Summary: A suicide mission manages to win the war for a twenty-year-old Harry Potter, even if he does die in the attempt. For some reason though, he doesn't seem as dead as he should be – and the world he's woken up in has more than enough of its own problems to deal with.
Warnings: Violence, excessive amounts of bad language, abuse of the Latin language and overuse of OCs.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise isn't mine. Anything you don't is mine.
Author's Note: Still looking for a beta. Reviews and/or constructive criticism is much appreciated. Thanks to all people who reviewed – it was really appreciated. Sorry this was a long time in coming and is really, really quite short – but I promise the next chapter won't take so long. –sheepish–
Chapter Three: To Dream a Dream
Dedicated to Anave Lipad, as first reviewer. : )
At first, there is only vision.
Two people stand in front of a grove, conversing in low voices. One, a male, is short and slender, dark blond hair framing a delicate face, and a sword that seems almost absurdly large for his frame slung over his back. He gazes into the forest, and sighs faintly, his blue eyes thoughtful, before he turns to stare straight at his companion.
She meets his gaze without a flinch, and for a second the juxtaposition between the two is emphasised in the dimming light of the dusk. She is a big woman, of that there is no doubt, her shoulders broad, and head and shoulders above the man; large, but not abnormally so. Her white-blond hair seems to glow in the braid she has tied it back into, and she chuckles at something the man says, one hand resting on the large hammer at her waist.
Suddenly, there is sound.
The soft swish of lake waters comes rushing in; the rustling of leaves in a faint breeze and the chirping of birds in the distance. The man's voice is a light tenor, confident in his words, but there is something that seems to prefer to step back in him; something that prefers the shadows.
"I do not think that wise," he says, but there is a wistful note in his voice. "You know how he is about honour, and we cannot risk offending him at this moment."
The woman laughs. "You are too cautious, Rick," she says in a dismissive tone. "If this succeeds, we will push Aileen back from the border, and then we should have some breathing space at last. And after all, what he does not know, he cannot condemn."
"He will find out," 'Rick' says, shaking his head. "And we cannot be certain it would work. It is all on chance, my love, and should we lose even one of our own at this point…"
"Then he will travel to Valhalla, knowing he fought to free our world from these Hel-damned demons. Come, you know I am right. It is not fair to leave the muggles to deal with those beasts, nor wise to leave the clan wizards to lead their own defences. You know that neither magic, nor the muggle weapons will harm our enemies." She looks at him, and he shifts slightly, reaches a hand out to take hers.
"Aye, I know too well," he says, and there is pain obvious. The woman flinches, as if knowing that she has said something unwelcome, and places a large arm protectively around him. He pauses, and stiffens his shoulders. "If only our hawk could produce more of these," he murmurs, and one hand reaches instinctively to touch the hilt of the sword slung over his back, touch the design engraved on it.
"He cannot though, and we must work with what we have. This ambush is the only advantage we can gain," the woman says urgently, and a frown furrows into the man's forehead.
"But by taking the ambush, we would be betraying some of our closest allies," he protests mildly, although it is clear his heart is not in it. "And by doing that, we would be betraying him as well. To hall-burn is not-"
The sound fades away again, and slowly the vision darkens until there is only blackness left; a deep, echoing void. Something speaks, but yet- does not, the words not words but piercing, aching thoughts that penetrate into his mind.
Harry woke, his breath coming in shaking pants as he sat up and listened to his heart racing. What-?
Slowly, taking deep breaths, he lay back, sinking into the soft mattress, and tried to let sleep take him. And after a while, it did.