Title: Immortal destiny

Spoilers: Third year at Hogwarts, and anything from DiRS

Disclaimer -- Cooper owns DiRS and Rowling owns HP and I just to play so get off my back

Dark is Rising summary:  For those of you who haven't read the books (which I recommend by the way), Will is an part of the Light called an Old One and is immortal.  He was the last to be born and helped in ridding the world of the Dark.  He is the last Old One to be born and remains alone on earth to watch in case the Dark ever tried to return.  He was born an normal English boy and came into powers at the age of eleven.  Any other questions, just email me or better yet read the books.

NOT BETA'd – if you want the job contact me

Chapter 1 – Waiting and Watching

Will sat in the train carriage and sighed, looking out the window.  So many years had passed, but his reflection was still the same as when he'd first boarded a train.  Only for that train ride he had been heading to Wales to recuperate from an illness and find a strange white-haired boy. 

It had been thirty years since he had seen Bran, or anyone else that knew him as Will Stanton.  It had taken only a few years for his family to notice that Will wasn't aging – although, they only assumed that Will would be a late bloomer.  They didn't realize how late he would be. 

As an Old One, Will knew that at one point he would stop aging but had assumed it would not be for many more years.  Finally accepting that he would not age another year, Will died.  At least that's what his family and friends remembered.  The Old One had watched his loved ones for one last time as they gathered around his grave.  Then he left, and although he kept a careful watch over them and their children, they never saw him again.

So Will traveled the world, allowing himself to be periodically 'found' by social services and placed into foster homes; especially in those first few years, when the pain from losing his family was an open wound.  It was only when he was almost adopted did he no longer allow himself this luxury. 

As the pain faded, Will accepted his new life and took pleasure in retaining childish fancies that normally one gave up with age.  The Old One figured if he was going to look like a child for eternity, he would be able to enjoy the innocence and simple pleasures associated with childhood.

So, it was quite an astonishment for Will when an owl flew onto a book he was reading with a small letter addressed simply to 'Will'.  Not that the owl itself surprise, since Will knew about the Wizarding World as an Old One, but that he was receiving a letter from someone.  Seeing the Hogwarts' insignia, Will was shocked.  The letter confirmed the Old One's suspicions – he had been accepted to Hogwarts. 

On the bottom of the letter was a note from Albus Dumbledore that said that the school understood that Will was homeless and a teacher would be sent to assist in his preparations and give financial aid.  While it was true Will had no 'home', usually staying in places in other times, he did have money.  Quite a bit actually, since the Old Ones had kept a vault in Gringotts that all Old Ones had access to. 

The Old One pondered his choices; he could ignore the letter and disappear out of time for a while but that would be forsaking his duty as the Watcher; or he could attend this school but did they or did they not know he was an Old One.  Will knew of Voldemort, but had not intervened because although Voldemort was evil, it was the evil that stemmed from mankind and not the Dark.  But now that this opportunity had presented itself to look more closely into the situation, Will decided it would be prudent to accept and see how destiny unfolded.    

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I wonder if they know I'm an Old One, Will thought curiously, not for the first time, as he exited the train and began searching for his new professor.  The Old One felt the ripple of power before spotting the professor with his eyes.  The elder woman appeared quite stern, but a quick probe into her mind revealed an abundance of sympathy for his 'wretched lot'.  It also revealed that she did not know he was an Old One. "Ah, Mr…," Minerva's voiced trailed off as she realized the orphaned boy apparently had no last name.  His name had appeared on the entrance transcripts simply as 'Will'.  Will waited patiently for her to recollect herself. 

"Will, let's proceed on, then, shall we?" 

It was not a far walk to the Leaky Cauldron and Will made certain to appear surprised when a pub 'magically appeared' when Minerva pointed it out for him.  As they entered the small pub, Will examined his surroundings with interest.  Minerva watched her charge with mild puzzlement; most muggle-born children react with more excitement.  This feeling deepened when Will's calm expression never wavered when the wall to Diagon Alley was opened. 

The afternoon proceeded quickly as they measured Will for robes, and bought school supplies.  Following Minerva closely, Will was surprised to suddenly find himself surrounded by owls, cats, and other animals.  Blinking, Will remembered the owl that had delivered his acceptance letter.

Minerva turned to the boy, strangely pleased at the startled look on his face.

"Will, you may choose an owl, cat, or rat as your pet for this year."  Minerva was about to recommend an owl, when she realized the poor boy had no one to send or receive letters from.

Will wondered around the shop, uncertain what he should choose.  Suddenly, the Old One felt a concentration of power from a cage, buried in the back behind the counter and covered with a black cloth.  The cloth was very dusty and appeared had not been removed from its place for some time. 

"May I see the animal that's under the cover, please?"

The storekeeper looked at Will in shock.  "Son, you don't want that creature – it's a black phoenix, otherwise known as a death phoenix.  They never take a master, and can kill a person with a single scratch."

Will tilted his head, and held out his arm.  Suddenly, the cage crashed to the floor and the black phoenix flew out the newly opened door – onto Will's arm.  Carefully, the phoenix regarded its new master, and mewling slightly caressed Will's cheek with its beak.

The two adults stared at Will in shock.  The storekeeper's face darkened when Will asked how much the phoenix cost.

"I won't take any money for that bird, or from someone that it calls master.  Just take the bird and go!"

Minerva and Will quietly left the shop.  Ignoring the startled gasps from passersby, the pair walked silently towards their last stop.  Minerva covertly watched her young charge.  Will appeared at ease with the hostility of the storekeeper, as well as the strangers in the street.  The black phoenix, now resting on Will's shoulder, watched their reactions with disdain.  A single thought settled uncomfortably in Minerva's mind, Is this young boy allied with Voldemort?

Will understood her concern, but was at amiss on how to relieve her off it.  It's true that death phoenix's don't take masters, but an Old One had nothing to fear because he immortal and could not be killed by a black phoenix.  Will had not wished to draw undue attention to himself, but events seemed to be forcing him in that direction.   

I am Will the Watchman, youngest and last of the Old Ones to be born, Will formally introduced himself in the Old Speech.

I am Munin, the phoenix replied.  I thought that you would never come to retrieve me.

Will was surprised by the information.  You knew I was coming to Hogwarts?

Not exactly, the bird admitted.  I knew I was waiting for someone, hence the reason I allowed myself to be caged by that oaf, but I did not know for whom.  Munin preened.  I am pleased that my master is none of than an Old One, and the last and one of the strongest.

Will smiled inwardly at the smugness in the bird's voice.  Further conversation was impossible since they had arrived at their final destination – Ollivanders. 

A few seconds after entering the shop, an old man appeared behind the counter, as if from thin air. 

"Ah, a new Hogwart's student I see, and quite a strapping lad at that," Mr. Ollivander's eyes twinkled, but soon grew puzzled as he studied the boy.  The old man had a talent for seeing the essence of people, a talent sharpened by dealing with wands whose natures were determined by their cores.  But this boy … for the first time the old man could not get a sense for the person in front of him.  It was as if the boy was not there, even though the old man could see him clearly.

Thus began search for the wand.

"Not even Harry Potter gave me this much trouble," muttered the old man several hours and hundreds of wands later.  As an Old One Will was not tired, but was finding the search tedious.  Three bodies started as the door opening, revealing the figure of Albus Dumbledore.

"Albus, what are you doing here?" Minerva asked in surprise.

With a twinkle in his eye, Albus replied, "I was curious as to what had caused you to be detained for so long."  Sobering, Albus regarded the young boy in front of him.  His eyes widened slightly as he noticed the black phoenix resting on the boy's shoulder, and the boy's apparent ease at its placement there.  Albus had spent much time trying to find information on the boy, but for the first time was unable to discover a thing. 

Realizing that he would looked at with suspicion no matter what he did, Will decided that he would find his wand himself.  Will pondered what type of wand would suit the nature of an Old One.  They were much like the dark phoenix, he realized, with the ability to kill and heal.  A balance between the generosity and love of the light, but the cruelty and hardness to protect it.

"Would all the wands containing the essence of a death phoenix, please, come forth?"

The adults were startled by the sudden statement, and then shocked when wands began to fly towards Will, hovering in front of him.  There were still too many to choose from, so Will thought some more.  The true difference between the Light and the Dark was intent – for they had similar powers.

"Thank you, now, do any of you also contain the freely given blood of an unicorn?"  If stolen, unicorn's blood was a curse, but freely given it was a blessing.  A fine line, but a distinction nonetheless. 

A single wand floated towards Will.  The Old One reached out to confirm what he already knew.  As he touched the wand, a bright light surrounded Will and he felt the comforting presence he had felt only once before when they had called the Circle.  Suddenly, Will realized that the wand had been made by Merriman, Merlin, his former master and the Oldest of the Old Ones.  The bright light condensed to form a human figure, with only the face visible.  The adults shook as the recognized the face of the greatest wizard ever.  Merriman smiled proudly at his pupil, and patted the boy's free shoulder.  Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the light vanished.

Will's grin vanished as he turned to see the expressions on his professor's faces. 

There Will found wonder, awe and lastly … fear.    

 

TBC