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Thread: But For a Sword (A Matou Shinji Series AU)

  1. #101
    [x] What other kinds of adventurers there are in Faerun

    We might as well learn of the different jobs first and foremost.

  2. #102
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] What other kinds of adventurers there are in Faerun




    "That is," Draco amended. "How did others get their start? Surely they didn't all begin with...finding a magic book and exploring an ancient dungeon, did they?" he asked. "Surely Faerūn has people - beings - who call it home?"

    "Yes," Selina acknowledged. "Beings of many races, of which humans are just one, though we are among the most numerous."

    "And the greatest, I'm sure," the pureblood pressed, only Selina shook her head.

    "Oh, there are many powerful human adventurers, just as a function of how many humans there are, but the other races have much to offer as well," the blonde corrected. "For instance, the elves may be...diminished from that they were, yet they still make for some of the greatest wizards in the world."

    If one was watching closely, one would be able to pinpoint the exact moment when Draco's train of thought derailed, which is perhaps why he lost the initiative to a startled Pansy Parkinson.

    "...did you say...elves?" the Ravenclaw questioned, rather taken aback.

    "Yes. They are fey-blooded, after all, of a lineage older than any man," Selina replied sagely, even as Pansy's eyebrows knit together in confusion. "Though the half-elves have the best of both worlds."

    "Half...elves," Draco repeated, his mind numb as he processed that for a moment, imagining just what... "Do you mean half-elf and half-goblin, or--"

    "Half-human," the adventuress supplied, as Draco's expression, like Pansy's and that of every other purebloods in the room, except Lily, went slack.

    "S-surely not!" Draco cried out in protest. "H-half elves? The thought of that."

    "It's a different world," Selina said in response, the cold expression on her features stilling Draco's half-formed rage. "A world which is much wilder than the one we know, where there are great evils to be fought, and there there are champions of darkness, just as well as light." She smiled slightly. "Even those who cannot use magic will fight these evils - spirits, undead, monsters from a long forgotten age, using only their wits and the strength of their arms."

    "Muggles. Really?" Pansy questioned. "How do they...oh, the equipment you mentioned." The girl made the connection, proving that yes, she belonged in Ravenclaw. "Though that can't be it alone, can it? Surely..." she paused. "Just giving a magic sword to a Muggle wouldn't let them face something like a dementor, after all!"

    "No, but it would let an armored fighter deal with an Acromantula pretty handily," Selina noted, at which Pansy opened her mouth, lifting a finger as if to point something out, only to shake her head as she thought better of it.

    "They're not like the soft muggles of the world we know now then?"

    "Not at all," Selina concurred. "In fact, among adventurers who are just starting out, muggles - those who cannot use magic - often do better than wizards and such."

    "How is that even possible?"

    "Well, you said it yourself - we don't have good spells yet," she pointed out reasonably. "More to the point, even someone like you wouldn't be well-suited to the hard life of an adventurer - not yet anyway. Imagine it: sleeping without a bed, preparing your own meals, washing your own clothes - and not knowing the spells to do it, only being able to shape accidental magic."

    "...huh, when you put it that way..." Draco mused, "that makes a lot more sense. So muggles make better adventurers at first because they're not as well off then, and they don't have to save their magic, is that what you mean?" Selina nodded. "Then what about wizards who become adventurers later, who go to school and learn their spells before setting out? Surely Muggles can't stay better--"

    "They don't," Selina confirmed, as Draco let out a breath he wasn't sure he was holding. "It takes a while, but eventually the magic we learn lets us do things that are more potent than the effects granted by the best equipment someone not gifted with magic can use. After all, only magic-users can telepor--apparate and such, right? In the same way, we can divine the future, or fly - which no one without magic can do without our aid."

    "So in the end, magic is still better," Draco murmured, "even if it takes hard work to beat the trickery--"

    "--advantages--" Selina corrected.

    "....advantages of Muggles," the blond boy noted.

    "A lot of it, yes. I won't pretend that the path to becoming a great adventurer is easy. Or that there are any true shortcuts. You simply have to gain the experience, though good equipment can help."

    "And your brother did," Pansy remarked softly. "He was a wizard, yes?"

    "Is," Selina corrected. "Was would imply he isn't one any longer."

    "And the rest of his party? All wizards?"

    Selina laughed.

    "No...that wouldn't work so well," she noted. "Its best to have adventurers of other roles as well, since even if magic can let you do everything, it doesn't mean you should be the one to be doing everything. From each according to their abilities, after all. They have a rogue, who is good at sneaking. A bard, whose songs inspire - and who is a hell of a Fighter. A druid, with powerful nature magic. Even a Paladin."

    "A paladin?"

    "Like a knight, but who uses magic," Selina explained. "Healing magic, mostly. They're more limited than wizards, but they're quite good when you're facing undead."

    "...do you face undead...often in Faerūn?"

    "They're not uncommon, if that's what you mean. There are plenty of ill-meaning necromancers about, and plenty of dead that hold a grudge over how they died." She shook her head. "It would be easier if the only undead we faced were inferi, but...there are all sorts, many more clever and deadly."

    "How--"

    "Probably because Faerūn is a more magical place than the world we know."

    "More magical?"

    "You'll see if you ever go there. Places like Hogwarts...they're not rare there. Things...take on a life of their own." She shook her head. "That's the other reason my brother thought I would be better off going to Hogwarts, aside from learning in relative safety. Because I could see more of what the magic of our world was like, and how it differed."

    "And...?"

    "So far, a wizard is a wizard. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to become great - not if you dedicated yourself to it."

    "And greatness to you is...?" Pansy inquired.

    "Not a desk job at the Ministry, that's for sure," Selina commented.

    "Will you go on any adventures while at Hogwarts?" Draco asked, not too subtly. "Just to keep your skills sharp, that is."

    "Well, there are Quirrell's challenges for me to cut my teeth on, but other than that, I wouldn't mind exploring more of the grounds. How about either of you?"

    "I have always wanted to find something special," Draco admitted. "Especially after Matou found the Bloody Chamber of Secrets."

    Does Draco...? (choose up to two)

    [ ] Offer his services to Selina for the upcoming challenge of Quirrell's
    [ ] Request to join her in the mornings for her training
    [ ] Ask her if he can join her on an adventure
    [ ] Ask if she knows any other adventurers at Hogwarts
    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  3. #103
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Skull Leader's Avatar
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    [X] Offer his services to Selina for the upcoming challenge of Quirrell's
    [X] Request to join her in the mornings for her training

  4. #104
    [X] Offer his services to Selina for the upcoming challenge of Quirrell's
    [X] Request to join her in the mornings for her training

  5. #105
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    [X] Offer his services to Selina for the upcoming challenge of Quirrell's
    [X] Request to join her in the mornings for her training




    Chapter 3. Of Dungeons and Dragons
    Elsewhere on the train, another fateful encounter was taking place, one involving a young man infuriated by a usurper who had stolen everything from him…and the beautiful young woman whose wicked smile had been the cause of his misfortune. He was a noble, born to the highest of houses, with a wand in his hand and a spoon in his mouth. She…was a mudblood, born to those who had not been blessed with magic, and yet somehow she had managed to step into the role which should have been his, while he had been ridiculed, laughed at, made nothing more than her servant.

    …he hated it. Despised it. Despised her.

    If only.

    If only things truly were that simple…but they never were.

    Draco had been forced to confront the complexities of the situation, to confront how inadequate he truly was, both through his failures, as well as through a number of conversations with Professor Quirrell, who had taken him aside after he’d failed the practical portion of his final exam to talk.

    “What are your goals, Mister Malfoy?” the man had asked quietly, but the young boy had been unable to answer, as his mind had been filled with doubts and fears.

    How…how could he – a pureblood – have failed when…when a mudblood passed?

    …and what would happen when his father heard of this?

    “No goals, hm?” the Defense Professor had noted, shaking his head. “You disappoint me, Mister Malfoy. Are you not a scion of the Malfoys? A descendant of great warriors honored even by kings?”

    “…great warriors?” Draco had echoed, as the question had jarred him out of his brooding thoughts. “What do you mean, Professor?”

    “Your line was not always of Britain, you know,” Quirrell had explained, his expression odd.

    “…and how do you know that?”

    “Malfoy isn’t exactly a British surname, you know,” the man had said conversationally. “It’s French for bad faith – or an evil deed, which suggests to me that your family was not only from the continent, but that you were once well-known sorcerers. Powerful ones too, given that any who were not so would not have survived being so well known.”

    “That…that’s just a name.”

    “Ah, but names have meanings, you see,” Quirrell had noted. “What most don’t realize is that what you are called affects who you are and who you grow to become. If they did, your parents may not have named you a ‘Dragon’ of ‘evil deeds’. Not that a dragon who acts in bad faith is much better.”

    “What does your name mean then?”

    “Ah, Quirinus?” the Professor had asked. “In the old Sabine tradition, Quirinus was the name of a war god. In the Roman, it referred to Janus, the two-faced god, the god of beginnings…and endings.”

    “And Quirrell?”

    “That is somewhat more complicated, but it essentially means oak tree – a symbol of wisdom and strength,” the Defense Professor had explained. “Fitting for someone in my position, is it not?”

    They had discussed many things after that, like what Draco could do to make up for his failed practical exam (do a write-up on what he had done wrong, and how he could do better – as well as how he would go about it without magic), his plans for the next year (try to regain his lost position), and what grade he would be put down as receiving (an A, to be changed to an E, if Draco turned in a well-written essay).

    The boy had gone home after that, and had been given much time to think as he wracked his brain to figure out just how he would write something satisfactory – as well as to try to explain to his father why he had only gotten an A in Defense.

    Saying that the class had been strange and more difficult than he imagined, had not worked, with his father saying that this was nonsense – that in his day, professors never coddled children as they did now – and that was when they were qualified, and not glorified Muggle Studies Professors, and if Draco couldn’t get an O, he was no true Malfoy.

    Saying that thoughts of Selina – the strange, worldly girl, who had dethroned him – had distracted him from doing well, had only earned him a scolding, as he was at Hogwarts to cultivate relationships and learn from his classes, not to moon over some girl.

    …especially not some muggleborn.

    Saying that he had tried his best only earned him a frosty look, and an “if that is your best, that is not good enough.”

    And so Draco had holed himself up in his room, seeking solace in the books he’d read when he was a child: tales of heroes of might and magic, champions of wizardkind who had bowed to no muggle, no beast, no lesser being.

    Champions like Merlin.

    Like Morgana.

    Like the mysterious Goblin Slayer, the hero of the frontier, who had struck terror into the hearts of the subhuman brutes he hunted and singlehandedly brought an end to the Goblin War.

    …yes, the one and only Goblin War worthy of the name (and no, the rebellions didn’t count).

    Those stories – the stories of his childhood – stories spoke of these mythical figures as fearless and cunning, as larger than life, accomplishing the impossible through their wits and daring, taming the savage world and bringing it to heel through their arts and their struggles.

    Draco had admired them in his youth, longing to be someone like them – to become someone great like one of them.

    His father had laughed at this ambition though, as he considered ‘adventurers’ – or at least those who styled themselves so in the modern age – to be no more than thieves and rogues, thugs who preyed on the vulnerability and gullibility of one's fellow men, taking advantage of their weaknesses to advance their own interests.

    Perhaps, Lucius had said, something of those books was more than drivel to amuse children, and there was some figment of truth to be found in those tales, but today, there were no such heroes.

    His father had even dismissed Gilderoy Lockhart, renowned as the greatest adventurer of modern Britain, as a huckster and a fraud, a fop whose sole talent was writing pretty sounding lies in those books of his. Draco had never read the man’s books, but from everything he’d heard, Lockhart’s adventurers were just as grand as those of wizards from the distant past, featuring romance, action, cunning, and more…

    …and then Draco had made the mistake of asking if the Death Eaters had not simply been modern day adventurers, given that they had fought as the loyal companions of a great lord, seeking to bring about change, and his father had been livid.

    The Knight of Walpurgis, Lucius had said, had been founded not to take advantage of their fellow men, but to overthrow a system where so many witches and wizards squandered their potential –squandered their magic – were forced to deal with inhuman creatures like goblins as anything close to equals, instead of taking their rightful place as Kings and Queens of Men.

    But the Knights had lost their way, Lucius had said, reveling in the power they held, as their leader – their Lord – had forgotten his purpose, and led his Knights astray.
    And in the wake of that…

    'Father thought so little of me that he insisted I take a diary with me, so I do not forget my own purpose,' Draco groused. He hadn’t spoken to his father since that day, focusing instead on his work – and in the course of writing his essay, and writing to the diary – he’d had a revelation. ‘But I know better than he what my purpose is. To become great, I shouldn’t ignore the mu—Lady Moore. And I certainly shouldn’t oppose her. I should get close to her. Learn her secrets. Find her weakness, so that I might exploit it and use her strength for my own purposes.'

    But how could he do so when she didn't see him as someone worth knowing as more than...than a servant? When she treated him like a house elf – no, less than a house elf?

    So the boy wondered, even as he said goodbye to his mother on Platform 9¾ and boarded the Hogwarts Express…

    It was there all his carefully crafted plans fell apart, for immediately after boarding, he saw her, the girl whose face and voice had plagued him all summer, whose name had burned like fire in his mind.

    Only she wasn’t alone.

    She was with another girl – a blonde that he thought he recognized from the Minister's Ball, with the two of them speaking in French, of all things. Not a language he knew particularly well (or had studied particularly diligently), but not one he was completely unfamiliar with either, given that his mother had stressed the importance of being cultured.

    The two fell silent as they spotted him, with Selina greeting him with a jaunty wave and the other girl merely raising an eyebrow at the sight of him.

    ‘What do I do…?’

    For a moment, Draco nearly froze up, but it was said – or at least it was written – that fortune favored the bold, though he didn't like to think that meant that Gryffindors had some special advantage when the dice were cast. (Though…that would one explain how so many didn't end up killing themselves with the inane – or was it insane? – gambles they took, so…perhaps fortune simply took pity on fools who did not have the cunning and wit to know better.)

    ...now that he thought about it, that would explain why it took none on him, since he really should know better.

    ‘Well, if fate is offering me a chance to redeem myself, I shouldn’t spit in its face.’

    Thus, as the usurper waved to him, he waved back. Surely the us...Lady Selina would not force him to play the part of a servant in front of a new friend.

    "Bonjour!" he called out as he did so, flashing the two a brilliant, Lockhart-grade smile. "Lady Selina. How have you been? And I'm afraid I don't recognize..."

    To his pleasure, Selina waved him over and he quickly did as the lady asked.
    "Lily de Lune," the other girl supplied, holding out her hand, with Draco taking it in one of his and bending as he raised it to his lips.

    "Enchanté, mademoiselle."

    Lily made a sound of amusement as he released her hand and straightened.

    "Malfoy," he said by way of introduction. "Draco Malfoy. I'm one of Lady Selina's close associates."

    “Yes, Selina has told me all about you,” Lily replied with a lovely smile that took the boy’s breath away. “She said you often made her smile.”

    “I’m glad to hear that from a good friend,” Draco answered warmly.

    "Oh, good friends? Is that what we are now?" Selina inquired, her lips quirking into something of a smirk. "I suppose that works. Well, then…friend, you can join us if you'd like," she offered. "We'll just be talking about the summer, with a few of our other...acquaintances joining us."

    "Ah.” That could only be… “Parkinson and her...friends?" Malfoy asked, having kept himself from saying ilk with some great difficulty.

    "Why yes," Selina replied with what he thought was a smirk, though it vanished as he looked more closely. “You don’t have a problem with our...friends, right?" she inquired, mirroring his pause, though perhaps not for the same reason. “I’m sure they want to see you again after the summer.”

    "I, uh, yes, of course," Draco answered, cursing silently as he stumbled over his words as Lily smiled at him. This wasn't like him. This wasn't like him at all. "I would be positively delighted to join you," he added.

    He had no idea why Lily de Lune stifled a giggle at that.

    Honestly he didn't. Really.

    Which was why his ears weren't turning red. At all.

    That was his statement and he was sticking to it.

    So he told himself as they settled into the compartment, with the boy putting his trunk beneath his seat, considering what to say, as others began to file in – his erstwhile friends, who had abandoned him after his…bet.

    Despite his social missteps, though, Draco Malfoy was not exactly what one would call an idiot. As such, he knew that one of the best ways to get on someone's good side was not to snipe at their comrades, but to ask them about something they enjoyed or were good at. In the case of Selina Moore, this meant asking about her adventures - but...where should he start?

    "So, how did you get started as an adventurer?" Draco voiced at last, deciding to start at the beginning. It was a curious thing, really - he'd heard all about some of the grand journeys she had accompanied her brother and his friends on, but then, no one really cut their teeth facing manticores and dracoliches, whatever those were. "Or rather, how did your brother and his friends, since you are a...since magic is...not something that people in your family have had in past generations," he amended, wanting to say Mudblood, but knowing that such would not be well received.

    Indeed, to hurl an insult at her now would not be very conducive to his plan of ingratiating himself to her, of wiling his way into her good graces so he could learn her deepest, darkest secrets.

    The smirk faded from Selina's lips as the girl looked at him, really looked at him, her eyes half veiled by her blonde hair.

    “How did they get started?” she echoed, the smallest hint of a smile coming to her lips. “It all began the day they...came into the possession of a tome written by Lord Gygax," she said softly, her gaze...distant as if recalling something from a very long time ago. "A tome in which he wrote of a place set apart from the world we knew. A place called Greyhawk, and the castle within it. Through that book, they had their first adventures, were carried off to them – as we were whisked away by the Book of Spells."

    "Oh?"

    "It was...a game to them at first,” Selina recalled. “Seeing how they could descend lower and lower into the great dungeon of Greyhawk, and how creatively they could manage it, given the various horrors that lurked within."

    "Horrors?" Draco echoed, raising an eyebrow. "Like what?"

    "Oh, rodents of unusual size – by which I mean horse-sized rats, giant scorpions, and the like."

    "...and mu...muggleborns managed to deal with these?" the boy asked skeptically. "How?"

    "At first, through their wits and through clever use of what little magic they had," Selina related bluntly. "By which I mean not particularly well! The first few times they nearly died to a giant rat...well, it was embarrassing."

    "Embarrassing? Nearly dying is embarrassing?" Draco asked, his voice rising an octave as he imagined how terrible it would be to be gnawed to death by rats.

    "Well, yes," Selina said reasonably. "Wouldn't you be embarrassed if you were killed by a giant rat, instead of a dragon or some such? Do you really want, 'here lies Draco Malfoy, a reasonably good meal to a reasonably good sized-rat' on your tombstone?"

    Lily giggled at this, with Draco gallantly pretending that he had heard no such sound.

    "...I can see how they defeated…those creatures?" he allowed. “But what of more difficult things…like goblins?” he inquired instead. "They couldn't have known any spells! Not if they hadn't gone to Hogwarts yet...or someplace like it."

    "Cantrips. Focusing accidental magic so it did things they wanted, like light up a room, repair things, work like a third hand - things like that," Selina explained, with Draco frowning. It was true that more clever or powerful wizards could do such things without training, but an entire group? "And as they survived, as they delved deeper and faced more difficult things, the book made certain pieces of equipment accessible to them."

    "Equipment," Draco repeated. His eyes narrowed. "You don't mean...enchanted gear?"

    "I do," the blonde answered solemnly. "Swords, staves, robes, armor – all things from Greyhawk, from the world that was."

    "...and when they finished the dungeons of Greyhawk?"

    "That was when they discovered the path Lord Greenwood had opened to Faerūn – an entire forgotten realm of magic and monsters which their trials in the dungeons had prepared them for," Selina noted wistfully. "They've been part of that world ever since, and I was fortunate enough that they shared that world with me, even if I have yet to leave my brother's shadow there. They taught me so much over the years, showed me some of the paths they took to greatness, but I have yet to walk my own. An adventuress cannot simply linger in the shadows of others – she must strike out on her own, forger her own destiny."

    "And you...you chose to become an...Artificer, was that the word?"

    "Indeed. A creator of magical items," the blonde acknowledged. "That I might help equip others who seek to be adventurers and gather my own party. That one day, when I return to Faerūn, joining my brother and his friends, it will be as an equal."

    "Ah..." Draco noted, his eyes widening. "Then...you seek people to join you." He swallowed. “To join your party, that is.”

    "Of course," Selina said with something like a smile. "Are you interested? The road is long and hard, but the rewards may be worthwhile. Riches beyond counting, lore beyond anything in the modern world, adventures that will change you and make you grow."

    "...where would one begin?" he asked. "That is," he amended. "How did others get their start, other than your brother and his friends? Surely, they didn't all begin with...finding a magic book and exploring an ancient dungeon, did they?" he asked. "Surely Faerūn has people – beings – who call it home?"

    "Yes," Selina acknowledged. "Beings of many races, of which humans are just one, though we are among the most numerous."

    "And the greatest, I'm sure," the pureblood pressed, only Selina shook her head.

    "Oh, there are many powerful human adventurers, just as a function of how many humans there are, but the other races have much to offer as well," the blonde corrected. "For instance, the elves may be...diminished from that they were, yet they still make for some of the greatest wizards in the world."

    If one was watching closely, one would be able to pinpoint the exact moment when Draco's train of thought derailed, which is perhaps why he lost the initiative to a startled Pansy Parkinson.

    "...did you say...elves?" the brunette questioned, rather taken aback.

    "Yes. They are fey-blooded, after all, of a lineage older than any man," Selina replied sagely, even as Pansy's eyebrows knit together in confusion. "Though the half-elves have the best of both worlds."

    "Half...elves," Draco repeated, his mind numb as he processed that for a moment, imagining just what... "Do you mean half-elf and half-goblin, or—"

    "Half-human," the adventuress supplied, as Draco's expression, like Pansy's and that of every other pureblood in the room, except Lily, went slack.

    "S-surely not!" Draco cried out in protest. "H-half elves? The thought of that..."

    "It's a different world," Selina said in response, with an almost gallic shrug, the apathetic expression on her features stilling Draco's half-formed rage. "A world which is much wilder than the one we know, where there are great evils to be fought, and there are champions of darkness, just as well as light." She smiled slightly. "Even those who cannot use magic will fight these evils – spirits, undead, monsters from a long-forgotten age, using only their wits and the strength of their arms."

    "Muggles. Really?" Pansy questioned. "How do they...oh, the equipment you mentioned," the girl noted making the connection with what Selina had said before. "Though that can't be it alone, can it? Surely..." she paused. "Just giving a magic sword to a Muggle wouldn't let them face something like a dementor, after all!"

    "No, but it would let an armored fighter deal with an Acromantula pretty handily," Selina noted, at which Pansy opened her mouth, lifting a finger as if to point something out, only to shake her head as she thought better of it.

    "They're not like the soft muggles of the world we know now then?"

    "Not at all," Selina concurred. "In fact, among adventurers who are just starting out, muggles - those who cannot use magic - often do better than wizards and such."

    "How is that even possible?"

    "Well, you said it yourself - we don't have good spells yet," she pointed out reasonably. "More to the point, even someone like you wouldn't be well-suited to the hard life of an adventurer - not yet anyway. Imagine it: sleeping without a bed, preparing your own meals, washing your own clothes - and not knowing the spells to do it, only being able to shape accidental magic."

    "...huh, when you put it that way..." Draco mused, "that makes a lot more sense.” The boy nodded to himself, mulling over the idea in his mind. “Muggles make better adventurers at first because they're not as well off, and they’re used to doing things with their bodies, not with magic they don’t have yet, is that what you mean?" Selina nodded. "Then what about wizards who become adventurers later, who go to school and learn their spells before setting out? Surely Muggles can't stay better—"

    "They don't," Selina confirmed, as Draco let out a breath he wasn't sure he was holding. "It takes a while, but eventually the magic we learn lets us do things that are more potent than the effects granted by the best equipment someone not gifted with magic can use. After all, only magic-users can telepor—apparate and such, right? In the same way, we can divine the future, or fly – which no one without magic can do without our aid."

    "Fly?” Draco echoed. “You mean with a broom?”

    “Oh no, no broom,” Selina noted. “Just you and your magic.”

    “I…” Draco’s eyes went wide at this claim. In recent history, there had only been one wizard capable of unsupported flight. The Dark Lord. “You…you can do this?”

    “Not yet,” the blonde admitted wistfully. “But one day.”

    “Is this…common in Faerūn?”

    “Yes. And for all the skills of those without magic in that land, they have not yet discovered how to fly.”

    “So in the end, magic is still better," Draco murmured, "even if it takes hard work to beat the trickery--"

    "—advantages—" Selina corrected.

    "...advantages of Muggles," the blond boy noted sourly. It wasn’t a thought he liked to entertain, that Muggles had any advantages at all, but…he supposed that since he was riding on a muggle contraption to Hogwarts instead of taking a Portkey or some such, it would be a bit silly and smallminded of him not to.

    That and…Lady Selina was a Muggleborn, so he supposed some good things could come from Muggles…

    "A lot of it, yes. I won't pretend that the path to becoming a great adventurer is easy. Or that there are any shortcuts,” the blonde said softly. “You simply have to gain the experience though quests you take and finish, though good equipment can help, if you are not quite at the level a challenge might normally demand."

    "Your brother…he followed this long road," Pansy remarked softly. "How old is he?”

    “Some years older than me. Not quite old enough to have graduated Hogwarts, though.”

    “And…he was a wizard, yes?" Draco asked.

    "Is," Selina corrected. "Was would imply he isn't one any longer. He’d take offense to that – he’s still a wizard. Not an Archmage yet though."

    "And the rest of his party?” Draco inquired, trying (and failing) not to seem too eager. “All wizards?"

    Selina laughed.

    "No...that wouldn't work so well," she noted. "It’s best to have adventurers of other roles as well, since even if magic can let you do everything, it doesn't mean you should be the one to be doing everything. From each according to their abilities, after all. They have a rogue, who is good at sneaking. A bard, whose songs inspire – and who is a hell of a Fighter. A druid, with powerful nature magic. Even a Paladin."

    "A paladin?"

    "A knight who uses magic," Selina explained. "Healing magic, mostly, though they have a few other abilities. They're…not as versatile as wizards, but they're quite good when you're facing undead."

    Undead…she’d mentioned those a few times, but…

    "...do you face undead...often in Faerūn?"

    "They're not uncommon, if that's what you mean. There are plenty of ill-meaning necromancers about, and plenty of dead that hold a grudge over how they died." She shook her head. "It would be easier if the only undead we faced were inferi, but...there are all sorts, many more clever and deadly. Some of which go on to raise armies of the dead themselves."

    "How—"

    "Probably because Faerūn is a more magical place than the world we know."

    "More magical?"

    "You'll see if you ever go there. Places like Hogwarts...places with a life of their own, they're not rare there. Not as wondrous." She shook her head. "That's the other reason my brother thought I would be better off going to Hogwarts, aside from learning in relative safety. Because I could see more of what the magic of our world was like, and how it differed."

    "And...?"

    "So far, a wizard is a wizard, mostly,” Selina commented. “There’s some nonsense about blood purity and all, but given all the muggleborns, that can’t really be true.”

    Draco stiffened at this.

    “Greatness – just like magic – isn’t something you are born into,” the blonde said solemnly. “It’s something you awaken. Something you hone. Anyone can become great if you dedicate your life to it and have the resources to do so.”

    “Are…are you saying that just anyone can use magic?” Pansy asked, her voice flat with shock. That…that went against everything she knew. Everything she’d ever been taught.

    “Not…just anyone,” Selina responded. “There are those with a natural talent for it, who awaken it easily and to whom the weave of magic is easy to mold. There are those with little talent, who take much longer to awaken, who will never rise as high. There are those with barely any talent, who do not awaken at all. But that is not necessarily a thing of families – of blood. The potential for magic that muggleborns have, as you call them, doesn’t come out of nowhere.”
    “Then what you’re saying is—”

    “—everyone, wizard or muggle, has some potential. Whether it is enough to be used, to ever be awakened, is something else entirely, but as long as we are thinking beings, we can reshape the world.”

    “Reshaping the world, eh?” Pansy inquired. “Is that what greatness means to you...?"

    "Well, it doesn’t mean a desk job at the Ministry, that's for sure," Selina commented. “I don’t see why a self-respecting wizard would let himself – or any self-respecting witch would let herself – be chained down by paperwork. In my experience, paperwork only stands in the way of greatness.”

    A hush fell over the compartment in the wake of Selina’s declaration.

    "Will you go on any adventures while at Hogwarts?" Draco asked after a while, not too subtly trying to break the silence. "Just to keep your skills sharp, that is."

    "Well, there are Quirrell's challenges for me to cut my teeth on, but other than that, I wouldn't mind exploring more of the grounds. How about either of you?"

    "I have always wanted to find something special," Draco admitted, thinking that perhaps – perhaps this adventurer thing might be real, that maybe he could become an adventurer, as he had always dreamed. "Especially after Matou found the Chamber of Secrets in this first year. What next, the bloody Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw?"

    “Now that would certainly be a find, wouldn’t it?”

    "Speaking of which," Draco interjected. "Would you mind if I worked with you for Quirrell's next trial?"

    Selina raised an eyebrow.

    "I didn't do so well last time, and...I was thinking it would be nice to...learn from someone so clearly...experienced."

    "Huh," the blonde noted. "Well, alright, I guess. But follow my lead, ok?"

    "Yes!"

    …perhaps the others in the compartment were looking at him strangely, but at the moment, Draco couldn’t find it in himself to care.

    After all, he was going on an adventure.




    Choose 3 items for Draco for the Archive Run

    [ ] (write-in)
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  6. #106
    [x] Goblin-wrought silver longsword.
    [x] Shield gauntlets.
    [x] Ring of Fireballs.


    I feel like Malfoy is itching for new experiences (muggle tradition didn't sound that bad) while keeping something familiar close to the heart.

    Behold, Draco the Arcane Knight!

  7. #107
    [x]Shield gauntlets
    [x]Ring of Fireballs
    [x]Fiendfyre Potions(4x)

  8. #108
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
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    You know, it is so therapeutic to prune a story of terrible, no-value reviews. Especially when its evident the reviewer never read the story.

    As an aside, are you enjoying the Draco stuff?
    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - A.A. Milne

  9. #109
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    Its good Alf.
    Yeah some people in fanfiction.net never read the other books.

  10. #110
    [x]Fiendfyre Potions(4x)

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