Title:  Mortal Destiny, Prequal to "Immortal Destiny"

Songfic: "For you" by Barenaked Ladies from "Everything for Everyone"

Disclaimer:  The Dark is Rising characters belong to Susan Cooper, and the Barenaked Ladies own the rights to the lyrics to "For you".  I own nothing, except my cat, but you really don't want karma – she has a tendency to bite you in the ass.

A/N:  This is my first attempt at a songfic (probably my last), so be kind since I just wrote it down

// = song lyrics

The Stanton house was as full as it had ever been; with all seven children home for the Christmas holidays -- as well as the youngest Stanton's five friends visiting for his fourteenth birthday.  It was the day of his birthday, and Will Stanton could hear his family and friends jostling around downstairs, as breakfast was prepared.  He loved everyone in his family, and was touched that his friends had taken the time away from their families during the holidays to visit him.

Too bad it would be the last day he would ever spend in their company.

// In a book in a box high upon a shelf // In a locked and guarded vault

// Are things I keep only for myself //  Its your fate, but it's not your fault

Will looked at himself in the mirror.  He was small for his age, and looked much younger than fourteen.  In fact, he looked the same as he had on his eleventh birthday three years ago.  The day he had come into his powers as an Old One.

//And for every reason I know // There's a reason not to care

The Old One knew that one day he would stop aging, and would have to leave his friends and family behind.  He had assumed that like Merriman, he would age a lifetime as a mortal before he would continue as an Old One.  He had been wrong.

//If I hide myself wherever I go // Am I ever really there?

Will had not aged a day since he had come into his powers.  Now, after putting off the inevitable, it was time for the Old One to leave his family.  The Old One had begun to tire of the need to continuously hide his motives and actions.  Often, Will would be forced to disappear for hours investigating events that might have been influenced by the Dark.  He would then find excuses to explain his absences, but his family was growing concerned as their youngest member began to distance himself from them.       

// There is nowhere else I would rather be // But I can't just be right here

The Old One walked down the stairs, trying his best to memorize every detail.  His mother was busy setting the food out on the table as everyone sat.  All heads turned towards him as he entered the room. 

"Will!  We were about to call you.  You can sit by Bran."

Obediently, Will sat beside his best friend.  The Welsh boy had grown very handsome over the last few years – a fact not lost on the girls in his hometown.  But Will had noticed the covert glances between Jane and Bran, suspecting that the two would be officially dating soon.

The breakfast passed quickly, with Will rarely talking but observing everything with sharp eyes.  Half-way through the meal, James pointed out the window and shouted, "Hey, it's snowing!"

Will smiled slightly; every year before his eleventh birthday he had wished for snow.  It was on his eleventh birthday that he received his wish, but it had been a part of the rising of the Dark.  Even though the Dark was banished, Will still felt uncomfortable during snowstorms. 

This was the second snowfall to happen on his birthday, but this one was not influenced by the Dark nor the Light.  However, the Old One felt that it was a gift for his last day as Will Stanton. 

The Stantons looked to see Will's reaction, remembering his exuberant one a few years ago, but were surprised to see the small nostalgic smile.  At that moment, Will looked his age – no, much older.

// An enigma wrapped in a mystery // Or a fool consumed by fear?

Afterwards, the others played in the fresh snow as Bran and Will sat on the steps.  Out of the corner of his eye, Bran observed his reticent friend. 

For as long as he had known him, Will had been a strange fellow.  The white-haired boy called Will a dewin, which was welsh for wizard.  There were times where Bran wondered if his friend really was a wizard.  It was impossible to tell what the English boy was thinking, and near as hard to tell what he was feeling.

Bran had once asked Will why he never let anyone know what he was thinking.  To which Will answered in a distant voice, "My thoughts do not belong here."

//I will give you all I could ever give // Though it's less than you will need

Suddenly, Will turned to his best friend.

"Bran, can I tell you something important?"

Bran nodded, wandering if Will was finally going to confide in him.

"There is no great evil out there trying to convert men.  The evil in the world comes from men's own hearts.  Nor is King Arthur or Merlin waiting to awaken and save men from themselves.  But that means that all the good people do comes from within.  Remember that, Bran, for it is something few people know."

With that, Will called out to the others to see if they wanted to go for a walk by the river.

It was the last time Bran saw Will, but he would always remember those words.

//Could you forget if you can't forgive // All the things I cannot concede?

Years passed, and though Will's memory faded – it never completely left.  But, there were times when they all thought they had seen Will over the years.  Always appearing to not have aged a day physically, but staring back with ageless eyes.  Each one never spoke of it to the others, but took comfort in the idea that Will was out there somewhere.

Watching, like he always did.

//If I hide myself where I go // Am I ever really there?


A/N: That turned out better than I thought it would – if you liked this please read the sequel "Immortal Destiny" (a xover in the Harry Potter section)  Trust me, it's much better.