Author: Dougal 95 PM
Voldemort may have won even after his death... his mysterious Portkey teleports Harry to Alagaësia, where he is seemingly trapped forever. Harry now has a quest ahead of him - fight alongside Eragon, first Shur'tugal of the new era, to destroy the evil Galbatorix. Set straight after Deathly Hallows and at the very start of the Inheritance Cycle. All four books will be included.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Harry P. & Eragon S. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 48,874 - Reviews: 204 - Favs: 454 - Follows: 590 - Updated: 05-19-13 - Published: 01-15-11 - id: 6656240
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Nine – Fragments
Eragon awoke rather pleasantly, which was a welcome change from the past few weeks. Although the thrill of the hunt still resided in his mind, heart and soul, it stayed there more often than not. If he thought of it too much, he would grow reckless. He yawned and sat up, pushing the blankets of his makeshift bed away from him. He tensed as a glow of white light passed over his face, then recoiled as he heard a loud crack less than a moment later. Grabbing his sword, Eragon quickly jumped to his feet and drew it. He was about to awaken Brom when he seen what had caused the disturbance and sighed lowly in relief.
'I didn't wake you, did I?' Harry asked, without turning his head. Eragon saw his wand in-hand, a recently destroyed tree and quickly summed-up what was happening.
'No,' he replied. 'I just awoke and heard you. May I ask what you're doing?'
'Practicing,' Harry muttered.
Eragon walked over to his friend cautiously. It had been three days since that thing had scared the wits out of Eragon, and in those three days, Harry had begun to act very differently. He no longer argued with Brom, even half-heartedly, no longer got quickly annoyed at the little things, but he had taken to practicing magic an awful lot. Brom had encouraged him to do so, but had also urged him to take it easy at times. Despite not drawing upon Harry's strength, too much could be dangerous, Eragon summarised.
'I understand that,' Eragon nodded. 'But, what type of practicing? "How to destroy a tree?"'
Harry turned his head and grinned morosely. 'That wouldn't be very useful, would it? Actually, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, any type of magic can be difficult to implement, so I'm attempting to master as much as possible. I have the feeling I'm going to need it as soon as possible, as are you,' he added.
Eragon shrugged. 'It's difficult to get into, I must admit. Even a task as rudimentary as lifting a pebble is quite taxing for now.'
'Brom says I'll only get stronger as time goes on,' Eragon explained.
'That's a good thing,' Harry said, 'but… if it's true that the king's strength has been growing every year for over a century…'
'I know,' Eragon said lowly. 'I can only hope I never have to face him, but if what Brom has told us is true, then he is a tyrant, and must be brought to justice.'
Harry raised his want towards the tree once more. 'Tyrants never see sense without forced help – it's up to society to dethrone them. That normally results in an uprising, which is how I'm assuming the Varden came into being?'
'Yes,' Brom replied, stepping beside Eragon, who jumped at the unexpected appearance of the old man. 'I believe one man brought those "outcasts" together, as the king had power enough to destroy any opposition. But that has changed now.'
Harry nodded, but Eragon was confused. 'What are you talking about?'
Brom turned his head and looked down at him directly. 'I owe you an explanation from before,' he admitted. 'You may recall when I refused to give the two of you any information?'
'Of course I do,' Eragon said.
'Well…' Brom said hesitantly. 'I've since changed my mind, because things are different than I originally anticipated.'
'What does that mean?'
'It means that I'm going to tell you everything you need to know in order to survive much sooner than planned,' Brom explained. 'For reasons regarding experience and wisdom, there are certain things I won't reveal to you yet, but that can wait until another time,' he dismissed.
'What he really means is that because I'm here, and have brought some type of demon with me, he's being forced to reveal all of this sooner than expected. It's an issue with mortality,' Harry explained vaguely.
Brom narrowed his eyes. 'What is that supposed to mean? "An issue with mortality"?'
'Nothing bad,' Harry said quickly. 'Just that, because we could have faced death a couple of days ago, you're starting to panic slightly…'
'Don't presume my change of heart is because I'm frightened of death, boy,' Brom said. 'I've faced death many times before, and have barely emerged standing on my feet.'
'I don't mean for you,' Harry said, shaking his head. He turned to look at both of them once more. Eragon saw a haunted expression in his face, and realised he hadn't seen Harry sleeping since… it happened.
'What do you mean?'
'I mean you're afraid for us.'
There was a momentary silence. 'Just a little,' he admitted. 'If anything, a few nights ago proved how something can happen that's out of my power to control, and I can't afford for something bad to happen to either of you.'
Harry replied: 'If it's any consolation, I've already put a few pieces together, from when you were storytelling in Carvahall. I know, for example, that Eragon is the last free Rider, and as a result, the last hope for the Varden to destroy the Empire. Am I right?'
Brom nodded, and Eragon looked aghast.
'Don't give me that look,' Brom snapped. 'How would you have reacted if I had told you that sooner than now?'
Eragon mused over that for a moment. In truth, he would have felt far worse – the thought of still being half-a-boy, and hearing how you were wanted to destroy the most powerful magician in the history of Alagaësia… it was a lot to take on board. As a matter of fact, he was surprised not to feel more panic or disbelief flow through his veins. Nonetheless, he was annoyed that Harry knew the truth.
'Couldn't you have told me this sooner?' he asked pointedly.
Harry shrugged casually. 'No. I knew Brom had his reasons for not saying, so I decided not to do so either. Besides, I only put the pieces together like… yesterday,' he chuckled humourlessly. Eragon could tell he was doing his best to show emotion, but that he really didn't want to. Harry had clearly been deeply affected by the events of the past few days, without doubt. That being said, there was something else not quite right…
Rain began to fall across the visible sky, leaving the wetlands truly soaking. The river beside them began to ripple violently, with rain-drops clattering against its translucent surface. Wind started to blow, whistling through the air like an unseen spectre, freezing the group as well as half-drowning them. In response to the onslaught of bad weather, Harry cast an impervius charm around his body, and offering to do the same for the others. Eragon accepted, whereas Brom and Saphira both refused outright.
'No daughter of the sky fears a little water,' Saphira said.
'And I know how to swim,' Brom said with sarcasm.
'Oh, ha ha,' Harry replied. 'I'll leave you two to it, then.'
Swiftly, Harry turned and walked about thirty metres downstream, this time taking Aiedail. And thus he began to move in a series of patterns and stances, as Brom had begun to teach them. Rapidly, he brought the sword across the chest of the air in front of him, before beginning to swing faster than he ever had before. The sword was a blur of light, ripping through the air and gutting imaginary enemies. With an almighty cry, Harry swung the blade around with such force it flew from his hands and embedded itself in a nearby tree, surprising the young wizard. Eyebrows raised, he walked over and grabbed the hilt, but found himself unable to remove it from the trunk.
Instead of trying again, he took his wand out again and carefully pointed it at the sword. Then he hesitated.
What are the words?
He thought long and hard, but was unable to remember. That was most definitely odd, as well as unnerving. Harry had never forgotten such a simple spell, even in first year. He had also been practicing almost five days out of seven since arriving most inadvertently in Alagaësia so long ago – how could this be possible? There was no way one's memory could deteriorate so noticeably at the age of eighteen, was there?
Suddenly, he remembered.
The sword obeyed his magic and drew itself from the tree, causing the bark to split across the centre. It truly had been embedded most deeply. As it stood, however, Harry's mind was not focused on the strength of his throw, but a nagging question at the back of his mind. It may have been coincidence, but he thought that was unlikely.
How had he forgotten?
'It's your turn, Harry,' Brom ordered.
Harry took a deep breath.
In response to Harry's words, the pebble on the ground before them raised a foot into the air. There it stayed, unlike the last time. The effect on Harry's physical strength was almost instantaneous – a great weight seemed to land on his shoulders, and he was forced to release the magic before collapsing.
'It's still taking a lot out of me,' Harry pointed out.
Brom nodded in response. 'I suspected as much. It proves my point that your native magic is different to our own, and you are still susceptible to its limitations.'
Harry was disappointed, but didn't let it show. Brom didn't miss a trick, however, and grinned at him. 'Don't let it get you down too much – with enough practice, the two of you will both become very powerful magicians; you because you're a dragon rider, Eragon, and you because you have very potent magical blood,' he nodded at Harry.
'Thank you for being complimentary, but it doesn't console me when I'm aware I let a… demon lose upon the world,' Harry said gloomily. Of late, that had been getting him down quite a lot.
Brom pointed at Harry. 'You shouldn't blame yourself. You had no way of knowing.'
'No, I did,' Harry replied, shaking his head. 'I had a mentally intimate link with… with V-Voldemort,' he said hesitantly. 'What the hell…?'
'What?' Eragon asked.
'That's the second time today I've forgotten something about… well, my world,' Harry said. 'It's ludicrous. What's happening?'
Brom blinked, and rose abruptly. That was all the suspicion Harry needed to realise he knew something, but he decided to keep his tongue for the moment. Eragon missed the gesture, as he was staring at Harry instead.
'I haven't known you to forget anything since you came to Carvahall, but it happens to everyone. It's probably just because you're exhausted,' Eragon said comfortingly. Harry was sure Saphira would have added her thoughts on the matter, had she not been trying to drown out their words with snores that made his uncle Vernon's seem like CDs of white noise. He grinned at the thought, and was instantly cheered up.
'You're probably right,' he said, rising. Eragon mirrored him.
'Okay, no lollygagging,' Brom scolded. 'Daret is only a few hours away, and I mean to reach it by sundown, so let's go!' he said, directing the loud words at Saphira, who opened her eyes and yawned widely.
'Good morning, little one,' she told Eragon.
'It's almost evening,' he replied, inwardly laughing.
She blinked. 'Really? I guess I overslept.'
'Harry's starting to forget things,' Eragon told her, sounding worried.
Saphira paused in the act of cleaning her claws and looked over at the peculiar young man, packing away his sword and saddling Godric. He then ate a little bread and drank some water, to regain lost strength after the use of magic. Saphira felt sorrow. 'Brom's theory is correct, then.'
'Not necessarily. It may be so, but we can't be sure.'
'If it is true…' Saphira said warningly.
'I know, I know,' Eragon said. '…if it's true, he's going to lose all memory of his own world.'
'I'm afraid so. I'm also afraid it most likely is true. None of us saw what Harry saw that night, but I could "feel" everything. The two of you were frightened to approach him, rather like rabbits.'
Eragon shook his head sadly. 'I don't like lying to him, but even worse, I'm not sure why Brom is lying to him.'
'Nor am I, but we will know before long, I believe.'
For several hours the trio spurred their horses onwards, each in silence. Brom was more than happy to do so. He hated having to lie to Harry, but what choice did he have? Coming right out and telling him the truth could prove fatal. Brom knew what was happening to the boy, because something similar had also happened to him. Going through a war, nearly dying on multiple occasions and seeing your friends fall before you were enough to topple even the mightiest of men, but this was even worse. Brom had lost his dragon, and Harry had lost part of his mind when that dark wizard had tried to kill him again.
There was no demon, as such. The thing Harry believed had come out of his body was fictitious, as neither Brom nor Eragon had seen it. Brom didn't know enough about Harry's life to make more accurate assumptions, but he thought it reasonable the boy had been through some terrible times, and that recent stress had simply gotten to him. It might have been allowed to wane once more had he went on to live in peace, but those bastard villagers had seen to that in Carvahall, and now things were shimmering once more.
From how Harry had recently described his encounter with the dark wizard, he had been hit squarely by a killing spell of his magic, yet had survived, for the second time in his life. He had explained how he couldn't have been killed due to the mystical powers of some supreme elder wand, but Brom still found the entire thing queer. War had an awful effect on the mind of a young man, and this was the proof. Harry's mind, very disturbingly, was playing with him. Brom shuddered at the thought.
After thinking this way for several hours without stopping, Brom had come to one concise conclusion: that killing curse several months ago had blasted Harry's weakened mind into fragments, each joined together like the hollow shell of an egg. Whilst it may have healed over time with peace and love, Harry had not been granted such luck, and the cracks were finally beginning to show. He was seeing things, and was steadily growing more emotional, like a young girl in love. Now, part of that mind had almost broken away entirely, and his memory was suffering accordingly. Nothing physical had transpired that night, despite Harry's profound beliefs.
Brom looked upwards anxiously as a clap of thunder rolled overhead. The grass around the river was still very wet, not that it mattered much whilst on horseback. Along the dirt road they rode at a reasonable pace, not paying much mind to the scenery as it followed them. Trees were common here and there, on both sides of the river. Along the western side of the road, grass and flowers grew wildly, occupying every inch of space they were able to. In the distance, the Spine was visible vaguely, the outline of some of its mountains still in eyesight, but barely so. Above them had been a clear blue sky lined by rays of sunlight, only to now be replaced by great grey storm-clouds. Brom pulled his cloak around his shoulders tighter, and continued onwards.
Harry had been right in telling them they had a new enemy, but he was wrong in specifying what it was. The enemy was his mind, not a physical being. Brom wouldn't tell him yet. He couldn't, for fear of what might happen. Ideally, he would take the boy to the elves, and they could cure him, but that would take far too long. He had to find some other means of helping him, and soon. Very soon, before things got even worse. In the meantime, he could think of only one exercise for Harry's mind, to fight against the cracks. He called for the two younglings to stop, and they dismounted eagerly onto the wet river-land, stretching cramped legs. To Brom's great relief, the storm he feared did not come. The clouds merely looked ominous for another while, but then dispersed, leaving another clear view of the sun once more. He was grateful the snow had finally melted, although it was still a very chilly afternoon.
Brom dismounted. 'Okay, we'll have a ten minute break, and then back on the road again. In the meantime, Harry, I want you to take a quill and parchment, and write down every spell that you know.'
Harry looked understandably confused. 'Why? Are you afraid I'll forget more?'
Brom shook his head, perhaps a little too hastily. 'Not as such, no. I merely wish to compare your magic with ours, and see if they can be used with each other. I need a list of your spells so I can test them all.'
It was a good cover, and it worked. Harry nodded in reply. 'Alright. I'll see what I can do.' With that, he began the task.
Carefully, he wrote the obvious ones done first – spells like expelliarmus, stupefy, impervius, incarcerous, reparo, sectumsempra, accio, levicorpus, etc. All of those were easy and he thought of automatically, thankfully having no more difficulty with accio. Next were a large number of hexes and curses he had learned over the years, such as tongue-tying, which he thought could be useful. At the end of his work, Harry counted a grand total of fifty seven spells, including those aforementioned. But that couldn't be right. He had learned so many more. Incredibly frustrated, he began to wonder loudly what was happening, but then hesitated.
He had forgotten to write three particular spells. Not that he had actually forgotten them; just that it never occurred to him to write them down. For a minute, Harry pondered whether or not to share them with Brom, questioning their usage and whether the knowledge was safe to pass on. He shook his head, deciding not to. People had enough ways to kill each other. Instead, he tore the parchment in half, and gave the first half to Brom. On the second half, he wrote the words, and then stored them secretly in his backpack.
Avada Kedavra, imperio, crucio.
After lazing around for a few minutes, entertained by Saphira chasing a flock of terrified wild geese, they continued onwards. As they rode, Harry noticed a very similar landscape to that he had seen when leaving the Spine, which was mainly grassland. What he did notice as different however, was Eragon. He was quiet, but that was to be expected. From what Brom had told him about the Varden and a war revolving around him as a dragon rider… suffice it to say, it was a lot to take it. Harry could sympathise, as he had been fifteen when Dumbledore had spoken to him of the prophecy. So long ago… after Sirius had died…
Harry didn't speak. He had problems of his own, and needed to brood over them for a little while.
They reached the river-town of Daret only a couple of hours before sundown. Honestly, it wasn't much to look at. There were a few dozen dingy houses scattered across a moderately small area of land, as well as a fishing port. Being along the Ninor River, it made sense the inhabitants would fish to survive. Despite that trail of thought, Harry could see no inhabitants to speak of. There was no marketplace, no men, women, or children walking to and fro, no fishermen, no farmers, nothing. Just an abandoned little town, seemingly devoid of life.
Harry held up a hand to halt the others. 'Wait,' he said. 'Homenum revelio.'
This time the spell picked up signs of life. So many, in fact, that Harry was shocked. Almost a hundred people were hidden in between the buildings, or on the rooftops. Anxiously, he told Brom what he had discovered.
Brom frowned. 'Are they humans or Urgals?'
'Humans, I assume, because they're smart enough to work out how to climb onto a rooftop.'
Brom shook his head. 'Don't be so ignorant – Urgals are quite intelligent creatures, believe it or not.'
'Fair enough, but I'm sure they're humans,' Harry nodded. 'I've learned to differentiate between size of life form, and they're smaller than I'd expect an Urgal's to be.'
'Good enough for me,' Brom said cheerfully.
Carefully, the three rode into the centre of town, whilst Saphira remained hidden outside. Harry found it disconcerting to enter the town so undefended; knowing exactly where every man was stationed, but he trusted Brom's judgement. Even if he was hiding something important, yet again. When they reached the centre of town, Brom unbuckled his sword-belt and dropped it onto the ground beside him.
'We mean you no harm!' he shouted out. 'We only wish to purchase supplies, and we will be on our way!'
In response, a wagon came toppling out from behind a nearby house, blocking their means of retreat. A swarthy man jumped onto said wagon, and gazed down at them with his arms folded. Around them, archers appeared on the rooftops. Harry counted at least sixty, but refused to feel intimidated at the sight.
'You make quite a racket,' the man observed. 'Name's Trevor. What business have you here?'
'We're going to stay with our remaining family in Dras-Leona,' Brom answered calmly.
Trevor nodded. 'Where are you from, then?'
'We've lived in no place long enough to call it home. Will you permit us to buy supplies, and then be on our way?' Brom asked.
Trevor thought for a moment, and then nodded. 'I shall. Give me what you need, and my men will fetch it for you.'
Brom obliged, informing them of their need for new boots, tunics, cloaks, some meat and bread, and a pair of gloves for Eragon, to cover the gedwëy ignasia on his palm. Whilst Trevor's men set off to fetch the supplies, he unfolded his arms and relaxed somewhat.
'I'd offer to shake your hand, as is common courtesy, but in these times I think you'll understand if I keep my distance. You are armed pretty heavily.'
'So are you,' Eragon observed.
Trevor shrugged. 'It's a precaution. Urgals have been spotted in the countryside, and the king refuses to send soldiers to deal with them, as usual.' Trevor spat on the ground. 'That bastard Galbatorix is about as useful as nipples on a breastplate. I can't believe I used to serve in the army. We've had to relocate our entire settlement, but we stay here to deter any would-be attackers, and fish nonetheless. You startled us, though.' He grinned.
'It's wise you take such precautions,' Harry said. 'It pains me to have to tell you, but Yazuac has been wiped out by Urgals.'
Trevor's grin turned to shock, and he stepped back, tearful. He shook his head sadly. 'This is indeed a dark day. We will toast our fallen brothers and sisters tonight, not that it will do anything.'
On cue, Trevor's men returned with their supplies. Brom thanked him and handed over a few coins in exchange.
'Do me a favour,' Trevor said. 'When you reach Dras-Leona, inform the Empire of our plight. It may be they have simply forgotten about us, but that is as worrying as the king deliberately not taking action. Tell them we need help urgently, or we'll all be wiped out.'
Brom nodded sincerely. 'I shall do so, I promise you. Thank you for the supplies. I should also warn you that the number of Urgals may be greater than fifty, and close to a hundred. I suggest you all evacuate this entire area. It isn't safe.'
'I'll do what I can,' Trevor said. 'It's about time we left this place, anyway.'
As they said their farewells and left the town, Harry was struck by a particular thought:
What sort of man, king or common citizen, would abandon his people to ravaging monsters? He cannot be just, and is not fit to rule. By this day, sword in hand, I swear that I will help Brom, Eragon and Saphira destroy his rule, no matter how long it takes. I can forget about ever going home again by this point, because this land is my home now. Now, and always.
A:N – Is he real, or is he not? Is Harry losing all of his memory, or will his mind heal itself overtime? Brom might think he knows the answers, but he's been wrong before. Am I really that evil and heartless? My long update times say 'yes', but my kind nature says 'no.' I guess you'll just have to find out overtime.