Author: Vaako PM
After the final battle, Harry finds himself sent to an old, strange world where weakened and ill he is soon attacked and kidnapped by orcs. Suffering from some kind of 'portal'-lag, Harry needs help. He needs to find the wizards of this land... SlashRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Harry P. & Faramir - Chapters: 4 - Words: 19,189 - Reviews: 89 - Favs: 224 - Follows: 529 - Updated: 11-14-11 - Published: 12-05-10 - id: 6531970
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Harry had to heal Boromir in starts and stops. Hours had passed since they had dragged the dying man into their boat, and he was no better. Harry was only strong enough to keep him in a kind of stasis. Not dead, but not alive either.
The pressure, the purpose from before had faded and was now replaced with desperation and tears. He held this dying man in his arms, this stranger, and saw the faces of his friends, his family. It was becoming too personal, it reminded him of his loss, of people he thought he'd see again in the afterlife, and worse… this man was dying, so slowly, so agonisingly.
Harry placed his hands on that bloodied chest again and willed, and willed and willed. It was a strange feeling, using magic in this world. It had never felt unpleasant before, but it felt unpleasant now. He was doing himself a magical injury. He felt as if he were floating above his own body, moving his limbs like a puppet. He felt numb… he felt-
"He looks better," Fhӓi's voice cut through his thoughts.
"He does at that," Deri was turning to look, "He has a bit of colour in 'im. Good job lad."
Scrubbing at his face with his sleeve, Harry was heartened to see that Boromir did look better! The man's chest was rising further… Harry opened his shirt to see that while the wounds were still open, they seemed a little shallower, and less inflamed. But he could swear that as he watched, all his work was undoing.
Harry took a breath to ready himself for healing again, when he had to pause. His head felt …very odd. He heard whispering and he looked up, but neither dwarf was talking. He looked to the trees lining the river and thought he saw someone, but not an orc. Not any living creature.
A memory, flitting through the trees, calling to him. They were calling his name. How he longed to go to them.
But he wasn't Harry anymore, was he? Had he ever been? He turned from the memory, distracting himself with Boromir, when the memory screamed a different name, new and old.
Harry's head snapped up, ears ringing. Alatar? Hadn't he heard that name before?
"Which way now, Harry?"
"Pardon?" he looked up to see his friends watching him.
"Which way… now?" Deri repeated his question, slower.
"Why… Are you asking me?" Harry requested back, equally as slow. The three companions traded glances of confusion like bullets at a Mexican stand-off.
Fhӓi frowned, "You led us here, didn't you Harry! We sort of thought you were going to be leading us back too."
Harry was dismayed to realise they were right, and even more dismayed to realise he didn't know. The knowledge that led him to Boromir was not leading them to wherever they needed to go now. "I didn't even realise… I did lead us here, didn't I? Well I don't know, I mean I was being pulled to… to Boromir and now that he's here..."
Deri sighed heavily and turned to Fhӓi, "I don't suppose you were keeping an eye on the map?"
"What?" Fhӓi sat up, looking affronted, "No! I was keeping an eye out for Orcs, you were supposed to be watching the map, you daft old Dwarf!"
"Daft? Daft! If anyone's daft here, it's you yer young-" The salt and pepper dwarf looked as if he were about to say something very nasty and Harry interjected.
"And you!" Deri turned to harry now, "You leading us out here with yer powers you can't even control, you led us out here! You got us into this trouble! You!"
Harry hung his head, hurt and guilty.
Fhӓi stopped paddling, only to point her dripping paddle at Deri, "It's not his fault, you old oaf!"
"Shh!" said Harry, looking between them and the trees, "For Merlin's sake, Shhhh!" He was ignored.
"You stop calling me old!"
"No, you grumpy old… you grumpy old…You- you false-beard!" It was a furious whisper from the she-Dwarf, and both Dwarves gasped, Fhӓi covered her mouth for second before looking away, paddling rapidly. But Deri wasn't paddling, so the boat began to turn sideways.
"Guys…please…" Harry didn't know what was going on, "The boat… The boat, guys."
What little of Deri's beardless face you could see was quickly turning as purple as Vernon's just before he'd begin a tirade, and the last thing they needed in this Orc-infested place was a tirade. Or even another one.
Harry wracked his brain for what had begun this argument; "Can't we just go back the way we came?"
Deri looked away from Fhӓi and met Harry's nervous gaze, he blinked and seemed to think about it, "I'm afraid that won't be possible now… far too dangerous. We'll have to keep on this river until we reach a settlement. Hopefully your lad there will keep."
Everyone eyes fell on Boromir who was pale and still. Harry placed his hands lightly over the man's wounds and felt his shallow breathing, "He will."
With no destination in mind, and no way of finding their position on the map, they turned their attention to the river banks and the injured man. Through the trees for miles along the river bank, Orcs were spotted. It was too dangerous to stop for anything. They could only keep their heads down, and keep quiet.
Harry had rarely had to spend so much time in near constant terror. With Voldemort it was always sudden, short; he'd never had to spend hours, or days in the vile man's company.
The ache of constant fear was like a heavy burden. It weighed them down. Poor Deri actually seemed almost as grey as Boromir and Harry worried for the old Dwarf, perhaps he'd been too old for adventuring.
…but apparently what was wrong with the Dwarf was the cold beef stew, which had given him diarrhoea. They'd had to do some tricky manoeuvring to use the bathroom, which was over the side of the boat and no one was embarrassed to go after Deri and his explosive…trip. Trying to keep quiet in dangerous territory while an old Dwarf poops his guts out is a hard thing to do.
"Where I come from," Harry whispered to his companions, "they call it gallows humour… when you shouldn't laugh… when you're life is in danger… but you laugh anyway!"
"I like that one," whispered Deri, from where he sat perched over the edge of the boat, "Many a time have I laughed in the face of death. Gallows humour? I like it."
Three days and three nights on a tiny boat can drive you half mad, it rained one night and that was the worst. On the third day of being trapped in the tiny boat they drifted passed a settlement. Fhӓi spotted the silhouette of it against the darkening sky. There were no lamps lit. Harry hoped aloud, "I hope they're just being cautious."
"It's too dark, too quiet. They must have cleared out," replied Deri as the three of them dragged the boat onto the river bank. They decided to wait until the black of the night was upon them, before venturing forth.
Harry spent this time healing Boromir, whose health seemed to be improving little by little. Fhӓi and Harry voted to leave Deri with Boromir while they went to investigate.
"It's because I'm old, isn't it!"
"No, no!" protested Harry, thinking that Fhӓi's words from earlier had really hit a nerve, "It's because you're the best fighter!"
Deri stared at him flatly for a long moment, as a blush crept up the young humans neck and into his face, and said, "While I won't deny it's true I am the best fighter here… leaving me here with this injured human makes no sense unless it's because you think I'm old!"
Harry looked at Fhӓi for how to reply, but Fhӓi was already running to the settlement. Harry glanced back at Deri and ran off too. The female Dwarf had disappeared inside the gate, which Harry noticed had been torn off and smashed to pieces. There was a strange, unpleasant, almost familiar smell coming from within. He saw that Fhӓi was standing further in with her head bowed. H stopped beside her, tripping over stray belongings and junk.
"What happened here?" he whispered.
"Oh, Harry!" she turned to him and hid her face in his side. His arms wrapped around her instinctively at first and then tighter. Fhӓi was not an emotional woman, this was most …strange.
"…what is it?" it must be something dreadful. His eyes scanned the area.
"They're dead, they're all dead!" She pulled away to gesture all over the place, "Look around you!"
Harry's eyes widened in the moonlight, and suddenly he could see that strewn among the debris littering the street… were bodies worse than anything he could have imagined …countless bodies…bodies crushed, beaten, bloodied, hacked-at, impaled and half-eaten. Men, women, children, animals… slaughtered in the street. Sightless eyes gazed at their last moment in horror until the birds got to them. Entrails were draped over smashed carts and store-fronts like streamers. The ground was wet with congealing blood and guts. The smell of death.
There was no choice to be made; Harry was going to be sick. As he threw-up he noticed he was throwing-up onto something that was once alive. He spun away and threw-up again. "Monsters," he got out between retches, "never seen anything like it. Despicable monsters!"
Fhӓi grabbed his hand and dragged him through the street, "They haven't been dead long," she told him, "We have to see if anyone else is alive, and then we have to take what food and medicine we can find and leave quickly. We have to leave quickly."
"Okay," Harry was trying to pull himself together. It was a horrible nightmare, but if there were people in need of help, they must help them. "Okay. We have to split up, make a run of it. Check every building, you do one side of the street, I do the other – that way if either of us is in trouble we can be there quicker."
"Ready?" Fhӓi asked him.
"Ready." For a second or two they both started off in the same direction, and then wordlessly started off in the other direction before stopping.
"Left," they both said.
"I'll take left," added Fhӓi, hurriedly.
"Right, right," said Harry awkwardly and then they were working through the carnage. But at the end of each row of houses they each had the same answer; not one living being. They started again, this time they were looking for things to take, and things to carry them in.
But everything had been taken, or spoiled and destroyed; they two had to search every room. It was taking precious time, but this is how they found something they did not mean to find.
"It's a baby," said Harry, holding the pink, screaming thing.
"A very upset baby," said Fhӓi, reaching out to stroke its head, "Poor thing, what happened to your mother?"
"It's… a baby, Fhӓi. How did a baby survive?"
"I don't know, Harry, pass her here."
Harry passed her over, and Fhӓi held her for a second, and for a second the baby looked as if it would calm as it gazed back up at her, then its fists grasped hold of her beard and it began screaming again. Fhӓi passed the baby back to Harry, "Keep it quiet!"
"I don't know how!" Harry tried to pass it back.
"Well neither do I!" Fhӓi refused it.
"I think it might be hungry, and I think it needs changing, it feels damp or something." Harry tried to hand it to her again.
Fhӓi turned her back, "Take it to Deri, he's been around long enough."
Harry began walking out, holding the baby awkwardly.
Harry walked faster, gingerly avoiding entrails, trying to breathe through his mouth. When he got to Deri, the Dwarf knew something was wrong.
"Take this;" said Harry, "We don't know what to do with it."
"What is it? A baby! What in middle-earth!"
"Everyone else is dead… I have to go back and help her look for things, I'll try to look for some milk, but everything's been spoiled."
"Look for a cart," Deri instructed, "and blankets. We have to head out on land; we can't follow the river out to the sea."
"How is Boromir?"
"No better, no worse."
Harry nodded, waited a moment to see if anything else was needed and ran back off. He didn't stop running until he slipped on something pink and fleshy. He dragged the sole of that boot along the ground until he was sure the whatever-that-was…was gone.
He found Fhӓi and relayed their instructions. They managed to find a working cart, but it had a body on it. It had been impaled on a spear and then pinned to the cart… and then partially eaten. Harry felt as if this was some strange horrible dream as he stood over the corpse that was quickly going to rot. He was trying to pull the spear out, but it was deep in the cart beneath the dead man.
"Oh for the love of," Harry swore and cursed and pleaded. But in the end their need was too great for respect of the dead, and Harry couldn't get in a good levering position. He put his foot forwards and then down until he was standing on the man's exposed ribcage.
"Don't look, don't look," he chanted as he managed to wriggle the spear out of the cart and the corpse. He threw the spear to the side, and slid the body over the side. The blood stains would have to stay. When Fhӓi came back with blankets, they next had the hard task of rolling the cart out.
Over corpses and entrails.
The mind becomes numb to the horror, Harry decided. He'd slipped into the state before, but Fhӓi… he looked at her wet face and red eyes. There was nothing he could do, not while they still lived this horror.
The cart was heavy even while empty. On the way down to the boat, Harry saw long, strenuous hours ahead. This world was definitely worse than his old world, he couldn't even use his magic to help, because it didn't work like that! Then what use was it?
What use was he?
Somehow, the old dwarf had managed to get the baby sleeping. When silent, it was apparent the baby was ill. "We must find her something, or she'll not be long for this world." Harry had the strangest urge to cross himself, as he was taught long before he'd been told he was a wizard.
They bundled the blankets and packs from the boat into the cart. They even thought about fitting the small boat to the cart too, but deemed it too much hard work, and even pointless.
A levitating charm would have been so useful for getting Boromir into the cart without hassle. Trying to carry an unconscious, injured man with two people half your size is something he never wanted to try again. They managed, but Boromir's face was creased with new lines of pain.
"At least he feels it," assured Deri, "that's got to mean something."
Fhӓi was in a distressed state, being young and surprisingly innocent the gore had disturbed her greatly. She sat in the cart with Boromir and the baby - which was miraculously still sleeping - while Deri and Harry pulled the cart. As they began to pass the decimated settlement, Deri made them stop.
"I can't leave without checking for myself," he told them.
While they waited, Harry tried to talk to Fhӓi.
"Fhӓi, Fhӓi, it will be alright. Everything will turn around, you'll see." As he spoke, he tried not to see the flashes of images imprinted on his eyelids, the tragedy of the day and the tragedy of his past, he tried not to see all the things that clearly were not alright and never would be again. "You have to think that those people are beyond suffering now, they are in a better place."
"Could there truly be such a place?"
"…I don't know, I hope so. There are people I want to meet again."
"There are people I want to meet again," Fhӓi repeated, thoughtfully.
Harry deliberated; Fhӓi would come out of it, he had to keep her mind off of the atrocities, he sang lowly, "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again, some sunny day…" he didn't know why he was doing it. It was a song he thought everyone must have known back in Britain. He'd heard it on the radio, when he, Ron and Hermione had… had been… he looked at Fhӓi and she was smiling sadly at her hands. She rubbed her nose on the back of her sleeve and the beads in her beard clacked together.
She noticed his gaze and looked down at them too, briefly before nodding pointedly at his hairless chin, "We'll get you some beads for your beard, when you can grow one."
Harry rubbed his chin, wondering if that had been some dwarven insult when Deri came stomping back, swearing under his breath, "Just awful," he told them, swinging a sack into the cart. He was moving quickly. He swung another sack onto the cart,"provisions. Found some vegetables that'll keep, what were you two looking for, that you missed 'em?"
"Sorry Deri, we… were a little distracted." Fhӓi rubbed her eyes, "The worse thing I've ever seen."
"Well you'll be seeing much worse than that, if things keep going the way they are. War is upon us, we must get back to Belegost! Harry! Get over here and help me pull this cart – we have to get away from here!"
Harry ran towards the front of the cart and began pulling. They were making good time, several miles by midday. Everyone tried to keep quiet, aware that the Orcs who massacred those people could be anywhere. For a good long while, the only sound was the creaking of the cart. It didn't last. The baby woke up.
"What do we give it?"
"Water, that's all we have."
"It won't take it!"
Their spirits sank with the thought that the baby would not make it. Harry almost wished they had never found it, almost.
"Hum to it a little, try to make it sleep again."
"Let it suck your little finger,"
"Mush up some vegetables with the water,"
Deri and Harry shouted suggestions back to Fhӓi, but the baby wouldn't stop crying. It was getting louder, great distressed and distressing wails, that seemed to rebound off of the trees back at them two-fold.
"That baby will bring every orc within ten miles around down upon us!" Deri spat over his shoulder.
Seconds passed like hours, with every one of them searching the surrounding trees, paranoid that they were being watched. The fear was getting to Harry, "I think it's a demon," Harry told Deri, "I feel like everything is too quiet around us, that everything is listening. Something is waiting for us."
Deri's eyes shifted to him, to the forest, and back quickly. When he spoke, his voice was hushed, "…don't say such things, Harry."
Harry felt bad for thinking that the baby was bad luck. He realised that the baby was just a baby, the stress and lack of sleep was getting to him. He'd just started thinking that… maybe the Orcs had left in purpose for someone to find, so that it would lead them to their next victim. Harry was on a roll, ""We're being too loud, can't you hear it?"
"Are you having a laugh boy?" Deri whispered back, furiously, barely hear over the cries behind them, "Of course I can hear it!"
"Not the baby! The… silence – in the trees." Harry looked around nervously, they all listen, and here the silence of the forest around them. Then – just as the baby fell silent too, Deri, thoroughly spooked yelled, "KEEP THAT BABY QUIET!"
The silence kept for half a second more, and then – the baby began to cry again, maybe even louder than ever. And this time, Fhӓi was crying too, "What would you have me do-o?" she sobbed, "I know as much about this as you two do! Just because I'm female I'm supposed to know about babies? I've never even met one before!" She held the squalling baby away from herself awkwardly and cringed, "it won't shut up and I don't know what to do-o!"
"That's it," growled Deri, "stop Harry, stop." Harry stopped and the old dwarf stormed round to the back of the wagon, climbed on, "Giver her to me," he demanded of Fhӓi. Fhӓi handed him the baby. Deri sat down, "Go pull the wagon," he told her.
It wasn't two minutes and the baby was quiet; it had seemingly taken to Deri, which was a relief. He'd even managed to get a little water down her. Harry sighed tiredly, and looked at the darkening sky. It was getting late again. It had been over twenty-four hours since any of them had last slept.
"We have to stop soon; I need to heal Boromir again, before I get too tired," Harry rolled his aching shoulders. Without almost constant healing, Boromir could only be getting worse. "Deri-?" called Harry.
"Alive," replied Deri before Harry could finish his question.
Harry resigned himself to stopping in another hour or two. Fhӓi was just a bit taller than Deri and this made pulling the cart a little easier. With the baby quiet and Deri – Harry looked back at him – sleeping - Harry and Fhӓi shared an amused glance - the woods began to chatter with birds and other creatures. The trees also began to thin.
Once night had fallen they stopped to make small camp. "No fire," said Deri, "Cold beef stew again tonight."
"Oh-oh," joked Harry from beside Boromir, where he was doing his best to heal him.
"I think it's on the turn…" complained Fhӓi.
"It'll have to do," grumbled Deri, before chucking a blanket over Boromir. "Try and get him drinking some water."
"If it goes in his lungs, he might get pneumonia," Harry frowned.
"I don't know what that is, but I think he might drink it, he woke up once or twice on the way,"
"What!" Harry stared disbelieving at Boromir, "Did he speak?"
"Mumbled a bit, tried to give him some water, but he was in and out of consciousness. Try and wake him up,"
Boromir did drink a little, his eyes unfocussed and feverish, though he had no temperature. Harry realised that… his healing was still at work, even while he wasn't healing him! In a much better mood, Harry turned all of his attention to his companions.
Fhӓi was pouring over the several old maps they'd brought with them from Pallando's small library, "We were foolish, what were we thinking? We weren't prepared at all."
"Well I, for one, thought our Blue Wizard here knew what he was doing!" grouched Deri, causing Harry to duck his head.
"I'm sorry; I don't know what came over me."
"You know nothing, do you?" joked Fhӓi, looking up from the maps, then, "what size was the settlement? Village size? Town size?"
"Village," say Deri and Harry. Harry got up to sit down next to Fhӓi, and Deri placed the baby in Harry's lap. The baby was thankfully asleep.
"She doesn't look good," Harry was frightened to touch her, but he thought about healing her.
"None of us do," says Deri joining Fhӓi over the map. Harry moved back over to Boromir and lay down next to the man with the baby, for warmth. Something he would not have done if the man had been awake. The man had been formidable, a little terrifying, a little familiar, and now he was someone Harry was becoming attached too, though it made Harry sad to know the man would have no such attachment to him when he woke up.
Harry slept, and dreamt about a horse in the woods and when he woke up in the early hours of the morning, Fhӓi gleefully showed him the horse; which wandered into the camp and stayed the night. With a healthy horse pulling the cart, Harry and Fhӓi walked beside it, while Deri got a free ride with Boromir and the baby. This also meant he was in charge of them both.
Unfortunately the baby became more ill. They did not have milk, nor food fit for a baby, and Harry tried to keep it alive by healing. He didn't know if he was helping or not. The baby was crying again without stop, the stress almost drove Harry into sleeping more than once.
"Something needs to be done," said Deri. He sounded like a man who had an idea. They had worked out where they were on the map the night the horse wandered into their camp. They also knew where they were headed.
"Fhӓi," Deri looked at her seriously, "It must be you. You need to take the baby, on horseback – it will be faster - to the nearest village," he showed her the map and handed it to her, "you can do it."
Fhӓi agreed, but she was not a natural rider, and Harry had to tie her on. Apparently no dwarf was meant to have their feet off of the earth. She left after sharing a meaningful glance with Deri. Harry wondered at that look between them, it had been something personal.
Hours after she had left, and they were making slow progress, both of them were tired. It seemed their hearts had left with Fhӓi and the baby. Neither tried to start conversation, due to the overwhelming worry. Night fell once more and with it came the wargs, howling in the near distance.
"Into the trees, quickly!" cried Deri, and the two climbed into the nearest tree, dragging Boromir up with them, and if they'd thought getting him into the cart was a difficult task… but adrenaline made them stronger. They tied the injured man into the vee of the tree and waited.
Harry imagined something like a werewolf, something like Professor Lupin, or Greyback. But when he saw them, huge wolf-like beasts, swarming the cart, with large heads and teeth glinting in the moonlight, and large intelligent eyes, glinting in the moonlight, the difference of them and the sheer size was terrifying.
Harry held his breath, feeling frightened and angry at the ugly, guttural language of the warg-riders. Rage and despair welled in him as they pointed in the direction Fhӓi had gone, and then his heart dropped into his stomach. One of the wargs had seen him.
A/N: Better late than never, right? …right? Next chapter = coming soon, and with a little romance.
Thanks for all the reviews, I truly appreciate them all, sorry for not getting back to you, just know that I love you for liking my story enough to review, and I'm sorry.
Also I found my old draft and it was a harry/Legolas or Harry/Eomer ! Surprised the hell out of me. This is still Harry/Faramir though, no worries.