Ash Potter and the Tesseract
By King Ryan Huffman
Disclaimer: I don't own anything concerning this story, save for my original characters and subplots and that is it. Okay?
Chapter three: Plans for Erebor
Soon, the door was opened and in front of the house was Thorin, himself, who still looked like he had when the Dragon, Smaug, took Erebor from his family...though there was some hint of grey in his hair.
"Genie...I thought you said this place would be easy to find on a good ship. I lost my way, twice. I wouldn't have found it at all, had it not been for that mark on the door." Thorin said as he took off his cloak.
"There's no mark on that door. It was painted a week ago!" Peter stated in annoyance.
"There is a mark on the door. And I placed it there myself, Peter." Genie said, then turned to Ash and spoke.
"Ashton Ketchum, allow me to introduce the leader of our company: Thorin Oakenshield." Genie said as he introduced the King-in-Exile of Durin's Folk to the unknowingly Boy-who-lived.
"Well, well, well...Ash Ketchum...we meet at last." Thorin said with a look of inspection.
"Uh...nice to meet you, too, Thorin." Ash said sheepishly.
"Likewise...tell me, Ashton...have you done much fighting?" Thorin asked seriously.
"Uh...excuse me?" Ash asked in confusion.
"Ax or sword? What's your weapon of choice?" Thorin asked bluntly.
"Well...I've never actually done any fighting at all, but if I had to choose...well, I'd choose a sword." Ash answered honestly, much to the Dwarf King's approval.
"Excellent choice, Ash. Genie, you have done well. Soon...one day, he'll become our official burglar." Thorin said with a smile.
Soon the Dwarves went into the dining room to discuss some important matters.
"What news from the meeting at Ered Luin? Did they all come?" Balin asked the King.
"Aye. Envoys from all seven Kingdoms." Thorin answered.
"All of them!" Balin said, much to the excitement of the other Dwarves.
"And what did the Dwarves of the Iron Hills say? Is Dain with us?" Dwalin asked Thorin in concern.
For Dain Ironfoot was kin and cousin to Thorin and his most powerful Dwarf ally, if Dain were on the side of the Dwarves of Erebor...then they'd have a great chance against the might of Smaug.
However, Thorin's sorrowful look gave Dwalin his answer.
"They will not come. They say this quest is ours and ours alone." Thorin said as he drank from his mug.
"You're going on a quest?" Ash asked curiously.
"Aye...that we are." Thorin answered.
"Uh...Ashy boy? How about a little more light here, please?" Genie said as Ash turned on the lights.
Genie then got out a map that showed Erebor, the Lonely Mountain...which surprisingly had a picture of Old Smaug on it, and there were runes on the map.
"Far to the East...over ranges and rivers...beyond woodlands and wastelands...lies a single, solitary peak." Genie explained as he showed the map to the Dwarves and Ash.
"'The Lonely Mountain.'" Ash read.
"Aye, Oin has read the portents and the portents say it is time." Gloin said.
As Genie lit a match for his pipe, Oin spoke.
"Ravens have been seen flying back to the mountain, as it was foretold. 'When the birds of yore return to Erebor...the reign of the beast will end.'" Oin said.
This caught the attention of Ash, Mushu, Brian and Peter.
"Beast? What beast?" Peter asked.
"Oh, that would be a reference to Smaug the Terrible...chiefest and greatest calamity of our age. Airborne fire-breather. Teeth like razors, claws like meathooks. Extremely fond of precious metals." Bofur explained.
"Yes, I know what a Dragon is. No offense, Mushu."
"None taken." Mushu shrugged.
Ori got up from his seat and spoke bravely.
"I'm not afraid. I'm up for it. I'll give him a taste of Dwarfish iron right up his jacksie!"
"Good lad, Ori!" Nori said to his brother.
"Sit down." Dori said, putting Ori back in his seat.
"The task would be difficult with an army behind us. But we number just thirteen. And not thirteen of the best...or brightest." Balin said, much to the annoyance of Nori.
"Here! Who you calling dim?"
"What did he say?" Oin asked.
"We may be few in number...but we're fighters, all of us, to the last Dwarf!" Fili said as he pounded the table with his fist.
"And you forget that we have a Genie in our company and Ash Ketchum, himself. Genie will have killed hundreds of Dragons in his time- no offense, Mushu."
Mushu boringly read a newspaper as he nonchantly replied back.
"None taken, Kili."
"Well, no. I'm not that kind of spirit, Kili. Genies can't kill. It's a Genie rule." Genie admitted.
"Are you sure? You've never killed a Dragon in your life? No offense, Mushu." Dori said.
Then a bit of an argument commenced among the Dwarves, until Thorin called out in Dwarvish to calm his fellows down and Ash was listening in.
"If we have read these signs, do you not think others will have read them too? Rumors have begun to spread. The Dragon, Smaug, has been seen in many years. Eyes look east to the mountain, assessing, wondering, weighing the risk. Perhaps the vast wealth of our Kingdom now lies unprotected. Do we sit back while others claim what is rightfully ours? Or do we seize this chance to take back Erebor?!" Thorin asked, causing most of the Dwarves to cheer in Dwarvish.
"You forget the Front Gate is sealed. There is no way into the mountain." Balin said, recounting a certain bit of information.
This caused the Dwarves to quiet down in disappointment.
However, Genie smirked as he pulled out a black key and spoke.
"That, my dear Balin, is not entirely true."
Thorin looked at the key in shock and surprise.
He recognized it as this particular key belonged to his father, Thrain.
"How came you by this?" Thorin asked.
"I'm the Keeper of Keys, remember Thorin? It was given to me by Gandalf and by your father. By Thrain. For safekeeping. It's yours now." Genie said as he gave the key to Thorin.
"If there is a key, there must be a door." Fili said in amazement.
"These runes speak of a hidden passage to the Lower Halls." Genie said as he used his pipe to point at the map.
"There's another way in." Kili said with a smirk.
"We'll, if we can find it, but...Dwarf doors are invisible when closed." Genie sighed as he spoke again.
"The answer lies hidden somewhere in this map, and I don't have the skill to find it. But...there are others in the Realm of Magic who can. The task that Gandalf and I have in mind will require a great deal of stealth and no small amount of courage. But if we are careful and clever, I believe that it can be done." Genie said.
"That's why we need a burglar, Genie." Ori stated.
"Hmm. And a good one, too. An expert I'd imagine." Ash said.
"And are you?" Gloin asked the boy.
"Am I what?" Ash asked in confusion.
"He said he's an expert! Ha ha hey." Oin said with his ear horn in his right ear.
For it was a sad fact that old Oin was hard of hearing.
"Me? No, no, no, no. I'm not a burglar. I've never stolen anything in my life."
"Well, I'm afraid I have to agree with young Ashton, here. He's hardly burglar material." Balin said.
"Well, you got that right, Balin." Ash said.
"Aye, the Wild is no place for young lads or gentle folk who can neither fight nor fend for themselves." Dwalin agreed.
Then the Dwarves started arguing again, much to the annoyance of Genie who began to shout.
"Enough! If Gandalf or I say that Ash Ketchum is a burglar, then a burglar he is." Genie said, causing the Dwarves to settle down.
"Ash has lived his life with a Muggle family, so he has the scent of one. Muggles are remarkably light on their feet, just like Hobbits. In fact, they can remain unseen by most if they choose. And, while the Dragon is accustomed to the smell of Dwarf...the scent of a Muggle-born or Muggle-raised Wizard is all but unknown to him, which gives us a distinct advantage. You asked me and Gandalf to find the fourteenth member of this company, and we have chosen Ash here. There's a lot more to him than appearances suggest. And he's got a great deal more to offer than any of you know. Including himself." Genie said before he turned to Thorin.
"You must trust me and Gandalf on this." Genie said to the Dwarf King, who sighed in defeat.
"Very well, Genie. We'll do it your way and Gandalf's way. Give Mr. Griffin the contract."
"We're in. We're off." Bofur said in excitement.
"It's just the usual. Summary of out-of-pocket expenses...time required, remuneration...funeral arrangements, so forth." Balin explained.
"Funeral arrangements?" Peter asked fearfully as he began reading the contract.
Thorin spoke quietly in Genie's ear.
"I cannot guarantee his safety."
"Nor will I be responsible for his fate."
"'Terms: Cash on delivery, up to but not exceeding 1/14 of total profit if any.' Seems fair. 'Present company shall not be liable for injuries inflicted by or sustained as a consequence thereof, including, but not limited to lacerations...evisceration...' Incineration?" Peter asked as if he were reading it correctly.
"Aye. He'll melt the flesh off your bones in the blink of an eye." Bofur said, causing Peter to feel a bit faint.
"You all right, Mr. Griffin?" Balin asked in concern.
"Huh? Yeah. But I feel a bit faint."
"Think furnace with wings." Bofur suggested, scaring the Griffin man.
"Air. I need air."
"Flash of light, searing pain, then poof! You're nothin' more than a pile of soot and ash."
This was the last straw for Peter as he couldn't take any more of this tomfoolery.
"Nope." Peter said before he fainted to the ground.
"Very helpful, Bofur." Genie said sarcastically.
"I'll go. I've always wanted to see what the world was like outside of Quahog and such." Ash said enthusiastically.
"You're sure? It'll be a very dangerous quest, Ash. One from which you may or may not ever come back from." Balin said.
"I'll take that chance. I'll take any chance, Balin. Even if it means taking some time off from Rivendell." Ash said confidentially.
Balin sighed and shrugged his shoulders.
"Very well then. All you need to do then is sign the contract and you're welcome amongst us." Balin stated.
And that was exactly what Ash did.
He got the contract from his unconscious uncle's hand and signed at the bottom and handed the contract to Balin.
"Welcome, Master Ketchum, to the company of Thorin Oakenshield."
Moments later, Balin and Thorin spoke alone.
"We may have the Boy-Who-Lived on our side, but the odds were always against us. After all, what are we? Merchants, miners, tinkers, toy-makers. Heh, heh. Hardly the stuff of legend." Balin said.
"There are few warriors amongst his." Thorin said.
"I would take each and everyone of these Dwarves over an army from the Iron Hills. For when I called upon them, they answered. Loyalty, honor...a willing heart. I can ask no more than that." Thorin stated.
"You don't have to do this. You have a choice. You've done honorably by our people. You have built a new life for us in the Blue Mountains. A life of peace and plenty. A life that is worth more than all the gold in Erebor." Balin tried to reason with the King.
"From my grandfather to my father, this has come to me." Thorin said as he held up the key.
"They dreamt of the day when the Dwarves of Erebor would reclaim their homeland. There is no choice, Balin. Not for me." Thorin said in determination.
"Then we are with you, laddie. We will see it done." Balin said.
Moments later, all the Dwarves were seen near the fireplace humming a tune that was hauntingly beautiful.
Then Thorin sang.
Thorin: Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away
'Ere break of day
To find our long forgotten gold!
Then the Dwarves joined in with their King.
Dwarves: The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night
The fire was red
It flaming spread
The trees, like torches, blazed with light!
Ash was that enamored by the song that he was ready to go on what he expected to be a great adventure.
Author's notes: Well now we know what the Dwarves want with Ash. And don't worry, the Quest for Erebor will be postponed until after Ash's fourth year. In the next chapter, Ash, along with Mushu and Brian, is taken to the Realm of Magic and gets his supplies and meets the sons of Aragorn; Taran, Ryan and Danny, though Danny is actually adopted, along with the whimpering Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Thomas Renfield. And we, in a way, finally discover what happened to Ash's parents and why Ash is famous.
This chapter has references to The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey.
Until the next chapter, please read, review and suggest. Until that time, see ya later, alligators!