Disclaimer::JK owns the characters and Harry Potter. The plot is all mine.
A/N:: This is it folks.. it's done.. took too long I know..but I couldn't seem to get what I wanted to paper. I hope you all like it.
IX::Wings and Babes
Morrigan held the babe in her arms, speaking to those gathered, "You have done well my Angels." Vasaio knelt before his queen, "And you, my loyal Warrior, have done well. In the face of vengeance you sought redemption. A second chance for this soul, this babe who was once known as Thomas Marvolo Riddle..."
"He must be destroyed! His soul is black and poisoned with Dark Magic!" shouted a furious Albus Dumbledore, as he stumbled, pushing his way quickly through the gathered Angels.
"Albus, son of Wulfric. You sadden me with your words. Souls have been purged on the field of battle, this day. Second chances to make right deeds done wrong...to walk a different path set by these Warriors around us." Looking down at the wee one sleeping soundly and peacefully in her arms, she continued, "This child never had a chance in his first life. Vasaio, also known as, Harry, son of James, has given him that.
She looked around her at the many faces. "Death is not the answer, when life becomes the gift." Smiling at those gathered, she called out, "Severus, son of Tiberius. Come forth!"
Severus Snape, in all of his years as a spy, never feared anything. Be they Dark Lords or old bearded men calling themselves Headmasters and leaders of the light. But right now...as he was called forward by the Queen of the Heavens, he was terrified.
"Do not be afraid, Severus Snape, for you have stood before me many times in the past. Your soul remembers me, but your mind has yet to waken those memories." She stood there among the angels, warriors waiting for the man to make his way slowly towards where Harry and the others waited.
To where Albus Dumbledore stood fuming.
As he came to stop before the beautiuful woman, she smiled down at him. She reached out with one hand and lightly touched his cheek. "It is time to remember." A light engulfed him as she spoke, "Remember the lives you have lived. Remember the bonds you have forged through many lifetimes with your mate, Vasaio."
As he closed his eyes, and felt the touch on his cheek, a wave of memories and mental images rushed through him, gently but swiftly, awakening a thousand year bond. He gasped as it flared to life again.
It was as if part of him had been restored, giving him a feeling of wholeness for the first time in his lonely existence.
Severus swayed as the onslaught continued, and as he began to fall, wings came from nowhere to cradle him and hold him safe until the memories settled themselves at home again.
"Severus." Came a warm voice, ghosting over him as he leaned back, cradled in gentle wings. Feeling the warmth of another's skin against his own, he opened his eyes to see emerald green eyes looking into his soul. Vasaio had leaned his forehead against Severus'. The warmth of tears tracked unnoticed down his cheeks as an ancient love filled his being. A sob escaped his lips as Vasaio wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close, keeping them secluded within the circle of his wings. Severus laid his head on Vasaio's shoulder and wept out his joy.
Vasaio unfurled his wings as his mate wiped the tears from his face.
"Yes, my Queen." Vasaio kneeled at the feet of Morrigan. "Are you ready to take this child into your heart and into your family? To teach him love and respect for man and wizard?"
Vasaio looked at Severus who had come to kneel beside him. Their eyes as silent communication passed between them. Severus smiled at his winged mate and nodded. Vasaio smiled warmly in return, and stood-his mate moving in tandem with him. Holding his arms out, he gave their answer. "We would be greatly honored to be given the gift of molding a new life for this small spirit."
As Morrigan leaned forward to place the babe in Vasaio's arms, a struggle was heard behind them.
"NO! You can't let that demon live! Kill him!" Screamed Dumbledore as he surged forward, trying to intercept the passing of the child. He pulled himself to a sudden halt as glimmering swords blocked his path.
"Albus, son of Wulfric, you will be silent!" Morrigan commanded in a firm but calm voice. "You have no say here. I know of your true thoughts and they are not for the good of others, but only for yourself."
"He destroyed MY family. He killed them. He tortured them." Albus cried.
"He's a babe now. His soul is pure." She unwrapped the babe and stroked a finger down his cheek. "He is no longer the Tom Riddle that was Lord Voldemort."
"It does not matter. He. Must. Die." The headmaster's eyes flashed in fury as he made another failed attempt to reach Morrigan-to take the spawn from her arms and kill it. Another set of swords clanged in front of him as strong arms restrained him. He ground his teeth as he fought against his keepers.
"How many children and families have died because of the decisions you have made? All for the greater good?" She asked him as her eyes bored into his soul. Seeing all. Knowing all.
"I did it for the good of the Wizarding World. I had to. No one else was capable of the task."
"Just like James and Lily?" Sirius snarled as he stepped forward. "You forced them into hiding. You also knew the truth of my innocence. Harry could have had a good home and grown up loved."
"It had to be done. Harry needed grounding as a human before he learned he was a wizard. He needed humility. If he had grown up in the Wizarding World, he would have been fawned over. He had to be molded into the weapon to destroy the Dark Lord."
"I would have gladly taken him to live with me in seclusion----masked his identity. He is my godson. For him I would have done anything. Everything. You took that away from him --- and from me! It was not your right!" Sirius began to pace in anger. "And, you secluded Remus. Kept him away from Harry! Remus and I are Harry's only family. We are pack! You should be ashamed!"
Albus Dumbledore fell to his knees. The anger and the words spoke so much truth. Had he only thought of the larger picture. Seen them all as pawns in a war. Not as the people they were.
"I am sorry. So sorry. I just wanted to do the right thing. Keep them all safe. When my daughters died..."
Morrigan turned a gaze of understanding and compassion on the elderly wizard at her feet. "You lost yourself, Albus. You became lost in your grief."
"I am so sorry..." his voice wavered as his tears began to fall. Tears of grief and sorrow. "I am so sorry for causing such unhappiness." He turned his head and looked up at Vasaio. "I am so sorry, Harry, for the things I have done and the things I allowed to happen to you."
He turned to face Sirius and Remus. "I apologize to both of you as well, for keeping you from the only remaining tie you had to your friends, and for not allowing you to be parents to Harry, when he needed them so."
He covered his face with his hands and his body shook as he wept, great racking sobs shaking his body.
Harry walked over to the man he once thought of as a grandfather. A man he once trusted with everything that he was. "I forgive you, Albus." He whispered quietly as he laid a gentle hand on the shaking shoulder.
Vasaio looked to his side, to see he had been joined by his mate. Severus looked at the man he had considered his father and his keeper for years.
"Albus, I forgive you as well. I know you feel remorse for things you required of me as well."
Remus' voice sounded next. "We forgive you too. Holding a grudge does noone good." Sirius nodded his head in agreement before laying it on Remus' shoulder.
Moments passed before Albus lifted his head. Tear stained cheeks and bright eyes looked up to the Goddess before him. For the first time in years... he felt a peace settle into his soul. A weight lifted from his shoulders and he sighed in relief.
The Queen of the Heavens turned. She smiled down at the cooing babe in her arms. "He shall have a new name for his new soul, and his new life." Turning the babe and holding him up for all to see, her voice rose and she spoke loudly, " Tom Marvolo Riddle is no more. Behold! Godric James Albus Potter-Snape." A glow surrounded the bundle. "Now we must bond him to his fathers, and to those who will watch over him and guide him in his life."
She handed the child to Vasaio, and gestured to Sirius and Remus to step forward. Then she turned and gestured again to Aeolus, Vanora, and Kastos, beckoning them forward as well. As they formed a circle around her, Vasaio, Severus, and young Godric, she looked around her.
"Aeolus, where is your son?"
Aeolus closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them. "He comes my Queen."
"I am here, Father." Draco moved clear of the gathered angels, approaching with a prominent limp. Vanora moved to help him forward-an arm wrapped securely around his waist. She stood behind him, as Morrigan touched his cheek in the same manner as she had Severus just moments before.
As Severus had just experienced, Draco gasped and fell back into Vanora's embrace-of arms and wings, as his memories returned and tears wet both their faces.
The Queen smiled as she watched them reconnect after so long. "What could have ended so badly, has become a day of joy."
Moving forward, her dark robes flowing behind her, she motioned to those around her to take their places around her. "I bring to you gathered here, Godric James Albus Potter-Snape. Do you accept this child, this babe, as your charge? To love and cherish?"
Morrigan laid the child in Severus' arms. From the air she pulled an ancient Athame forged in the fires of the inner earth. She made two small cuts on the palms of the babe's hands without much fuss... then the same on the two Men's. "Blood of the fathers. Blood of the child," she chanted. At her nod the men took Godric small hands and placed open cut to open cut. She began to chant again...in a language only known to her. A glow enclosed all three.
Then a second glow of blue reached out and enclosed the others--a caress to their souls asking permission. Sirius, Remus, Vanora, Kastos, Aeolus, Draco… and Albus. The old wizard was startled as the glow reached him. Touched him... asking… giving forgiveness. Peace filled his heart once more. And then love.
"I would be honored, young Godric," the old man whispered through a tear clogged throat.
They gathered around the men and the babe. Cooing and laughing. It was a day of celebration.
From Morrigan's hands, a Raven flew up into the sky. Ever upward towards the heavens.
Free from the bondings of this earth as joy and happiness was spread.
The battle had been won this day. The shadows pushed back once more by the Fallen Angels. Instead of death, they chose life.
They chose life.
Tom Riddle is no more. His soul purged of the evil he allowed to comsume him. And today, in his place a new soul has emerged. A soul to be guided by those he chose to help him in this new life with his father's chosen for him by the Queen of the heavens.
Lord Voldemort and Tom Riddle are dead.
Long live the Queen.
And the Fallen Angels?
Well they will return to their lives, until she calls again.
When darkness threatens the world once more.
But that my friends is another story for another day.
but is it ever???
My thanks to Morganlefay1958 for her help with this chapter.. now to work on Somewhere I Belong and When You Come Back to Me Again.