Grazhir :: Crossover :: Kalpa :: 11



At quarter to six the next morning Viktor slipped into the room and perched on the edge of Harry’s bed. Dudley was still fast asleep, snoring lightly behind a charm to keep it from disturbing Harry. Harry got up and yawned his way to his trunk and opened it, gesturing Viktor inside. After closing it behind him he walked over to the mirror and opened that, again gesturing Viktor ahead of him.

Pelk showed up to hand over the time turner, so Harry took Viktor’s hand and led him into the bathroom and looped the chain over their heads before spinning it back a day. The time turner went to its usual spot and Harry said, “Okay, we have to stay here until Pelk gives the all clear. I’m going to shower.”

Viktor nodded and busied himself with investigating the room, moving out of the way when Harry stumbled over to the sink to take care of his teeth and hair. Pelk popped in and retrieved the time turner and nodded, so Harry led Viktor back out into the main room and then into the kitchen. Already waiting was a hearty Durmstrang-style breakfast, which he gratefully tucked into. Eventually, finally, they sat together on a sofa against the wall in the main room and Harry began his story.

“That must have been very strange for you,” Viktor interrupted some time later, “sitting there with those dragons nearby.”

“Yeah. I was worried they’d somehow sense me, but it was fine.”

“And this whole set up?” Viktor asked, waving his hand around at the room.

“For me to practice, both aetherial magicka and wizarding magic. With my core strength I have to work well in advance of everyone else just to be able to do the spells when they come up on the syllabus. Tom got the lists from Karkaroff so I’d know what to focus on.”

Viktor nodded. “That makes sense. And Pelk is here to keep an eye on you. But what happens if something goes wrong and you’re hurt?”

Harry huffed. “Believe me, that occurred to me early on. I wanted to tell you then, actually, but it wasn’t my decision. My mother and Tom had to agree, too.”

“I can’t believe your family friend is a dark lord,” Viktor said, shaking his head. “He seems so normal. Intimidating, but still normal. And you—this explains why you’re so mature for your age. Makes me feel less weird about being so attached to you.”

Harry grinned and ducked his head for a second.

“Will you show me some of this magicka? I know you cannot do the Shouts here.”

He nodded and jumped up, turning to face Viktor. First he demonstrated Candlelight, then Magelight, aiming for the wall off to the side. “It’ll stay there for a minute,” he explained. Then he dropped a knut on the floor and used Telekinesis to make it hover and move around. “Like levitation, basically.” And then he went over to a chest and rummaged around for any left over iron. Finding some he showed it to his boyfriend.

“It’s iron,” Viktor said, a mite confusedly.

“Right.” Harry prepared and cast Transmute and smiled when Viktor blinked over seeing the iron clearly become silver. “Iron to silver, silver to gold. So much for the fabled Philosopher’s Stone.” The metal went back into the chest. “Those were all Alteration spells. A lot of them provide temporary armor, but I don’t learn anything casting them if I’m not in danger. Now, Conjuration. I haven’t mastered nearly as much here because, again, I don’t learn all that much if I’m not in danger.”

He conjured a Bound Bow, feeling a quiver of bound arrows settling into place. Harry quickly nocked an arrow and spun around, releasing at a target. He shot several more before letting the bow vanish. The quiver returned to aether as he said, “I can also conjure other weapons and, er, entities to fight for me. For Destruction I again don’t have much mastery due to circumstances.”

Even so, he faced the target and nailed it with Ice Spike. “Fire, Ice, Lightning variants, offensively, defensively, traps.” He prepared and released a Flame Cloak, causing Viktor to half rise out of his seat in alarm. “Illusion spells tend to focus on either pacifying an enemy, scaring them, or giving them the illusion of courage. But, it can also provide analogues to the wizarding disillusionment. Restoration is mostly healing and damage absorption, but there are spells there to use against the undead.” He resumed his seat on the sofa.

“So, I can’t do a whole lot in terms of power with wizarding magic, but once I can manage more in terms of mastery I can use something like Chain Lightning on enemies or walls of flames. The closer to mastery I get the more I can handle and the longer I can cast them. Right now I go through a lot of potions.”

“I am amazed and impressed,” Viktor said, sounding vaguely awestruck. “Can anyone learn this?”

Harry shrugged. “I don’t know. All of the spell book copies were given to me. Mum had a full wizarding education and Tom obviously went way beyond that. I don’t think it occurred to either of them to try. After all, well, okay, take the armor spells. They reduce the amount of damage you take, but they don’t reflect it or negate it. Some of the healing spells absorb it, but all of them are only temporary. A witch or wizard would use a normal shield spell if they can’t dodge, or maybe levitate something to block with. But things like that are also why everything I have is heavily enchanted.”

Viktor eyed Harry’s clothing dubiously.

“As Valdis pointed out to me, light armor can easily be mistaken for normal clothing. I have multiple enchantments for resistance to general magic, elements, and physical damage. Against mind control, to muffle the sounds I make moving around, to breathe underwater, and so forth. Enchantments to boost my effectiveness with a bow, my health, how fast I heal. I also have a ton of portkeys because Tom thinks I won’t be able to learn to apparate.”

Viktor eyed him up and down. “Where?”

He smiled and extended a leg, angling his foot back and forth. “All the metal on my boots? Permanent portkeys.” He lifted his wrist and fingered the bracelet he wore. “More portkeys, plus protean charmed strips so I can message several people because Tom thinks it’s unlikely I can manage the patronus charm, either. I also carry around another bracelet, that one enchanted with a magicka spell called Chameleon. With all five pieces in place I’m completely invisible; there’s no ripple like disillusionment.”

Viktor glanced at his own bracelet and nodded. “So you have extra rings to make substitutions to this to make the protections stronger?”

“Right. I’m hoping that, now you know, you can spend part of the summer with me? I’d like to take you to meet Valdis.”

“I would like that.” Viktor paused, then said, “What language does she speak?”

“Oh, right. I’ll have to get Tom to give you Old Norse. I expect Serana, if it is the same person, already knows more modern languages.”

“And Serana is?”

“Ah, she’s a vampire, obviously. Back in the previous kalpa, when the world was Nirn, Valdis got involved with a group called the Dawnguard. They were dedicated to wiping out vampires, but they had no idea of a longstanding goal of one group in particular. There was a weapon, a bow, allegedly fashioned by one of the Aedra. The Snow Elves called him Auri-El. The dragons call him Bormahu—it means “our father”. Anyway, the bow was enchanted and it had some very special qualities. Arrows could be blessed, I guess you could say, to cause specific damage to the undead—vampires, draugr, risen skeletons—that kind of thing. But they could also be cursed with the blood of a Daughter of Coldharbour.”


Harry sat back and let his head rest against the cushion. “The Daedric Prince Molag Bal is the creator of vampires, and his Plane of Oblivion is called Coldharbour. He created the first by raping a virgin. There are two kinds of vampires in that lexicon. The ones he creates directly in ceremony and the ones created by transmission of a virus from an existing vampire. A Daughter of Coldharbour is one created so directly.”

Viktor grimaced, but did not speak the obvious.

“Anyway, the blood of one, such as Serana, could curse arrows which, used with Auri-El’s bow, could blot out the sun for a day, making it possible for the vampires to be out and about all the time. Valdis was sent off on a mission and happened to stumble over Serana entombed deep underground. She agreed to escort her back to her home and did so, was offered the chance by Serana’s father to become a vampire lord, refused, and was booted out. Valdis thought that was the end of things, but Serana showed up at Fort Dawnguard some time later looking for her.

“Serana didn’t agree with her father’s plans—a prophecy was involved, you see—and wanted help against him. Along the way Valdis became very fond of Serana; they were companions for a long time in the chain of events which eventually saw Serana’s father, Lord Harkon, defeated. If it’s the same person, well, I think she’d be pleased to see Valdis again, and may choose to join us based on Valdis’s word and me being dovahkiin. Besides,” he said with a laugh, “I’d like to meet a vampire who won’t see me as lunch.”

Viktor rolled his eyes. “Will you show me what you mean by mastery of wizarding spells?”

Harry tipped his head forward again and shook out his wand, thought for a moment, then cast at the opposite wall.

“I have absolutely no idea what you cast. Huh. And the results, aside from it being a barely visible ripple in the air, is a stronger spell for less magic? Did I get that right?”

“Mm-hm. That’s how Tom explained it to me.”

Pelk skittered in and said, “Master Harry, lunch is ready. And Master Tom has sent an elf to me with a package for you. It is by your plate.”

“Okay, thank you. We’ll be right in,” he replied, pushing forward so he could stand. At the table was the promised package and he opened it curiously, taking from it first a note. ‘Oh,’ he thought a minute later. ‘I’m glad he remembered my portkey is blood-bonded and Viktor would need his own.’ The other item in the package was a dual portkey for Viktor, which he handed over. “I’d do what I do and attach this to your boots or something until after Yule, but first you need to bond it, just in case some idiot somehow manages to activate it.”

Viktor nodded and hooked the portkey into his bracelet for the time being. As he picked up his knife and fork he asked, “How would I thank Tom for this?”

“Hm? Oh, send something in care of my mother, or leave a note with Pelk. Either should work.”

They were halfway through their meal when Viktor joked, “My boyfriend is a lot more exciting than I had anticipated.”

Harry blinked, then dropped his fork and reached out to smack Viktor’s arm.


The morning of the twenty-fifth they had breakfast and decided to take a walk. Harry, Viktor, and Dudley strolled off, all bundled up, and casually made their way along the perimeter of the lake, shortly thereafter disappearing into the forest and beyond the edge of the wards. There they employed their portkeys and were dropped in the backyard of the house in Norway. Tom was there but only stayed long enough to impart some languages to Viktor and provide a one-use portkey for him to Hrothgar.

They spent an hour opening presents and consuming hot chocolate, then Harry excused himself and Viktor for a visit to Hrothgar. They reappeared in the room housing Valdis’s tomb and she appeared moments later, looking at Viktor with curiosity.

“Hi, Valdis!” Harry greeted cheerfully. “This is my boyfriend, Viktor Krum. Viktor, Valdis of too many names, the Last Dragonborn of Nirn.”

She aimed a fondly exasperated look at Harry, then turned her attention to Viktor. “Drem yol lok,” she said, then, “I am pleased to meet you.”

Viktor looked a bit nonplussed, despite being used to seeing spirits roam around. “Ah, it is a pleasure.” Perhaps it was just that one normally did not also see the physical body of said spirit right there as well.

“Are you ready for the next soul?” she asked Harry.

“Yes, please,” he replied. From things she had told him much earlier on he had to assume that absorbing a soul straight from a dragon would not feel much different from being given one the way she managed it—well, except for the heart-pounding, adrenaline rush levels of excitement that went along with the killing of said dragon.

She nodded and bowed her head, hands coming up in front of her in an almost cupped posture. Within seconds the transfer began, lines of fiery light streaming from her to him, making him glow. Fifteen seconds later she was done and standing normally again. As always, Harry felt like he was flying in a blissful fog and swayed in place, arms automatically stretching out to the sides to help him maintain his balance.

He did not see the anxious look Viktor cast at Valdis, or her reassuring smile. When the feeling finally faded he felt a bit depressed, as always, but managed to smile anyway. “Thank you, Valdis.”

“You are welcome.”

“I tried to get Tom to move you to my trunk, but he said no. Said he’d have to re-work the entire ward schema, for one thing. Well, and there really isn’t enough room.” He rolled his eyes and sighed.

“I am happy to hear you tried. Is there anything we need to go over while you are here?”

“I just don’t like leaving you here with those silly old men.” He looked off toward the warded entrance. “Um, no, I suppose not. I’m doing my best with the aetherial spells, but you already know I can’t do much with some of them right now.”

A patronus snake slithered into the room at that point and said, “Stay there,” before vanishing.

“Um, okay?” Harry said. “Tom has news, I guess?” He shrugged and continued, “I’m getting really close to mastery for Alteration and Illusion, and not so good with Restoration, but still a lot better than Destruction and Conjuration. Tom also said I can’t keep a caged beast handy, so those have to wait.”

“I know you have the requisite patience,” she said soothingly. “Tom can take you on hunting trips over the summer.”

“Well, there was that time he let me incinerate a termite mound,” Harry said musingly.

Viktor snorted in amusement and stepped back a little, then turned as Tom appeared.

“Ah, good. Valdis, a pleasure as always. I come with news.” Tom glanced at Harry, then back to Valdis. “Tell me, please, answer this: When the Psijic froze time in Winterhold, what did you do?”

Valdis looked supremely shocked for some few seconds, then thoughtful, her brow furrowing and eyes narrowing. She eventually focused on Tom and said, “Before I spoke with him I went around the then Arch-Mage’s quarters and stole everything not nailed down.”

Tom actually grinned. “I have found Serana.”

Valdis stumbled forward, her legs appearing entirely unsteady, and hovered her hand over Tom’s arm. “Serana? She was saved?”

“It seems so. When I was meeting with various vampire clans the name came up. I remembered what you said, so I investigated. They would not give me much information, but did agree to pass on a message I devised. What I got back was a test, which you just showed was valid. If you don’t mind, will you explain what happened more fully? I wish my response to be as detailed as possible.”

“Very well,” she said, seeming to regain her composure. After stepping back she said, “Ah, this happened after Serana and I became companions, but before we defeated her father, so she was with me during all this. I went with some of the other students of the College to Saarthal as part of our education, under the tutelage of Tolfdir. There I stumbled upon some anomalies and eventually to what was termed the Eye of Magnus. It was during that time in Saarthal I was first visited by a member of the Psijic Order, but that one did not actually freeze time, though he did make it so that Tolfdir could neither see nor hear him.

“Ah . . . yes. I was then asked to do some research on the artifact, but to do so I had to recover books taken by a former member of the College; one of the books was germane to the issue. After that I was to speak with Tolfdir again, and did, but the Thalmor representative at the college, Ancano, interrupted. He said that there was a visitor to see me, and seemed awfully upset about it. He was Thalmor, so naturally he was a spy and trying to influence the mages of the College, so he insisted on escorting me and being there when I met with this visitor.

“The representative froze time in order to speak with me without Ancano or the Arch-Mage overhearing. Of course, being a thief, I first stripped the place bare. I assumed, and was right in the assumption, that once time unfroze it would appear to the others that everything had blinked out of existence and they would likely blame the mysterious visitor rather than me. Serana thought it was hilarious, especially later on when I became Arch-Mage and it all would have been mine anyway.”

Tom’s mouth twitched. “An interesting tale, indeed.”

“There are other things which happened during that time, such as the fight before the Eye of Magnus under Saarthal, but who doesn’t expect to have some howling undead attack while in ancient ruins?”

Tom’s mouth twitched again. “Ah, I wouldn’t know, actually. But, with this information, I can compose a suitable reply. With luck I will be able to meet Serana face to face and eventually bring her here. If nothing else you will at least have seen your friend again and have a chance to catch up.”

“I would be extremely grateful.”

“You deserve it,” Tom replied with all sincerity. “Now, much as I hate to break up this gathering, you two”—he looked at Harry and Viktor—“should be getting back. The longer you are gone from the school. . . .”

“Right. I will see you in a few weeks,” he said to Valdis, then lifted his wrist and prepared to portkey back to the house. As soon as he saw Viktor was also ready he activated it. There the three of them said their good-byes to Lily and Petunia and portkeyed to the house in Hogsmeade. Harry and Dudley used their Chameleon bracelets and Viktor a disillusionment charm to get back within the school wards and over by the lake, then allowed themselves to become visible again.

They meandered back to the school and joined the crowd streaming into the Great Hall for lunch. After having been outside that morning, even if most of it was actually indoors, they stayed in the castle after lunch, strolling the halls with Draco, Luna, and Ilsa and simply talking. Ilsa and Luna wandered off at six to begin getting ready and then Draco left at seven.

Once they were dressed in their finery they emerged back into the hallway outside the tower for Durmstrang, Dudley playing temporary escort for Ilsa as they headed to Ravenclaw. There Ilsa joined Draco and Luna emerged to join Dudley. From there they strolled on down to the ground floor. In the entrance hall he noticed Delacour arrive, dressed in silver-grey satin robes; admittedly, she did look stunning. Edward came down the main stair and strutted over, his form draped in scarlet silk robes and a red-haired girl on his arm wearing gold-stitched ivory robes. He vaguely remembered seeing her at the Gryffindor table at least once, so he assumed she was one.

Before he could even look away he heard the Hogwarts Deputy, Professor McGonagall, call out, “Champions over here, please!”

Viktor led him away toward the woman; she was decked out in red tartan and had a rather ugly wreath of thistles around the brim of her hat. ‘Why is she even wearing a hat?’ he wondered. They were directed to stand off to the side so as not to impede the flow of students into the Great Hall.

Once everyone else was settled in the Hall, Professor McGonagall told the champions and their partners to get in line in pairs and to follow her. Thankfully, Cedric and his date came after them and before Edward, so there was at least some distance. They did so, and everyone in the Great Hall applauded as they entered and started walking up toward a large round table at the top of the Hall, where the judges were sitting.

The walls of the Hall had all been covered in sparkling silver frost, with hundreds of garlands of mistletoe and ivy crossing the starry black ceiling. The long tables had vanished; instead, there were a multitude smaller, lantern-lit ones, each seating about a dozen people.

We sit at the top table,Viktor whispered to him.

He nodded back, his eyes seeking out his cousin and Draco, and smiling at them. Well, you champions are so terribly important,he whispered back, smiling slyly.

Viktor reached over with his right hand to squeeze Harry’s lightly. I think it’s a shame. I would prefer to sit with friends, not staff members and officials.

Oh, I agree. We have to actually behave ourselves up there.

Dumbledore smiled happily as the champions approached the top table, but Karkaroff wore a rather sullen expression. Ludo Bagman, in robes of bright purple with large yellow stars, was clapping as enthusiastically as any of the students; and Madame Maxime, who had changed her usual uniform of black satin for a flowing gown of lavender silk, was applauding them politely.

They were, unfortunately, slotted in between Crouch and Maxime—or perhaps it was fortunate after all. Karkaroff would have oozed over Viktor again, and Bagman might have talked their ears off. Maxime would have little reason to speak with them, and Crouch seemed taciturn enough to ignore them. Each of the glittering gold plates had small menus lying in front of them, but Harry was not sure what to do until he heard Dumbledore say very clearly, “Pork chops!” As he looked over he saw that choice appear on the man’s plate.

‘Well, then, okay,’ he thought, and scanned the choices, eventually saying, “Chicken Kiev.” It appeared on his plate along with garlic-roasted asparagus and corn so he set the menu aside and picked up his utensils.

Off to the side Delacour was making disparaging remarks about Hogwarts, comparing it unfavorably to the “Palace of Beauxbatons”. She even alleged that choirs of wood nymphs serenaded them during meals.

Save me,he muttered. That girl is. . . .

Viktor nodded and swallowed. She does not seem to be taking this opportunity in the right spirit. True, Hogwarts is much different from our castle, but I do not think anyone actually expected them to be the same. Coming here means we experience something new, and see the English culture in counterpoint to our own.

Surprisingly, Crouch grunted in agreement, though he did not actually speak.

Edward could be heard boasting farther on, while Diggory and his date were speaking quietly. He thought it was somewhat of a shame that none of the champions seemed to want to actually speak to each other, though he could understand anyone avoiding Delacour and Potter. He scanned the Great Hall as he ate and saw very little evidence of mixing between schools, with only Dudley and Luna, and Draco and Ilsa standing out. He did give Delacour points for having a non-Beauxbatons escort.

This is weird,he said, sharing his thoughts with Viktor. Isn’t half the point to mix? I know, sure, this is also about the competition itself, but all these people here and most of them don’t cross the borders. Our bunch has, but. . . .

I’m not sure what to say,Viktor admitted. It was Draco who made the first real effort, and he and Luna have integrated nicely. We’re apart for all our lessons and have different housing areas. Nothing really has been done to encourage getting to know students outside our schools. Though, it is also true that ours takes students from many countries, so we already do mix, if you want to look at it that way.

True. Diggory seems nice enough, but I have to wonder if trying to talk to him would come across as shady since he’s another champion.

I suspect it would come across as suspicious,Viktor replied.

When all the food had been consumed, Dumbledore stood up and asked the students to do the same. Then, with a wave of his wand, all the tables zoomed back along the walls leaving the floor clear, and then he conjured a raised platform into existence along the right wall. A set of drums, several guitars, a lute, a cello, and some bagpipes were set upon it.

Harry eyed them a bit skeptically.

The Weird Sisters now trooped up onto the stage to wildly enthusiastic applause; they were all extremely hairy and dressed in black robes that had been artfully ripped and torn; they picked up their instruments. The lanterns on all the other tables went out, and then the other champions and their partners were standing up. Viktor rose and offered his arm, so Harry got up and rested his hand on Viktor’s elbow, allowing himself to be led around and down to the floor.

The Weird Sisters struck up a slow, mournful tune; Harry turned when Viktor stopped and took position, then began to move at his boyfriend’s lead. The least they could have done was open with a waltz,he muttered.

Viktor smiled at him. We could always do a slow-motion waltz.

Harry rolled his eyes. Right, because that wouldn’t be weird or anything.Then he spotted Dudley and Luna doing exactly that; he laughed. And we can’t possibly copy my cousin and his date.

Viktor spotted them half a turn later and laughed as well. Definitely not. We will simply have to wait for a more sprightly offering in three-quarter time.

Thankfully, the Weird Sisters gracefully segued into a new tune a minute later, and it was indeed waltz material. Harry smiled and nodded, pleased he could do something more than a modified box step.

And that is it for this evening,Viktor said. Dancing and more dancing, though I understand that an area has been set aside out the front doors as a garden. Warming charms, of course. Roses and statues and fairy lights.

Aside from the mingling that’s supposed to be going on,Harry pointed out. But, assuming the band cooperates with danceable music, let’s have a few more before we take a break?

Of course. I am enjoying myself. Would you like to take a walk in the garden when we stop?

He nodded. With drinks, please. With so many people in here it’s getting a bit hot and stuffy.

About ten minutes later they drifted away from the dance floor and by one of the refreshment tables, pausing long enough to grab bottles of butterbeer. With those in hand they made their way around the perimeter and out into the entrance hall, and then outside. Fluttering fairy lights in the rose garden winked and twinkled as they went down the front steps, where they found themselves surrounded by bushes, winding, ornamental paths, and large stone statues. Harry could hear splashing water, which sounded like a fountain. Here and there, people were sitting on carved benches. He and Viktor set off along one of the winding paths through the rosebushes, taking sips from their bottles, and Harry was pleased to cool off a bit.

Along the way they saw Professor Snape, who gave them a nod even as he was using his wand to rattle rosebushes. Every so often squeals issued from them and dark shapes emerged to run off. They continued on, Harry snickering, and eventually came upon a large stone reindeer, over which they could see sparkling jets of a tall fountain. The shadowy outlines of two enormous people were visible on a stone bench, watching the water in the moonlight. And then Harry heard Hagrid speak.

“Momen’ I saw yeh, I knew,” he was saying, in an oddly husky voice.

“What did you know, ’Agrid?” said Madame Maxime, a purr in her low voice.

Harry looked at Viktor in alarm; his boyfriend immediately steered them left and away from the scene, passing by Delacour and her date partially concealed in yet another rosebush. They were . . . quite busy.

I’m starting to think we’re doing this wrong,he said. We’re not parked in the foliage madly kissing.

Viktor chuckled and replied, We could, if you liked.

Er, no. I’d prefer to show my affection in private if you don’t mind. Still, it’s strange seeing so many people being indiscreet. Does this happen at Durmstrang and I’ve just been too oblivious to notice?

It does, just not in the corridors.

In the distance he could hear Madame Maxime shrieking something. They ignored it and kept walking, eventually ending up back inside to join the dancers. Dudley waltzed by with Luna at one point, this time properly, and Draco was spotted speaking animatedly with Ilsa. When the Weird Sisters finished playing at midnight, everyone gave them a last, loud round of applause and started to wend their way into the entrance hall.

Many people were expressing the wish that the ball could have gone on longer, but Harry was perfectly happy to be leaving. Much as he had enjoyed himself he was tired and really wanted to get some sleep; he had to be up for six. They might be having a holiday from classes, but that didn’t mean he could afford to slack off.

In his room, even though Dudley wasn’t there, he pulled Viktor into his dressing room, just in case. He looked up at his boyfriend and smiled. I had a good time. Thank you for asking me.

Viktor nodded and leaned in, and Harry was eager enough to lift his face in order to share a kiss. This time, though, Viktor kissed him a second time and Harry parted his lips in invitation, feeling a frisson of arousal slide down his spine when his boyfriend made good on that offer. His fingers clutched at Viktor’s robes as their tongues danced and he pressed closer, feeling more than a little disappointment when Viktor did finally draw back.

Good night, Harry.

He nodded, smiling, and watched as Viktor saw himself out.