A/N: What you are about to read is the result of waiting too long for book five. I made this up one night for a passel of younger kids, and it grew just a bit, and has become a large never ending tale, which I shall post as I finish it. I have to warn all of you that Harry and friends won't be in this much, and after one point, some of them not at all. This story is set some 800 years before Harry, and sets the stage for Harry's oldest child, and seven more, some of whom have families you've already met, and some who are new. So, without further ado, join me for a look at Harry's family, on his Mother's side in the dim reaches of history.
Prelude to Prophecy, Elric's Story
Mediwizard Debra Xavier arrived at the Order of Merlin Hospice nearly three hours early Friday morning. She was hoping to finish the end of week, end of month and other assorted paperwork the administrators thought was so important, even though Debra had yet to see any paperwork heal a patient. Getting here this early insured she would have a couple of uninterrupted hours of work. She made tea and checked her appearance while the water warmed. Her hair was black, and long enough to fall halfway down her back, in a silky shimmering mass. After last night's games with her husband, she had been half afraid she would still have kiss marks. Her dark brown nearly black eyes danced as she remembered the night. She shook the memory off, and started working.
When her apprentice arrived at nine, she was finished, and going over the day's schedule. "Good Morning Jannic" She said, smiling at him. Jannic Mungo stopped in the doorway of her office, raising an eyebrow as he surveyed her empty desk, the amazing number of things to be filed, sent on, or otherwise disposed of, and her smile.
"Here it is, a beautiful Friday, and I bring my boss some of my best pastries, fresh from my oven, and what do I find? My slave driver has finished all the paperwork, leaving me no choice but to file it all today, thereby insuring I miss my date tonight."
Debra tried to look penitent, but the laughter in her eyes gave her away. "Fresh pastries and a date tonight? Those pastries aren't a bribe to leave early are they?"
Jannic shook blond hair from his face and grinned wryly at Debra. "No, although leaving on time for once would be a novel experience." He watched her devour the first pastry with a speed that would do credit to a starving dragon, and start the second at a more sedate pace before dropping the bad news on her. "You have a new patient today."
Debra paused with a mouth full of pastry, considering the look on his face. She finished the bite, and set the pastry down. "If I had an arrival, why wasn't I notified?"
Jannic grimaced. "He came in last night, as an emergency, but the head administrator downgraded him to routine, and assigned him to you because you have the best chance of saving him. At least, that's the story according to a little bird I know."
Debra's eyes flashed. "What he means, is that if he continues to drop the impossible cases in my lap, sooner or later I will lose one, and he can fire me." Jacob Malfoy and Debra had a long running feud. Debra believed they were here to heal people, and Jacob merely wanted to make money. Debra sighed. "Tell me about our patient. How bad is it?"
Jannic referred to a scroll. "His name is Elric Evans, and he's half of a soul bonded couple. Cassandra Clearwater, the other half, died yesterday." Debra took a minute to absorb that, then jerked upright. Her mind raced, trying to recall the very limited information she had on Soulbonds. Looking at her bookcase, she found the scroll she wanted. One quick spell later, she was reading the small passage on Soulbonds.
When she looked up, her face was a mixture of anger, worry and puzzlement. "In all of recorded history, there have only been nineteen Soulbonds. Seven couples went insane, apparently unable to deal with the dual input, six couples went berserk, and killed each other for reasons unknown, and of the last six, who made it to full bonding, the previous five couples died simultaneously. What is different this time?" Jannic shrugged. "When did his other half die?"
Jannic consulted the scroll again. "Around noon yesterday. They had been bonded for eleven years."
Debra stood up, and started out. "Bring the whole kit, I don't know what we may need." Jannic grabbed the medikit with the various things they used on patients, and started after her.
When he caught up, she was muttering to herself. "What am I supposed to do with him? He's half a person, and I can't replace the other half."
"Jacob left one of his notes in the file, you should read it." he said, as he handed it to her. Debra read the note, written on one of the small scraps of parchment Jacob used for notes to himself. As she read it, she came to a stop in the hall, and the look in her eyes made Jannic very glad he had not written that note.
"That brainless, heartless money grubbing git has gone too far this time." She read Elric's file as she walked, until they reached her husband's office. She ducked inside without a word.
William Xavier was not one of the extended Xavier Clan, as his startling red hair and heavy Scots accent made plain. Debra and William had met in school, where Xavier, Debra and Xavier, William were forever being paired up. He sometimes joked that Debra had married him simply to keep the Xavier name. Jannic thought about what Debra had to do today and grinned at William's apprentice. "Less than five minutes, two to one odds, up to ten Sickles." He challenged. The two apprentices had a running bet on how long the two lovebirds would spend in the office.
David Guranik smiled back. "Five minutes? No way. You're covered." They watched the hourglass, count off minutes, and David jerked in surprise when the door opened at just four minutes. "Will you wait for payday?" He suggested hopefully. Jannic nodded as he followed Debra out.
Debra shot him a look as they walked. "How much this time?"
"Just five Sickles, I gave him odds." Jannic said.
Debra shook her head, and thought about her new patient. "Now that William is covering my patients we can concentrate on Elric today."
Jannic recited what they knew from memory. "Elric Evans, age twenty-nine, although he looks about sixty, a side effect of the Soulbond. Catatonic, and completely non responsive since arrival."
At Elric's room, they went though the familiar routine, Jannic setting out an Accucopy quill and parchment, ready to take notes so Debra could devote herself to the patient. Elric's room was a simple long-term care room, with a bed, a desk and dresser. It was painted in muted colors, relaxing without being bland. Debra pulled the chair from the desk to the side of the bed, as she visually checked her patient. Elric was a handsome man, even with the accelerated aging of the bond. Had he been standing, he would have been nearly two meters high, with the body of an aging athlete. The characteristic vivid green eyes that were the mark of almost all Evans were open, but nobody was there.
Debra cast the Perlego anima viscus spell on Elric and got a shock. All of his signs were nearly double normal. She told them to Jannic as she regarded her patient. "Elric, can you hear me?" She waited but there was no answer. She placed one on his forehead, and as she touched his skin, he began speaking.
His words ran together, as if he was trying to say everything at once. "PatientchildEightFightLightningmarkDeathFate." Elric kept that up until she removed her hand, as if physical contact were required for speech. Debra considered what she knew, and what she thought. Acting on a hunch, she cast the spell that allowed her to see the aura of a person. Her eyes widened as she saw not one, but two auras, one with a feminine feel to it. Following the logic of her hunch, she cast Perlego Cerebrum over Elric. As she had suspected after seeing his auras, there were two patterns there working in tandem, and tied together in ways she could not even follow.
She released the spells and regarded Elric as she dictated notes to Jannic, concluding with, "Preliminary conclusions lead me to believe Cassandra Clearwater is not as dead as we were led to think."
Jannic looked at her. "Why? I mean, why are they still alive? I thought you said that Soulbonded always died together." "They always have before. This is something totally new." She considered Elric again. "Whatever they are trying to say must be very important to them. Somehow, they are using the Soulbond to keep her alive in Elric's body. The problem is, one body was never meant to hold two people, and the Soulbond burnout is increased. They can't connect to anything we can see or hear." Debra looked at Elric again. "I'll be right back."
Debra and Jannic left, heading for the potions room. Along the way, Debra outlined her plan to Jannic. "Bearers of a Soulbond have always aged at accelerated paces. Something about the bond causes them to age three times faster than normal. Unfortunately, when Cassandra and Elric did whatever they did to keep her, and keep him alive, it only accelerated the process. I don't know how they did it, but they're not connecting to anything we can relate to. I'm hoping that a dose of Snape's slowing potion will allow them to communicate with us."
She continued thinking while Jannic ran through her logic. "It might work." He said.
Debra smiled wryly. "I hope so, because the only others things I can think of to do" She stopped as they turned a corner and saw Jacob Malfoy walking towards them. Jannic was ready to restrain Debra, but when he looked at her, she was smiling at Malfoy.
"Administrator Malfoy, I simply have to thank you for the chance to work on this case. It's going to be absolutely unique." Jacob was still standing in the hall, staring after them when they turned the next corner. Jannic was staring at Debra as they walked, and she smirked at him. "Always keep them guessing."
Jannic shook his finger at her. "You're an evil woman"
"I know. He'll spend the next week thinking I'm going to write something that will be historical about this." She smiled at the thought, and then sobered. "But as I was saying, the only others things I can think of, would be trying to merge with them, or removing Cassandra from Elric, and while I am not sure what merging with them would do, I'm almost positive removing her would kill him."
"Not to mention killing her." Jannic said.
"That too, but she's already mostly dead, and I have to try and save at least one of them."
They reached the Potions room, which was empty except for the potions Mediwizard, Lauryl Snape. She was a vibrant young woman with pretty features and warm blue eyes. Her only flaw was the slightly oily look to her brown hair. "Hello Lauryl, we need" Debra trailed off as Lauryl held up a hand for silence. She finished counting drops of some blue fluid into a potion, and dropped an item into the potion.
Turning an hourglass, she made a couple of notations, and turned to them smiling. "Sorry about that, but that one has to be very precise, and done in a limited time. Now, what can I do for you?" Suddenly she raised her head slightly and sniffed the air. "Jannic, is that your pastries I smell? I just love them fresh from the oven, did you bring me one?" Debra watched as a blushing Jannic apologized. "That's all right," Lauryl said smiling impishly. "You can make it up to me tonight."
Debra raised an eyebrow as she filed all this away for later. "Actually, we need some of the slowing potion." Lauryl and Debra had a quick discussion about doses, body weights and other facts about the patient and the potion. When they were done, Lauryl measured out three small vials and gave them to Debra.
"Each dose is good for about two hours, come see me if you need some more." Lauryl told Debra.
Debra grinned at a very quiet Jannic. "If I do, shall I send Jannic down with a pastry bribe?"
Lauryl lit up. "That would be great." Jannic blushed again, and Debra started back while Lauryl whispered something in a very red faced Jannic's ear.
As Debra waited outside Elric's room, she went over her idea, searching for flaws. Jannic came down the hall, speaking before Debra could say anything. "One word, and Jacob gets a love letter from you."
Debra regarded her friend innocently. "May I ask you just one question?"
Jannic hesitated, looking at her suspiciously. "Yes?"
"Well, it's just that your pastries are homemade, and you told me once that you only bake early in the morning, because of the heat."
"Yes, what's your point?" Jannic asked suspiciously.
Debra stood before Elric's door, flashing a wicked grin over her shoulder at Jannic. "So... how does Lauryl know what they taste like fresh from the oven?" She went through the door while a blushing Jannic was still trying to answer that. Inside the room, Debra pulled the chair up next to the bed, and explained to Elric what she was going to try. She didn't know if he heard her, but speaking it out let her go over it one more time. She carefully poured a dose into Elric's mouth, and massaged his throat until he swallowed. She waited the three minutes Lauryl had said the potion would take to take affect and spoke to Elric. "Elric, can you hear me?"
She felt a surge of elation as he blinked, and tried to focus on her. "How do you feel?"
Elric blinked several times, and finally focused on her. "We feel like something the dragons were playing with, but we've got to say something." Elric's voice was odd, as if both of the people were using his vocal cords. "Get us a parchment and an Accucopy quill please." Jannic passed her the requested items, and she prepped them. She told Elric that they were ready, and he opened his eyes. The vivid green eyes were looking far away, as he began speaking in that strange voice.
"Wizard's darkest days coming, foreshadowed by the one that seems to prevail.
Four times nine are the years he shall try, His only Fate to fail.
His defeat at the hands of the one marked by Lightning,
Shall bring Peace's Joy, where most find nothing frightening.
Enjoy this era, for the Patient Child is born.
With the Doomed One's knowledge, the peace is torn.
Pity the Patient Child, unfit for the fire, not suited for the Path given.
Fear the Patient Child, Healing Heart and Iron Hands riven.
Three time seven years shall the peace hold,
Then time returns for the people bold.
Patient Child, using means that few can know,
Strikes wizard's world a devastating blow.
In this Darkest Hour, shall rise a new Force,
Eight who are One, setting their own course.
Two born a world apart, yet Blood the least of bonds tight.
The Seer, looking within for knowledge with other Sight.
One only half Human, saving where it will count.
The Fireheart, bravery that danger cannot mount.
The Observer, a Warrior's Soul with an Artist's Eye.
Mental Wizard, Even over Kin, no coin this Honor can buy.
The Rebel, Healing Hands with a heart that will not Lie.
On these Eight rests the Whole world's Fate.
Trust their Compassion; Teach them not to Hate,
With Honor, Trust and Love, they must be True.
Without them, the Patient Child wins past anything you can do.
Travails, Sorrow and Loss shall be their Fate,
Unless within each other they find Heart's Mate.
In all the ways of the world, train them well,
For with their Victory shall ring Peace's Bell.
This warning we give, for those who will be,
Though most will ignore, and few will see.
Trust in yourselves, and aid the Eight,
Else, the Whole World rues its Fate.
Of this last Verse, take serious note.
Should Death or Despair one of the Eight Smote,
Victory over the Patient Child will be hard to Do,
Worse it will be, Never to win if the Eight lose two.
Elric finished speaking and looked at Debra. "Read it back to us." Debra did, caught in a feeling she was part of something important. When she was done, Elric closed his eyes. "Make copies, one for your family, and one for the Evans Clan leader. At some point, it's going to be needed."
Elric's face changed, softening, becoming more feminine somehow. "Greeneyes, we're done, it's time to sleep now." Only one voice spoke now, and it was purely female.
The next voice was purely Elric. "Why should we, My Heart? My body is failing fast enough, we can stay till it does."
Cassandra's reply was soft, and filled with love. "Already we are losing connections, would you risk being separated from me forever?"
Elric's voice was equally soft and filled with fear at that idea. "Never that"
The female voice spoke again, this time to Debra. "Would you open the curtains? I would look at the sky one more time" Debra did so, and Elric/Cassandra turned their face towards the blue sky showing. "Now hold me tight Greeneyes, and we will go together. Surely a compassionate universe will not separate us."
One last time the combined voices of Elric and Cassandra spoke, even as the light faded from their eyes. "I love you."
Debra sat staring at the sky, unaware of the tears streaming down her face. She looked at Elric's body, and the unseeing eyes staring out at the sky. She reached over and slowly closed the eyes. Gathering the prophecy up she gave it to Jannic. "Go to the office, and make a dozen copies of this. Don't let anyone see them, then bring me the original." Debra began the work that any death of a patient brought as Jannic left. Debra performed her work slowly, still thinking about what had just happened.
Debra was arguing with Jacob again. "Listen to me you poor ignorant misbegotten son of a weasel." She took a deep breath and launched into her diatribe. "You downgrade him to routine, when he was clearly an emergency, and didn't inform me he was here so I could do something for him, even if I could have. Half of him was gone, and I could not replace it, nor could anyone less. Elric died because his Soulbonded other half did, and that always happens. Every procedure was properly carried out, and there was a witness, so what are you calling a board for?"
Malfoy smirked at her. "The fact is, a patient died under your care, with you in the room, after you gave him an extremely strong potion. To make it worse, the only witness is a man you've ... shared pastries with." Jacob's oily tone made it clear he was not talking about eating cakes. Debra was reaching for her want, intent on hexing Jacob into next week when the door to Malfoy's office opened, and three men came in.
"Jacob Malfoy, you will come with us. The Evans family has some questions about a note, implying you wanted Elric Evans kept alive for monetary gain."
Jacob paled. "But" He looked at a smugly smiling Debra.
"Jacob, you write too much down to be a good crook. Next time, don't write it down, or at least keep track of your notes."
A/N: I already have five years of the Eight's tale written, and if a sufficient number of people want to hear it, I will post it. (That sufficient number is... ummm, well, one. I know I hate reading part of a story and not getting to finish it.) I do have one little request. In your comments, should you feel this deserves any, you do not need to mention that my lyrical poetry is bad. I know it is, but traditionally, prophecy comes in two forms. Those are lyrical and religious. I chose the lyrical because JKR has not mentioned any form of religion in her books, and I chose not to open that particular complex issue. Enough babbling... I hope you enjoyed the story, but whatever you thought or felt about it, I would love to hear about it. (I wonder if you can make a magical computer virus, that only affects people that read and don't review. ~Wanders off looking for a computer wizard~) Please review.