Title: A Once and Future King
Fandom: Harry Potter, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Warnings: Canon-typical for Harry Potter
Word Count: 2000
Thursday Picture Prompt: 06/13/19
Summary: Harry takes his sword back and finds out some interesting facts about his family
Harry sat down in front of the stone and stared at the sword sticking out of it. He’d managed to sneak into the Ministry under a disillusionment charm late at night and found his sword on display in the empty in the atrium.
What am I going to do about you? he wondered. His hand tingled as he remembered the feel of the hilt in his grip. At twelve he hadn’t known what he had been holding, but he was sixteen now and aware.
“Damn Dumbledore for insisting I put you back,” Harry hissed. He pressed his lips together and rubbed his hands over his face, ignoring the beard he was letting grow and looked around. The security guard was still somewhere else and he was alone. Shaking his head once, he shrugged. If the Ministry and Voldemort were stupid enough to leave it alone and unguarded, he was going to take the sword back. It was his after all.
But before he put his hand on it, he was going to use the brains that Hermione often despaired of and check the sword and the stone for traps. “Revelio. Insidias lacrimis revelare.”
The spells moved over the two objects before him and revealed exactly nothing. “For fucks sake,” Harry hissed. He was glad Hermione hadn’t come with him because she would have lost her mind at the level of sheer stupid the Ministry was displaying.
Reaching out, Harry wrapped his hand around the hilt of his sword and pulled it free. There was a small sound of metal against stone as the blade came free, but it was easily muffled by a silent silencio. As soon as the sword was clear, he sighed in relief before he tucked it close to his body and walked out of the Ministry and then apparated home.
“Well done, son,” Harry heard in his head as he reappeared in the tent.
“What?” Harry stared around him and confirmed that there was no one in the tent with him. Hermione was shopping in Muggle London, getting food for them. With it just being the two of them, they were going for the familiar foods of their childhoods. Certainly, shopping in Muggle London was safer than going into Diagon Alley for groceries and doing without wizarding foods was no hardship.
“I’m in the sword, kid. Don’t drop me,” he heard. The voice was a gravel-laced baritone and the accent was like nothing he had heard before in his life.
Harry held the sword out and ignored the way his muscles were aching from the weight. “You’re in the sword. Why? Are you like Terrance?”
The snort he heard in his head was amused. “Nope. But we’ve talked over the years. Since I occasionally hide out in him, we’ve learned to get along.”
“I’m glad you two get along, but you still aren’t telling me why you’re in Gryffindor’s sword,” Harry put the sword on the table and stepped back from it. He actually had learned his lessons from the diary in second year. Whatever he was talking to didn’t feel like a horcrux, but there was a great deal that he still didn’t know about magic. Better to be safe than sorry.
“Lad, did they ever tell you who’s sword it was that you pulled out of Terrance’s gullet?” the voice asked. It sounded amused. And he could still hear it, even though he wasn’t touching it.
“For fuck’s sake,” Harry muttered as he eyed it. He moved around the table and checked the small pantry they had put together. There was still some bread and cheese and a few mealy apples. A very spare meal indeed. He could only hope that Hermione managed to get some more.
“You know the elves in Hogwarts will feed you two, right?” the sword asked.
Harry looked over at the length of steel on the table and raised an eyebrow at it. “The new Headmaster might have something to say about that.”
“Snape might have declared himself Headmaster, but he really isn’t,” the sword snapped. “There is no way Hogwarts will accept him and I know I certainly don’t.”
“And that’s supposed to make sense?” Harry asked. He started slicing the bread thin so he could make cheese sandwiches. The apples he would also slice thin. Hopefully that would hide the mealiness.
If the sword could have snorted it would have. “Lad, was my castle to start and even though I’ve lived in this sword for the last eighteen hundred years, it’s still my castle.”
“So you’re Godric Gryffindor?” Harry asked disbelievingly.
“Who’re you talking to, Harry?” Hermione asked as she walked into the tent.
Harry relaxed as the wards confirmed it was her. With her back, he could relax again. “I was talking to the sword,” he said as he waved the hand with the knife in it at the table. “Did you pick anything up?”
“Yes,” Hermione pulled her bag around started unloading it at the pantry. “I still had an account at the same Muggle bank my parents used and I used that to pay for everything.”
Harry grabbed the butter as she pulled it out and turned back towards the stove. Butter, bread and cheese meant grilled cheese sandwiches and maybe…”Did you pick up any tomato soup?”
“I did,” Hermione confirmed. She waved a can at him and smiled as she took the pot from him to fill. “Now, what do you mean you’re talking to the sword? I thought you said it didn’t talk to you the last time you held it?”
“It didn’t,” Harry confirmed. “But this time seems to be a bit different.” He started to explain everything that had happened since they had split up to handle their missions. By the time he reached the end of his conversation with the sword she was standing over it, glaring down at it.
“Are you sure it’s not a horcrux?” she asked as she held one finger over the pommel.
“There is no way I’m a horcrux, lass,” the sword cut in. “Besides, I’m certain you’ve figured out who I am. Terrance mentioned that you’re a very bright girl.”
From the raised eyebrow Hermione was giving the sword, Harry was sure she wasn’t impressed at the Sorting Hat telling tales. “So, if you aren’t a horcrux, what are you?”
”You’ve seen all the lovely animated portraits decorating my castle?” the sword asked. Harry had the impression that someone was waving a hand, trying to encompass the whole insanity that was Hogwarts.
“Yes,” Hermione confirmed as she took a sandwich off the plate Harry set down between them. She took a careful sip of her soup and then set both aside to stare at the jewels in the hilt. “One of these is enchanted to hold you, isn’t it?”
“Very good,” the sword congratulated her. “Gonna take a guess?”
Harry sighed and set his own sandwich aside. He just knew who he was talking to. “King Arthur.”
“Well done, lad. And yes, I am what’s left of him,” Arthur sounded far too cheerful for someone who had been dead for as long as he had been. “It was one of Godric’s grandchildren who carved his name in me and I wasn’t in a position to protest at the time. Godric was one of my grandchildren and from him, your line comes Harry.”
“So when you said that the house elves at Hogwarts would be happy to feed us, you weren’t kidding? And they won’t tell Snape?” Harry asked. He needed to know. Having a steady source of food would take a major worry off of them and would let them use that energy for other things. Like finding the remaining horcruxes.
“Lad, that castle is mine. And through me, yours. Honestly, every single Potter that’s been in there for the last thousand years has had the option of taking the mantle of my title, but they declined for one reason or another. Mostly because they forgot about the title it seems,” Arthur sounded rueful and Harry had the impression of a head being shook back and forth. “Most of your ancestors were happy enough to be the Earl of Gryffindor. Speaking of that, you need to claim the title. Now.”
“Why?” Harry asked. He looked over at Hermione and raised an eyebrow at her.
“You’re sixteen Harry. You are more than old enough to actually claim any title that you are due,” Hermione sounded like she hated agreeing with Arthur, but was because it was the right thing to do. “And claiming it means that you can kick all the Death Eaters out of your castle because Hogwarts was set up in Godric’s ancestral seat. So Arthur’s right. It was his castle, then Godric’s and now yours.”
“Well now,” Harry took a big bite of his sandwich as he thought that one over. If he was in charge of the castle, that would make it easier to search for the remaining horcruxes. The diary had been destroyed in his second year, they had the locket, cup, and ring in a moleskin bag in the tent with them and that left the one in Hogwarts and then the one in his scar. Speaking of…”Do you know how I can get rid of the horcrux in my scar besides dying?”
“Well, you aren’t going to kill yourself to do it, that’s for damn sure,” Arthur snapped. “We can talk to the dverger and see if they still know the art of moving the foul things to a temporary container that can later be destroyed. If they do, we’ll contact them to move it out of you and all the other ones will be moved as well.”
“That sounds too easy,” Hermione commented. She sounded like she was trying to find a flaw in the plan and coming up with nothing.
Arthur laughed, but it sounded humorless. “Lass, the only reason it’ll be easy is if Harry takes up his titles. And then it will only be easier by degrees.”
“So how do I do this?” Harry asked after several heartbeats of silence. “Dumbledore never told me I had a title and I certainly didn’t ask.”
“Neither of us asked a lot of questions about your family, Harry,” Hermione reminded him.
“We’ll fix that part later,” Arthur promised. “Hold out your hand, palm up and using the same level of intent you used to call your elf, say ‘Ego auctoritate mea dici’. Your ring should pop right into place on your palm and then slip it on your right hand.”
“I claim my authority?” Harry translated the phrase and then nodded. Every title was just an easy way to display authority and he had a lot he needed to display. “Alright then. Ego auctoritate mea dici!”
Three rings popped into being on the palm of his hand and he goggled at them in surprise. One held the crest of his own family, the second held the crest he associated with Gryffindor and the third held the crest of the Black family.
“Why am I not surprised that you managed to pull all of your inheritances?” Hermione asked, voice dry.
“Because we both know that the Harry Potter Factor is a legit thing,” Harry reminded her. He hesitated for a moment and then sighed as the three rings melded into one. “I didn’t do that.”
“I did,” Arthur admitted. “Put the ring on lad. We don’t have time to waste.”
“Right. Here goes nothing,” Harry shared a speaking glance with Hermione before he picked the ring up and slid it on his right hand. The rush of magic moved through him like a river and he could only breathe through it. It wasn’t quite pain, but it wasn’t pleasant either.
When he opened his eyes after the flood receded he smiled. “Tom is going to regret courting war with the House of Potter.”
The smile Hermione gave him was dark and hungry as Arthur laughed in the background.
Insidias lacrimis revelare – Reveal Traps
Ego auctoritate mea dici – I claim my authority