Harry Escapes

By Wolfwalker

Chapter 04


Waking up and stretching as he got out of bed, Harry went to the window and looked out at the rising sun. The colors as the sky turned from night to day and illuminated the ancient buildings was fantastic. He thought he would never get used to this simple joy. Going to the bathroom and cleaning up, he soon made his way to the kitchen and his meager meal. He would have to see about building a garden and finding food soon.

Munching on a stale muffin he had snagged before he left Hogwarts, Harry smiled in greeting as he spotted the youngest of the citizens, "Good morning Flys Brightly."

"And a good morning to you Speaker," Flys Brightly returned with a wag of his tail as a greeting. "Where are you off to this early?"

Swallowing the last of his muffin, Harry ignored the growing hunger pangs and smiled at the beautiful Quetzalcoatl. " I'm off to explore , " he told him. " I need to find a place to garden and maybe find some food. I'll soon run out even rationing it like I am ."

Narrowing his eye slits, Flys Brightly heard the grumbling of the speaker’s belly. He had very good hearing after all. Flapping his feathered wings, he launched into the air from the tree branch he had curled himself around, " Follow me. I know where some ripe fruit is this morning and a snack sounds delightful." Leading the speaker to the old gardens a few streets over, he zoomed up and using his tail as a bat and soon had several types of fruit falling towards the ground. " Take your pick Speaker, all of this is quite good and sweet."

" Thank you," Harry said with a grin as he rushed to gather the fruit. Pulling his shirt out in front of him, he piled it up so he could carry it back to the house. Handing out one of the juicier fruits to Flys Brightly he said, " Here let me help you so you don't have to land."

Chuckling, Flys Brightly shook his whole body no, " That is for you Speaker, I will grab mine as I fly by," he said as he zoomed up and snatched one of the fruit as he passed by.

Laughing, Harry started to eat the fruit he had held up as he enjoyed watching Flys Brightly dive bomb the fruit and snatch it out of the air. Full finally after several fruit he waved, "I'm going to take this back to the house for later. Thank you."

Watching the speaker walk away, Flys Brightly hovered in the air a moment before deciding to inform Eldest One of the lack of food the speaker was suffering from. Zooming away towards the greedy ones’ old home, he zipped through the door and down the chamber into the maze of tunnels leading down. Zipping in and out of structures holding the roof up, he soon flew into a large lit chamber and zipped in and out of the trees and plant life that had been planted and cared for over the years.

Walking back into the house, Harry placed the fruit on the counter and went to one of the open shelves and pulled down a bowl so he could put the fruit into it. Going back outside he glanced at the backyard, there was not a lot of room to build a garden there he thought. Going around the side of the house he once more found himself on the street in front of the house he had been given. Looking around, he headed off to the right this time, there looked like a park area not too far away. That might work depending on what was planted there.

Staring at the strange terraces in the park, Harry wondered why the area was terraced, instead of planted with trees and grass. People couldn't play or laze about the way it was now. There had to be reason he thought as he moved to the edge of one of the terraces and pulled a few of the overgrowth away. Seeing the rich dark soil, he was beginning to think this was not a park. Moving over to sit on one of the stone posts, he stared out over the terraces, with a little work this would be a perfect place to grow plenty of vegetables. Which brought to mind another problem he overlooked. With a sigh, he stared around and wondered if this was a good idea after all. He knew no gardening spells, he had no seeds or vegetable starts and above all, he only had brought a few days’ worth of food with him, he could stretch it out to a week, but after that he would go hungry.

Appearing above the bank, Eldest One quickly spotted the speaker sitting near the western terraces. Glancing to either side of him, to all his people who had joined him when he flew out of the nesting cavern, he ordered, "Food animals need to be gathered. Food plants need to be brought in. I lay blame directly on myself for not making sure the speaker has what he needs to thrive." Looking at Swift Wings he said, "Bring the Wizard healer here. The speaker needs others of his kind. He cannot be much of a ruler of empty lands after all."

As his brethren scattered to do as ordered, Eldest One looked at Flys Brightly and told him, " Come. You shall be the companion of the speaker . You both shall learn the history of this place together."

Flying quickly to where the speaker was resting, Eldest One landed in a large tree near enough he could be heard, looking at Flys Brightly he said, " We shall speak the speaker’s peoples language, which you must learn."

Swiveling around when he heard Eldest One speak behind him, Harry smiled as he saw his two favorite Quetzalcoatl resting in a large branching tree. "Good morning Eldest One," he said as he made sure not to look Eldest One in the face so he would not fall into Parseltongue. "I have a question if you don't mind," pointing to the terraces behind him he asked, "what were these strange terraces used for? I thought it was a park at first, but now I'm not sure."

"You are correct Speaker, this was not a park," Eldest One replied as he wiggled around to settle his bulk in the tree. "You sit near the Western Terraces. These shelves were used to grow some of the food plants the people would eat. There are three other terraces that were used to grow food stuffs." Using his tail as a pointer he said, "There were scattered fruit groves throughout the city, Flys Brightly took you to one this morning." Looking at the speaker he said, "I must apologize for not making sure you brought food with you, so I could direct you to where food could be gathered."

"Eldest One," Harry sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. "It is not your fault I did not bring enough with me. I have enough to last a few days, longer now that I know where to gather fruit. I can make a bargain with Gravelthorn when he comes back tomorrow to bring in supplies. When I needed to escape, I could not fully plan and bring what really was needed without letting people know I was leaving. People who would have done their best to stop me."

"Regardless," Eldest One told him, "a simple mention on my part would have you directed to food. I have sent my people to bring back food and Swift Wings to bring back the local Wizard healer." Looking past the shimmering dome in the far distance he said, "You need to interact with people like you, lest you go mad. Swift Wings has reported over the years the kindness the Wizard healer has shown him. The local people have no magic, and he has traveled far from the Wizards in the lands to the south to heal from a great loss."

Listening intently, Harry leaned forward as Eldest One picked up his story after looking back from the far jungle.

“This city, built in near the tip of the great river and the lands of the North. This land was the meeting place and trade center of the Magicals of the North and South. Centered between the two this land stood for many long years as a place of neutral ground." Looking at Harry he said, "And with the return of the heart of magic and you as the ruler of these lands, it can again."

Tail pointing towards the center of the city towards the tallest building that housed the heart, Eldest One told them, "The buildings’ shape were taken from the Magicals of the north, what non-Magicals call the Aztec. The city layout was taken from the Magical people of the jungle river, the Mayans. And finally the gardens and layout of food growing area was brought by the southern Magical, the Incas." Turning sad and scales paling, he said, "At one time, before the plague, this city was the height of the Magical world. After the plague, this part of the world fell into madness."

"Who," Harry frowned as he finally asked, "brought the plague to the city?"

Blinking as he focused on the here and now and not the memory of his youth, Eldest One answered, "It was twofold. It took the thief stealing the heart of Magic from the city, removing the protections and the foreign wizards who unleashed the plague as a means to conquering the people. They learned too late that they could not stop what they unleashed, as they too fell victim to the plague." Staring at the speaker he told him, "From what I have learned since then, the wizards were part of the old Spanish Wizarding people of the time."

"I see," Harry said as he grabbed his knee so he could lean back without falling over. Thinking about what he had been told, he looked around the city that he could see from here and thought it was a wonderful dream to bring the city back to its former glory. To do that he would need to let people live here. People who would look down at him as a child to be told how to do things. And after the life he lived so far, he was through with people telling him what to do.

Seeing the speaker consider his words, Eldest One lifted his head when he heard Swift Wings call. Tilting and rolling his upper body so his head looked backwards he listened to the message. Nodding his head as he returned to looking at the speaker he said, "Swift Wings returns. He brings the Wizard with him. Come," he said as he untangled his body from the tree and launched himself into the air, "we must meet him, so you may let him through the wards."

Letting his leg go and standing up, Harry followed behind Eldest One as he flew slowly through the streets towards the jungles edge. A thirty-minute walk had him stopping this side of a shimmering curtain, staring at the strangely dressed Wizard who froze when he spotted him. He knew that Wizards had no fashion sense and came up with the most bizarre robes, but this man took bizarre to the extreme.

Chuckling as he spotted the expression on the young one staring at him, Alphonse told him, "The local tribe I interact with refused to come for healing unless I dressed the part of witch doctor."

Shaking his head slowly, Harry did not wonder at the man speaking English to him instead he said, "Unbelievable." Still shaking his head, he looked over his shoulder at Eldest One and asked, "Besides the enjoyment you got out of watching me be shocked, was there a reason why you asked the local Witch Doctor," he grinned as he said the man’s title, "to visit?"

Reaching out and touching the shimmering field, which was solid under his touch, Alphonse said in wonder, "I thought the city of the lost killed all who entered."

"It's been cleansed," Harry replied without taking his eyes off of Eldest One.

Smiling, Eldest One said as he looked at the speaker and said sticking to English, "Speaker, you said that in the language of my people, not yours."

"Sorry," Harry said as he glanced over his shoulder to the shocked man. "The city has been cleansed, the Magical plague is gone and the protections brought up." Looking back at Eldest One, he focused his attention on the lower body and asked, "The question remains, why have Swift Wings bring the healer?"

"So you may deal for foodstuffs and people." Eldest One said carefully. He knew intimately what the speaker went through in his short life and had to tread carefully. "You will need teachers to teach you to use your magic properly. And this Wizard is trustworthy according to Swift Wings."

"I see," Harry said without emotion. Turning around to face the wizard he asked, "I'm surprised to find a wizard in the jungle of South America that speaks English."

"I apprenticed as a healer with St. Mungo's in London," Alphonse smiled as he saw the young man relax. "I am Alphonse, may I know the name of the master of the lost city?"

Nodding, Harry told him, "I have many names and titles where I come from, but you may call me Harry." Glancing back at Eldest One who gave a nod he asked, "How do I let him in?"

"Simply reach out and offer him your hand. When he grasps your hand keep hold as he walks through the ward," Eldest One said with joy in his voice.

Reaching through the shimmer, Harry allowed Alphonse to shake his hand. Instead of letting go he held on as the man walked through the ward. "Welcome to the city Arttia, as my account manager calls it."

"I am thrilled to be here," Alphonse said with a grin. "I have explored as close as I dared for years as I healed the locals of their minor ailments. I always wondered why the city was empty and the winged ones kept me away."

"They wanted to make sure the plague did not leave the city and destroy the Magical world," Harry said as he motioned for the man to follow him into the city. Walking towards his house he spotted Flys Brightly hovering near him and Eldest One not too far away, so he felt safe enough.

Almost to his house, Harry stopped mid-sentence as he spotted one of the Quetzalcoatl flying by with a goat bleating in fear in its coils. Blinking to see if what he was seeing was...looking at Eldest One he said, "Did one of your people just fly by with a goat? A stolen goat?"

Laughing, Eldest One was quick to assure the speaker, "Stolen, no. It was one of a few that escaped a few years ago and thrived in a nearby clearing. And yes, Speaker, that was a goat in Dives Recklessly's coils."

"Okay," Harry said with a touch of hesitance in his voice as he watched the goat fly past. "Back to your question," he said after the goat disappeared from sight. "I'm not sure if Gringotts will reopen. I guess that all depends on how well the deal I have with them goes through tomorrow."

"Deal?" Alphonse asked slowly as he tried to figure out why Harry would have a deal with the Goblins. From his interactions with the bankers, they were a surly lot that despised wizards.

Nodding his head as he took a right and entered his courtyard, Harry waved a hand at the outside table and took a seat before replying. "Goblins as a people are driven by gambling and the art of the deal. Most Wizards I've observed, might grumble and complain, but when the Goblins name a price of fee for a service they rarely haggle. And Goblins refuse to respect anyone who cannot haggle." Laughing, he told him, "The first time I met a Goblin he spat out a fantastical fee for digging through the banks records to recover my parents’ wills." Looking at Alphonse who was looking at him intensely he smirked, "I told him he was crazy if he thought I was gullible. I countered with a price way lower than what he quoted. It shocked him," he laughed again.

"From there we got into a heated exchange of insults as he haggled the price. At the end when he yelled out Deal, he broke into laughter and told me it had been far too long since he had such a good haggle session." Harry grinned at the memory. Leaning forward he said, "I watched the Goblins interact with Wizards the first time I went to the bank and Hagrid was digging in his pockets for my key. A man I don't trust kept it from me while I was locked up in the non-Magical world. Lucky for him, he never stole from me, I would not have bothered haggling with the Goblins for a war party to get back my things." Remembering something he observed he added, "And it’s not haggling if insults are not traded, you have to remember that."

"You did not trade insults as you made you deal with the Goblin yesterday, Speaker, why not?" Eldest One asked, curious to find out the answer.

"That," Harry said as he looked at Eldest One with a grin briefly so he did not fall back into Parseltongue, "is because we were making a deal. I initiated the deal, so it was up to the Gravelthorn to start to haggle. Gravelthorn should have initiated the start of the haggling, but he was so shocked and off center he accepted without haggling. Which lets me know how desperate they were for this deal to go through. He would have done anything, given anything for that deal to be brokered."

"Interesting," Eldest One said at the same time Alphonse said, "unbelievable."

Looking up at the sky, then casting a quick Tempus charm, Alphonse regretfully said, "I must be going. I will be able to visit the Wizarding district in Ultan Ha, day after tomorrow. I should be able to buy what we talked about and bring it back in a dimensional trunk easily enough."

"Do you think it is going to cost more than fifteen galleons?" Harry asked as he scrunched his face up with a worried expression. "If so, my money won't be transferred over until tomorrow."

"I am unsure," Alphonse said as he raised a hand, "but you may pay me back upon my return. I have more than enough coin to cover the cost temporarily." Standing up he bowed to, "Great One. It has been a privilege."

"Flys Brightly shall escort you back to the ward line so you can travel back by magical means," Eldest One said as he switched from English. "Speaker, please retrieve your broom, I wish you to visit our nesting ground before the greedy ones come tomorrow. So you know where the chamber that will hold your riches will be."

Nodding, Harry rushed into the house to retrieve his broom and wand. After talking about the wards with Alphonse and Eldest One on the way to his house, he knew it was safe to perform any type of magic he wished without being discovered.

Seeing the speaker with his broom, Eldest One launched himself out of the tree and laughed as he said, "Come, catch me if you can."

Grinning at the challenge, Harry jumped on his broom and launched into the air, whooping for joy as he performed a barrel roll as he climbed in height. Straightening out, he spotted Eldest One heading to the right and leaned forward and urged his broom on. Catching up quickly as his laughter filled the air.

Following Eldest One through the hole in the roof of the bank, he zipped down the tunnel they found themselves in, staying within touching distance of Eldest One’s tail the whole time. Spotting the glowing plants as they went deeper, giving light so they could see, he slowed down to a stop as they entered a huge chamber.

Sensing the speaker was no longer following him, Eldest One flipped around and saw the look of wonder on the speaker’s face. Moving over and hovering next to the speaker he said, "This chamber used to be used by the greedy ones to grow food, train and to fight battles with themselves. Now we use it as our nesting grounds." Pointing to one side with his tail he said, "That tunnel over there, leads to the homes, school and buildings of the greedy ones. That is the area they may take from." Lowering himself so he was hovering over the ground he turned and pointed behind them, " That is the tunnel they must come through to get to their old nesting grounds. They must pass through our nesting grounds to reach them."

" And they must pass through your nesting grounds to reach..." Harry suddenly realized something. " You have eggs in nests that are healed from the plague now don't you?"

"Yes," Eldest One said. Then changing to a growl he said, " We will defend our unborn if they are endangered."

"As you should," Harry said as landed and set his broom on his shoulder. "How far down the tunnel until we would reach the chamber you mentioned, the one to be my new vault?"

Eying the tunnel, Eldest One glanced back at his body and replied with, "Two hundred and fifty of my lengths. The chamber is across from the tunnel they must come through. If you continue past the chamber, you will enter the tunnels of the bank itself. Many doors are in the walls as you go up."

Closing his eyes, Harry asked as he brought up the issue Alphonse had, "Do you think I should let people who had vaults here before the plague take their stuff back? You told the Goblins everything was mine."

Doing an undulating wiggle, his peoples version of a shrug, Eldest One replied, "It is yours to do with as you wish. If you wish to give it back do so, my people do not need shiny things or books and trinkets."

"And I have more than enough of my own," Harry said with a nod. "I'll be back, I want to check out the chamber and make sure I know the lay of the land."

"I will wait here, if Flys Brightly returns quickly, I will send him after you," Eldest One said with a nod as he moved over to a tree and settled himself into its branches.




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