Dreams in the Night
James Evans woke suddenly in the night. His bed was sweat soaked, as if he had a fever, or had been having a nightmare. He concentrated on the link he shared with his twin. Rose was gripped in the throes of a nightmare, and it was her terror that had woken James. He sent soothing emotions down the link, trying to ease her out of it, but she was past the point where that would work. He got up and put on his robe.
James's room was the room of a boy with many assorted interests, in both the Muggle and wizard worlds. A computer shared desk space with spell books, and a shelf held a baseball bat and a Nimbus 2000. On his table, the unfinished model of a 57 Chevy crowded a simmering potion. James was an average looking boy of ten, of middle height, and the athletic build of a boy who spent most of his time outside. His one truly outstanding feature were the vividly green eyes that marked most Evans, although something in the lines of his face suggested he might be very handsome when he grew up. His robe on, he opened the door to room, and stepped across the hall to Rose's room.
His twin's room was a near mirror image of James's, from the sporting gear to the models, although Rose was working on a Muggle aircraft model. James crossed to her bed and reached out to shake her gently. As he touched her, Rose uttered a piercing shriek and sat up suddenly. James was so startled he tripped over his own feet as he leaped backward, and fell. From his position on the floor, he looked at Rose with wide eyes. She was sitting up, but her eyes were blank as she spoke. "The Patient Child has the Doomed One's Knowledge." With that rather cryptic statement, Rose lay back, apparently asleep again. James considered the feel of her mind, and got up. He watched her for a minute, making sure she was not falling back into her nightmare, and turned to leave.
Closing her door, he felt another presence, and turned to find his father standing there. "Another nightmare?" Robert Evans asked, keeping his voice low.
James looked up at his father. "Yes, and a rather unusual comment." He told his father what had happened, and Robert stiffened.
"She said what exactly?"
James repeated it word for word. Robert closed his eyes and sighed, his face a mask of resignation and dismay. He looked again at James, as if he had never seen him, and James studied him in return. Robert Evans was an older version of his son, neat black hair and green eyes, but where James had only the promise of future handsomeness, Robert had it. His body was tall and muscular, with a natural grace many envied.
Running a hand through his hair, he told James to go back to bed. "We're going to be busy tomorrow."
James considered him thoughtfully. "Are you finally going to tell us about Rose's nightmares?"
His father nodded slowly. "Among other things, which I had hoped not to have to tell you for ten or twelve more years." With that statement, nearly as cryptic as Rose's had been, Robert hugged his son, and turned back to the bedroom he shared with Mary. James stood in the hall for a minute thinking, and then returned to his bed. Sleep however, was long in returning to him.
In the master bedroom, Mary Evans waited for her husband of nearly fifteen years. When he entered the room, she asked what had happened.
Robert looked at his wife for a minute, admiring the beautiful woman that had consented to marry him all those years ago. Mary was tall, only three inches shy of his 6'2", with a silky mass of brown hair falling past her waist. Despite nearing her fourth decade, and raising two children who sometimes got into unbelievable situations, there was no gray in that hair, and her warm brown eyes were still filled with love for her mate.
"What happened?" she asked again, and Robert shook off the reverie he had fallen into.
"Rose has the Evans Sight, and she quoted the Prophecy," he replied.
Mary looked at him, eyes filled with dread. "Are you sure?" she asked, in a voice touched with fear.
"It's not an exact quote, but she referred to line six. 'The Patient Child has the Doomed One's Knowledge' is what James heard," he told her.
Mary closed her eyes, as she queried Robert. "Now what do we do?"
"What can we do? We have to start looking for the rest of the Eight, and alert the family." Robert kissed his wife softly. "Get some sleep, Lovelight. Tomorrow is going to be busy." Mary lay back down, but like her son, sleep evaded her.
Robert went into his office and took a seat at his desk. Accessing the Internet, he sent a prewritten message that he had long hoped to be able to delete. After it was gone, he grabbed a dozen scrolls, and went to the owlery where the owls for his business were kept, and sent the scrolls off. Back in the office, he carefully opened a case on the wall, and removed the old parchment inside. Setting it in a holder, he booted a file up, and compared them for the hundredth time. After an hour of study and double-checking, he sat back with a sigh. "Eight hundred years this has waited, why couldn't it have waited another eight hundred?" he asked the parchment rhetorically. He rose and crossed to the large picture window. He was still standing there, lost in thought, as the sun rose over the Montana mountains his family loved so well. The peaceful serenity of the dawn was broken, though, when he saw the storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
The next morning three somber faces were gathered in the kitchen making breakfast when Rose came in. "Good morning everyone. I had the strangest dream last night." They stiffened, and Rose caught it. "Not another nightmare, this one was just strange."
Robert smiled at his daughter. "Why don't you tell us about it, while you and James set the table for breakfast."
"Okay, well, James and I were in this really strange room with a bunch of other people, but I could only see a few clearly."
Robert looked at her sharply. "Can you describe them for us?"
Rose thought for a minute. "Let's see, there was an old man, with a long white beard, and some kids our age. There was a girl with eyes like ours, Evans green, but she had red hair, and another redheaded girl, with brown eyes, who was sitting with a blonde girl and a huge boy, nearly as big as dad. There was another boy there, who looked really sensitive, and a girl with black hair and eyes." She paused, considering her dream. "I felt as if I had known them forever."
Robert and Mary exchanged glances, and Robert asked Rose to describe the room they had been in.
"It was really cool, the ceiling was the sky, or an illusion of it."
Robert frowned as a thought crossed his mind. He left the kitchen, and returned with a picture. "Is this the room you were in?"
Rose looked at the picture. "That's the room. Where is it?" She turned the picture over, and read the caption on the back. "Hogwarts Dining Hall." She looked up, puzzled. "Why do we have pictures of a British Wizard's school? Even if it is Harry Potter's school."
Mary answered her. "Because one of your relatives went there. One of the British Evans, Lily Evans to be exact, and in her youth, she and your father corresponded."
Rose looked up, eyes gleaming. "Was she there when Harry Potter was there?"
Robert grinned at her. "Not exactly. Cousin Lily was Harry Potter's Mother."
James and Rose exchanged startled looks. "We're related to the Potters?" James asked, surprised.
Robert shrugged. "Distantly. I think you're fifth or sixth cousins."
James and Rose looked at each other. "James, do you remember that paper?"
"I do, and I remember asking about famous relatives, but I don't recall hearing this then."
"I bet they have one of those adult reasons for not telling us this." Two nearly identical faces waited expectantly.
Robert grinned. "We didn't want you making a big deal about it."
"We were right," the younger Evans chorused.
Breakfast was a quiet meal, with everyone busy with his or her own thoughts. James and Rose were thinking about their famous relative, Robert was considering Rose's dream, and Mary was thinking of the danger about to engulf her children. The meal went quickly with everyone occupied, and when the dishes were done and left to dry, Robert gathered everyone in the office.
Robert passed James and Rose a printed copy of the parchment he had been caretaker of for more than a decade, and told them to read it. The twins sat, and pored over the short text. James looked up. "What does R-I-V-E-N mean?" he asked.
His mother answered him. "The word is riven, and it means torn apart."
Rose asked the only other question. "What does smote mean?"
"It means hit, dear," answered their mother.
When they were finished, the twins looked at each other, eyes full of the silent communication that they used in place of words.
When they were done James turned to their parents. "It's creepy, but what does it have to do with us, or Rose's nightmares?"
Robert sat back in his chair, and began to speak. "That prophecy was written eight hundred years ago by one of our direct ancestors, and normally you would not have seen it until you graduated from the North American Wizard's Academy. Every Evans gets a copy then, and you would not have been any different except that it appears that the time of the prophecy is here now." He paused, sighing heavily. "I'll run you through what we know, or think, about it line by line." He looked up at the ceiling, gathering his thoughts. "The first three lines refer to Harry Potter and the dark wizard Voldemort."
Mary quoted them,
"Wizard's darkest days coming, foreseen by the one that appears 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,"
Here Mary paused. "That would be Harry Potter," said James. "But it wasn't 36 years, was it?"
Robert nodded. "If you count it from the first time he killed, yes, it was. The next two lines deal with the time that has passed since his defeat, and the birth of the enemy." Once again, Mary quoted,
"Shall bring peace's joy, where most find nothing frightening,
Enjoy this era, for the Patient Child is born."
Rose looked troubled. "I think I've dreamed of this child, and some books."
"You have Rose, and will again," Mary said quietly, "but that comes later."
Robert took up the thread. "The next three lines describe the Patient Child, and they are disturbing, because nobody can really agree on what they mean."
"With the Doomed One's knowledge, the peace is torn.
Pity the Patient Child, unfit for the fire, not meant for the path given.
Fear the Patient Child, Healing Heart and Iron Hands riven."
"Doomed One's knowledge refers to the spellbooks of Voldemort, which are still missing despite having more than a hundred Aurors looking for them full-time. Fearing this enemy seems natural, but the line about pity doesn't make sense to me," Robert said. "After all, we're not trying to destroy him, but him us."
"Three time seven years shall the peace hold,
Then time returns for the people bold."
"This is the time line before the next war starts, what the prophecy calls Wizard's darkest hour. Twenty-one years from the fall of Voldemort is the accepted answer, which means we have about eight to ten years."
Mary frowned. "I wish we had an extra twenty years, but this is what we have."
Robert reached out for his wife's hand. "The next two lines deal with the start of the War."
"Patient Child using means that few can know,
Strikes wizard's world a devastating blow."
"These two lines are argued fiercely. Some of us think the Patient Child will use Muggle weapons. Few wizards know anything about Muggle weapons, and fewer could defend against them. Other people say He'll use new Unforgivable Curses." Mary gave a small smile. "Now for the Light. These lines tell us about the people that will save us."
"In this Darkest Hour, shall rise a new Force,
Eight who are One, setting their own course."
"Just Eight people shall save the world. That will be a heavy burden on them." Mary said. "The next seven lines describe the Eight."
"Two born a world apart, yet Blood the least of bonds tight."
Robert frowned. "A Soulbonded couple is the generally accepted answer, which opens a whole can of worms of it's own."
"Why is that, Dad?" asked James curiously, trying to remember anything he'd ever heard about Soulbonds.
"That's a long story, which we'll get into later. Suffice it to say, a Soulbond would put a very short time limit on us winning." Mary continued the dissection of the prophecy.
"The Seer, looking within for knowledge with other sight."
"That's Rose, isn't it?" said James. "That's what the dreams are, some form of Foresight."
"Yes, Rose has a gift we call the Evans Sight. I'll give you a book with all the information we have on the Sight, but that's still not a lot, simply because it's a rare gift." Said their Father to Rose.
"One only half human, saving where it will count."
"This line is about someone like Sheryl Penwall, whose mother was a Veela."
"The Fireheart, Bravery that danger cannot mount."
"A very brave person, but that's not a lot to go on." Robert commented wryly. "Although being too brave can be as dangerous as being a coward."
"The Observer, a Warrior's soul, with an Artist's eye."
Again, this is not a lot to go on, without knowing who it's about."
"Mental Wizard, even over Kin, no coin this honor can buy."
"Mental wizard means a very smart person, far brighter than anybody we know, added to a strong sense of honor. Not that this tells us much more than the last two lines. After ten years of looking at this, I hate prophecy." Robert grinned. "It's worse than that book of brainteasers you got me." He sobered suddenly. "Not to mention, this has far more drastic consequences."
"The Rebel, Healing Hands with a heart that will not Lie."
Mary spoke for the first time in a while. "The rebel part is not clear, but healing hands and open heart most likely mean somebody with the healing gift, although that's even rarer than the Animage talent. The next four lines are about the Eight as a group."
"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."
"These lines also raise debate. A minority thinks this means everyone, Muggles included. I am one of them, and so is your mother. I think that if the enemy used Muggle weapons, He'd be familiar with the Muggle world, and might want to rule both worlds."
James and Rose stared at each other for a long minute, and then turned back to their parents. "It includes the Muggles, we think, or at least Rose has a hunch that way, and I have nothing to offer against it."
Mary looked at Rose. "Trust those hunches and feelings Rose, it might be your gift trying to tell you something. The rest of this section is almost too easy," she added. "Honor, trust and love — without these we would be no better than the Patient Child or Voldemort."
Robert commented on the next few lines. "These two lines deal with how the Eight should be."
"Travails, Sorrow and Loss shall be their Fate,
Unless within each other they find Heart's Mate."
"This is the only line your father and I disagree on. I believe that it means the Eight will form four couples and he thinks it means the bonds of people who go to war together, which is a closer bond than blood many times."
Again, the silent conversation passed between the twins. "We disagree also. Rose agrees with Dad, and I agree with you, Mom."
"In all the ways of the world, train them well,
For with their Victory shall ring Peace's Bell."
"The biggest point of debate in the entire thing. Most of the Evans clan agrees with Uncle Alexander on this, that the Eight should be trained as wizards and in Muggle warfare. I hate to say it, but I agree. As much as I hate the violence of Muggles, if nothing else, using those tactics against unprepared wizards would give our side a major advantage."
"This warning we give, for those who will be,
Though most will ignore, and few will see."
Robert was grim as he spoke about this. "Since I started tracking the signs fourteen years ago, I've tried to built a network for when the war starts. In all that time, I've gotten less than 120 people, and most of them are family."
"Trust in yourselves, and aid the Eight,
Else the Whole World rues its Fate."
"Fairly simple instructions for everyone that believes in the prophecy. The last few lines are a warning to the Eight, and everyone that depends on them. Rose is one of the Eight, and we think you could be another James, so you should both pay particular attention to the end of it."
"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."
When Mary was done speaking the lines, there was a long silence. James and Rose were locked in another of their silent conversations, and their parents waited. Mary and Robert were very aware of the youth of their children, and this task would be a heavy weight at a time when they should be thinking of games and hobbies, rather than saving the world. Finally, they ended their silent talk and looked at their parents. James spoke quietly. "So what you trying to tell us is that in a few years we're going to be in the front of a war that will make anything that has gone before like a child's argument."
Robert nodded slowly. "Yes, that's just about it." The twins glanced at each other yet again, and turned back.
Something in their eyes was changing even as they spoke in tandem, becoming older. "What do we do now?"
Robert and Mary reached for them. Looking at each other over the heads of their children as they held them, they mourned the loss of childhood, and the innocence of youth.
Finally, the quick tapping of an owl's beak of the window drew them back, and James went to get the owl, passing the letter to his father as he fed and watered the bird. Robert set the message down and moved to his bookshelf, looking for a particular book. He drew down a slim volume, and handed it to Rose. "In that book are the personal records of every person to have the Evans Sight for almost 720 years." He smiled whimsically. "All five of them. It's yours now, until you die when it will be saved for the next Seer of the Blood. I wish I could offer better training, but the Sight affects people in different ways. Dreams are just the first manifestation. It will mature, and change, becoming another type of sight. It has been a trance state, showing what will be, and an inner sight, allowing you to track the future actions of people by the choices they make, and only time will tell how you will see the future." Robert looked gravely at his daughter. "Foresight is a heavy burden for anyone, Rose, and you will need to be strong to bear this gift."
Robert was speaking quietly, but he was not surprised when his answer game from James, caring for another owl that had arrived while he spoke to Rose. "That's not quite right. We will need to be strong, because I will always be there for Rose."
James came over and handed the second message to his father. Robert skimmed the two messages and then checked his email. "I have a bit of business to clear up, and I should be getting the first of the answers to my owls of last night fairly quick, so I'm going to be busy for a couple of hours."
Mary came over and put her arms around his neck from behind. "Then I could take the children out of your hair for a while, and we could meet at the Final Port for lunch."
Rose looked up from the book. "Where's the Final Port?"
"In Tribune," answered Robert.
The twins jumped up, grinning widely. "Tribune? Really? You're so cool, Mom." They rushed out to get ready for a trip to North America's biggest wizard community.
Robert looked at Mary and pulled her into his lap. "What's in Tribune anyway?"
"It's time for new robes, and the grand opening of Weasley Wizard Wheezes is today, so I thought they'd enjoy that." Mary nuzzled his neck for a minute before continuing. "Plus, I thought I might take them by Constance's place."
Robert pulled back far enough to look in his wife's eyes. "Going to have James tested for the Healing gift?"
"Yes, I am. We need to know if he's one of the Eight, and which one he is." Said Mary.
"He may be one of the Soulbonded, and there's no way to test for that."
Mary looked worried. "I know, and I would rather he was not part of the Prophecy than one of them."
"Mary," began Robert, but she interrupted him.
"Don't you 'Mary' me Robert Evans. You know the facts of Bonds as well as I do. Even if he and the other one get past the input, and the frenzy, you and I both know no Soulbonded couple has lived more than fifteen years past the bonding. If he bonds in his first year of school, he won't live to see his 27th birthday, and I do not want to outlive our children."
"Mary, listen to me. Right now he could be any of them, or he and Rose could be the first line."
It was Mary's turn to pull back and look at her husband. "Rose's dream has me thinking. If, as Rose's dream suggests, they attend Hogwarts, we might have been wrong about Rose being the Seer. There are at least three large families in Europe than have far more Seers than the Evans do, including the Clearwaters, where we got our Sight in the first place." Robert stopped and thought about his new idea carefully, seeking logic flaws. "Follow my thinking here. The prophecy was given in England 800 years ago, and modern America and medieval England are worlds apart. Plus they have the tightest twin link I've ever even heard of, and they share so any gifts, that being brother and sister is the least of their bonds."
"What about the Seer, Robert?"
"Like I said, there are at least three families in Europe that are known for the Gift of Sight, and any of them could have the child who will be the Seer. In fact, the Evans Sight did not show up until Elric Evans and Cassandra Clearwater bonded and married, and the Sight only shows up in their descendants. None of the rest of the Evans clan has it, not even the ones descended from Elric's brothers."
"Elric Evans? He wrote the Prophecy, though. How could it be from Cassandra's blood?"
"Legend has it that Elric lived for a day or so after Cassandra died, still the only Soulbonded to have done so. According to the letter that came with the Prophecy, the Mediwizard in charge of his case found that they were sharing the bond, with Cassandra's spirit actually in Elric's body. So technically, I suppose she wrote the prophecy."
Mary considered this thought. "So even though Rose has the Sight, she might not be the Seer?"
"Maybe." Robert grinned at his wife. "If she is the Seer though, I plan to ask for nice clear prophecies, with names, dates, and no ambiguities."
"Sure, Dad, just like a computer, right?" Rose's eyes were alight with humor as she and James came back into the room.
Robert pretended to wince, as he looked over Mary's shoulder at his children. "Are you ever going to let me forget that?" James smirked as he and Rose slipped into the back and forth speech that drove most people crazy.
"Well, it was —"
"— a nice clear —"
"— prediction, I —"
"— suppose, even if —"
"— it did predict —"
"— good sales on heating —"
"— charms because of snow —"
"— in July."
"Hey, I've already admitted trying to use a computer to run a wizard business was not my best idea, OK?" Robert kissed Mary again, and set her on her feet. He rose from the chair and hugged the twins as he spoke again. "Now that you've reminded me, go help your Mother spend money while I work, and I'll meet you in Tribune later." He looked at Mary speculatively. "Are you going to Portkey to Tribune?"
"Yes, why?" Mary asked, looking at Robert curiously.
Robert smiled. "No reason, I just thought the kids could use my key to return, and you and I could have a Family Business Meeting in the apartment later."
Mary smiled back, even as she blushed. Throwing a quick look at the twins, she spoke softly. "Who's going to be here with them?"
"Alexander will be here by noon." Mary kissed Robert good-bye, and gathered Rose and James, pulling a large, old-fashioned skeleton key from her robes. They all took hold, and disappeared.
Robert stared at the wall for several minutes, and then sat down again. He pulled a scroll and a quill from his desk, and began a long letter to Albus Dumbledore, headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.