Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Harry Potter or anything else you recognise. Such as The Labyrinth and all that!
A/N: Another new story! You cry, when you've been waiting so patiently for an update on the others. What can I say? I watched The Labyrinth on video the other day, and had this very warped dream...
Warning: May contain slash and silliness, possibly at the same time...
"There's such a sad love deep in your eyes, a kind of pale jewel, opened and closed within your eyes, I'll place the sky within your eyes..."
20th May, 2005 – Alderbury, Wiltshire.
The book was old, that was for definite. The cover was made of rich red leather, slightly worn with age, but still in very good condition. No, it wasn't its appearance which made it feel ancient, it was something else. A resonance. Harry stared at the words embossed on its surface, and ran his fingers over the ridges and lines which made up the words.
"The Labyrinth." He whispered, gazing at it with heavy lidded eyes.
Snapping out of whatever trance the book put him in, he looked over the woman behind the pasting table in front of him. The thing had surely seen better days, and was groaning under the weight of the wares it displayed. He held up the thin volume for her to see.
"How much for this?" He asked, a casual indifference on his face. It was the thing to do when purchasing something you dearly wanted, even in such surroundings as this. Unless you were happy to pay a heft price of course.
"Hmm…I'll give it to you for a pound." She said, a hint of defiance in her pose. Harry smiled disarmingly.
"Great, here you go." He replied and handed over the coin. The woman smiled back briefly, and then her attention was drawn by another eager customer. Placing his new book in his inside jacket pocket, Harry looked around the rest of the field.
He was at a car boot sale – that timeless muggle tradition repeated around the world in different formats, and even in cyberspace thanks to eBay and the like. Though Harry liked eBay, he also liked the excuse to leave the house that coming to these things required. It was bout the only time he actually did leave the house these days. As he wandered, his hand drifted down to the book now resting against his chest, almost over his heart. He wanted to read it, sod the rest of the afternoon.
That decided, he made his way to where his car was parked, and unlocked the door. Getting in, he sat for a moment, key in the ignition. He watched the muggles walking round the stalls in the distance, smiling and laughing, some with children, some with friends, and sighed.
Them over there all together and happy, and him over here on his own. A repeating pattern. This was not how he had envisioned his future. Sighing deeply again and pushing that thought away for the moment – it would only make him sad – and turned the engine on.
18th January, 1997 – Hogwarts Castle North West Highlands
"Everyone – Witches, Wizards – all magical beings! May I have your attention please! The Dark Lord Voldemort is no more! Please raise your glasses and honour our hero and saviour, Harry James Potter!"
Looking a bit worse for wear, and clearly still exhausted, Harry limped into the Great Hall on the arm of the MediWitch Poppy Pomfrey, and was overwhelmed by the shouts and cheers. He swayed a little, but Poppy held him firm. He spoke to her out of the side of his mouth.
"Madame, I think I'm about to expire on my feet here." He muttered and she smiled.
"Just a few quick words then hmm? Or would you like the chair?" She whispered back.
Harry glanced over the eager faces. He really didn't want to disappoint them. But he was so tired…
"The chair I guess. I suppose they'll be unhappy if I leave now." He murmured and she frowned. Looking over the Head Table she could see Dumbledore beckoning them. He clearly wanted his Golden Boy up on the stage with him, regardless of his physical state. She had battled him endlessly to try and get him to push back this celebration, to no avail.
Reluctantly, she waved her wand and a magical wheelchair appeared. Harry gratefully sank into it and allowed himself to be wheeled to the front, silently praying this would over soon and he would be allowed to rest.
20th May, 2005 – Somewhere near the River Avon, Wiltshire.
Harry sat on the slightly damp grass, ignoring the feeling as it spread to his jeans, and allowed the sound of the nearby water to soothe him. Lately he'd been feeling a little strange. Well, stranger than normal. As if he was waiting for something, which meant no sense at all, because his life's 'purpose' had been attained, he'd fulfilled that sodding prophecy when he'd been only seventeen years old…
So young, so famous so easily. Not the wisest thing to be…
But he'd had no choice, and now, well now, that anticipation was building again. The way it had done during the so-called war. Ha! As if it had ever got that far, no they'd simply trotted him out and let him do all the work. And oh! Wasn't he paying for that now!
He pushed his bitter thoughts away. They would do him no good, as his 'healer' so often told him. Bastard.
He felt something warm against his chest and realised the book he'd purchased that morning was still there, and was calling him to it. Without further thought, he opened it, and began to read, the gentle afternoon sun warming him as he bent over the pages.
Unknown time – Unknown location.
"Guard well the child of Skye
For Mortals covet that which is never theirs
Keep faith, for though the child may be torn
From this world where he belongs
Love will guide him back
And Hope will surely be born.
Mortals are ever fools..."
The council stared bewildered at the Seer as she finished speaking. An aide rushed to her side as she slumped in her chair, and helped her take a sip of water.
"What can this mean?" One of them spoke. None, had the chance to answer however, as a shrill scream pierced the air.
7th October, 1998 – Leaky Cauldron, London
"Look! There he goes! Can you believe it?"
"I heard he didn't even show up to his own graduation!"
"Really? Well, I heard he hasn't done anything since leaving school."
"Such a disappointment. There was so much talk of him becoming an Auror."
"Or a professional Quidditch player. I would have loved to go and watch him in matches. Those tight, tight Quidditch uniforms…"
"But now look at him! A wastrel! Good for nothing. I mean really."
"Quite right. He may have defeated You-Know-Who, but that's no excuse for being lazy."
"Oh I agree. His parents would have been so disappointed."
Harry did his best to ignore the women as he walked past them in the Leaky Cauldron, stopping to exchange a few words with Tom, before going out the back door and tapping the appropriate bricks. Mutters and stares followed him wherever he went now.
It seemed his adoring public had gone off him once more. Since he had finished school four months ago, and hadn't made any great strides towards one career or another, they started to think he was a lazy bones who was using his fame as an excuse to do nothing and free load off the rest of the world.
They didn't take into account that he didn't need to free load off anyone, since he was richer than he wanted to be, thanks to his parents and Sirius. Money he would have gladly given away only to be with them again. To see his Mother, hear his Father laugh, to run with Padfoot again…
But then the public delighted in knocking down the people they built up in the first place, in that respect wizards and witches were no different to muggles. Despite the fact that he was only eighteen, they expected him to have married a nice witch by now and have made a good start on popping off a sprog or two. The idea filled him with disgust, as did some of their career choices for him.
He was in practically everyone's bad books at the moment in fact. Dumbledore was annoyed because he refused the Defence Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts. Clearly the old man had wanted to keep him close by in case he needed his pawn again.
Snape still hated him simply for existing, which was no change from how he felt about him at their first meeting. So at least the overgrown bat was consistent if nothing else.
Remus had disappeared a month or so ago, saying he had to 'find himself' or some such rubbish. He had made it obvious that he hadn't forgiven Harry for the death of Sirius, as ridiculous as that was. He had been very hurt, but had tried to be mature and point out that it wasn't his fault. Remus had accused him of trying to shift the blame and not facing up to his responsibilities, and then upped and left. No one knew where he was.
Ron and Hermione were still kind of talking to him, well, sort of anyway. Their seventh year had been tough on them, and they weren't as good friends as they might wish to be. Hermione had divided most of her time between snogging Ron and studying for the NEWTS, so there wasn't much room for Harry in there.
Ron's previous jealousy of the attention Harry received reared its ugly head one more time, and drove a wedge between them which was still there to this day. Currently he was at the Auror academy and had practically no free time at all. What little he had, he was spending with Hermione, since they were engaged to be married.
The rest of the Weasleys he saw off and on, though he was closer to the twins than anyone else. Even so, they had begun to pull away from him as well lately…
5th February, 2001 – Court Room Ten, Ministry of Magic.
"We the Wizengamot, based on the testimonies and findings provided to these proceedings, declared that the wizard known as Harry James Potter is to have his magic bound until such a time as he is no longer a threat to Wizarding society. To that end, he is to attend scheduled visits with a Mind Healer, who will attempt to rectify his behaviour which has led to so many errors of judgement in the past. He will not have full access to his fortune, but will be provided with an allowance sufficient for his needs. May it teach him humility. Aurors, take him for processing!"
There was no chance to struggle.
No chance to protest.
No chance at all, really.
Until his powers were restored, Harry Potter, Saviour of the Wizarding World, The-Boy-Who-Lived, was a muggle.
He wondered briefly if Voldemort was laughing at him from hell.
20th May, 2005 – Somewhere near the River Avon, Wiltshire.
Harry closed the book, oblivious to the fading light and the coolness of the evening. The girl in this book…she was so stupid! To just flat out turn the King down like that! When he was offering her everything, all her dreams…and his heart. She was an idiot…
If it had been him, well…who knew? It was just a story, right? Well, even so, if it had been him, he would not have answered that way, definitely not. The King was offering that girl the things Harry had always dreamed of – a home and someone to love him, take care of him. He was sure the King of the Goblins would not have been in awe of Harry-Bloody-Potter and he would never have stolen his magic or money for fear he would turn into the next Dark Lord.
He sighed again. His 'healer' would berate him for even entertaining the thought that the Goblin King could be real. Take the Goblins at Gringotts, for instance, they didn't seem to bow down to any royalty. There was no mention of a King in any of the history books, only a chieftain. But still…
"Jareth…" He whispered, trying the name out, not knowing or understanding what attention it was drawing to him, or from whom. He chuckled lightly and laid down on the ground. The moisture of the grass make his neck cold, but he ignored it, staring at the darkening sky. He longed to be able to fly again. He missed his broom so...
A bird flew past, on its way somewhere, and he wondered for a moment what it would be like to fly with wings of his own. Just the thought make his back ache and itch.
"Jareth…" He whispered again, half wondering if the Goblin King would answer him, fantasising that he would. Fantasy was all that was left to him now, the emptiness where his magic used to be was temporarily filled by his imagination. It was a fleeting thing, but it was one of the few things that kept him going. What he was keeping going for, was lost on him however.
Gazing at the sky for who knew how long, Harry watched as stars appeared one by one. A yearning filled him, and without knowing why, he spoke: "I wish the Goblin King would come and take me away, right now."
And all that was left of Harry James Potter, was the slight indentation in the grass where he had laid.