And now that I've got this chapter out of the way, I can finally move on to the real story! Yes folks, the abysmally slow pace that has held up so far is gonna completely go in the next chapter! I've been looking forwards to this for so long! As for how late this is... I lost the original version. Decided to completely rewrite it. Found it. Hated it. Completely changed it. Got writer's block. And, finally, got my act together. The WON'T be another wait like this, I promise. Thank you so much to my reviewers! I love you all! And those who added me to faves/alerts/C2s. You guys rock!
To answer some questions - This follows book 5 in HP. Not book 6. (This was an accident btw... sheepish grin) And it follows FF VII but NOT Advent Children. There will be some MINOR tweakings of FF7 plot. Nothing major, I promise.
Warnings - Angst.
Disclaimer - I don't own FF7 or HP. Wish I did. The game would be much more based around Sephiroth if I did!
Break - Gaea
"What the fuck?"
"Sir! The readings are off the chart!"
"The Crater, Sir! Initialising video read out!"
"Holy... There's a second one!"
"It's at Mideel, Sir!"
"Mideel!?! It's a ghost town! What could happen there!?!"
"Some of the villagers did return Sir... but..."
"Speak up Cadet!"
"Sir! Both places have high concentrations of Lifestream, Sir!"
"Video read out initialised!"
"Holy mother of Gaea..."
"Nuh... no! It can't...!!! NO!!!!"
Chapter Three - Earth - Affects Everything
Harry slumped to the floor. Spasms shook his body. Harsh sobs tore at his throat, and he curled up to place his hands over his head.
How pathetic he was. How utterly useless. Defeat the Dark Lord? HAH! As if!
He chuckled bitterly, gasping between his tears.
Everyone had abandoned him. Remus had fled at the realisation that this boy could not defeat Voldemort. Sirius... Oh Merlin Sirius! It was all Harry's fault. All his fault.
He ignored it. They should leave. Leave before he got them killed too. Leave before they discovered how worthless he was. Leave before they lost all hope too.
"Merlin, Harry!" Someone raced over to him and knelt down, putting their arms around him. "Harry! Harry!?! Answer me Harry! What's wrong!?!"
He knew them. A fleeting image of pink hair raced through his mind, and he threw himself further into her arms, burying his face in her shoulder. "Sorry. So sorry. Oh God. Sorry."
The voice took an authorative air. "You have nothing to be sorry for Harry. Nothing. Look at me Harry," demand coloured her words. "Look at me!"
He lifted a tear-stained face to gaze at her, and she stared straight into his eyes.
"It was not your fault. You hear me? No one blames you Harry!"
He buried his face in her shoulder again, hiding from the truth he was frightened to hear.
"Oh, Harry," she pulled him up and kissed his forehead. "We believe in you Harry. We'll never let you face this alone."
They believed in him. Oh God. And he couldn't live up to that. He didn't have the strength, the power. He would NEVER have it now. Seventeen had passed and still, still he wasn't strong enough.
His body began to spasm with his pain.
"Moody! The Portkey!"
Something was said back, but Harry couldn't hear it over his own pain-filled noises.
"Damnit Moody! Fuck vigilance! He needs his friends! Give me the FUCKING PORTKEY!"
And with a whisper of speech and a hook in his navel, Harry found himself out of those arms and landing on a cold floor. Exclaims of delight quickly turned into surprise and concern. He sobbed brokenly as another set of arms came to encircle him.
"Shhhh, Harry. Shhhh. We're here now. We love you Harry. Shhhh."
Hermione! She stroked his back and laid her cheek on top of his head. Another set of arms hugged him from the other side.
"She's right Harry," Ron! "We're always here for you mate. Always."
He cried into their arms. They were here. His friends. He reached an arm round to hang on to them both, and the three of them wept together.
They were laid on the floor, Hermione's head on Harry's chest and Ron curling an arm underneath his shoulders. The tears had exhausted them, and they dozed quietly.
"Harry?" Hermione murmured.
"Mmmhmm?" Harry shifted slightly, Ron releasing an incoherent sound of protest and curling slightly closer.
" 'M gonna f'gure som'ing ou'... 'Ere's a p'ssage... Dak'ee or som'ing... I'll wo..."
"Shut up 'Mione," Ron growled. "Trynna sleep."
Harry chuckled quietly at Hermione's lazy move to slap Ron. "Leave till mornin'. Thanks 'Mione."
A snore answered him.