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Private The Wanderer

Connor Harrison

You've yet to have your finest hour


Atmospheric music

Connor Harrison opened his eyes. A chill ran through his body, and so brought him back to the here and now outside of his daydream. He pulled his black greatcoat a little tighter against the cold wind and held it with gloved hands. It had been....forever since Connor had been here on this world. The city was alive, and looking in could tell that is was full of warmth and heart just as he remembered.

Midvinter was a quiet jewel to the East of the galaxy, and a world he knew too well from his days serving the Silver Jedi Order. The footsteps of the Order he nearly helped bring down, and that of people he hurt. Now he stood at a fork in the placed called Fridheim, where the Heavenshield name had brought him too. Thankfully, as much as he was now in the galaxy, Connor was probably an unknown here. A forgotten face to many and a name not spoken about any more than that of old foes and allies of the past.

Connor knew he had to come here one day, and that day was now. And there were no dramatics, no secret plot or plan up his sleeve. It had been nearly 18 months, probably more, since he last saw Thurion and Coci. It was so long ago, he didn't even remember the last thing that had been said, and didn't know if it was good or bad. With Thurion, it would have been peaceful, but Coci? He smiled. The fire of Coci Heavenshield burned even when he knew her as Sinopi. Many years ago. Many lifetimes ago. His Shadow sister.

Nobody knew he was here, but that wouldn’t take long to change no doubt. Who knew how good these warriors and hunters were are tracking and tracing and observing offworlders. Connor looked around now and then just to get a feel for the bustling, city. He shivered again; too much time spent on warm ships and warm planets and then coming here was a bit of a climate change. He decided to walk through Fridheim and let the Force guide him. The signature of purity and honour that was the Heavenshield calling card was strong. Flags waved up high bearing coats of arms and mythical creatures. Pride. Family. Everything Connor once had that he had betrayed in search of glory.

While nervous, he was just hoping to see what had become of Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield and Coci Heavenshield Coci Heavenshield in this time, and see if there was a place for him still in their hearts. It had been too long since Connor felt part of a family. But had he burnt those bridges long ago?

A ship flew overheard. His left eye twitched slightly, the cold air playing against his scar and tear duct wound. There was peaceful resolve on Connor’s face; a small trace of irony and some amusement at the way the former Silver Jedi Grandmaster and his family had survived and evolved into what looked like royalty. It was a million miles away from their shared past, and it was clear who held the high ground as Connor looked up at the royal crest on the flag, flapping gently in the cold air.
"Your Grace," an older man with a long grey beard came before the king, his bald head littered with tattoos and scars. "I hail from the village of Karlavagn - it's to the north from here, bordering Lord Théodred's lands. We have noticed more and more deadmen shambling about at night, gathering in larger numbers in the pits and caves they've laid claim to by their presence alone."

"Go on, good sir," the High King nodded attentively.

"Well you see, sire, a few nights ago they even strayed close enough to our village to break into our barn and feast on two of our sheep. Made such a ruckus it woke the lot of us up and we managed to drive the misbegotten kind off. They left behind a grizzly scene though, blood and guts all over the place. Your Grace, up north we rely on our cattle to keep us warm in the winter. Älk furs are a rare commodity in such remote places, so we make do with wool from sheep..."

"...But now there are at least two poor souls who will freeze this winter," the King concluded, prompting a nod from the old man. "Aye, you have it, Your Grace. But we are also greatly concerned about these Vinterbound - what will stop them from making another raid now that they've got a taste for, er, finer things?"

Thurion rose from his seat. "I share your concern. Upon your return home, you shall be accompanied by a unit of troops to be placed under your village leader's command, to assist in patrolling the area and disuade any future attacks. Moreover, I gift you two lambs to replace the ones you've lost, as well as however many Älk furs your village requires to survive the coming winter. I will not allow my people to starve and freeze."

"Oh bless ye, Your Grace," the old man fell to his knees only to be caught by Thurion. "You served with my father in the rebellion, did you not," his king asked, deducing as much judging by the man's age and signs of past battles. The old man nodded affirmatively. "And my brother after him. I believe 'tis I who ought to be thanking you."

The elder took his hand and kissed his ring, and Thurion dismissed him with a friendly pat on the back.

It had been a long session this time, starting at noon and lasting well into the evening. From all across the realm they came to see their king; ordinary folk with ordinary problems, but with no means to deal with them. The Great War against the Crone had left many suffering in a great many ways, and it was up to him to ease that suffering however he could.

But it was late, and his body was stiff from having sat in that chair all day long. "I think that will do for today," he turned to his fellow council members and stretched his aching back. They were local talents he'd collected from various walks of life to advise in matters pertaining to their specific field; construction, geography, agriculture... It was a system of government unheard of in Valkyri history.

Thoughts now turned to home, to the warmth and comfort of his beloved wife. While gathering his things however, he was struck with a sensation he'd not felt in a very long time. Familiar, but strange at the same time. Thurion proceeded to leave the King's Court in a hurry, exiting into the cold outdoors past a pair of saluting guardsmen.

He pulled a black fur coat around his shoulders. Winter was coming fast this year it seemed, though it certainly did not help that Heavenheim, as it was now called, was a port city prone to windy weather brought from the sea.

It wasn't until he would turn the corner and finally lay eyes upon that which had set off his Jedi senses that he halted in his step. There he was, standing before him as if it was yesterday.

"Connor...?" Wide blue eyes could scarcely believe it was him. Slowly he advanced on the rather obvious off-worlder, until he at arm's length suddenly reached out and pulled him into a firm embrace. "My brother," he gasped as if having held his breath all this time.

Regardless of the reason behind Connor's unexpected appearance, it did not take away Thurion's happiness to see him after so long.


Connor Harrison

You've yet to have your finest hour
Connor's hunch was right - wait a little, and they would find him. Force knows he didn't have the gall to wander up to their mighty palace and request an audience! He took a few steps into the village, looking around at the flaming torches and the streets that wove through the city - he even saw the tavern he was in last time meeting Valae Kitra. Was she still around? He admired Valae as a noble Jedi. Hopefully she was on a strong path.

He was that detached from the here and now that Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield got as close as needed without being seen until he spoke. Connor's eyes darted up to the figure of Thurion, looking a little older but still strong and noble. There was no immediate time to reply before his former Grandmaster help him for a tight embrace.

With a little gasp, a little chuckle, and a big smile, Connor returned the embrace with a strong clasp of arms around the fur coat Thurion wore, a heavy pat on the back. It was like Rhen Var once more. Finding the wandering youth sat before the old ruins.

"You've still...got strength...!"

Thurion let go and Connor pulled back to see the near mirrored face of a Jedi and warrior bearing wounds from battle, the crimson scar etched down his face was opposite to his own.

"How long has it been? It's good to see you my old friend. Really good." Connor put his hand on Thurion's shoulder. "You look well, bar those little grey hairs I see?"

His nervous disposition soon started to go.

"I hope you don't mind my turning up here unexpected but, I didn't have many places to go. If any. I just wanted to see a familiar face." He glanced around. "Is...Coci well and good?"

There was a slight hesitance in his voice. The problem with returning to a near normality after so long was that one expected everything to be there as it was. God forbid something had happened to his Shadow sister and Thurion's wife after all these years.

Coci Heavenshield Coci Heavenshield
Even as their brotherly embrace came to a natural end Thurion did not let the man go, hands holding him firmly by both shoulders. He took a moment to re-familiarise himself with Connor's features, for it had been far too long since their last encounter. Honestly, he could not even remember in what circumstances they had last parted.

Connor still looked like Connor, and that was good enough for him.

"Hey, I wear those gray hairs with pride," he chuckled. "I earned every single one of them!"

As Connor explained his sudden appearance, Thurion beamed a kind smile. "Con, you are like family to me. Family looks after one another, always."

It was a jovial High King that was then seen strolling down the street, his arm wrapped around Connor's shoulders. A great wealth of memories came flooding back; past adventures in the early days of the Silver Jedi when the two were young men, full of vigour and with a knack for getting into trouble!

"Oh, Coci is doing just fine," he assured him. "Still keeping herself busy with the local Jedi. She should be at home preparing tonight's dinner." It had been a long day at court listening to petitions and making decisions, and he had a beast in the form of his tummy in need of sating.

Along the water sat a humble little cabin, no bigger or grander than any other abode. Beyond the wooden fence a lush garden surrounded the front porch, with tiny stone paths guiding one around the various flowers and bushes, some local and others imported from other worlds. On the back of the house the porch turned into a sturdy bridge shooting out into the calm waters, allowing for some of the finest fishing in Heavenheim.

As they stepped through the small fence gate Thurion was pounced upon by a pair of house cats, purring happily as their Daddy got home from work. "Alright, get in there," he told them as he pulled the front door open. "They just want to eat anyway," he turned to Connor.

"Make yourself comfortable." Thurion removed his big fur and tossed it on a nearby bench while kicking off his boots. "Let me go inform the missus."

He made for the kitchen where Coci was seemingly already waiting for him. "Hey, honey," he greeted her with a kiss on her lips. "I, uh, happened across a stray on the way home..."

He was unsure how his wife would react to Connor's sudden appearance - no doubt she would have already noticed his presence in the Force before they even stepped inside. "I think he is in need to reconnect, to regain some semblance of normalcy," he added with lowered voice.

Who knows what Connor Harrison had been through in his time away.


Coci Heavenshield

Dawnguard Grand Master
She was sitting at the kitchen table, one eye on the evening’s dinner, the other on the computer scrolling through the agenda for tomorrow at the Fortress of Dawn, and two hands wrapped around a mug of caf. Most of the time, she drank it just to keep her hands warm in winter. Thurion would be home soon, no doubt tired from a long day, she wasn’t faring much better and looking forward to an early night.

Coci leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes just for a moment, taking away the chores of the world and sitting quietly with her own thoughts. She had only been at rest for a moment when she suddenly felt the force prickle around her, she could sense Thurion’s approach, that was a clear as the later afternoon sky but the other presences? Her eyes opened slowly with full recognition of it.

After all these years, she had thought him lost to them, no a word or rumour of his whereabouts. For good or for bad. Coci stood up from the table and went to the kitchen window, she just caught a glimpse of Thurion passing up the path to the front of the house. Maybe she had been imagining things, but she knew better than that.

Thurion entered the kitchen to greet her and tell her the stray had come home. Before he even said the name, Coci knew who stood in their house. They had been through so much, all three of them, over the years. Was normalcy even possible?

“Is he well?”, she strangely asked, she was actually nervous about seeing him. What would be reflect in his eyes, in his face? But she did not wait for Thurion to answer, Coci decided to find out herself.

She walked into the room and there his stood, from first impression he looked well, at least physically so. He was not that much younger than them both, but he looked different. Renewed almost.

“Connor”, she approached, and she could not help growing a smile. That was all she could say though, her actions would speak better than words. Coci hugged her closest friend, held him in fear he would vanish again. “I am so pleased you are .. here”, alive she wanted to say.

Connor Harrison Connor Harrison | Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield

Connor Harrison

You've yet to have your finest hour
Connor walked in quiet comfort beside Thurion, feeling safe and protected. From what? Those dark skies out there. The shadows. The nightmares.

The city swallowed him up, and he was listening to the stories Thurion told him, the little facts and trivia about the great kingdom and it's people. The Force was strong around them all; it was natural, and it was empowering. It was peaceful, and refreshing. Crunching across the stones and snow, it wasn't long before they were at the mighty Heavenshield...cottage? Connor hadn't noted they were walking to a peaceful cottage. He expected to come across the great palace that he had seen years before - was this not their dwelling? Yet this humble dwelling spoke volumes about the pair and what they stood for. The simple, honest things in life to build a life around, and not marking their position with grandeur or evident wealth.

Holding his hand out to feel an inquisitive cat brush his fingers before running inside as their Master opened the door.

Connor felt the warmth again, this time of the heating inside and his senses bristled. Smells of food, burning wood. Sounds of a crackling fire and faint calls from the harbour below in the city. Sights of family and years spent together in clothes, pictures and other assorted items dotted around the room they walked in.

While Thurion went away, Connor stayed still, not removing his old greatcoat, and simply waited with his hands behind his back. No matter what he felt or thought, he was a guest here. It had been a long time, and there was no need to act as if nothing had not passed between them. It wasn't long before he felt her before he saw her. His Shadow Sister, now wife and mother and looking as well as ever.

He smiled, taking a step forward and meeting her embrace with his own, a gentle squeeze of his hands - one human, one cybernetic.

"It's been too long, my dear Coci."

A few seconds more, and he pulled away. Much like Thurion, and himself, age was but a number to her. She was older, but so was the galaxy. She still looked strong; a leader and lover, and still ready to pull the ears of a Gundark.

"Well. Look at you two! Where's the castle? How is the family? I hope all is well with your ventures?"

So many questions all bungled into one, but his smile said he didn't really need to know anything much bar the fact he was in good, honest company again.

Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield | Coci Heavenshield Coci Heavenshield
Leaning against the archway which joined the living room and kitchen, Thurion watched Connor and Coci embrace with a fond smile. The three amigos were back together again, all of them alive and well. A heavy dose of nostalgia had come over him, thinking back to those early days of their respective careers. Inevitably he was reminded of a plethora of faces that were no longer with them.

Walking up to his old friend, he offered to take the man's coat. Connor had many questions, some of which were not so easily answered. "Come, have a seat by the fire." Positioned by the hearth there were two armchairs and a sofa surrounding a coffee table. Thurion claimed one of the armchairs for himself, his favourite one in fact. Almost immediately one of the Corellian felines leapt into his lap, eager for cuddles from Daddy.

"Well," he cleared his throat, "where to begin?" He turned to his wife as if seeking advice on the matter.

"Family is doing just fine. Our children are all grown up with lives of their own. Théo even has a family of his own, with a second child on its way if you can believe it." He crossed his legs while giving the house cat a good scratch behind the ear, initiating the purring machine.

"There's... a lot that's happened while you were away, Connor," his voice turned more serious as eyes turned to the dancing flames of the hearth. "I don't recall if you ever met my older brother, Thyrian? He ruled as High King for many years following our father's passing. He too passed away not long ago..."

"There was a great battle. The capital of Tháinbroek was reduced to rubble, and the seat of the king with it. My brother perished in the fighting." There were a great many details he'd left out, but that was the gist of it. Besides, the topic of his brother's passing was not an easy topic to discuss. They were still fresh wounds.

"With no other alternative, the crown fell to me..."

He expected there to be follow-up questions up the wazoo.


Coci Heavenshield

Dawnguard Grand Master
"A few years older my friend, but I see time has been kind to you", at least physically, he still look in his prime. Thurion prompted them to the fire which Coci joined making sure they were all comfortable. "I was hoping for a castle", she said, "somewhere in the center of the city so I don't have a long way to go to get things", she looked over to Thurion with a grin. The truth was that neither of them wanted to leave their home by the lake, it suited them both to a tee.

"I have been keeping busy with the Jedi at the Dawnguard. It seems since the war many people of Midvinter decided to learn and train to use the force", like anywhere in the galaxy, there were people here sensitive to the calling. "Though not all of them wish to be Jedi, which is fine but it is good they know of the ability and of course, the dangers of it as well". She was referring to the dark side, the constant battle, the conflict that each person has with it. Even without the force.

"It is so good to see you", she had to repeat herself, having lost him for so long the sight of him was hard to believe that he was truly here once more.

"You must stay with us for a while, there is room here now that Thirdas has moved to Kashyyyk. I want to hear all about where you have been and what you have been doing". With that Coci stood up and moved toward the kitchen door, the scent of dinner became much stronger and needed attention. Through the door however, she could see and hear the two friends as they spoke, and she set the table for three.

Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield | Connor Harrison Connor Harrison

Connor Harrison

You've yet to have your finest hour
War never gave good people a break, or time off, or chance to repair. While he once had brought Sith forces in a broken deal to attack the Heavenshields - not his finest hour - he was saddened to hear what they had since lost.

Connor glanced up to see Coci doing what she did best - taking care of things. A small smile tugged his lips as she busied herself with a warm dinner, keeping the table set and everything so peaceful and homely. Returning his attention to Thurion, he sighed and clasped his hands together, letting the news sink in.

"My words will not bring much comfort now, I know, but if there is one thing I DO know, it is that your brother's legacy, and that of your family, will resonate through this city, this world, and this galaxy. For generations."

He smiled and looked up at Thurion.

"You're a good man, Thurion. The most noble, selfless and bravest I've ever known and ever will know."

Connor knew the last thing one wanted was to talk about war and the losses felt by it, so he didn't ask more questions. He felt the pain shimmer around the former Grandmaster of the Silver Jedi, and that was enough. He rubbed his hands gently on his knees, looking around at the room with contentment.

"I have to admit, this is a wonderful place. The sort of place I envisaged for myself one day. But not here. Tatooine. A little place to call my own, to sit and read, and watch sunsets, take long walks." He glanced over with a smirk. "Goodness, how old we sound. Talking about quiet days and nights, and stroking cats."

With a chuckle, he rubbed his hands together and sat back in the chair, closing his eyes for a second.

"So does this mean you're...retired now?"

Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield | Coci Heavenshield Coci Heavenshield
Thurion met Connor's smile, albeit more strained than before. "Thank you for your kind words, but I cannot take credit for them. People keep coming up to me, thanking me for all manner of things. They never think to stop and thank themselves for making it through difficult times. It is not Gods or Kings that put breath in their lungs, make their legs take one step at a time, or supply them with the will to live. Each person already possesses this power, yet they choose to place their faith in anything but themselves."

There was a pause, after which he made a dismissive gesture with his hand. "Bah, ignore me, Connor. I did not mean to go off on another lecture."

His friend went on to speak about his own wish to settle down somewhere in a similar manner. "Oh gods, Tatooine? I couldn't bear living in such a desolate place," he shuddered at the notion of all that heat, then smiled. "But it is a good wish, Connor. I see no reason it should not come true for you sometime in the future. There is nothing wrong with longing for the simple life; 'tis what Coci and I had sought when we chose to step down from leading the Order all that time ago. We came here and built this home for ourselves, hoping to live the rest of our lives in peace. Before we knew it though, we were thrust back into the limelight."

Thurion gingerly plucked the feline from his lap and placed him on the floor, letting him join his brother by the fireplace to lap up the warmth.

"If you are referring to whether the two of us will ever return to the galactic stage, then yes, you may consider us retired. Our hearts lie with Midvinter now, as do our fates. But we are far from inactive here, I assure you. Coci has her commitments to the Dawnguard, as I have my commitments to my people. I do not expect to be doing anything else for the rest of my life."

There was another pause as all you could hear was the crackling of the hearth coupled with the sounds of Coci's cooking. In that quiet moment Thurion reached over to place his hand upon Connor's, holding it firmly. By the time their eyes met, Thurion's were on the verge of tears.

"You have no idea how happy I am to see you, old friend. With Thyrian's passing, all I have left is Coci... and you. You are my brother in all but blood, Connor, and I love you with all my heart."

He wiped a lone tear just as it formed in the corner of his eye, then began fidgeting in his armchair. "About that dinner, huh?" He sniveled and got up to help his wife put the cooked food on the table.


Coci Heavenshield

Dawnguard Grand Master
It was nice to set the table for a third person, their son long gone now and off into the galaxy doing his duty for the Silvers. The home had become very quiet without his antics but the time spent with her husband was precious to her, especially now they are getting older. "Come, dinner is ready", she called out to them both.

Roasted fowl was on the menu tonight, with Midvinter's finest fare of vegetables, and a freshly bakes loaf of bread to soak up the juices. She placed the food in the center of the table for them to take what they wanted, there was plenty of everyone and seconds if they wished for it. A light brew of ale from The Howlin' Wolf, all thanks to Théo and his establishment in the city, he had made sure they never ran out, the tankard placed on the table for Connor and herself. Thurion would not touch the stuff, sticking to his blue milk. Although he had taken to a soft drink that Théo had invented which Coci still raised her brow at. Coci Cola. She had to admit it was tasty and refreshing.

Once the boys were settled at the table, she helped herself to the meat and vegetables before starting to eat. "When was the last time you ate something home cooked", she grinned at Connor.

"Tomorrow we must show you around Heavenheim properly and I am sure Thurion would love to show you the Eyrie". That was probably Coci's favourite place on Midvinter apart from the Dawn Fortress and home of course. Oh and the ice cream factory in town.

"But you have not mentioned where you have been", it might be a difficult subject for Connor but he is their friend and they wanted to know everything.

Thurion Heavenshield Thurion Heavenshield | Connor Harrison Connor Harrison