I do not, in any way, profit from this story. All canon characters/ places/ etc. belong to the original author.
Important Author's Note:
First, and foremost, I would like to state that Forlorn Hope was not supposed to have a sequel. When I started writing the story, it was not to write another Severitus challenge (for those there are many), but to counter all the responses where everyone lives happily ever after; where Voldemort is defeated and where no strings are left for your own imagination to tie in whatever way you see fit.
However, about half way through, I realized that I would either have to change the ending (and thus the point of the story), or make it into a saga instead (my choice, by this point, ought to be obvious). While the reasons behind the half- forced choice are not important, the original purpose of Forlorn Hope is.
If at all possible, I would like to ask that you treat Forlorn Hope not as the beginning of a portioned work, but as the complete story it is. And, likewise, I would like to ask that you treat this, and any other 'Forlorn Saga' stories, as mere fanfics of the original. Thus, I would like you all to understand that Horris did die that night and, as death should be final in every story, was in no way supposed to come back.
1 : The-Boy-Who-Could-Not-Die
Calm, sweet death had sang to him like a siren; anda as the countless Greek sailors of legend, he too had ran to her call. She was beautiful, and she promised him what he could not attain in life; peace. Endless peace. He had so longed to be with her, and he had accepted him with open arms. In her eyes he could see understanding, acceptance, wisdom. In her touch he felt safety, stability, warmth. In her voice he heard compassion, gratitude, love. He could smell a billion hopes and dreams tangled in her hair, each like an atom of the most luxurious perfume. Merlin, was she lovely. And she was taking him to be with her. She had a soft, velvety arm wrapped around his shoulders, slowly leading him away from all the pain he had ever known.
But something was against it. Something jerked him back like a chain around his neck, a chain that was slowly winding back upon its reel. The beautiful Death lost her gentle grip upon him as the crimson chain tightened, toppling him onto his back. The rough metal rings choked him, and he panicked, digging at his throat in a crazed attempt to rid himself of the thing. He had to get free… had to return to her… His hails scooped out trails of flesh as they dug at the chain, staining his hands and chest. Why couldn't she help? Why? Why couldn't he just go with her? Why was the entire world against him?
Suddenly, the angle of pull changed, letting him stand erect for a moment, letting him catch a glimpse of her helplessly watching. He couldn't scream, couldn't call out to her as the chain continued to pull him. He was being pulled up, hanging like a criminal on the gallows; and she was crying tiny diamonds.
And then, just as he thought his head would separate from his neck under the weight of his body, the chain was gone. The chain was gone and he suddenly found himself floating inside a glass cell, and the world outside had turned red. No, he realized, not the world… the glass was red. Blood red. He called to her, he screamed, but she was already fading, everything was fading, and he was trapped as always. And then there was pain again.
The glass cell he was in was filling slowly with silver liquid, a liquid that felt like liquid fire wherever it touched him. In a last, panicked attempt he plastered his palms to the glass, screaming at the speck of a figure, though in his heart he knew it was too late. He was lost to her, and she couldn't possibly hear his screams. All that was left was his little cell of crimson glass and the mercury-like liquid that now reached to his waist. His chest. His shoulders. His chin…
The sheer lack of any sort of feeling overwhelmed him. He could not see, could not smell, could not feel… as if there was just… nothing. Nothing in the whole wide world. And then the pain came back. It felt like the silvery substance; coursing, burning… but it was deeper this time. It was inside him. In his very veins. But this time, he could not move. His body felt like a large lump of coal, and served him just as well as he tried desperately to move.
"Mr… I insist y… this ins… Why I… n all my ye… will you… Mr…" A voice spoke briskly, fading in and out of the painful emptiness. "…r wounds… reopen if… at onc.. do you undr.. Mr…"
People, person, whatever… he wasn't alone. He wasn't on fire and he wasn't dying… he stopped fighting, suddenly feeling totally exhausted. Even the burning in his veins died down to a dull tingle. He must be in a hospital, Hogwarts probably. Everything was going to be all right. They were all going to be all right. His father was probably right beside him, probably had already given him a numbing potion… or dreamless sleep.
The air smelled of cleaning products and medicinal potions when he woke, a faint chirping calling him back to the waking world. He tried to open his eyes, but could only get a slight glimpse of the good old infirmary before he had to snap them shut again.
He nodded, already hearing the rustling of curtains being drawn.
One eye cautiously drifted open, analyzing the new light intensity before the other followed suit.
"Feeling better Harry?"
"You're mad at me." he said hoarsely, instead of the accusation that had threatened to escape him. Couldn't she of all people realize that he was not Harry? Though, in all honesty, how could she not be mad? "Look Lea, I'm sorry for putting you through that, honest I am, but please don't-"
"Lea? Who's Lea, Harry?" Lea interrupted, suddenly sounding quite edgy.
"You want me to call you Hermione again?" he sighed, throat soar, dejectedly noticing that she had cast off her necklace.
"That is my name, Harry…" the girl answered in a most unfamiliar tone, making him flinch slightly.
"Horris." he insisted. If she wanted to use her real name, fine. Horris was his.
"Hor-ris. Call me Horris," he repeated slowly, speaking to her as he would a small child (an action he knew annoyed her to no end), "I can't stand 'Harry'."
"Erm…" she made the uncharacteristically un-Hermione-ish noise, "Just how hard did you hit your head?" she asked in utter seriousness.
"I hit my head?"
.∞ . ∞ . ∞.
Sense and Nonsense
First off, yes, the rest of the chapters will be more or less around my standard length. I'm going to be a bit more flexible with the length this time around, but this will be the ONLY chapter anywhere near such short a length. It's basically an intro… I only called it chapter one to keep all the numbers in order.
Secondly, I would like to know if you'd rather I start a new house competition. Since you've sat through the monstrosity (in length, at least) that is Forlorn Hope, I'm guessing you're far more likely to stay and participate in your houses than if this was the first time I did this, but do you want to? I'm going to change it a bit this time around, if you chose to have it continue, though I'm not sure how yet.
Thirdly, for all you people who are still reading this, though it's this far from the break between the story and what most consider useless babble, I have a tip that will help FD make a bit more sense; pay attention to the name of the story (Forlorn Dream), pay attention to how it started, and pay attention to what is missing that I used in FH a lot (and I don't mean the obvious stuff that our dear protagonist realizes himself… I'm not that nice) And just so you know… this fic is meant to be totally and utterly confusing. Enjoy
For the Q/A's (that LONG list that used to be here), please go to the fic's yahoo group /group/ForlornSaga/ with no spaces