Dream Journal of Harry J Potter
Happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate it.
This dream happens well after Hogwarts. And after Voldy is Moldy.
Hey, I have to find my humor somewhere . . .
"Our next guest needs no introduction."
And yet you're going to introduce me anyway, aren't you?
"He's the defeator of a Dark Lord twenty years ago and registered Master of Defense, Harry Potter!"
See? I knew you would. And Trelawney thought I didn't have any Divination skills.
Obliging the guy waving me out in front of the crowd, I step around the corner and waved at the room full of students. Their polite applause dwindled down sooner than I expected, to my pleased surprise.
Once the noise fell off, I spoke, knowing the amplification field would catch my voice. "Hey, thanks, gang. So I'm here in Salem to talk to you about Elementals. Now, there is a lot of confusion over what an 'Elemental' is or exactly what an 'Elemental Mage' can do. So the first thing we're going to cover is exactly what an Elemental is. Who thinks they can answer that one?"
A few hands tentatively came up. I pointed to one and the student stood and spoke, "Control over one of the old-style elements or sub-elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Or in your case, the Sub-Element of Lightning." He sat himself back down.
I nodded. "That's one of the more common answers." The kid looked happy until I continued, "Unfortunately, it's completely incorrect." I pulled out my wand. "Aguamenti." I let the spray of water fall to the stage where it may. Addressing the students again, I asked, "So, since I conjured water, does that make me a Water Mage?"
The kid looked angry. "Sir," he emphasized, "I said an Elemental Mage could control the Element."
"Okay, with various charms, I could make it fly about the room, smother a fire, drown an enemy, or even dance a jig. That doesn't mean I can control it any further than any other accomplished caster can do." I looked at the kid. "I'm not mocking you. Just pointing out that the definition of 'control an element' is true of all of us. If there is someone running around that could do all of this without casting any spells, I haven't heard about him. I was just trying to show you why your answer was wrong, not trying to pick on you." I paused while he nodded, still looking a little disgruntled. "Okay, next definition?" I asked, pointing at one of the others who had their hand up.
"Metaphysical manifestations of one of the Elements?"
"Oh, I assure you, they're very real. You'll be seeing one soon. Much closer answer, though. Any other guesses?"
Nobody volunteered anything, so I continued, "Okay, an Elemental is a conscious manifestation of one of the old-style Elements. Earth, Fire, Air, Water.
"Now, each of the four Elements produces very different Elementals. A wizard, or a mage as you call us here, can summon as many of any kind of Elementals they want, so long as we have the power to control all of them at once.
"Most of the Elemental Mages I've spoken with have a higher affinity with one element or another, but we can all control each of the four. I, for example, have a higher affinity with Earth; it more closely matches my personality. The only real benefit I have with this is that I can control more Earth Elementals simultaneously than any other type."
"All Elementals have several things in common. They all can communicate in the native language of their summoner. This means that if you had a Japanese Elemental Mage here, their Elementals would only be able to speak Japanese. This is an important point if you want to have multiple Elemental Mages working together. Even if the mage is multilingual, the Elementals are not.
"So long as the Elemental and I are on good terms, the Elemental will work with me. The worse the relationship, the more obstructionist the Elemental will be. Meaning, if I have an Elemental that absolutely hates me, it will try to interpret any orders I give it against the intent. So, I try to do everything I can to stay on good terms with them."
I pointed to a young witch with her and up and a confused expression. "How do you stay on good terms with them?"
I nodded. "Good question. Try not to ask them to do things they don't like. Asking an earth Elemental to swim, for instance, would be a bad idea. They may do it, but it wouldn't like it.
"Also, the Elementals are intelligent, so simply talking to them instead of ordering them around like they were dumb animals helps.
"They don't have any real needs or wants as we understand them, so any kind of bribery is pointless.
"Kindness and occassional flattery seem to work the best, I've found."
I pointed to another student, an upperclassman with a frown. "Sir, I thought that to summon an Elemental, you had to basically pull them from their home plane, for lack of a better term. Doesn't that mean they would resent you?"
I smiled. "Ah, someone who has read ahead.
"You'd think so, wouldn't you? But, one thing about all intelligences is that they are curious. So, an Elemental on this plane is learning about us. From what I understand, when one of my Elementals isn't with me, they tend to wander around, exploring."
The headmaster of Salem spoke up in a dry voice, "Why do I suddenly feel like an animal in a zoo?"
I chuckled, as did a fair number of the students in the room. "In a way, we all are. At least from the Elemental's point of view.
"Back to the Elementals themselves, though: they all can do basically the same actions. Guard, attack, ferry messages, whatever, but some are better suited than others at some tasks due to personality and preference.
"Let's meet one, and we can discuss them." I deliberately unfocused my eyes and looked around the room, trying to find the next part of today's entertainment. Pointing, I called out, "Heather! Come on over here, please." The slight shimmer in the air moved toward me and stopped, hovering directly in front of me. Most of the professors watched it in interest, a few students in confusion, and the rest were looking at me in confusion. "Heather, please manifest enough that everyone in the room can get a look at you."
"Sure!" a feminine voice chirped, at once sounding hyper and not quite real, as if someone had miscast a Ventriliquism Spell.
Heather, one of several Air Elementals I regularly used, formed in front of me, looking more like a heat mirage or maybe smoke than any physical entity. "Hi, everyone! I'm Heather, what you would call an Air Elemental belonging to the Great Harry Potter, Defeater of the Dark Lord Voldemort, Elemental Wizard, and all around nice guy. Though his dating habits could use some work. You should hear what he said to Susan the other day."
"Thank you, Heather," I interrupted, shaking my head. "As it said, this is an Air Elemental. Air Elementals are best suited to be messengers and scouts. They are the quickest of the Elementals. As an Elemental cannot use any form of magical travel, they must physically move from one place to another, so speed is something to keep in mind for some circumstances.
"Personality wise, they are more outgoing and chatty." I looked at Heather in wry amusement. "Some may even call them gossipy."
Heather giggled, causing laughs of surprise from around the room.
"Any questions so far?" I asked.
The Elemental appeared to bounce in the air toward the speaker, stopping directly in front of her. "Yes?"
Momentarily taken aback, the student took the opportunity to study the Elemental closely for several seconds.
"I feel pretty, oh, so pretty . . ." Heather started to softly sing.
"Did I mention Heather's sense of humor?" I asked as most of the class laughed.
"Sorry," the student said through a brilliant blush. "Sorry. What I wanted to ask is what you think of Professor Potter. I mean, he summoned you from your home, right?"
"Ooh, that's a good question," Heather responded. "Hmm. What I think of him? Well, first is that he's my summoner, to use your term. I must obey him until either he releases me, he dies, or I'm too hurt to remain here. But so far, he's been a pretty good guy to work for, so I have no complaints. And I know that I can go home whenever I want, so you could think of it more as a partnership than anything else."
"Wait," another student spoke up, "you must stay here until he releases you, but you can go home whenever you want? Isn't that contradictory?"
I answered, "All of my Elementals have a standing offer to be released whenever they want. They just need to ask."
Heather bobbed up and down in what looked like a nod. "Yep. He's a good guy, at least compared to some of the other summoners I've heard about. So, no complaints. Well, except for the odor in his apartment. Seriously, don't you know any cleaning charms, Harry?"
I looked toward the ceiling in a request for divine patience as the entire classroom broke into laughter.
"Anything else?" I asked the room, pointedly ignoring the question. When nobody answered, I nodded to Heather. "Thank you for your time, Heather. See you at home?"
"Naw, I'll be at Gred's place. Buh-bye!" It vanished.
"Sir, you consistently use the term 'it' when referring to Elementals, but that one was named Heather and sounded female."
"Elementals have no gender as we understand it. It chose the name itself, as it did the voice it uses. Heather has been with me for years, so it understands the concept of different genders and will accept being referred to as female, but it isn't.
"Anything else?" At the room full of shaking heads, I turned and looked down. "John? Sergey? Please manifest enough for everyone to see you."
Without a word, two roughly spherical lumps of what appeared to be clay formed on the ground next to me. Other than slowly undulating their shape, neither otherwise moved.
"Thank you," I said. I looked up and waved a hand at them. "These two are Earth Elementals. Do not let their size fool you. They can be as big or small as they want to appear. They're the physically slowest of the Elementals, at least when we're talking about travelling over distances. They tend to be quiet, so don't let their silence bother you. Earth Elementals are best suited to be defenders, either of people or locations. Earth Elementals are not the most overtly dangerous of the Elementals, but they are arguably the most powerful, especially when defending and working in concert with another Earth Elemental. They tend to come in pairs, though they can just as easily work alone or in larger groups as the need arises. Any questions?" The students, apparently intimidated by the silent rocks beside me, made no noise. I shrugged. "Okay. John, Sergey, thank you." They both vanished again, but I could see that they stayed in place.
Without further prompting, a mass of flame appeared off to my right, hovering at shoulder height.
"This is William, a Fire Elemental. Say hello, William."
"If I must," it was a deep, bored voice.
I rolled my eyes. "Fire Elementals are the most offensively minded and directly dangerous of the Elementals, so they're usually used as fighters."
"Flatterer," William said, sounding mildly amused.
Without pausing, I continued, "Generally, they make for poor guardians, as they can be impatient. With those facts in mind, many people consider them to be arrogant and condescending."
"I take it back," William drawled.
The class laughed nervously.
"Can't you people take a joke?" William asked.
"You are intimidating," a calm, feminine voice observed as a large cloud appeared above me.
"Charlie!" William called, sounding delighted. "That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."
"This is Charolette, a Water Elemental," I said, waving my hand upwards.
"Hello, everyone," Charolette said, ignoring the Fire Elemental.
"Water Elementals," I said, "are the final Elemental that you haven't yet met. They are more of a generalist than the other Elemental types, not having any one role they're more prone to than others."
"Meaning," William interjected, "Charlie there isn't nearly as good in a fight as I am."
"True," Charolette placidly acknowledged.
"However," I added, "Charolette is better at many other tasks as Water Elementals are far calmer. They also work well with the other Elemental types, even if William here continually tries to rile Charolette up."
"Hasn't worked yet," John said in a hoarse voice from beside me. Sergey simply chuckled.
Smiling, I said to the class, "As you can tell, though John and Sergey aren't visible, they are still here. Elementals tend to spend most of their time invisible to most mages. The more sensitive of you can recognize them for what they are with a bit of practice."
Getting bored, William flared widely and then vanished.
I rolled my eyes. "Show off.
"The methods to summon one are long and complex, so I won't get into that here today.
"That's all that I have prepared today. So, anyone have any questions?"
The concept of Elementals as explained here is loosely based on the early Shadowrun novels.