The Slow Passage of Time
Disclaimer; I own nothing from Robin Hood (2006) or from Buffy or Harry Potter. All rights for anything you recognise belong to the original owners of the relevant series.
Warning; I really am only going to say this once. This will be slash on several accounts but warning will be given at the beginning of any chapter with content more than simple kissing or touching.
Chapter 1; One end of the Paradox
Sherwood Forest – 1192
Searing brightness and a gentle rustling were the first things he took in as he awakened. His eyes cracked open to see far off shadows flickering over the bright light. A Sky. His eyes focused after a moment and he found himself staring up at the swaying canopy of trees. He felt weak and his body barely answered to his commands. He pulled in one long breath just as a shadow covered his face appeared and his eyes painfully turned to take in a concerned looking man of about twenty-five. His mouth was moving but he only just managed to drag in another breath before his eyes rolled up into his head and he fell unconscious again.
Gloucester – 2005
Harry Potter dove behind a ticket machine a few fractions of a second before the train platform where he'd just been standing exploded upwards. The eight Death Eaters didn't seemed phased by their opponent's defences and Harry and his squad of Aurors were trying to cover the retreating muggles even as they ran screaming from both sides of the Wizarding battle. Harry spun out from behind the ticket machine as it was banished and with a swirl of his battle robes a ripple of magic soared out at the Death Eaters sending all of them flying backwards. Three were introduced to the live rail on the tracks below.
His squad darted out from cover to take advantage of the Death Eaters' momentary confusion and disarmed and stunned the remaining five in quick succession. When his team Captain, Tonks, turned to compliment Harry's awesome spell her eyes widened in shock at the sight of a looming shadow that detached itself from behind Harry and before Tonks or any of the other four members of the team could get a bead on the emerging figure it had an arm around Harry and had pulled him back against his chest. The Vampire, since that was what it was, stared out at them with unerring green eyes that held no fear or worry about being outnumbered.
"Merlin." Tonks hissed and she almost dropped off the edge of the platform as she took a step backwards. Her eyes were filled with fear and her arm was shaking. The others were the same as they slowly backed away.
Harry struggled just slightly against his captor, just to test his ability and strength, but the other held him firmly. There was no give to work with. Harry tried going limp so his captor underestimated him but all he got was the slight sound of clicked teeth next to his ear to tell him that he knew what Harry was trying to do.
"Danvers Orion!" Tonks gasped. Harry tensed up as the name reached his ears. There was nobody that rivalled the Lord of Vampires. A being of neutrality but one that was so powerful even Voldemort respected his every wish. He hadn't taken part in any of the Wizarding World's wars, not against Grindlewald and not against Voldemort. Harry remembered hearing from Ron about when he'd gone with Dumbledore to meet with Danvers Orion only to have Voldemort arrive with Lucius Malfoy and Draco Malfoy. Words had been exchanged and wands drawn between the two groups but Danvers' Vampires had had all five of them disarmed within seconds and Ron and Dumbledore had returned to Grimmauld Place white as ghosts.
"What do you want?" Harry asked.
"You." The hissed voice told him before he was tugged backwards into the station subway. His eyes went black as they landed almost five metres below them.
Sherwood Forest – 1192
His eyes opened again and his breath rushed in as he sucked in air. It was harder this time but that wasn't the only change. He was ridiculously hot and his body felt like it was about to melt. Sweat ran across his skin and down his sides. He was naked underneath a course blanket that hung low across his stomach and legs. As he tried to focus an object obscured his vision and he felt somebody dabbing at his forehead with a damp cloth.
As the cloth left his head he turned to look tiredly to his left where a man knelt beside him. It was a different man than the one before but he was still looking at him in concern. His hand slipped up to rest on his bare chest and he realised the man was monitoring how he breathed.
"Breathe in slowly but deeply." The man told him gently.
He did as told and drew in a slow deep breath which shuddered through him. He turned to the side in a fever induced coughing fit and the man held the back of his head gently until he was finished.
"Just sleep." The man smiled at him gently as soon as he had turned to look back at the rock ceiling overhead. His eyes flickered over to the man before he let them close again.
Nottingham – The Manor of Danvers Orion – 2005
Harry Potter awoke with a start and opened his eyes before realising that here was no point in doing so. Wherever he had been put was absolutely pitch black. Not only that but he wore strange clothing that fit him loosely yet was comfortable. His battle robes, wand and potions were gone but other than that he seemed to be completely unharmed. He slowly slide backwards across the floor until his back hit a wall and he leant against it.
It wasn't long before the sound of a door opening met his ears, except it wasn't the sound of any door in the Wizarding World. It slid into the wall with a barely audible hiss and light flooded the room making Harry squint painfully. When he finally opening his eyes it was to see a figure standing before him. He was five foot ten with raven black hair and bright emerald eyes. His face was finely shaped but it was his teeth that were the most distracting about him. His incisors were finely pointed yet Harry couldn't pull his own gaze away from them.
"Harry." The man smiled at him as he knelt. "I have avoided being seen with you since you were a ten year old boy but we have met before. I would ask if you remember but I know that you do."
"I don't..." Harry frowned studying the man carefully before he remembered. His eyes opened wide.
"I picked you up once after your cousin beat you up. I put a bandage around your skinned shin and carried you home." The man smiled sadly at him. "You were six."
"I don't understand?" Harry gasped out in shock.
"Look at me, Harry." The man told him before standing and without a single chance of defending himself the man had him standing as well. His arm was around Harry's upper arms and torso and Harry was being held tightly shoulder to shoulder with him. There was a mirror against the wall and Harry could see them both staring back at them.
Harry eyes widened in shock at the resemblance. In fact it wasn't so much a resemblance as an exact match. There were a few differences in their builds and stances. Harry was a wizard while this man, Danvers Orion, was a god among mortals. His every move suggested power yet his eyes held a strange lonely look that dove deep into Harry's heart. "We look like twins."
"No, Harry. Not twins." Danvers shook his head. "We are the first of the true Vampires."
"I'm not a Vampire." Harry argued, "Even if I was, how could we both be the first."
"You will see." Danvers looked so sad in the mirror but as Harry watched his teeth were bared and then he blurred. He twisted and to Harry's shock he felt teeth in his throat and he found himself watching Danvers drink his blood in the mirror.
Sherwood Forest – 1192
He woke again feeling much better than he had before and turned his head around to study the scene. The cave he was in the back of was dim but he could see the space as if it was lit brightly. It was wide and circular with a small cooking fire in the centre near the entrance way. A small group sat around the fire but he only recognised the man that had cared for him in his fever the few times he had awoken. He sat near to another young man of about the same build and two others sat around the fire. One was a large man built of what seemed to be mostly muscle while the other was a shorter figure who seemed to be doing the cooking.
"How is our patient then, Will?" The short one asked. The man that had cared for him glanced over at him but he didn't seem to be able to see him as well as he could see them. He must be Will then.
"He's out of his fever." Will told them.
"There's something strange about him though." The one beside Will commented leaning just slightly towards Will. The movement, in the dark as it was, was well hidden but he could see the tell tale closeness that told of them being slightly more than friends.
"Oh here we go again." The short one sighed. "Allan and his suspicions."
"This is serious though. You've seen the way he bit his lip." 'Allan' argued.
"As if you haven't bitten your own lip before." Will laughed.
"Those were puncture wounds." Allan retorted. "And now they're gone."
His eyes widened at those words and he remembered in that instant when Danvers Orion had bitten him and called him the First. He groaned without being able to stop himself and heard the rushed scuffing that signalled the others were all moving. He didn't take in any of that yet though, his mind was only on one thing right now and that was the fact that he was now a Vampire just like Danvers Orion. Not just a demonic monster but a living predator without measure.
He tried to rise but several sets of hands came to hold him down and he didn't want to hurt them all. Some part of him calmly told him that he could probably take them all apart within seconds, the part of him that seemed to smile at him with the same small sad smile that Danvers had always seemed to wear on his face.
"Much!" The larger man shouted over his shoulder. "Go get Robin!"
"No need, Little John." Another voice spoke up. The large man, supposedly Little John, turned to look at the newcomer and through the gap between him and Will, he saw the man from when he'd woken up for the first time. "Let him stand if he can."
Instantly the three sets of hands on him disappeared and he found himself alone. He made to stand before realising he was still naked except for the blanket covering his lower half. He slipped off the side of his bed, which seemed to be more a part of the rock wall than an actual bed, and held the blanket around his waist and legs. His legs caved instantly and Harry felt partly like they'd been completely rebuilt. Every movement he made seemed to be in preparation for an attack.
He drew himself up and looked at them all around him. Will and Allan were to his left and Will looked almost as if he wanted to help him stand. The shorter one, presumably Much, was standing on his right with Little John, the large one. The newcomer, Robin, stood in front of him just inside the cave and was clearly holding his bow in a position to attack him if necessary.
He found his eyes surveying every part of Robin's arms, shoulders and hands, taking in every muscle that he would need to tense and move in order to fire an arrow at him. His new instincts told him that Robin would probably be too slow.
He flinched as something indented on his lower lip and his mouth opened in surprise even if the action bared his sharpened teeth to the other five men who recoiled. His eyes widened in fear before he could stop himself and he glanced around rapidly as they all drew weapons. Much, Will and Allan pulled swords while Little John pulled a staff from against the wall behind him.
"Stop!" Robin ordered and they relaxed. He met Robin's dark eyes with his own pleading ones. "What's wrong with your teeth?"
He shook his head violently. "I'm not a monster." He spoke for the first time.
"How can we be sure of that?" Robin asked.
"I think I could disarm you and kill you before you saw me move." He told him desperately. "But I don't want to."
"You think?" Robin's eyes widened.
"I've never tried." He told him as a wave of dizziness swept through him. Will saw it and was at his elbow in a second holding him up regardless of Much's protests. "He turned me and then I was sent here. I don't know where I am, I don't know when I am. Please, help me out."
"Turned you?" Robin asked but lowered his bow slightly further.
"He made me a Vampire."
"That's ridiculous!" Will laughed. "Even worse than Witches. The very idea..."
He turned to look at Will with shocked eyes and opened his mouth showing his sharp teeth. Will shut his mouth with a click and his eyes went round. "He's telling the truth." Robin spoke up with a frown as he walked forward slowly and pulled out a small eating knife from his belt. "Hold out your arm."
He recoiled but did as asked. He forced himself to stay still as Robin slash up the inside of his arm. "Robin! What did you..." Will cried out in shock.
"Just look." Robin interrupted him and wiped off his blade. Harry glanced down with the others to see his bleeding arm except that the cut that should be bleeding was already beginning to close over. "They're not like us."
He looked up at Robin with another desperate look and Robin nodded at him. "Will you help me?"
"If you do anything to harm one of my boys I will kill you." Robin told him.
"Please." He told him sincerely. "I don't have anywhere else to go."
Robin simply nodded his head once and smiled at him with a rather roguish grin.
Nottingham – The Manor of Danvers Orion – 2005
"What did you do to me?" Harry almost outright yelped as Danvers finally let him go. He'd been forced to swallow what felt like two pints of Danvers' blood. He'd seen people bitten by Vampires. The bite itself was the contagious part, if the victim died than the body was taken over by a demon. This was nothing like it though.
"I gave you a way to survive." Danvers told him sadly. "The same as what happened to me so long ago yet only recently."
"That makes no sense." Harry spat.
Danvers shot him that small sad smile again and shook his head slowly. "One day, Harry, you will be on the other side of this conversation and you will understand why I did this to you."
"I'll never be like you!" Harry argued simply for the sake of it.
"There are worse things out there than me." Danvers shrugged off the insult easily before blurring again. Before Harry could work out what was happening he was being held by the arms and Danvers was whispering in his ear. "I am Danvers Orion. You are Danvers Orion."
"Nothing is impossible." Danvers countered quickly. "Voldemort has a new spell. I either had to let him try it on you or simply kill you. He has too much experience for you, Harry. But his experience is nothing compared to mine. I will kill him for us. This is one time I will not be neutral."
"I don't understand." Harry frowned.
"Live our life, Harry." Danvers whispered to him. "This I can give us both. We are Danvers Orion. First of the True Predators."
Sherwood Forest – 1192
He pulled up the offered trousers and then took the cotton smock that Will handed him and pulled it over his head. "I don't know how much you know about this forest but I'm Robin Hood." He stared at Robin in shock for a moment. He knew he'd been thrown back in time by Voldemort's spell but not to when exactly. He'd known that Danvers had pre-empted Voldemort and allowed the Dark Lord to curse Harry into the past. A way to take him out of the equation without having to try to kill him. Danvers had simply given him a way to survive the centuries. "These are my boys." Robin continued and drew his attention back to him.
He nodded slowly, it was the only response he could really come up with. He'd grown up in the muggle world and unlike the Wizarding children he'd heard about the stories passed on in fairy tales about Robin Hood and his band of thieves. He'd even seen a film. 'Robin' was almost always some forty year old man but this seemed to undermine it all. Before him was a young man his own age and his 'boys' consisted of four others. Three who looked their age and a single older man.
"Do you have a name, Vampire?" Much asked. The way that Robin and Much seemed to accept his being a Vampire worried him. Will, Allan and Little John seemed shocked at the idea so obviously not everyone had heard of Vampires before.
He looked at Much for a moment before turning back to Robin. He nodded slowly and made his decision. It all made sense to him now, their familiarity, that small sad smile. His comments about sharing their life. They were one big cycle. Danvers had turned him and in eight hundred or more years he would turn Harry Potter. A paradox that would confuse even Einstein.
Where had their breed of Vampire come from in the first place? He smiled a sad smile at Robin. If this was the moment that he'd been sent back to then he was truly no longer Harry Potter. "My name is Danvers Orion."
Danvers, as he decided to think of himself from now on, knew he was in trouble mere moments after Robin had declared the day over and told them all to go to bed. He knew he'd been dizzy for a moment or two during the talk but as soon as he put his head down, back on his cave wall bed, he knew he was in more serious trouble. His vision shifted wildly and the walls seemed to move in on him. His breathing became more rapid, almost as if he wasn't getting enough oxygen into his lungs. For a moment he thought he hadn't really finished turning but he wasn't a fool. He hadn't survived six years as an Auror by being stupid.
It wasn't oxygen that his body couldn't get. The oxygen was plentiful, it was blood that he was lacking. His muscles attested to that as a stitch rapidly spread up his right side. He needed blood to carry oxygen to his cells and he didn't have enough of it. His cells were starved of oxygen and if he didn't get blood soon he didn't know what would happen. Surely it was like a person drowning. His instincts would take over and he didn't want to imagine what he would do to those around him, the easiest sources of blood.
Danvers scrambled off of his bed trying to be a quiet as possible yet he knew that the sentry by the doorway to the cave saw him. Yet he didn't care as Will called after him in shock nor did he bother to check whether the other man was following him or not. He darted through the trees as he began to lose control of his senses. That answered his question though, when his body began to starve his instincts took over and he became the blood-sucking monster he feared. He wasn't there yet but he could feel it creeping up at the edges of his mind.
His mind and body were on only one thing, the scent of a deer almost four hundred feet from the cave. He leapt through the trees and undergrowth as inelegantly as possible at first before his body realised his prey might escape and his stride slowed into a silent prowl. He could smell the deer, he could even hear it snuffling through the undergrowth and soon he could see it with his own eyes.
It barely had time to look around at him before he was holding it down to the floor as his teeth sunk down into its throat. It was a bit messier than he thought was necessary but instincts only went far enough to keep you alive. He teeth tore open the deer's jugular vein and the blood filled his mouth even as it was drawn directly through his incisors and into his own system.
The taste of blood on his tongue was intoxicating and even as the bloodlust faded and his own mind took over he couldn't stop himself. It was almost five minutes of hasty drinking later before the blood stopped flowing and the dead deer dropped from his arms and he staggered back from it.
"Are you alright?" Will asked him. His voice was gentle yet Danvers could hear the shakiness of it. Will had seen what he had done and now he was scared of him. Danvers turned to look at him and saw Robin standing just behind Will with his bow held loosely in his hands yet again. His body instantly assessed Robin's stance again and told him that seated like he was, Robin could put an arrow into him before he could get to Will or Robin.
"It's over." Danvers whispered and pushed his back up to a tree. His tucked up his knees and hugged his arms around them. His body screamed at him for making it even harder to get to Robin before he could shoot but then relaxed as Robin slung his bow over his shoulders. "I'm sorry, Robin, Will. I'll leave tonight."
"Leave?" Robin asked. "And go where?"
"I don't know." Danvers realised he was crying and wiped at his eyes with a sleeve. For the first time he really took in everything that had happened. Voldemort had sent him back several hundred years and Danvers Orion had turned him into a blood sucking monster just so that he could survive all the years and stay a monster. "Maybe you should just put an arrow in me."
"What!?" Will gasped and crouched at his side a moment later. "We don't kill people."
"But what if I lose control?" Danvers pleaded. "You don't even know me! What if I lose it and drain innocent people? Children?"
"I suppose it would be safer just to kill you now." Robin shrugged in the darkness.
"Robin!" Will turned on him in shock.
"Calm down, Will." Robin sighed. "I said it might be safer but we can't do that to you. You're as much an innocent in all of this as anyone else."
"But what if I lose control?" Danvers asked even as he began to shake. Will wrapped him in a hug and Danvers felt himself relaxing into it without even realising it.
"Then we'll stop you." Will told him firmly.
"Please, Robin." Danvers pleaded. "Promise me that you'll put an arrow in me if that happens."
Robin stared at him and Danvers felt something rise through him as their eyes locked. Robin seemed to see it too since his eyes widened. But then it was gone, Robin turned his head to break the connection and Danvers sagged sideways into Will, feeling utterly drained of everything he had. "If it comes to that I won't let a innocent's death fall on your conscience."
"So he's staying?" Will asked.
"Welcome to the band." Robin grinned that roguish smile again. "You're officially one of the boys now."
Danvers was almost asleep by the time he lay down on his bed inside the cave but he noticed that Will, still on watch, sat down and lifted his head into his lap and began carding his hands through his hair. "I saw that look, Danvers." Will whispered to him even as Danvers' eyes began to shut. "Between you and Robin. Don't get yourself hurt over him."
Danvers opened his eyes one last time to stare up into Will's brown eyes and sighed out a sharp breath of defeat before slipping into sleep.
The next day
Danvers sat on a low, thick tree branch that cornered off the small clearing in front of the cave where they had stayed the night before. Allan sat beside him while Will and Much slaved over a porridge that simmered over the fire. Little John sat on a fallen tree opposite while Robin leaned against a standing tree to the right. It surprised Danvers exactly how well the group had accepted him. Only Much looked worried about what he might do. Allan and Little John only treated him with suspicion about his intentions while Will seemed happy to have him there.
It was logical though since Danvers knew from history that Vampires only became widely known in the early 1300's which meant only a select few knew what he was. Still, Robin and Much clearly knew what Vampires were. "How do you know about Vampires?" Danvers asked Robin calmly.
"Much and I had a few run-ins with them in the Holy Land." Robin told him. "They didn't seem to fight on either side. Just attacked both."
"Nasty beasts." Much swore.
"Holy Land?" Danvers frowned trying to remember his history. "Jerusalem?"
Allan snorted in amusement. "Of course! Where else?"
Danvers winced. "So this is the Crusades?"
Robin frowned at him thoughtfully. "What exactly are you, Danvers?"
"I don't know." Danvers admitted.
"You don't seem like a real Vampire." Much eyed him for a moment.
"Why not?" Will asked looking between Much and Robin. "He was drinking blood last night."
The group eyed each other and Danvers shrunk back slightly, clearly Will and Robin had told the others what had happened. Robin pushed away from his tree and sighed. "The Vampires we fought against in the Holy Land only attacked at night and their faces were deformed. The few we captured burst into flames when the sun rose."
"But Danvers is sitting in the sun." Will pointed out.
"Good observation, Will." Robin grinned at him. "He's clearly not the same type of Vampire. I've never met a Vampire that didn't instantly attack but Danvers seems peaceful."
"Why did you trust me straight out?" Danvers asked. "You must have seen my teeth. You knew what I was."
"But I found you lying in the middle of the road in direct sunlight." Robin pointed out. "Yesterday you told us you didn't know when you were."
Danvers winced but sighed. "I grew up in the future." He settled with bluntness.
"Right..." Allan laughed.
"I don't care if you don't believe me." Danvers told him. "I was bitten and then sent back by magic. The person didn't want me to survive."
"You can't expect us..." Much started.
"If I wanted to lie I wouldn't have come up with such a ridiculous story." Danvers told him. "It doesn't really matter where I come from but I've heard stories about the past. I know you're outlaws against the Sheriff of Nottingham who works for a corrupt Prince John. I know you hope that one day King Richard will return."
"That's common knowledge." Little John pointed out.
"What year is it?" Danvers asked.
"Eleven ninety two." Much frowned at him.
"Oh." Danvers frowned. "And King Richard is still fighting in the Holy Land?"
"Yeah." Robin frowned. "At least that's what we last heard."
"It'll be another two years before he comes back then." Danvers frowned.
"What?" Robin flinched violently.
"I don't really know, all I know is that King Richard returns to England in eleven ninety four." Danvers shrugged. "It's all history."
"That's nonsense." Much shook his head. "Once King Richard hears about Prince John he'll return."
Danvers kept it to himself that he knew that Prince John, King Richard's younger brother, would take the throne in 1199 even if he'd be a bad King. He didn't think that Robin and the others could handle that. At least Danvers knew that England would turn out okay in the end. "I know you think I'm insane but I believe what I know. Maybe in a few years you'll believe me."
"Maybe." Much told him less than sincerely.
"It really doesn't matter right now." Will pointed out before standing and offering around bowls of porridge. Danvers accepted his own and eyed it in concern before starting in on it slowly. He didn't really feel the need for it and didn't eat all that much before giving the rest to Allan who seemed rather hungry.
"Can you fight with a sword?" Robin asked him. "Or shoot a bow?"
"I tried a bow when I was younger and I killed a big snake with a sword thirteen years ago." Danvers admitted sheepishly.
"Not much for fighting where you come from then?" Little John asked.
"Not with swords and bows." Danvers told him honestly. "I fought with magic mainly."
"So you're a witch too then?" Allan laughed.
"You're going to have to start believing me at some point." Danvers pointed out but was already beginning to give up. He knew that he'd changed slightly when he'd turned. He couldn't feel the upwelling of his magic anymore so he knew he couldn't use wandless magic and from what he had heard about the True Vampires none of them had ever used magic in a fight. Then again that might be a good thing since using magic in this era would just get him hanged.
"Well I think it's best if we teach you from scratch. See what you can do." Robin announced and flicked his sword and sheathe up from the ground. He chucked it to Danvers who caught it with a Seekers ease before pulling out the sword and studying the light weapon which seemed ridiculously light to him. Allan chucked a sword at Robin and Danvers' training began.