|Through the Looking Glass
Author: Katie Leigh Williams PM
Dumbledore is dead, but his plans are still in motion. A mirror, and a prayer, led Harry to an adventure he never dreamed of, and a love that he may not survive. SLASHRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Adventure - Harry P. & Alistair - Chapters: 2 - Words: 10,728 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 56 - Updated: 10-16-12 - Published: 06-17-12 - id: 8227842
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Through the Looking Glass
Author: Katie Leigh
Summary: Dumbledore is dead, but his plans are still in motion. A mirror, and a prayer, lead Harry to an adventure he never dreamed of, and a love that he may not survive. SLASH
Pairings: Alistair/Harry (One sided) Alistair/F!Warden, Brief Zevren/Harry/Zevren, possible eventual M!Hawke/Harry, Fenris/Harry or Sebastian!Harry Past, brief, mentions of Ron/Harry
Warnings: SLASH! Het, violence, strong language, alcohol consumption/substance abuse, blood, smut. All others will be stated as they apply.
Feedback: Yes, please? I love hearing from my readers, love it or hate it. All that I ask is that you be polite. If you don't mind your manners, I won't.
AN-I know I haven't updated Enterprising Young Men, but Never Fear, this story will be updated, will be finished, and will never be abandoned, but I want to make it the best that I can even if that means taking a while to clean it up some.
This story, however, is simply a way for me to pass the time. It tickled my fancy, and I think that I can make it enjoyable, so I hope that you take the time to read and enjoy.
This is a game fic, and the series of two (or more) will stretch through Dragon Age Origins and into Dragon Age 2, and (probably) beyond, depending on how the muse takes me. There will be spoilers for the game, though some things will obviously be AU. Some Game dialogue will be taken, but hopefully I'll be able to change it around enough that I can keep it from becoming stale and boring.
This is SLASH. This story will contain a lot of graphic blood, gore, and violence. And most likely smut as well. If you aren't old enough to play the game, you aren't old enough to read this. You have been warned.
"Why? Its been buried all these years, clearly its fine exactly where he left it." Harry Potter was irritated, tired, and dirty. His robes were scruffy from days of being in the field, and he couldn't remember the last time that he slept. Harry could feel days worth of stubble around his chin, and the urge to reach up and scratch frantically was only just defeated.
Why in the name of Merlin had Johnson dragged him off the case so far into it? Harry had almost figured it out, he'd almost had them! The mirror of Erised had been safe in Hogwarts for years, probably longer than any of them knew. Why had it become so important now?
"Potter, why is because the artifact in question is extremely old, and holds a type of magic that even we here in the Department have not had the chance to study. You were the one that Dumbledore trusted the most, its only right that you be the one who investigates it!" Director Johnson leaned over his desk towards his underling, fixing the Man-Who-Defeated with a glare. He knew that getting Potter to agree to this would be like trying to move the Parthenon with one wizard and a broken wand, but he would get through to the brat if it killed him.
He took a deep breath to try and calm himself down. It wouldn't do to blow his stack now. That would wait for the times when Potter got really stubborn about it.
"Besides, Dumbledore was a very shrewd gentleman. I have no doubts about that, and if he thought the artifact was dangerous enough to hide away in the underbellies of the dungeons at Hogwarts, it is dangerous enough to make it necessary we study it. Learn what makes it run and how we can protect the world from it. This is not up for discussion, Potter. Students have already suffered, and that is not acceptable. No more may fall."
Johnson stood up from his chair and placed his hands flat on the desk, leaned over it and froze Harry Bloody Potter in place without a single spell being spoken. There was a moment of silence between the two, a battle of wills that Johnson let play out until Harry came around
Which he did relatively quickly.
Harry's anger deflated with a sigh and a nod, the younger unspeakable running a shaking hand through his hair, twisting his neck to work the tension out of it.
"Okay, Thomas, Okay. I guess I'll head to Hogwarts now, the sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can forget about the damn thing, like I've been trying to do for eleven years now." Harry turned towards the door without another word, his shoulders slumped like the weight of the entire wizarding world still weighed on them.
Johnson couldn't let him leave like that. He, like all the other department heads, had a bit of a soft spot for the one Boy-Who-Lived.
"Harry," Harry turned to look at him, his hand still resting on the door knob, "Go home. Get some rest first. The damn mirror will still be there tomorrow when you are not about to fall over on my doorstep." Johnson hid his concern behind gruffness, as always, but Harry nodded and gave him a wan smile before leaving, the door swinging shut behind him gently.
Johnson stared after him for a few minutes before he turned and looked at the chair set up in the corner, and the no longer empty picture frame positioned above it.
"I bloody well hope you know what you are doing, Albus. That boy has been through more than even you know." It was quiet, not meant for outside ears to hear, but he meant every word.
The bearded man in the portrait merely gave a sad smile and nodded once, before disappearing from his frame once again, leaving one of his oldest friends alone in his office, with only the empty frame and empty chair for company.
Charles Johnson, the Head of the Unspeakable department for the last fifty six years, shook his head and stood to his feet, making his way to the bar set up in the corner.
"I'm getting too old for these shenanigans," He muttered to himself as he fixed himself a shot. But there wasn't much he could do to deny his old friend, even though said friend had been dead and gone for six years.
That was the bad part about wizarding portraits. Their occupants could badger you from beyond the grave.
Harry trudged slowly up the drive to Hogwarts from the apparition point, his every step showing his reluctance to step foot back on the grounds of where he once called himself home. He hadn't been there since Dumbledore's funeral, and even the thought had his eyes straying towards the white stone sarcophagus that stood sentinel by the lake, the blue flame still crackling merrily.
This castle hadn't been home in years.
Harry moved slowly past the grave, up through the grove of trees planted nearly five years before to the first glance of the full castle that houses Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The candles in the Windows burned brightly and anyone else who had graduated from the third most prestigious school in Europe would consider them welcoming but Harry had to take a deep breath to steady himself as he walked up towards the large double doors that would give him entrance to the school proper. They swung open of their own accord, as they had every year that he attended, and the sound of hundreds of students echoing from the Great Hall reached his ears.
He couldn't help but smile. It was nice, that the younger years had managed to put the war behind them and move on with their lives. Some of his own year hadn't been so lucky. More and more of them had given into grief, either leaving the Wizarding World for good in the case of the Muggle Borns and half bloods, or withdrawing to estates and having nothing more to do with society in the case of several purebloods he could name.
It was a sad state of affairs. But not one that was really of any surprise to anyone.
"Harry Potter? Harry, is that you?" Headmistress McGonagall's voice echoed from above him, and Harry sighed. He looked up, meeting his old Head of House' incredulous stare, and took in the ravages of age that hadn't passed her by. She was grayer, more careworn, but she still carried the strength and poise that she had always carried in the many years that he had known her. Her eyes could still freeze him in place, looking for an excuse for not doing his homework or the latest bit of trouble that he had managed to get into through no fault of his own.
"Yes, Professor. I'm here to investigate the mirror." He cut off any idea in her mind that she was there to see his old school or take up the position that she had been offering him since he finally took his NEWTS. He watched her face go from excited to blank, with something akin to a pang. He couldn't help his feelings on the matter, but even though he didn't want to hurt her, he didn't want to be in this place any longer than he truly had to be.
"I understand Harry though I wish..." the Headmistress shook her head and cut off her train of thought, "Very well Harry, follow me. Its this way."
She turned to walk up the staircase to their right, a staircase that Harry remembered climbing many times in his tenure at Hogwarts, and he followed her in silence, listening as she told of the discovery of the mirror.
"We found the mirror a few weeks ago. Severus and I were investigating the third floor corridor where Professor Quirrell met his..untimely end, since no one had been in there since Albus rescued you all those years ago. I honestly do not believe any of us thought about it in the chaos of the years to follow, and we found it just where Albus had left it. It was cracked, and so we had it repaired. I do admit that I had a passing fancy of setting it up as a monument to Albus." She gave a small laugh, but didn't explain her thoughts any further. They walked on in silence.
The two stopped walking as the staircase they stood on lurched to the side slightly, moving towards a corridor that Harry knew well.
It was the site of the first murder he had committed in the name of the Wizarding World after all, and the one that he saw the most in his dreams. Professor...Headmistress McGonagall's wand was turning in a slow circle in her hand, solidifying the thought in his head that Dumbledore had once been in charge of these very staircases, and had led Harry (and Ron and Hermione by extension) to the discovery of Fluffy and the danger that lay beyond the three headed dog.
Harry was way past hating the man, though he had attempted to hold onto his grudge for years. He still felt the brief vestiges of anger at the thought that every aspect of his youth had been orchestrated as a huge test to make sure he was strong enough to face Voldemort when the time came. It had been Necessary for the greater good, he knew that, but it still stung that the man he once thought of as a grandfather would put him through that when he should have been safe at school. Harry should have had a chance to grow up like a normal child. He should have had the chance to have a normal Childhood.
It was too late now for regrets. The past was in the past, and there was nothing he could do to change what had already happened.
"I sense a but coming, Professor." Harry sighed, "Nothing was ever simple when it came to Albus."
Harry left it up to her to fill in the blanks, determined that he wasn't going to do anything more than he had to to satisfy his boss. Petty, but effective. If he played his cards right, he wouldn't be forced to do anything like this ever again.
McGonagall merely chuckled, knowing very well what he was trying to do.
"How very right you are Harry, I believe there is always a But when dealing with Albus, even with something he left behind. If you'll follow me, I'll show you what we found when it was...repaired as much as we could possibly make it." She took a left turn as soon as the staircase stopped moving, the door to the third floor corridor having moved since the last time he had been there, heading down the hall a few steps before stopping in front of a blank section of wall.
"We had to move the door and disguise it, too many of the students were following its call...and ending up under Pomfrey's care. Several of them are still there. We thought it prudent to inform the ministry, and I assume that is why you were sent here." She turned and smiled at Harry, a soft smile like that of a grandmother to their favorite grandchild. "I will admit that I am not sad to see you return to Hogwarts, despite the situation that brings you here."
She waved her wand, muttering an incantation under her breath that he couldn't hear and didn't make the effort to make out. Harry hummed under his breath as she finished, stepping forward as the stone melted away to reveal a familiar door, inhaling sharply as the memories began to try and intrude on the peace that he had found. Harry shoved them back ruthlessly, clenching a fist as he breathed harshly through his nose, shoving past the professor and heading into the darkness of the corridor. The trap door was open, the room still smelling of Cerberus even though over a decade had passed and he dropped down with a thump, groaning as he hit the hard stone floor instead of the devils snare that he was expecting.
"Bloody Fucking Hell!"
Coughing as he tried to force air back into his lungs, Harry rolled painfully onto his front, struggling to get his hands underneath him to push himself slowly back to his feet. He pressing a hand to his left side, hoping that he hadn't cracked yet another rib. If he had, Hermione...oh, Lady Hermione Granger Malfoy, would have his head and then lecture him until he felt four inches tall.
Draco, merlin damn him, would just let his wife at her best friend and then scowl at him if Harry dared to make her cry.
Oh how people's colors had changed over the years.
Draco was now an upstanding citizen of the wizarding world, looked up to by almost everyone, despite the black stain that had once colored his last name. Even Lucius Malfoy had been taken over by his daughter in law's charms, defending her to anyone who dared have an opinion other than awe for the once hated mudblood.
And hadn't it been the most hilarious sight ever, the first time Harry had witnessed Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, head of the Malfoy family and hater of all things Muggle, reduce a pedestrian to tears when he dared make a disparaging comment about the Lord's Daughter in Law.
Harry still took the memory out and examined it in his pensive from time to time.
"Well Mr. Potter," McGonagall pressed her lips together to hold back a smile at his predicament, "It seems you still hold the most...dominant of our House traits. If you would have waited but a few seconds, I could have shown you the less...painful way into the chambers. But now that you are here anyway, lets continue. I want this phenomenon corrected as soon as possible."
She stepped out of a archway to the left of Harry, a smirk on her face and he nodded painfully, shuffling after her. He wasn't as young as he once was, and that fall had probably done more damage to himself than probably would have been years past. He would never admit it though, stoicism was a trait of the Unforgivables that Harry embraced with open arms and a wide grin. He had long ago had enough of his every move being scrutinized. The press still hounded him whenever he made the bad decision of leaving his home or his workplace. Damn vultures.
They walked for what seemed like ages, the keys he had chased still fluttering over head though the door they unlocked was long gone and the chess set that McGonagall herself had enchanted still in place though motionless.
The troll, thankfully, had been cleared out though there was still a faint stench of decaying flesh and filth underlaying the room.
The headmistress stopped in the next room, turning to eye her former student with all the seriousness he had ever seen in her face. Harry straightened his back under the gaze, forcing himself to not feel like he was a student and in trouble again.
"I must ask you something, Harry, and I need you to listen to me very carefully before we enter." She stared him down with hawk like eyes, eyes that had long been able to see through each and every prank, lie, and stupid action a student in Gryffindor house had ever attempted to pass by her, and he felt himself begin to fidget. Her hand was on the doorknob to the door, Snape's potions bench at their back. "Do not do anything heroic. You are here to research, and to decide if it needs to be destroyed or if it can be returned to its previous state as a mirror to the heart. Not...what it has become in Albus' folly. Promise me, Mr. Potter, or you will not pass this threshold."
She was deadly serious, and Harry found himself nodding though he knew that he was not truly able to promise any such thing. He never had been able to control the stupid, heroic things that he did on a yearly basis, no matter his complete and total desire to stay out of the spotlight, out of trouble, and out of situations that all too often led to him being placed in almost terminal situations
"I promise I will do my best, Professor. You of all people know that I never plan to be placed in situations where I am...heroic as you put it." He sneered at her in an impression of Snape that would have sent a first year running in abject fear, but only gained himself a raised eyebrow from his old professor.
"Very well, Harry. I suppose that you will be who you are. But, any danger is on your head."
Gone was the amiable interactions they had had for the last few minutes, replaced with the animosity that had existed since he refused her third and final offer of taking a place at Hogwarts. Harry didn't care either way, he was far beyond the point of being intimidated by a professor.
At least, that's what he tried to tell himself. He ignored the voice in the back of his head that sounded oddly like Ron, laughing at him hysterically.
McGonagall pressed her lips together tightly, pressing back any retort that she could have made on the situation and instead turned her attention towards unlocking the door and pushing it open, letting Harry in but lingering in the doorway herself.
"I will not be following you in, Mr. Potter. Send a patronus or an elf if you have need of me." It was the last thing she said to him, and the door snapped shut without her waiting even for the vestiges of a reply from him.
Harry rolled his eyes at her theatrics as he pulled his wand out and turned towards the mirror at the end of the long room he had found himself in. Harry started walking carefully across the space separating him from the object he was there to study, his eyes bouncing off the blood stain and scorch marks on the floor that were the only remaining evidence of his second encounter with Voldemort in his life.
His last encounter with Professor Quirrell.
"Now then, lets see what you're all about, hmm?", he murmured to himself, falling back into old patterns as he fell into the work he genuinely loved to do.
He stopped in front of the mirror, tracing the well known inscription with his eyes before focusing on the surface itself. It had clearly been repaired, magic itself not fully able to repair such a magical, and unknown artifact, a single shard from the mirror missing from the center, leaving his reflection distorted and misshapen.
He was going to get what he needed, destroy it, and get out.
That was his plan, but everyone knew that Harry's plans never went exactly how they were supposed.
AN-And there's the first chapter. I have two to three more chapters already finished, though they are in script format as this was my Script Frenzy project for this year, so updates should come fairly quickly. If you see any strange formatting that I missed when I was pulling it from Celtx to here, please point them out to me so I can fix it. Dragon Age will be making an appearance in the next chapters, and we should be moving along quickly from here.
Thanks for reading!