A/N: I know I haven't written anything in such a long time. I'm really sorry about that. For a while, I had pretty much decided to give up on fanfiction, but then I changed my mind. Thanks for reading this. I really had no idea as to what story I could write about which book, so I chose the His Dark Materials Trilogy, as it's my favorite trilogy, and the ending is sad beyond belief. I apologize for any inconsistencies you may find, because I don't own the books, and thus am doing this from memory. I hope you like it!

Four years had passed since that fateful day when both Lyra and Will believed that their worlds had ended. The wounds that had afflicted both their hearts when torn from each other would not heal, but each managed to hide it well in front of others, and most importantly, from themselves. Each day, they would put on cheerful façades, ready to go out and face the world. Even when alone, this façade would not falter, for each knew that if it did, he/she would not be able to go on. It was only when they slept that the mask was removed, and the only ones to see the true Lyra and Will, their maskless selves, were Pantalaimon and Kirjava, their dæmons.

Four long years ago, Lyra had been a naïve, joyful girl, her effervescence making all in her presence smile. That had been before her adventures, when she was just Lyra Belacqua of Jordan College. Now she was quiet, seventeen-year-old Lyra Silvertongue of Valycra, the most prestigious girl's college in Oxford.

This Lyra Silvertongue of Valycra was different from Lyra Belacqua of Jordan in more ways than just how loud she could be. If possible, she was now even more beautiful than she had been before with long, golden tresses flowing in waves down to her waist, framing her sweet, narrow face accentuated by her piercing blue eyes full of understanding. The new Lyra understood things that the old one hadn't. She had matured from her experience in the other worlds, and most of all, from being in love. In love with one boy...now a man...Will Parry.

Will hadn't changed much, according to people who didn't know him. Sure, he had grown from a skinny, young boy to an eighteen-year-old man, with the body and face to prove it. Strong muscles were evident in his frame, and Will was tall as any. Yet, he had a gentle look about him. Perhaps it was his tousled hair, or maybe it was the soulful, brown eyes; they didn't know. He had always been somewhat quiet and reserved—almost reclusive, they would say. But these were the people who never made an effort to get to know them. Dr. Mary Malone knew that he had changed. He hadn't had the twinge of sadness and resignment in his eyes until after he knew what it meant to love...and to lose. Grief and maturity beyond his years could be read in those eyes when he was off guard. But to the rest of the world, Will's eyes showed no emotion, a look acquired when he and Lyra had parted. A look hardened two days ago, when his mother had finally died peacefully in his arms, thus joining her loving husband and one true love after a long battle with insanity.

Will knew that all she had wanted to do was to join her husband and be with him after their ten-year separation that had torn at her heart, a feeling Will knew well. But she had hung onto life for Will, her darling, her only child, and even if she had not been coherent for the past few years, she had certainly loved him. Though driven mad with grief of her husband's disappearance, her motherly instincts would not let her die until Will was of age and had graduated from high school. It had been the one thought that had been clear in her mind, the one thing that kept her alive all these years. And now she was gone.

Will had already decided that she was happier where she was now, that her mind was no longer cluttered and confused as it had been in life. It was so hard to let go...he had come to feel protective of his mother, since she was obviously no longer able to take care of him. Now he no longer had a driving goal, and Will felt that he no longer had a purpose in life. He would go to Oxford College, graduate in four years with a law degree...and then what? Argue with people day in and day out to get money? This was not his idea of a fulfilling future.

He needed to talk. To someone, anyone! Where was Kirjava, anyways? These days, she was never about, and when she came back, she would never tell him where she had been. She always smiled mysteriously and left it at that. He would visit Mary.

Will grabbed his jacket from the coat rack, slipped it on, and left the house, carefully locking the door behind himself. He shivered as a gust of wind blew forcefully at him, piercing through the microscopic holes between the fibers of his jacket. He picked up his pace and walked briskly toward Mary's house, which was only five blocks away. He had decided that it would be better for him and his mother if they moved closer. Besides, it wasn't as if they could return to their old house. While he had been gone, the city had bought their house from him, not caring whether or not he lived in it. They had sold everything in house and deposited the money into his parents' bank account. With the money from the house the city had bought, Will bought a small, two-person home nearby Mary's, where they had lived for four years. Now he would have to sell this one and move again....It was a good thing Will didn't have very many possessions; they had mostly been liquidated and the money deposited. He was also grateful that his parents only had one bank account, and that through the years, interest rates had soared and left him with more money than he could ever use in his lifetime.

When he reached Mary's house, he found the door unlocked. He knocked and entered. She must have been expecting him. True, he had been over there for most of the time during the past two days, seeking comfort, warmth, and love. He had only gone home to sleep, for now that his mother was dead, he couldn't bear to see so many reminders of her all over the house.

"Will, is that you?" Mary yelled from the kitchen.

"Yes. How are you?" Will responded.

"Hold on there; I'm coming right out...let me just put on the tea kettle..." Mary came out of the kitchen. "Can't hear you very well in there. The stove's quite noisy." She looked at Will carefully. "My dear boy, have you been getting any sleep for the past two days?" she asked concernedly. "Your eyes are bloodshot!"

Will groaned. "You're partially right. They are bloodshot. But I have been trying to get some sleep. It's just that...I can't fall asleep very easily, and when I do, I have the most horrible nightmares of my mother, calling out to my father and not being able to find him. And he's calling for her. They can't seem to find each other, though they're very, very close. And then the dream spins to Lyra. She's deathly pale, and her eyes are wide with fright. She and Pan are bound to the wall, and a hooded man beats them. I too am tied up and can't escape. I yell for him to stop beating her, to kill me instead. He laughs maniacally and begins to lift her dress and force himself on her. She screams hysterically, and as much as I try, I can't get loose to help her. I can't even stop watching the scene, for another man holds my head in that direction and opens my eyelids so that I must see...I loved them so much, Mary. The father I never knew, the mother I had to take care of...and Lyra. I don't give my love easily, but it seems as if everyone I ever loved has been taken from me. Everyone except for you and Kirjava." Will began to break down and cry, something he hadn't done since goodness knows when.

Mary awkwardly patted him on the back, and said, "There, there. Cry it all out, Will. You're eighteen years old and a man, but you need a good cry once in a while. Everyone does. And if you never cry, you aren't human. You can't hold it in like that anymore, Will. Cry it out, dear. Just cry it out."

A/N: I don't know how long this chapter is, because it's different on Microsoft Word than on the internet. I hope it's not too short...and I know this chapter's kind of depressing, and not much goes on. We'll get some more action later, I promise. This is just my introduction. I hope you liked it. Please review!