Chapter 28 : Paxus
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Indeed you did, Harry Potter, said Eve's voice from the air. And now, it's time.
“Time for what?” asked Harry in confusion.
Time, answered Eve, to finish Dominion.
Harry looked at Dominion. The dragon was sniffing at the air, eyes gazing unseeingly, apparently searching for Eve. “Well,” said Harry, “I don't really think Dominion needs any changing. Except maybe his eyes, but he can use my vision for that.”
“And if you happen to be in a dark room with no light?” inquired Eve gently. “Your eyes are useless in blackness.”
“I can use fire to help me,” declared Harry. “I have the elements, remember.”
Eve's voice sighed gently. “Harry Potter, trust my words,” she said. “He will need his eyes. Vision is a crucial tool to have during the upcoming struggles you both will face.”
“Struggles?” echoed Harry. “What struggles? And how exactly will you give Dominion vision?”
“My struggles with the dragon required that I give up my body to destroy the beast,” explained Eve wearily. “All I have left of myself is some power...and the ability to form an image of myself. But nothing more than an image.” As though to prove her point, she suddenly faded into view, a faint picture in the air. She looked down at Harry.
“And...you can give some of that power to Dominion?” asked Harry cautiously. “To enable his sight?”
“It will take more than you might imagine,” Eve said. She looked at Dominion, then back to Harry. “In order to do what is needed, it won't take just some. It will take all of my power.”
Harry gasped. “No!” he said. “He can use my eyes. I'm sure we can find some way to...to...” His words trailed off as he looked Eve, who was shaking her head sadly.
“This, I must do, Harry,” she murmured. “It is the only way.”
Harry shook his head vehemently. “Eve, I...” he said, but couldn't finish. She gazed at him and sighed deeply. “I see what is in your heart, Harry,” she spoke quietly. “And I am touched. But I cannot let Dominion go on as he is.”
Harry looked at the pink dragon, who was straining toward Eve, sniffing the air eagerly, eyes blindly seeking the wraith. Harry knew that there was something more to do for the dragon, but he wasn't willing for Eve to destroy herself in order to do it. As he turned back to the Twilight Dragon, however, he saw that there was no convincing her otherwise. He shuddered, then turned away.
“Then do it,” he said gently. “Do it, if you have to.” He closed his eyes, so he wouldn't have to see.
“In just a moment,” she said. “There is one more thing you each need to know.”
Harry turned to look, confused. Eve had descended to the ground, and though the grass beneath her remained undisturbed, she slumped as though exhausted. “Harry,” she whispered. “Harry, you have allowed yourself to become distracted. Do you see what purpose distraction has?”
Harry involuntarily glanced at the broken manor, and at the bodies of his aunt and cousin, still and staring. “Yes,” he said. “It's...cost me a lot.”
“Precisely,” answered Eve, her eyes studying him. “You lost three precious people. While some may not have fought for you, another still did, and for that, they lost their lives.” Harry looked at his feet, feeling miserable.
“I say this not to torment you,” continued Eve, “but to point out, and make you fully realize, the consequences of your rash decision. From this point onward, you must hold in mind your sole objective to help bring this war to an end. Do you know what that is?”
Harry slowly raised his head to meet her gaze. Gold and green found each other, and held. Harry nodded in understanding. “Dominitus,” he whispered. “I have to find him and destroy him.”
Eve nodded as well. “Everything you do must be to further your advantage in this war,” she said. “Help others if you must, but be sure that the aid which you give also takes you a little further along the road to the dragon of dusk.”
Harry frowned, thinking. Dominitus had sought the egg which contained Dominion, but now that Harry and his friends had Dominion, his new goal was to slay the group and regain the baby dragon. All that fighting, all the lives lost, due to Dominitus. Yes, in order to stop the killing and the destruction...Dominitus had to die.
He glared at Eve. “That's the only way,” he snarled. “The only way to end it all.”
She smiled softly. “That,” she said, “is the answer needed. And the resolve required. Now, it is time for you to make your way to Dominitus...and perhaps train along the way.”
Harry nodded slowly as Eve turned to Dominion. “Before I do this,” she said, “there is something that Aequitas desired of me. He made me swear that I would fulfill his wish, should circumstances reveal that his desires were in order. He asked that, if you displayed no will to follow in your father's footsteps, and were instead of the heart to fight for that which is good and true, I was to change your name. He believed in the power of names, you see, and realized that to have a name associated with the Dragon of Dusk was to risk your heart being corrupted. Thus, he bade me bestow upon you a name that would reflect the nature of your soul, of that which you stood for, and strove to protect. Your actions here, and over the sea, show clearly that that you are meant to have the name which Aequitas had ready for you. And that will come with the power I shall grant you.”
Dominion's eyes shone with wonder at this news. “A new name...for me?” he asked in a trembling voice. “What name is this?”
“You will know,” Eve responded, “when you have my power.”
And with that, she hunched over, as though concentrating her being on the center of her body. She shook, her claws clenching. Her hind paws dug into the earth, but left the soil unharmed. Her flesh trembled, and she slowly straightened, until she was upright. With a ghostly roar, she flung her wings and limbs out, towering over Harry. Dominion swung his head this way and that, trying to figure out what was happening.
A strong gust pushed against Harry, swirling around the Twilight Dragon. She swayed, caught up in the vortex of energy whirling with her at the center. Dominion perked up, clearly sensing the power surging from Eve. The air around Harry began to glow, the glow getting stronger near Eve. She lowered her head slowly, gazing down at the pink dragon, who was now peering in her direction.
“I bestow upon you, Dominion,” thundered Eve, her voice magnified by the power thrumming in her, “the power within me!” Her entire body blazed to life, shining like a star. She leaned over Dominion, her eyes glowing with an eerie white light.
“ARISE, PAXUS!!!” she boomed, and collapsed upon him, engulfing him in a ball of brilliant light.
Harry squinted, but couldn't see into the radiant orb. Waves of air gushed off of it, blowing his hair back, and whipping his clothes around. Holding out his hand, he could sense a warmth radiating from it. Light wavered and pulsed on the remains of the mansion, and light the bodies with a flickering luminescence that made Harry very uneasy.
Noticing the light getting brighter, he turned and watched the ball become like a miniature sun, then explode, sending a shock wave across the area. Abruptly, the light was sucked inward, draining into Dominion, who was quivering fiercely, as though very frightened.
Slowly, the wind died down, as did the radiance, leaving dominion shaking. Looking closely, Harry could see that dominion was noticeably larger. As the dragon raised his head, Harry saw that its eyes were now pink, instead of white.
Dominion turned his head to look at Harry. “Paxus...” he whispered to the boy. “I...like it.”
“Paxus?” asked Harry. He remembered Eve crying it just before giving herself to Dominion, but hadn't really paid attention. Now, though, he realized. “That's your new name?”
Dominion, now Paxus, nodded. “It means 'peace' in Latin, I think,” he muttered. “A very nice name for me.”
“Peace,” Harry murmured to himself. A memory floated to the front of his mind. Wielder of Peace, Eve had said. Harry's eyes widened, as he realized what she had meant. Then he thought of the prophecy Fortunato had told them. “I guess I'm the one the prophecy referred to,” he said softly. Paxus blinked curiously, and Harry said, “Eve once called me the Wielder of Peace, and a prophecy that talks about this whole war mentione the Wielder of Peace. Well, it looks like that Wielder is me.”
Paxus nodded, then looked away. “I think it is time we left,” he urged Harry. “We have somewhere to be. Collect your aunt and uncle, then let us be gone.”
Harry walked over to Dudley and picked up his wand, carefully avoiding looking directly at his dead cousin's face. Remembering Grindelwald, and how he had been transfigured, Harry turned Dudley into a quill, and did the same with Petunia. After a small hesitation, he slipped the two quills into his pocket, then returned to Paxus. The dragon motioned toward his back with his head.
“We find Hermione and Narcissa. Then we're off to London, right?” inquired Harry after jumping onto Paxus. The dragon nodded.
“Why?” asked Harry. “Are things bad there?”
“Dire, according to what little Eve told me.” answered Paxus grimly. “Very dire indeed.”
Harry said no more, as they flew off in search of their friends, and whatever else lay in store for them.
Their passing created a wind that stirred burnt pile of refuse lying on a nearby hill, but Harry dismissed it with a glance.
Dire.., Harry thought. Well, no surprises there. Bad luck, certainly, but no surprises. After all...
There was war at hand.
in the next chapter...
She snarled viciously. “The next time we meet, that boy is mine!” a cold, high note crept into her voice, and her eyes flashed scarlet. “One way or another, I will have his blood on my hands!”
She shivered, closing her eyes, and when she opened them again, they were her normal, brown eyes. “It wouldn't do to be overly hasty about this,” she muttered. “Haste brings about mistakes, and that we can't have.”
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