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Escaping the Elementals
Sev blinked and stared at Harry in confusion.
Could you run that one by me again? he asked, disbelieving. Harry gave him a sheepish look.
The Neolithic Age. I take it you've heard of it?
Of course I've bloody heard of it! Sev exploded, fiercely scowling at the younger man, I can't believe this! I just can not believe this is happening to us!
The Potions Master continued his tirade for a few more minutes, gaining him the attention of the rest of the group and a fair few of their captors. Eventually, Harry had to try and calm the man down before the locals became angry. They had already been captured by them; they didn't want anything worse to happen.
Sev, stop it! We're here, and there's nothing we can do about it! Just calm down, and we'll discuss this rationally!
Rationally? Discuss it? What is there to discuss?! he yelled in reply, not calming at all, We're stuck in the middle of Merlin knows where in a time before recorded history, with hostile people and no sign of civilisation anywhere! What is there to be calm about?!
What's he talking about? Ron called to Harry across the clearing. The vampire suddenly realised that in the excitement he had forgotten to tell the others. It wasn't something he was looking forward to. Opening a mental connection with the rest of the group, he began to explain.
~I've been talking to Myleidi, and from what I can gather based on the elven method of counting time, we appear to be in the Neolithic Era. Sev's not happy~
The others all gave him blank looks for a moment before the situation began to sink in for some of them. Sirius and Ron, though, looked at their friend blankly.
~Neolithic Era?~ Sirius asked, ~I've not heard of that one. What sort of time frame are we looking at?~
Harry looked back at his godfather nervously before giving him his reply.
~I think this time is around 8000BC ~ he sent mentally, bracing himself for the inevitable protestations.
~You're kidding ~ Ron said, sounding beyond shocked.
~I only wish I were, mate~ Harry replied.
Eight thousand BC! Sirius hollered, the news having obviously just sunk in, That's not possible!
I assure you, Black, it is entirely possible, a dejected and now calm Severus grunted.
Nobody asked you, Snape, Sirius growled.
I'm sorry, Black, I thought you posed a question to the group, I didn't realise I was no longer a part of it, Severus sneered at the animagus.
You never were, Snivellus, you've been an outcast since birth.
Really, Black, one would think all those years in Azkaban would have allowed you ample time to come up with new insults. I must have been mistaken.
Cute, Snape, real cute. No wonder you don't have any friends with an attitude like that. I think you should seriously consider a personality transplant.
I've heard it said that we see our own faults in others
Would you two shut up! Remus roared, silencing the arguing pair, I've had enough of the pair of you! We've been here less than a week, and already can't stand to hear your bickering any more. If what Harry tells us is true, then we have a lot of preparing to do, and we don't have time for petty squabbling!
The clearing was silent. The Elementals, who had been going about their everyday lives, had stopped what they were doing to watch the strange creatures they had captured. Myleidi watched the group in stunned silence, trying to figure out what had suddenly upset her new friends. Harry, Glen, Hermione and Ron were both amused and annoyed at the pair. After all, they were supposed to be the responsible adults, and they were the ones causing the most trouble. Eventually, Hermione broke the silence.
You do realise that our book of translation spells is useless, she commented.
What makes you say that? her boyfriend asked.
Well, the spells in it only work on languages as old as the Bronze Age. Anything before that is an unknown, and therefore cannot be translated. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. It would certainly explain why we couldn't use magic to understand the Elementals.
She has a point, Remus agreed, I suppose we're not going to be able to talk our way out of this mess, so does anyone have any suggestions?
We've tried the animagus transformation, and that didn't work. Devil's Snare is pretty tricky stuff; the only way we could get out of it is fire. They hate fire, Hermione mentioned, to which Ron gave her a twisted smirk.
Shame we don't have any wood, eh `Mione?
Shut up, Ron, the brunette grumbled.
We can't use magic, Severus reasoned, recovered from his berating from the werewolf, We can't reach our wands and we can't more our hands enough to do it wandlessly.
True, but I could try and create a fire without gestures, Harry suggested, I couldn't do it before because I couldn't concentrate, but having had time to calm down, I think I can start a fire large enough to free one of us. That's all it will take.
Who are you going to free? Glen asked.
Ginny. She's stuck in her pelican form, and I'm sure it's uncomfortable. She can also use wandless magic, which Remy and Siri can't, so she would be a good choice.
~Go for it~ Harry's wife told him in his mind. With a slight nod, he closed his eyes and concentrated hard. The others watched intently as, after a few minutes, a small flame appeared on the ground in front of Ginny's post. As the flames steadily grew, the Devil's Snare tying her to the post began to loosen, and she immediately transformed back to her human form. Before it could loosen enough for her to move her hands, though, a nearby Elemental ran over, yelling at her in the strange tongue. With a few chanted words, the flames disappeared, and the plant tightened around the youngest Weasley, holding her firmly in place.
The noise of the shouting man had attracted a lot of attention in the village, and the leader came running over. After a quick conversation, the leader called forward more villagers, and they began to dance and chant once more. When they were done, they turned back to their tasks as if nothing had happened.
Well, that was strange, Ginny commented, As least I got to change back, though.
You did, which is good. I'll give it another try, just in case, her husband said, before closing his eyes once more and trying again. This time, though, nothing happened.
It's not working, he said, defeated, They must have done something to prevent fire.
Don't worry, Dad, Glen called from across the clearing, We'll get out, you'll see.
I hope so, Son, I hope so, he replied, before resuming his interrogation of Myleidi.
The day progressed with no further incidents, and it wasn't until the sun began to rise the following day, that the group realised another problem. The morning had been quiet, and the time travellers all woke up after fitful sleeps with sore muscles and stiff necks. As the village began to wake, the group made small talk, Harry continuing to try and find common ground with Myleidi. He was gradually connecting letters and sounds, making it easier for him to understand her when she spoke. The pair was eager to reach a common understanding so that they could best communicate. Myleidi was doing to same as Harry, and gradually they were fashioning a language which combined both of their dialects.
When the first rays of sunlight broke the horizon, nobody thought much of it. After all, it was just the way it went in the morning, darkness giving way to light. It wasn't until around ten o'clock, when the streams of light broke the canopy of the trees and shone down on the clearing that the group realised a serious problem.
Harry and Severus had been discussing a new potion theory when the younger man suddenly gasped in pain and screwed up his face. The Potions Master gave him a quizzical, yet concerned look.
Harry, what's wrong? he asked his suffering friend.
Bugger, Harry muttered, as a thin trickle of blood began to seep out of his nose. By this time, Severus was beyond merely concerned and reaching fully blown worry.
Harry, what's going on? What's happening? he asked, panicked. His question caught the attention of the rest of the group, who looked at their friend in a mixture of shock and fear.
Harry, are you alright, mate? Ron called over.
Just peachy, the dark haired boy gritted out through the pain, Never better.
There's no need for sarcasm, Sirius huffed, We're just worried.
It's nothing, Sirius, Harry said, as a second stream of blood began to fall from his other nostril.
It's not nothing, Dad, Glen yelled, frightened. After all, his father was in a lot of pain and was losing a rather large amount of blood, What's causing it?
The sun, Harry grated out, It's the sunlight.
The others suddenly realised what the matter was. Harry was part vampire, and as such was rather sensitive to sunlight. Normally, as part of his morning routine, he applied a special salve to his skin which offered it protection for the day. The salve was simple and could be brewed in less than an hour from simple ingredients. He had, as usual, been applying it since he arrived in the past. The morning before he had been alright, because his skin was protected. Today, however, the salve had worn off and he hadn't been able to reapply it.
Harry, you need to get into the shade! Ginny screamed, tears streaming down her cheeks. She hated to see the person she loved more than life itself in pain.
I'm aware of that, Gin, Harry gasped, Unfortunately it's not an option!
The boy fell silent, as did the rest of the group. There was nothing more to say. Myleidi watched the proceedings in bemusement. She could see that her friend was suffering, but she couldn't understand why.
The day continued painstakingly slowly, the others in the group remaining silent and watching their friend suffer, helpless to do anything to ease his pain. Around one in the afternoon, Harry let out a loud screech, startling the others. The intense sun beating down from directly overhead had gradually caused his skin to blister, and now it had suddenly burst open in several places, leaving rivers of blood seeping from gashes in his face.
Harry, hang on, Hermione shouted to him, sobbing lightly, The sun will go behind the trees in another hour or so. It's nearly over.
What about tomorrow? Glen asked, causing the others to realise that this would continue for as long as they were there. There was nothing they could do about it.
A little over an hour later, the sun passed far enough across the sky that it was obscured by the trees surrounding them, and Harry let out a sob of relief.
Sometimes he gasped, I hate being a Dark Creature.
You gonna be alright, mate? Ron asked.
Yeah, Ron, my vamp healing should kick in about now. I could sure use some blood right now, though, he moaned.
I guess we've found a down side to your vampirism, Severus commented.
Yeah, I guess. You know, after meeting Vrykolakas, I more or less accepted this part of me, you know? But now, I would give anything to be a normal human again. The extra strength is useful, not to mention the healing powers, but I guess it's not all good, Harry muttered, before falling unconscious. The others watched him sadly as his skin slowly began to heal itself. He had lost a lot of blood, which wasn't good for vampires, so he was healing a lot slower than he normally would.
What about tomorrow? Glen asked.
We'll just have to face it when it comes, Remus said, then stared into space thoughtfully for a few minutes. Suddenly, his head snapped up, and he looked around at the others.
What's wrong, Moony? Sirius asked his oldest friend.
Harry said he sometimes hated being a Dark Creature, and I suddenly realised something. I'm a Dark Creature as well!
One by one, realisation dawned on the others, and they all paled at the connotations. Remus was a werewolf, and in eight days time, the full moon would rise. If they were still in the village, the consequences would be disastrous.
The days passed very slowly for the elf and the time travellers. Every evening, Harry would heal from his wounds, and every day they would reappear. As the days passed and he lost more and more blood, the longer the wounds would take to heal, and by the time the day of the full moon rolled around, his burns no longer healed properly. Scabs appeared, and the skin held together, but the sores remained present all through the night. The day two weeks after their arrival in the past saw Harry very weak and unconscious. The unhealed skin split open by eleven o'clock, and the situation gradually deteriorated throughout the day. By the time twilight came, Harry was almost permanently unconscious.
Throughout the day of the full moon, the Elementals had been extremely busy. As Myleidi had explained on the first day, the so called `nature's children' were preparing for some sort of full moon ritual. The elf had claimed it was evil, so the time travellers were a little apprehensive. The villagers had been excited all day, and kept sending hungry looks in the direction of their captives. They had been gathering vast amounts of firewood and piling it in the middle of the clearing. The afternoon had been dedicated to dressing in primitive costumes and painting their faces with berry juice and animal blood. The scent of blood had been driving the young vampire crazy on the few occasions he regained consciousness.
When the sun finally began to set, the time travelling group, including a groggy Harry, began to get nervous. If Remus got loose, it could be disastrous. After all, his captivity meant that he had not been able to take the Wolfsbane potion. He would be out of his mind during the transformation, and therefore uncontrollable. Before the change began, though, the villagers gathered around the newly lit fire in the middle of the camp. For some reason, the Devil's Snare was protected from the flames, meaning it didn't lose its grip at all. As the prisoners watched, the locals began dancing and chanting, and an eerie drumbeat could be heard echoing around the area. In the middle of the circle of dancing men and women, the flames of the fire turned a ghostly blue, flickering ominously throughout the ceremony. Eventually, the leader stepped forward and looked at the captives, as if deciding which to choose. His eyes landed on a squirming Remus, who was feeling the effects of the full moon beginning to change his body. With a simple gesture, four villagers made their way over and started to untie the vines around the werewolf.
The others watched in horror as Remus was freed. Once he was loose, he fell to the ground and began to writhe in agony. The Elementals grabbed a leg each and began dragging him over to a large wooden pole positioned next to the fire.
Merlin, they're going to eat him! Hermione gasped in horror. Sure enough, the pole appeared to be an enormous spit.
They wouldn't, Ron said, confidently. His grin wavered, though, when he really looked at the scene in front of him. That was the logical conclusion. The nine of them were dinner. Myleidi had been right, the `nature's children' really did perform evil rituals on the full moon
This is going to be bad, Sirius muttered as he watched his school friend beginning to change into a wolf. As he let out a long, loud screech of pain, the villagers dropped him in the dirt and began arguing and pointing. It was obvious they had never seen anything like this before. As the transformation finished and Remus stood up on his four paws, looking around with a rabid gleam in his eyes, the locals seemed to come to their senses and began chanting once again. Before they could perform their unique magic, though, Remus pounced.
The time travellers watched in morbid fascination as their friend proceeded to attack the village ruthlessly. Several of the people were crawling away in pain, suffering from bites and scratches. Most of them had run away into the woods, or had taken refuge in their huts.
We have to do something before he kills anyone, or turns on us! Severus shouted, panicked. He had been afraid of werewolves ever since the Whomping Willow incident in his fifth year, and seeing the object of so many nightmares in the flesh once again wasn't helping.
We're not exactly in a position to do much, Sirius spat, glaring at his rival.
Well I for one refuse to be killed. But by all means, feel free to sit and do nothing, Black.
Stop, before you even start, Harry gasped out, pushing his own pain away and concentrating on the situation at hand. We don't have time for this, we have to get out of here.
And what do you suggest? Glen asked.
I might be able to calm the wolf, Harry said, closing his eyes and concentrating as hard as he could. Mind control was not an aspect of his mental gift he had explored, but the situation encouraged him to get it right. Reaching out, he forged a mental connection with the werewolf and took hold of the primitive mind, forcing it to bend to his will. A sweat broke out on his forehead as he concentrated had to subdue the wild beast. Eventually, he managed to convince the wolf to let go of the villager he had been happily munching on. The poor man crawled away in agony as Harry encouraged Remus to come over towards him.
Severus watched in nervous shock as Harry performed a variation of the Imperius on the werewolf. While not a spell, it had the same effects as the Unforgivable. The Potions Master was even more concerned when the beast began to walk in their direction, its head slightly cocked. He watched in fascination as Remus stood up on his hind legs, front pawn on Harry's vine covered chest, and began gnawing at the plant. After several minutes in which Harry seemed to be becoming increasingly weak, the Devil's Snare fell away, and the wolf began to trot around aimlessly. The Boy-Who-Lived collapsed to the ground, panting heavily and barely holding on to consciousness.
Sev, he murmured, Free them and make them transform. Take care of Myleidi. We have to get out of here.
As soon as Severus nodded, Harry waved his hands slowly but purposefully and destroyed the vines holding the Potions Master. Severus collapsed to the ground as well, his legs unable to support him after over a week with his circulation cut off. As soon as he was free, Severus repeated Harry's actions, freeing the others. By this time, Remus had realised that his mind was free and was about to attack. Fortunately, the rest of the group changed into their animagus forms and managed to subdue the werewolf.
Sev, being the only one still human, grabbed a shaky Myleidi and placed her on Ron's back, before doing the same to Harry, laying him on his son's back. That done, he changed into a velociraptor and led the group out of the clearing and into the security of the forest around them.