.”
Walking further into the forest, Diana would change directions whenever she felt the almost magneticlike pull tug her towards another way.
Both of them continued walking, Sal following behind as Diana led the way, until the magnetic pull suddenly dropped. Diana sucked in a sharp breath of air, whatever she was being led to was no longer living. Her eyes fell to the ground, something glinting in the light of her lumos drew her attention. Kneeling down to the ground, vaguely aware of Sal following her, Diana reached out toward the glimmering light only to suck in another breath as her fingers came back wet. Bringing her hand back to the light, “Unicorn blood.”
A sound of brush moving ahead of them, drew them back up and moving cautiously forward. Diana extinguished her lumos, before making her way to some overgrown brush. Sal and her looked over it cautiously. Sal quickly covered her mouth before another gasp could come from her, as they saw a dark figure its dark robes dripping in precious silver as he leaned over the dimly glowing corpse of an unicorn.
Anger tingled through Diana before settling down into a coldness she thought oddly reminiscent to Jareth on bad days. Shaking herself from Sal’s hold, she stepped out from behind the shrubbery making herself known to the cloaked figure.
“You could have asked politely, a unicorn is one of the few creatures of pure magic that are willing to give freely of some of their power to others.”
The figure jumped at the sound of her voice, rearing its head its crimson eyes flashing.
“You didn’t even give it a proper send off to death.”
A prickle in the back of her mind signaled to Diana that someone else was watching them. However, that was the least of her concerns as the creature-like being began to rush forward as if to attack before stilling suddenly. A strong hand on her shoulder caused Diana to glance to her left only to find a fully grown Salazar beside her with a look in his eyes that said to follow his lead.
“Who are you?” She directed the question to Sal. He stayed silent and so she tilted her head, her hand lifted to his slipping something in the hand on her shoulder slyly.
The creature as if recovering from slight confusion went to strike once more, only to be blown back against a nearby tree with a blast of strong magic coming from the Wyltt staff that Diana had slipped into Sal’s hand as an amulet that she willed to turn into a staff once it was in his hands. With a slip of a smile sent towards Diana, Sal wielded the staff spinning it in place before making a stance in front of her. As the creature tried to get up, Sal sent his magic through the staff making the vines of the nearby tree to wind around the creature to keep it in place, it’s crimson gaze ablaze in anger.
Sal turned his head back toward Diana with a grin.
“Are you here to give it back to pure magic?”
A small grin came across his lips as he allowed his image to blur into that of something that resided between fairy and fae. His hair turned golden, his eyes amber and his skin seemed to glow as if trillions of tiny stars were embedded in his skin.
The creature, who still was suspended upon a nearby tree’s trunk, shifted his gaze from Diana back to Sal’s new image as if trying to solve some great puzzle.
Diana went forward until she was before the corpse whose magic was fading. Kneeling beside it, she looked back up, “How do we do it?”
Sal merely smiled, his beauty nearly blinding in his new form, and kneeled on the other side of the beast. As Diana raised her hands to hover over the body, he held his hands above hers as if to guide her but instead she smiled knowing the creature behind them wouldn’t be able to see clearly enough to realize she was doing the send off. Closing her eyes she focused on the beast’s remaining magic, imagining the body disintegrating until it was just particles of light pure magic. Breathing deeply she opened her eyes to see what she had visualized had come to pass, her eyes reflecting the particle of pure magic as she met the gaze of Sal. Mouthing the words, “Carefully”, they rose together as the magic gathered to form a ball of light between both their palms.
Keeping up the charade of being directed by the fae-like presence of Sal, “What do we do now?”
Sal only smiled, and let her direct his hands up before letting go of the ball of pure magic so that it was thrown up into the sky. It seemed to spin in the air before at last bursting, sprinkling the forest with sparkling silver raindrops.
Diana gasped this time with a bittersweet smile tingeing her lips afterwards, “It’s beautiful.” She never thought she would actually see an unicorn’s send off before, she had read about it in one of the many books she had read over the past five years. However, it was far more beautiful than she thought it would be.
A neigh further to her left, in the opening of some trees leading to a clearing, a herd of unicorns came into view. Slowly making her way out into their masses, she couldn’t help but smile brightly at them as she saw the nod of their heads toward her recognizing what she had down for their brethren. They surrounded her, allowing her to touch their sides; the stallion of the herd came forward bending on one knee he tilted his large ivory horn so that it ever so gently tapped her on her forehead. Diana trembled as she felt the surge of pure magic that was given to her. “Thank you.” She whispered it to them, knowing what the words could mean but knowing she meant them. They all shook their heads, their silver manes flying about before gently floating down their backs.
Back in the forest, Salazar stood watching Diana with a smile on his lips. Turning his head briefly toward the figure tied to the tree, he waved his staff freeing him.
“Without her you would have been cursed, perhaps you’ll still be cursed after the others you’ve killed.”
The creature glared at him, but made no move to attack as if sensing it would only lead to his demise.
“That child is something precious, far too valuable to destroy. If you were to harm her, you would find that all those with pure magic will come to hunt you.” It was a slight bluff, however Sal had no doubt that there would be major repercussions against anyone who tried to harm Diana. He knew that he would have a hand in making the perpetrator suffer something worse than a thousand deaths.
Chapter 22: Hari Potter?
Once Diana had returned from her time with the unicorns, she found the creature gone and Sal back to his eleven year old cover.
Turning towards the brush, where she knew another being hid, “You may come out now.”
Out from the brush came a tall figure, “You are too far from where you should be, little princess.”
Diana’s eyes narrowed at the centaur, “What do you know?”
The being’s scruffy head tilted to the side, “The future is ever changing, who you are now is not who you will always be.”
Diana sighed, she should have known better than to expect a straight answer from a centaur.
“What do I owe you in turn for your words of wisdom?”
The being straightened before releasing a small chuckle, “You owe me nothing, Magic’s Chosen.” Turning his head back as if he heard something, “There are those who search for you, I will guide you both back.”
Once they rejoined R. Hagrid and the other children, the friendly giant was flush with gratitude.
“Many thanks Firenze.” The half giant nodded toward the centaur, who merely nodded back regaly before disappearing back within the forest.
The man turned back to the children; mother henning them, checking to make sure none of them were harmed before ushering them into his small hut for tea and cake.
“It is good neither of you were hurt.” R. Hagrid had turned toward his small kitchen to make the tea.
“Yes, Mr. Firenze chased away the creature that had killed the unicorn. It was ever so sad.” Diana spoke up, as she found a small stool by the door to sit upon. The other two children, the Weasley and the other she recognized as the one that sent himself and Kevin to the hospital at the beginning of the year, both were able to sit in a large giant sized chair by the fire.
It was when the half giant turned and let out a gasp that seemed to suck all the air out of the room, that Diana realized both her and Sal had better leave. She could see what the large man was about to say before he even said it, and she dreaded it.
“Dumbedore was right. You look just like Hari Potter. I was there when your...or rather her parents died. Such a lil’ babe you...she was.”
The Weasley gasped sky blue eyes wide, the flames from the fireplace flickering within them.
“You are Hari Potter?” His jaw dropped.
Diana had enough of it all, standing abruptly, she spoke through clenched teeth.
“No! I am Diana Williams. No matter what others say and no matter how many times they say it I am not this Hari Potter person. Goodnight Mr. Hagrid.” She quickly left the hut, Sal following shortly after her.
By the next morning, the whole school was talking about it. It was a wonder how quickly gossip travelled through the school. Everyone watched Diana Williams with wide eyes, and whispers followed her everywhere she walked. She was sick and tired of it by the time it was the end of the week.
She found herself taking the long routes to her classes just so she could avoid as many students as she could. Hermione and Kevin were supportive, sticking on each side of her casting glares at anyone that stared at her.
At one point, Hermione and Kevin had to make a couple of distractions just so she wouldn’t get questioned by a mob of Gryffindors. Which found Diana ducking into Professor Quirrell’s empty classroom.
Looking around the room, not even glancing at the professor who had looked up as soon as she came in, she ran towards a cabinet.
“Don’t mind me, I'm just going to temporarily hide inside your closet.” She climbed in, thankful that it was basically empty; it only held some brooms and one small cauldron on one side. Diana kept the door open just by a crack to see when the coast was clear.
Just as she was safely inside, the Weasley boy, who she found out was named Ron after several times he had come up to her during the week, burst into the room.
“Bugger! I thought she went in here.”
“Have you come to turn in your essay on the venom of Gorgons, Mr. Weasley?”
The boy reddened as he turned toward the professor, “Um...no.”
“Then get out of the classroom, unless you wish to have me take points away for frivolousness. As for the crude language, 10 points off Gryffindor.”
“Do you want to make that 15 points, Mr. Weasley?”
“Um...no.” The boy ran out shortly afterwards.
It never ceased to amaze Diana how many people didn’t seem to notice how suspicious Professor Quirrell was.
“You can come out now, Ms. Williams.”
Diana gingerly climbed out of the cabinet, closing it behind her before casting a Scourgify to remove her robes of cobwebs and dirt.
She let out a sigh, gazing out across the classroom to the open door leading into a hallway where students would pass at any moment.
“This can’t go on.” She moaned.
Professor Quirrell’s eyes which had flashed crimson as soon as Diana had come in the room, leaned back in his chair as he watched the small girl begin to pace in the front of his desk mumbling to herself.
“I know! I’ll just have to disguise myself, at least while traversing the hallways.” Pulling her silver wand from her sleeve, she first cast the growth charm upon her hair. It grew to fall to her waist, “Ok more than I intended. Hmm...now for a color.” Shrugging, “I’ve always wondered what I’d look like with red hair.”
Quirrell’s eyes widened as her hair changed from its raven black to a deep rich auburn, her eyes opened and with her green eyes and red hair, she was the very image of a ghost from long ago. The rumors regarding her seemed to solidify in his mind, could she really be the lost Potter? His shadow vibrated with anticipation at the thought.
“Lily!” A gasp that sounded like a groan came from the doorway, turning both their attentions to where Professor Snape stood his eyes wide and a hand clutching his chest. He began to lean against the adjacent wall looking like he was about to keel over.
“Professor Snape! Are you alright?” Diana rushed forward her auburn hair flying behind her as she ran toward him. Holding his arm she helped him to sit at one of the desks to the front of the classroom. “Oh dear, you are looking like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Diana bit her lip and looked at her favorite teacher in worry, never before had she seen such a lost expression on his face.
“Diana, what’s going on?” Sal’s voice came in through the open doorway.
Diana turned toward him, “I don’t know he just sort of collapsed.”
“What’s with your hair?”
“Oh!” She whispered. “I’ll get rid of it, Professor.” Quickly she cast, “Finite incantatem!”
Her hair returned to its short raven bob and as she looked into her professor’s eyes she whispered, “Professor? It’s me Diana. Do you need me to take you to the infirmary?”
“Sal! What are you doing?” Diana turned her head to see that Sal had just cast the forgetting charm upon Quirrell. “That won’t work on him. Not that I know why you would need to, he’s a professor.”
“Step aside Diana, Professor Snape must forget what he saw.”
“Sal, what in the world?”
“Accio Diana WIlliams!”
With a short yell Diana flew into Sal’s arms, her eyes wide, Sal turned all at the same time to send the memory charm the potions professor’s way.
Professor Snape’s eyes slightly still dazed walked from the room, Diana looking after him with sad eyes. Before flinging herself from Sal’s arms, and smacking him on the arm.
“What in the world do you think you are doing Sal?”
“Be that as it may, Mr. Locke, obliviating a teacher could land you with an expulsion.”
Sal turned toward Quirrell who stood now with narrowed eyes.
“Sal, he is a really good Occlumens, remember. I told you about those 2 boys who disappeared at the end of October, he remembered.”
Bowing toward the professor, “Please can you forget about this, professor. I’ll make sure he doesn’t do something like this again. He’s just been extra protective ever since I’ve been stalked all this week by students thinking I’m the ‘girl-who-lived’.” At the end, Diana made quotes with her fingers in the air. “It is all rather annoying.”
“Hm…” Quirrell’s eyes narrowed, “And why did this young man think he should obliviate as a solution to what just happened?”
“I don’t know. I’d like to know that myself. Sal, care to explain yourself?”
Salazar tilted his head up pridefully, “I suppose its not your fault for being so stupid, especially since you didn’t know what the famed Potter’s family looked like. But you just looked nearly identical to the young girl that became Lady Potter.”
“Really?” Diana asked, “Weird. I hate weird coincidences.”
Diana could feel both the host and the parasite examining her, no doubt trying to reach to the same conclusion that she was indeed the lost Potter.
It seemed he reached his decision as Quirrell spoke up, “Mr. Locke detention with me for all next week after classes and 15 points from Slytherin.”
Professor Snape’s stricken look haunted Diana throughout her weekend. It was a look so full of horror, guilt, and also what she thought might be heartbreak. She wondered if perhaps at one point he had loved her birth mother. He was not present for the weekends meals, he stayed in his quarters. By the end of the following Monday’s classes she had made up her mind.
She made her way to his classroom, waiting outside until all the students streamed out before slipping inside, closing and locking the door behind her before making her way over to his desk at the far side of the room.
“Ms. Williams, I am busy.” His head stayed bent over grading papers.
“I’m sorry that I made you sad again.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Oh, Professor.” Diana summoned a chair from across the room and scooted closer to his desk. “I believe you know, after all you are an excellent occlumens.”
At this he brought his head up, his eyes not holding fury in them like the last time they had talked like this, instead they were just tired. His eyes were rimmed in dark circles as dark as his hair.
“I think you might need closure. I’m here to offer it to you.”
“Silly child you don’t know what you speak.”
Diana leaned forward, “Did you love her? It would make sense at the start of the year, after all I would be an odd mix of the two of them.”
His eyes widened ever so slightly before his face became impassive once more.
“You should be careful what you suggest to me.”
“Why because you are wedged between two masters?”
His two fathomless wormhole eyes opened and stared at the girl before him, but she just smiled in a cold sort of way and cocked her head to the side.
“You seem the sort of person who will never side with anyone but yourself.” Her smile became more of a smirk, “I like these kinds of people. They do not blindly follow. They instead are after their own interests.”
Standing upwards, Diana closed her eyes and sought out her pure magic focusing on the magic surrounding her professor and low and behold there was a faint thread of magic tying his life force to hers.
Severus Snape could only stare at the child whose eyes had begun to glow a vibrant green, a sad almost bitter sort of smile appeared upon her lips.
“I will make an oath to you, as you have done for me. I cannot make the same that you did for me. Your position is far too precarious however there is one thing I can promise on my magic.”
Raising her head to smile at him, her head tilted to the side she bowed to him; “I, Diana Williams, swear upon my life and magic to…”
The professor’s eyes widened and his mouth opened barely choking out a command, “Stop!”
But the child only continued with a smile upon her lips, “...that I will always be on Severus Snape’s metaphorical side. So mote let it be.”
He sat back as if he no longer lacked the energy to sit up, staring at Diana with incredulous eyes. “Why would you…”
“Do that for you? Because I have a feeling you have only had yourself on your side, Professor. I cannot take away the troubles that lie ahead of you, but I can help.” She smiled. Her eyes no longer glowing. “I have some plans in motion for both your masters, so I hope one day you can be free.” With this Diana began to make her way to the door, before she turned one last time, “So if you could use your excellent talent and not let either see what I’ve done for you today, I’d much appreciate it.”
As the door closed behind her, Severus Snape dropped his head into his hands leaning upon his desk as he fought the overwhelming ache he felt from within.
Chapter 23: A Knight & a Princess
“What’s with Sal?” Hermione asked as she bit into a freshly buttered piece of toast.
Kevin turned his head toward the Slytherin table, “Doesn’t it just look like he changed seats, what’s so odd about that?”
Diana let out a laugh as she looked over, “It looks like he’s already dethroned the upperclassman who was the current King of Slytherin, and now he holds the position himself.”
As she was looking over, Sal looked up and nodded her way and she smiled in turn. Out of the corner of her eye she could barely see as Heir Malfoy’s face turned sour.
“I wasn’t expecting him to be accepted so soon though, he makes quick work.”
Diana turned back to her friends, and got lost in discussions of their assignments.
She nearly jumped as she felt a hand on her shoulder, and a breath upon her ear.
“How is Princess doing this morning?”
Kevin nearly choked on his bite of toast when he heard the nickname and Hermione glared at Sal suspecting him of teasing her friend.
“Really Sal? That’s the nickname you decided on?”
Sal sat down beside her, his back to the table. His roguish grin looked odd on his eleven year old face, “It’s fitting don’t you think?”
“Oh really, Mr. Knight?”
He threw back his dark clad head and let out a loud laugh, while Diana pouted.
“I thought that would discourage you.”
“Hah, with a name so fitting my station?”
“Oh really fitting your station, Your Majesty of Slytherin?” Diana shot her own comeback, and was irritated to only get a smirk from Sal in return.
“Call me as you wish, Princess.”
“Ug! I’m going to class!” Diana left the table with a huff, leaving behind a laughing Sal and friends shooting him incredulous looks.
Diana sighed and decided to ignore Heir Malfoy’s voice, hoping he would tire quickly of his taunts. But it seemed it was not to be as she felt a stinging hex bounce off her Wyllt staff turned necklace made shield.
“Really, Heir Malfoy? Must you be so immature?” She tilted her head back his direction, before continuing toward Ravenclaw tower, hoping to make it out of the lower parts of Hogwarts before coming across more students.
“Hari!” The whiny voice of the youngest Weasley echoed down the hall.
“Oh dear magic, why is this my life?” Diana sighed and picked up her pace. Nearly trotting down the hallway, she took a quick turn only to smack into someone else.
“Whoa there, Princess.” The humored voice of her self-proclaimed knight greeted her, as he grabbed a hold of her arms to steady her.
“Not now, Sal.” Diana brushed off his hands, “I have some irritants following me and I’m losing my patience.”
“Be more respectful to your betters, mudblood.” An older Slytherin who stood beside Sal spoke up, looking down his nose at her.
Diana rolled her eyes before continuing her way, only to be drawn back by Sal’s hand on her elbow. She sighed and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Aren’t you going to say hello to me today, Princess?”
Diana closed her eyes counting to ten slowly to herself and took deep breaths.
“What do you want, Sal?”
“I said, be more respectful you dirty…” The older Slytherin was cut short as Sal flicked his wand towards him, causing the older classman’s mouth to completely vanish. Several other Slytherins, who had been following Sal, shrunk backwards at the sight. Their eyes flicking nervously from Sal to the boy who was frantically touching his face in horror.
“What the hell happened here?” Draco Malfoy had just turned the corner to find the frightened students gazing at Sal.
Sal turned his head ever so briefly, barely acknowledging Heir Malfoy’s presence, “Not now the adults are talking.”
“Excuse me but I…”
Sal turned fully, his voice becoming icy, “Do I need to repeat myself Malfoy?” He gestured to the mouthless Slytherin, “Or would you like to end up like him?”
The blonde haired boy shook his head and walked past quickly, but hovered on the outskirts of the growing assembly of Slytherins.
With a sigh, Diana looked up into the face of the too-tall for an eleven year old ex-djinn.
“Good evening, Salazar. How have you been?”
His lips split open, his teeth almost glittered sharply. “Now that wasn’t so hard was it.” He bowed his head slightly toward her, “I have had an excellent set of classes today. I am actually glad that I came across you today.”
It was Diana’s turn to look at him curiously, before gasping in surprise as he spun her to face his entourage of Slytherins. He hugged her around the middle, lowering himself so that he could rest his head on her shoulder so that they were almost cheek to cheek.
“Let it be known to all those in Slytherin; this girl is to be protected. If someone so much as harms a hair on her head, they will answer to me. If you see someone from another house going to harm her physically or verbally and you do nothing about it, I will hold you responsible.”
Diana looked around at all the wide eyed Slytherins, turning her head slightly in his directions, she exasperatingly whispered, “Sal, what are you doing?”
“Protecting you just as a knight should.” His sly grin was the only warning she got before his lips brushed against her cheek.
She pushed him away, “Salazar Loki Locke!” Diana began to smack him with each word she said, “Never do that again!” Her fists clenched at her sides, she shouted one more time, “You...you..old pervert!”
Sal only let out a boisterous laugh as he watched her march angrily away, before he turned back to his Slytherins eyes narrowing.
It would seem that the Slytherins for the most part heeded their king’s directions, that didn’t stop them from throwing her the occasional glare and then the even rarer slightly fearful glance.
Diana just wished Sal never made the point towards his subjects. Before she felt she was ignored by the Slytherins, then the most recent week she got suspicious glances but after Sal’s display she could feel their outright disdain and hatred for her. It was almost as if Sal wanted them to act out, Diana shook her head that couldn’t be it. He had promised to protect her with his life.
The school year was ending soon and Diana couldn’t wait for summer. She was tired of Hogwarts and its gossiping hordes.
After she sighed again at breakfast one of the mornings following the incident Hermione called her out on it.
“What’s going on, Diana? That’s the fifteenth sigh you’ve had since getting up this morning.”
Diana glanced at Kevin whose nose was stuck in a book before glancing at Hermione’s worried chocolate eyes. So she explained what happened, leaving out a couple details like Draco’s insult and the fact that Sal had literally removed someone’s mouth as discipline. She didn’t need her friends to be terrified of him; healthily wary, sure, but terrified would be counterproductive.
Hermione glanced over at the Slytherin table where Sal was lounging back eating like a king.
“Maybe he is bored?”
Diana’s eyes widened, “Why didn’t I think of that? But why…” She stopped mid-sentence, “Oh.” He wanted to discipline them. She knew he had a wicked streak through him, he was just waiting for someone to slip up. She shivered, “I am so glad he’s on my side.”
Hermione leaned forward, “Can you tell me yet?”
Diana leaned her head upon her hand, “How’s your side project coming along?”
Hermione let out a huff, “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought it would be simply mean organizing my thoughts but its more in depth than that.”
Diana hummed underneath her breath, “What kind of mind palace do you have?”
Hermione blushed and looked down bashfully as she mumbled underneath her breath, “A library.”
Diana let out a small well-humored laugh.
“Oh, but its not just any library. My uncle is a historian, specializing in 18th century Austrian literature. So last summer I spent a lot of time with him and was allowed to visit the Admont Abbey Library. It’s absolutely beautiful, its smaller than other grand libraries but still so detailed and it holds so much information. It holds literature but also artifacts of history, so I thought it would be a good option for my mind palace; since I memorized every space in it. It’s also not as well known as other places.”
Diana was in awe, “That sounds amazing!”
Hermione blushed even brighter and dipped her head, fiddling with her fork and moving her food around her plate. “I still have a lot of work to do though. I am nearly done sorting my memories but I haven’t even covered how to place them with occlumency shielding yet.”
Diana reached out and placed her hand lightly upon her friend’s just until she raised her head.
“You are doing amazingly. You are making faster progress than I did. It took me several years before mine was strong enough.”
It seemed Sal’s boredom was going to come to an end, for Heir Malfoy decided to do something mighty stupid after the final first year exams.
Ravenclaw and Slytherin had just finished Herbology and were heading back toward Hogwarts. Sal had been called away regarding something he needed to speak to his head of house for, but wouldn’t say what it was.
Kevin and Hermione were chatting happily in front of her and had entered Hogwarts ahead of her when Diana was yanked away from the path to find herself face to face with Heir Malfoy.
It was at this moment that Diana wondered if it was her fate to always butt heads with idiots.
“Heir Malfoy, what can I do for you?”
“Stay away from Locke!”
Diana blinked, she hadn’t been expecting that. She thought perhaps it was going to be him going on about what he had before break but not this.
“Any particular reason why?” She tilted her head at the icy haired boy.
“You’ll only bring him down. Salazar Locke could become something great. Father says that all Slytherin royalty end up leading the wizarding world in some way.”
Diana pursed her lips as she tried to stop the smile that was threatening to be unleashed.
“He is the one that decided to follow me, Heir Malfoy.”
His grey eyes narrowed, “Don’t encourage him.”
Diana this time let her laugh out, once she started she bent over laughing. Pulling herself up straight she grinned at the Malfoy heir, a smile upon her lips as she tried to contain her giggles.
“Believe me, Heir Malfoy. I have tried to set him free numerous times, but he just keeps coming back.” With a nod toward him, “Now, I really must head inside.”
She had just made it to the door and had opened it, when her other arm was grabbed tightly from behind.
“Don’t be a whore.”
Diana looked back at the young boy, and blinked several times. She shook her head. “Such a strong word, coming from someone so young.”
Turning away once more she opened the door wider, only to still as she saw who was in front of her. A boy with eyes like the Forbidden Forest dark and deep stood staring past her at the Malfoy behind her. Glancing behind she saw that the boy had lost any remaining pigment in his face as his eyes held a ‘deer caught in the headlights’ look. Looking back at Sal, Diana knew that Heir Malfoy would not be escaping any punishment. What a bother the whole thing was.
“Sal, I need to speak with you for a moment.” After trying to draw him away from the now slightly trembling first year, “...please.” She was able to get him away.
“Sal, he’s just a stupid boy. Boys will say stupid things.”
Salazar shifted his focus back to Diana, “I do not go back on my promises, nor do I go back on my threats.”
Diana sighed, throwing her head she took a deep calming breath. When would this school year end already?
“Ok, if you are going ahead with this. I have some conditions.”
His gaze hardened, “I don’t say anything about how you treat your housemates. Don’t interfere with mine.”
Diana pressed her lips together as she saw the ageless being behind the young boy’s eyes, “Please just listen.”
His jaw tightened, and he nodded once before making eye contact with her.
“One, he is the only heir of his family and like many purebloods I don’t think his family can have another. So please don’t do anything that will jeopardize the possibilities of future generations of Malfoys.” Diana sighed, “I might not like him, but I rather liked his mother. So please don’t do anything that is irreversibly going to maim him. Third, please don’t do something that you can get caught for, expelled for or sent to Azkaban for.”
“That rather limits me on what I can do, Princess.” His jaw was still tight, but Diana felt relief at seeing that he was no longer as tense. “I’ll see what I can do.”
He went to leave, but Diana caught his arm once more. He looked at her with an exasperated look.
She smiled slightly, “Be careful.”
It was dinnertime, and as soon as Diana sat at the Ravenclaw table she was faced with a worried Hermione.
“Have you seen Kevin since Potions?”
Diana shook her head. Diana leaned to her right and called to one of Kevin’s roommates, “Hey Anthony, have you seen Kevin?”
The blonde shook his head before continuing eating his meal.
“Michael, what about you?” Hermione questioned the other boy who was in Kevin’s dorm.
Michael shook his head, “I haven’t seen him since Potions.”
Diana swirled her head to the head table noticing the Headmaster was not there and neither was Professor Quirrell. She felt like a heavy stone had suddenly been dropped into the pit of her stomach.
Standing from the table, Diana turned back briefly, “I’m going to go check the library.”
Hermione stood as well, “I’ll check the infirmary.”
Both girls parted ways after agreeing that they would meet back up at the common room.
Kevin was nowhere in the library, and she knew he wasn’t there for a fact because Ms Pince had decided to help look. She always liked the trio since they always put the books back where they belonged, treated them with respect and obeyed all her library rules.
As she made her way to Ravenclaw tower, Diana fiddled with her Turul eye necklace. Hermione joined her by her side as they made their way into the tower. He wasn’t anywhere in the common room, and after a quick jog to the boys’ room he wasn’t there either.
“I’m getting scared, Diana.”
Diana went down the stairs of the tower and made her way straight to Professor Flitwick’s office; knocking quickly hoping he was back from dinner. His ‘enter’ came quickly and both girls rushed through.
As Hermione spoke to Professor Flitwick, Diana took a deep breath before bringing the grey eye up to her own.
At first she could only see a kaleidoscope of colors, but then they settled. Kevin was somewhere with a dimly lit stone ceiling, probably lying on his back. So that meant he was either unconscious or bound, or both. Worrying her lip, her view seemed to shake and suddenly she could see the room he was in and a figure in front, as they stepped back Diana sucked in a deep breath her free hand tightening into a fist. A whisper coming from her, “Quirrell.”
“What was that Diana?” Professor Flitwick was looking at her with worried eyes.
“I think I know where he is, but I need to know where exactly.” Diana pursed her lips, “Professor I need a map of the lower levels of Hogwarts specifically below the third corridor.”
Hermione gasped to the side.
“I knew it all was a bad idea.” Flitwick mumbled as he pulled a key from a secret pocket in his robe, before opening a drawer and taking out a parchment and passing it to Diana. Her eyes narrowed as she traced the pathways, closing her eyes she focused her magic and opened them. Her Head of House gasped, no doubt from her glowing eyes.
“I’ll be back with Kevin, do not inform anyone else of what’s happening. If I’m not back in…”
Professor Flitwick interrupted, his eyes held fierce determination within them, “You already informed me of procedures in case of an emergency.”
“I did?” Diana’s brow furrowed.
“Yes, just this afternoon you came by.”
Diana was confused before her eyes widened and she whispered, “Stupid loopholes in wishes.”
Straightening her back she stood tall, eyes meeting briefly with both Hermione and her Head of House, “I’ll be back.”
Focusing on her magic, she pictured in her mind's eye where she needed to be. Her magic swirled around her like a gail of wind then settled, her feet now upon hard stone.
The figure across the way from her hadn’t noticed her presence yet, he was too fixated on the mirror in the center of the room. With a tight smile, Diana turned her head to see her friend lying on the ground unconscious, partially leaned against a wall of stone, but thankfully alive next to her. Bending down she put a silencing spell upon her surroundings then lifted her friend up. Focusing on her magic once more, she visualized both of them back in Professor Flitwick’s office.
The gasps that sounded in front of her let her know she made it back safely. Opening her eyes she hefted her friend over to a chair, thankful for the physical training she also went through in the Underground and also thankful for her friend’s slight frame.
“Diana! Is he ok?”
“I think he’s just unconscious.” Turning her head toward her Professor who looked at her with a shocked expression, “He may still need medical attention. Please keep this quiet though, if you must…” Summoning a crystal, she handed it to her Head of House who looked at it with wariness and recognition. “You may use this and ask for a healer, by Lady Diana’s request.” Turning quickly to Hermione, “If the healer comes remember the rules I taught you.”
Summoning her magic once more, “I’ll be back.”
Hermione’s last words to her breaking apart as she left once more, “But you can’t apparate…”
Once more back in the stone chamber, she summoned a crystal that she transfigured into a throne-like chair that resembled Jareth’s before lounging in it. Her knees crossed, her back straight but head slightly tilted to the side.
“I was going to let you go, you know.”
The turbaned man in front of the silver mirror jumped, before swirling in pace his eyes widening as he saw her in the place of his captive.
“Oh, but then you just had to go after one of mine.” She let out a disapproving sigh, “I’m ever so disappointed in you.”
“Where’s the boy?”
“Oh you mean the boy you kidnapped. The boy you were going to use to get whatever you are after. I got him to safety, and now you will have to deal with me.”
Before he could stop himself, Quirrell had flinched as light in the form of a glowing ball of fire raised itself above the girl upon the throne. Her eyes blazing in an angry emerald fire, her teeth glinting sharply in that oddly goblin like grin.
Quirrell stilled as the shade whispered for him to appeal to the girl, to use the girl instead.
“You will do as well, I suppose. Come and look in the mirror and tell me what you see.”
Diana was silent but rose from the throne and walked regally up the small dais where the mirror sat. Keeping Quirrell in the corner of her eye, she looked into the mirror. It was merely her reflection but it smiled eerily before showing her red stone and then with a wink put it in her pocket. The weight registered itself on the real side of the mirror. Diana smiled and turned toward Quirrell.
“What did you see?”
“Myself putting a red stone in my pocket.” She grinned as the professor’s eyes widened at her truful answer. Turning her wand quickly in her hand she changed the throne into a normal stone chair, much more unyielding. As she expected, as soon as she stepped away the Professor cast an Expelliarmus toward her; her wand flying to his hand. He let out a cruel laugh, but she only smiled in turn. Her thumb caressed the bottom of her Wyltt heirship item that was at the moment a ring upon her middle finger.
He held out his hand, “Give me the stone.”
“No, I think not.” She smiled at him, her head tilted to the side.
His eyes turned crimson and he bellowed as he pointed her wand at her, “Give it to me!”
Diana only let loose her own cruel laugh, her magic already seeping into her Wyltt ring willing it to return to its original state on her command.
A hissing voice came from behind Quirrell, “Show her to me.”
Quirrell hurriedly followed the command, unravelling the turban upon his head and then he turned showing off his parasite.
Diana merely smiled and tilted her head as her gaze met the parasite’s crimson one, “Hello parasite.”
Just as Quirrell began to turn toward her to curse her, the Wyltt staff formed in her hand and she sent a burst of power his way causing Quirrell to fly backwards upon the stone seat face first, his parasite looking upon the girl.
“That staff?” The pale visage stared at the staff recognizing it immediately.
“Yes?” She smiled before waving it again, sending her intent for the armrests of the stone chair to become clamps upon Quirrell’s arms to keep him in place. Her wand fell from his fingertips, and with a wave of her hand it was back in her hand that did not hold the staff. Seeping her magic into the staff it went back into a ring, and her wand disappeared up her sleeve.
“Now let’s restart our little conversation shall we?”
Emerald met ruby, as Diana and the parasite locked gazes.
“Now I believe you want the stone, most likely to get a body again. However, I do not believe you are quite ready for one yet.”
“How dare you, you are just an insolent child!” The visage raged.
“Yes, I suppose I am. However, I currently hold the power right now. Perhaps if your host had been more intelligent, he would have either approached me politely with a request…”
The visage scoffed.
“Or...simply would have been aware of how stupid an action it would be to strike against someone that’s mine.”
The visage hissed something that was no doubt in Parseltongue, how Diana missed being able to speak it. It was the one thing she missed from her days before Jareth.
In the meantime she waved his way, “Yes, yes. I’m sure you said something highly offensive in Parseltongue; but I can’t understand it anymore so its such a pity I won’t ever know what you said.”
“How could you…” The crimson gaze narrowed.
Diana could only wonder how this must be for the once great and powerful Voldermort, she smiled instead giggling at the thought. He was being out-talked by an eleven year old, all his villain monologuing forgotten.
He had begun to mutter and Diana sat upon the ledge of the stone dais as she watched him reach the conclusion she was waiting for, “Unless you were…”
His red eyes looked at her widening, it almost looked like his eyes might just roll from his head. Diana supposed it was a possibility with how weakened he’d become.
“So you are…”
“I am no longer that person, that person died at three and I rose from her ashes.” Diana’s voice turned cold.
She waited though for him to go through the whole chain of events in his head. His eyes narrowed.
“You don’t know who you are dealing with, you silly child.”
“Oh but I do, Voldermort.” Her sharp grin re-visited, “Or should I say Tom Marvolo Riddle.”
“Yes me.” This time she did giggle, a hand covered her mouth gracefully before she composed herself. “But don’t worry that piece is safe, I thought it might be an awfully good bargaining chip for once we met again.”
This time he just stared at her, she could feel him trying to make his way through her labyrinth.
Her face blossomed into a full-on bright, cheerful grin, “Be careful you wouldn’t want to get lost in there. I’d imagine it would be a pain to once again be stuck inside someone’s head. Oh wait! You still are.” A small giggle burst free.
“How dare you!” The visage seemed to sputter for a while, before it resumed its incredulous stare. “What are you?” The voice hissed out, shocked by her utter lack of respect and fear for him.
She tilted her head to the side, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” She smiled at her rhetorical question, “It’s funny that’s not the first time I’ve been asked that question, nor do I believe it will be the last.”
Clapping her hands together, “Back to business though.” She pulled the stone from her pocket, “I will help you get a body back. However…” Her eyes shot towards his pair and she power-walked toward him, her eyes not leaving his fiery gaze. “I have conditions.”
Standing before him, she leaned forward slightly so that their faces were only a foot apart.
“You need to regain your sanity, a good leader must have all his marbles in his jar.”
A cold laugh followed her comment, “You expect me to believe you are on my side.”
Diana waved away his comment, “There shouldn’t be sides in the first place. After all, magic is neither good nor bad; it is only power.” She smirked, “I would have you become the leader you should have.” Tilting her head to the side, “I researched both you and Grindelwald quite thoroughly, both of you had similar goals at the core but both of you failed to execute them correctly. Grindelwald aligned himself with Hitler, in order to cover for his genocidal tendencies and you, well, weren’t very subtle either. You both had the power for real change, and you both had the charisma to help influence change in the rest of mages, but you both squandered your gifts recklessly.”
The hissing laughter came from the noseless pale snake-like face, “What would you know about ruling, you are just a child?”
“I actually know more than the average mundane or even pureblood family member.” With a smirk, Diana pulled the stone from her pocket and placed it on the ground with a wave of her hand it became a throne that looked like it was almost made of sandstone and rubies. Sitting upon it regally she looked back to the visage, “I was after all taught by the best.”
The visage had nearly gaped at her after she had turned the stone wandlessly into a throne with barely a look and not a word spoken.
“As I spoke to you about in the past, after class that one day at the start of the year, I wish to back a politician that will bring back the old ways of respecting pure magic. They would have to understand that all mage blood is precious, while agreeing that the new mages born must be educated properly in ancient ways. I would like you to be that politician, once rising once more you’ll already have the support of the families of old so that’s one step closer to the ultimate goal.”
The pale face scoffed, “The political scene isn’t one that can be easily traversed. The Ministry holds many of the strings of Wizarding Britain.”
“Yes, I’m aware. The whole Ministry and Wizengamot will have to be ripped down to the studs. The ideas behind them were practical at times, however with corruption and greed those ideas have been buried. However, that all is for another day when we have the time for that long of a conversation. I’ve already prepared all my plans for the mage worlds in your new habitat.”
“I am not a pet, you little…”
“Yes, yes…” Diana waved away his disputes, “The fact still remains you need a place to reside until we get your pieces together so that you’ll be sane once more. I already have one of those pieces in safe keeping however I’ll still not be able to restore you completely with just that.” Standing from her throne and reverting it back to the red stone, she stepped forward once more, “I offer you a comfortable place to reside until I have the things needed to give you a body again. It offers entertainment, comfort, luxury that’s fitting a Slytherin and the plans I’ve drafted for the future. The only thing I will require from you at the time of the ritual will be several oaths to ensure that you will not act against myself or those who belong to me. So what do you say, Voldermort, ready to be relocated?”
His crimson gaze had been staring at her for a while, she could almost hear the cogs of his mind turn as he came to the realization that she gave him the best option.
“What do you gain from all this?”
“I’m able to revert the mage world back to the form it should have been in, with some new and stately improvements. A bonus is I get to see Albus Dumbledore’s face when he realizes that his once thought pawn is actually the queen on the chessboard and she’s going to be the one that brings about his downfall.”
A sharp and gruesome smile split the lips of the beast, “Dumbledore’s demise is indeed a bonus.”
“Well then…” With a twist of her hand, Sal’s old prison appeared in her hand, “Let’s move you in.”
One more chapter and then the end of 1st year.