You raise your hands and clap them loudly together. The sharp, sudden noise leaves fairies yelping and jolting in place.
"Play time is now officially over. Finish cleaning and then make yourself presentable." you instruct. "If you are a shooting type, then clear your mind in preparation for combat. If you are an item type, then be sure to have everything polished and gleaming. From today onward I may have need of you either as a show of force or in practical lessons. You will not tarnish Remilia's reputation or my own."
You doubt that the weight of your words settles properly into their empty heads, but you'll make do with excited cheering at the possibility of a battle game. Such fae don't quite grasp the penalties involved when they can't really die from injuries, you suppose.
In fact, the strangely innocent bloodthirst that seldom breaks until they have to confront the mortality of someone they like has them increasing their pace up to something actually approaching a serious clean-up crew instead of bored children that are mostly playing in their own mess. It's not an incredibly common trait in fairies, but common enough. If nothing else, Remilia knows how to choose them by the standards she's interested in.
"And for you... it seems that you've endured quite a bit of trouble." you sigh, reluctantly forcing yourself to admit that you might just bear at least a small amount of the responsibility for this situation coming to pass. "Now that you understand they can be controlled, shall I leave them here?"
"... Honestly speaking, my household charms have suffered a lot over the years. Werewolf and all." Alistair says, as though that explains anything. "Otherwise I'd be using those and everything would be back in order already. But on the other hand, I'm not really comfortable with mindless servants, since things like this happen. House elves are one thing, and the fairies are something like that, albeit not precisely as..."
Alistair struggles for words briefly, probably grasping some along the lines of 'competent' or 'skilled' before rejecting them for the sake of politeness.
Still, it's understandable that he's unsettled. Strictly speaking, while they would follow his orders, the golems are by their very nature your creations, and as such represent an implied threat every bit as much as a sword dangling by a thread over a throne. To his credit, it seems like Alistair hasn't lost much sleep over it, which either makes him braver or more foolish than you had thought. Or perhaps simply more trusting.
In any case, aside from the possibility of werewolves making pilgrimages of treachery here, there's not much reason to have so many golems active. You draw the wand and focus.
Stone into gold. It's not a simple matter of alchemy. Lead into gold is simpler, as both are similar metals, and it would be easier still if today were the day of either metal or stone. Still, you'll make do. It's within your ability at the moment, though it's probably convenient that turning them into pure gold would leave them extremely gaudy and garish. It means that you can instead do something that is both more impressively complicated than a one to one transformation, and at the same time less exhausting.
Most of the golems become art, worked of gold and jade, with simple black crystals set into their eyes and teeth and claws of marble. Valuable artwork made more-so by the nearly seamless mingling of the substances, greater than the sum of their parts. The remainder you simply direct to out of the way hiding spots, and leave different instructions, to preserve the safety of your minion.
"There." you say, rubbing a little sweat off your brow. "Most of them are now no more than valuable art pieces. The others have different duties. I feel that the sale of the first group should more than make up for the trouble you have been caused."
"That's kind of you, but really not necessary..." Alistair replies, automatically humble in the face of your generosity. "Really, I'll have to look into how I'd sell something like that without people asking where it came from... I guess I technically have underlings now though, don't I? I'll work something out, but the most important thing is to clear things up so they don't look too unusual..."
"Yes, I believe you mentioned that you planned to let out rooms?" you say, conversing cordially as rugs are hung out to dry and audibly beaten outside.
"It's not a normal situation." Alistair admits. "Actually, it was one of the fairies who gave me the idea, it wouldn't have crossed my mind otherwise. Old families might let close friends stay in their home for a brief visit, or move in on their charity, but they don't rent rooms even if they have enough spare ones to sleep in a different bed every day of the month. Who knows who might happen to have the money, after all. And on the other hand most wizards wouldn't contemplate for a moment the idea of living with a known werewolf. ...That might be mostly because werewolves don't own things, for the most part."
He pauses for a moment to consider that before continuing on.
"I'm not sure how long it will last, because I'm fairly sure he doesn't know I'm a werewolf, but I'm already fortunate enough to have someone asking after a room. His own condition is... somewhat unusual, of course, but as long as he actually sticks around as proof of concept there's at least some chance that someone else will follow suit."
He scratches the back of his neck.
"It's not the only option available, to be honest, but the rest of the tenants that I can think of maybe going through with a room... well, if Mundungus Fletcher started boarding here, he'd only stay until he'd confirmed that there was nothing valuable enough to walk out with. Or, I guess, until he'd already walked out with everything. Man's a notorious petty crook."
"I see." you say, attempting not to let on exactly how much the finer details of real estate management bore you. "I wish you luck in the endeavor, then. One more thing... if you were to duel a wizard, what would you keep in mind as the most important thing?"
"For dueling?" Alistair asks. "I'm a little rusty on casting, but the most important.... probably dodging. Transfiguration isn't really used in most dueling rings, so it's mostly charms and hexes. It's not an easy matter to dodge them, but in most cases they create visible signs of the magic, so if you can avoid that you can avoid the spell itself. It's not true in all cases by far, but most dueling spells will have that. A stunning spell comes in a bolt of light, or a concussive charm that compresses a small orb of force... on the other hand, you've also got spells that don't leave those traces, like the disarming charm that just rips whatever you're holding out of your hands, or campfire charms that just set the target on fire with no visible trace. Even in those cases, though, the wand has to be pointed directly at the target. There are defensive charms, shielding spells, that can divert or stop most invisible spells in their tracks, and a lot of duelists rely on those, but they don't stop everything and you'll have to avoid the rest anyway. I've heard some good things about counter-spelling, or canceling a spell before it even reaches the target, but the best bet is probably dodging."
You nod, having concluded as much yourself.
Stretching outward, you prod carefully through the fabric of reality again with your wand, connecting this room with your tower on the school grounds.
"Finish your work here and then return through this portal to the tower. It's connected through the basement to the mansion, so utilize that if you have something you need to do or fetch from there. Otherwise, await further instructions." you command, stepping back through.
You exhale slowly on the other side, thinking.
Golems are a visible problem, at least for Alistair. There's probably something there, and on a day like today you can create wood or plant-based golems relatively simply. In addition to that, you do have a standing force of fairy minions to call upon. You may not be able to bring Koakuma into this fight, but it's hardly as though you lack for options.
You tap your chin thoughtfully, and then spin in place at the sound of a soft crunch, wand extended and tip coming to a halt right between Rumia's red eyes.
She chews twice more and swallows slowly, and then takes another bite from the fried drumstick in her hand, teeth going right through the bone. Five red lines stretch across her face, and she's slightly ruffled, but protectively nestles a paper bucket of fried chicken to her side with the other arm.
"Hi?" she says, after swallowing.
"Where did you get that?" you ask, pointedly.
"Oh. This?" Rumia asks, looking down at the chicken parts and blinking. "Stole them. From that Greyback person."
She seems extremely pleased and self-satisfied.
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