Umm...hi? So...I know it's been over a year...or two, I think, I can't exactly remember which...and this is a really short chapter too...so...I'm really very sorry for that andthe only exuse that I can come up with is that at first I was just insanely busy and then I totally forgot I even had a story to continue writing.

Yeah.

Fail on my part.


Chapter 9

Harry paced. Back and forth. Back and forth. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. His mind raced, flying through all the possible situations Kiri might have ended up in.

Dead in a ditch.

Dead in a stream.

Dead in an ocean.

Dead in a forest.

Dead somewhere in the cavernous manor.

Dead back home.

Dead in Japan.

Dead in some back alley in London where he could never be found.

Were you seeing a common theme here?

His bedroom was trashed. Completely, murderously, trashed. Clothes were tossed everywhere into haphazard piles. The drapes of his four-poster bed were torn down, the poles suspending them tangled in the heavy fabric. Glass was shattered on the carpeted floor in big jagged pieces, the remnants of what used to be picture frames. The guts of his school trunk spilled out everywhere. Ink splattered the walls, hard to discern from the dark shade of the paint. Books lay in ruins, pages ripped out and spines broken.

Before leaving to search out Kiri, he'd run upstairs in a mad dash, searching for a specific spell. He didn't know how to find Kiri otherwise, couldn't fathom slogging through the tumultuous cascade of negative emotions that comprised the younger's mental state, this constant litany of -fearpainhurtwhereamIwhere'- that was all Harry could extract from his bond with Kiri.

Harry didn't think he had the kind of time that winding his way through it all would take to tell him where Kiri was. Certainly, he didn't think he could bear the thought of leaving him out there, all alone, for any longer than he already had. The problem was that he had flown into his room, turning the contents of it upside down and inside out, only to realize that the journal- his mother's journal- was missing. Gone. Vanished. Harry would mourn the loss of such a precious object, but later. When he had something even more valuable back in his arms and safe.

Trembling, he sank down the wall, back dragging coarsely along the plaster. His head fell back with a dull thump, the sound muffled and echoing strangely in his ears. Harry thought he might being going into shock as a sense of detached calm overcame him. It lay like a woolen blanket over him, encasing him in it. A pane of glass stood between him and the rest of the world.

Every inhale and exhale was a roaring waterfall in his ears. Harry could barely hear anything over the screaming sound, but eventually became aware of someone calling his name.

"Harry!"

He knew that voice. He was sure he knew that voice.

"Harry! Harry, child, focus! Harry!"

It was…who was it? Harry refocused his eyes, dragged his attention back to the present through the heavy fog wrapped around him, and saw Iara kneeling before him, her long hair bound in a thick plait littered with pristine white roses. A thin beige suit jacked was buttoned over her bright pink camisole and her slacks were immaculately pressed, but the high flush on Iara's cheekbones bespoke a worry and concern that was at odds with her flawless appearance.

"…Iara." Harry looked at her. He spoke and his voice was hoarse, ravaged with fear.

Iara reached out, cupping Harry's cheek in the smooth cradle of her palm. It was the first time Harry had ever seen his mentor outside of his dreamscape, but the meeting was not a happy one. He wasn't even sure why Iara was here, with him, now.

"Harry, what in the heavens has happened? I sensed something was awry; it happens to be one of my powers, but I never imagined I would discover you in such distress."

Harry whined, leaning into the contact briefly before withdrawing completely, pushing off the wall to stand on unsteady feet. It was like getting his equilibrium back after trying to stand on a boat in the depths of a raging storm. Right now, Harry felt like he was the eye of that storm, the calm that you found in the middle of all the chaos.

He sighed, heavy, despairing, and carded his fingers through the wreck that was his hair. Idly, he conjured a hair tie with a murmured 'Accio', teasing the rebellious strands into a high ponytail. "Kiri is missing. He disappeared after Ron attacked him with a cutting curse, which, I get because its war and Ron has never met my Lovely, but really I can't move past the fact that my sub is missing now and it's making me want to bloody murder something!" By the time his tirade finished, Harry's chest was heaving, and he was sparking.

Literally.

Angry, small-scale flames were blossoming around him, throwing the handsome lines of his face into a strange, exotic relief, accentuating the shadows that surrounded him. Iara gasped, delicately covering her pink, lipsticked mouth before she brought the crystal wand she always carried down in sharp, severe arc, dousing the flames with a hiss and preventing any real fires from kindling.

Then she twisted it, the ribbed glass catching the stormy grey light outside, and Harry was bound up in a medley of thin chains and rosy, glowing bands of light- Iara's power manifested physically. "Calm down, child." She waited as Harry wrestled with himself, settling deeply into his skin and bones as he breathed meditatively. "I may be equipped help you, but you need to trust me when I tell you that your mother's journal holds no answers for you. The spell you seek won't help, if Kiri cannot even be reached through the Constientizare, if you cannot find him that way."

Harry eyed Iara, suspicion liberally threaded into the weighted glare. "How do you know that? How can you possibly know that Iara? I can't waste any more time, I can't just- sit here and wait for him to-to- to regain consciousness or some other bloody thing, I just can't! I feel like I'm losing my mind," he whispered in defeat, "and I am fucking terrified that I'm not going to find him in time."

"You will." Iara promised. "But rushing headfirst won't do you any good."

"Neither," Harry snapped, "will sitting on my arse, doing nothing!"

This could stretch out for hours, if Harry continued on in this manner. Iara waved the wand again, and this time it materialized a sheaf of paper, crumpled with age and covered in bright green ink. Harry knew it in an instant and he grabber the paper out of Iara's hand!

"What the hell, Iara? Why do you have this?"

"Tell me why you need your mother's spell first, child." Iara coaxed. Her voice was soothing, compelling, like the rich amber of honey and the silk of chocolate. "Tell me why you cannot find him on your own."

Harry slammed his fist into the wall, fighting to contain his tears. "The bond's too screwed up right now to help!" he screamed. "It's not doing anything but giving me his crappy emotions and that isn't doing a bloody thing in the way of finding him! My mum was brilliant- everyone's said she is; I've seen the spell in her diary before. It's the only thing I can think of. I can't do it myself…

…I can't find Kiri by myself."

This last admission was torn from Harry wretchedly. The tears finally spilled over and he shuddered, cold like never before.

"Silly boy." Iara chided, smacking him upside the head. She gently pressed the diary page into his much larger hand. "Of course you can. He isn't your mother's, now is he? He's yours." Harry took the page and carefully smoothed out the crumpled edges. He dropped his head to his chest, standing still for a minute, and then he grabbed his mentor in a fierce hug.

"He can be mine all he wants," Harry said, "but it doesn't seem to be doing him any good."

"That's a very negative standpoint."

"It's the only one I'm capable of right now." Harry stated frankly.

Iara smiled at him, secret and mischevious. Her deep blue eyes sparkled. "We'll see about that, child."

An hour had passed since Iara first appeared to Harry in person and he had been working tirelessly in his dreamscape since then trying to sort through everything that the Constientizare was funneling through him. It wasn't just an amalgamation of his submissive's terrified emotions, but a whirlwind of sights and sounds and sensations.

Seriously, it was giving Harry a headache the likes of which only Voldie-Shorts had caused.

To find Kiri, though…that was worth every second of it.

"Are you focused?" Iara probed. She was very quiet when she directed her questions toward Harry, not wanting to disturb him overly much.

"Yes." Harry's mouth hardly moved at all.

"Do you see Kiri?"

"Yes."

"And do you see what surrounds him?"

"A lot of fucking dirt. What the bloody hell did he do, dig a tunnel with the power of his mind?"

A smile quirked Iara's lips. "Unlikely, child, but from what you have told me of your mate…I suppose anything is possible."

"Brilliant."

"Open your eyes for me, Harry." Iara commanded. Harry did and she gasped quietly. She'd never seen such green eyes before. They practically glowed, rimmed in a circle of lavender. Cautiously, the woman moved back a few steps to give her charge space. "You can bring Kiri to you, if you remain focused on the bond between you both. Do not give up the image you have of him now, child, or this shall be a wasted effort and your mate will stay in hiding, alone and frightened. You understand this, yes?"

Harry nodded. His stomach tied itself in knots, the idea that Kiri could stay as he was nauseating him- all he wanted was to save him.

"It's time, then."

A sudden assault of gale winds bombarded the dreamscape and Iara took shelter behind a grove of trees. Over the roar of the wind, she heard a terrified voice calling out and knew, by the tortured reaction of her charge, that it was his submissive partner.

The image of a small, waif thin body was forming in the ground. It's solidity flickered in and out, just briefly, and then started to take definite shape. Silver-violet hair glinted prettily, and a sweet, slack face was turned up to the sky, eyes shut, pink mouth parted.

It seemed Kiri had arrived.