Title: Finding Balance
Summary: When Voldemort is defeated by Harry, the world is thrown out of Balance. Now Harry has to bring the Balance back. He travels, not wanting to face his destiny. He learns all kinds of new magic, and even falls in love with the most unexpected person. Eventually he returns to London to set things to rights.
Warnings: SLASH!!!!!!! YAY!! AU!!! Slightly Dark!Harry. Eventual Dark Lord Harry!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. But I really, really want to.
Chapter Four: Meeting with the Elders, and Rain
Harry rubbed his eyes and sat up. Honaw was still sleep net to him, though the russet arms had left his own paler body.
He had fallen asleep in Honaw's arms, yeah, and the nightmares hadn't returned, but strange dreams with ravens and owls and his totem had swirled in his mind all night long, and he was still tired.
It was after the sunrise, and Harry looked over to notice that Severus was gone.
Harry didn't want to get up, and really couldn't since he would have to climb over his boyfriend to do so.
So instead he grabbed for his sketchpad and opened it to a blank page. He took out a pencil and began to sketch the sleeping young man next to him.
By the time Harry was finished, the real Honaw was awake and watching him.
Harry showed him the sketch pad that held a very lifelike picture, and Honaw's only reply was to hug him.
"Morning." He murmured against the red-toned skin.
"We missed the sunrise." Honaw said, his own voice a low murmur. Harry nodded.
They sat silently for a moment, Harry's head against Honaw's shoulder and Honaw's face buried in Harry's hair.
The clearing of a throat made them separate, and they looked up to find Severus and his totem there.
"Harry, Howakhan wants us to meet some…associates of his. Now." Severus said, his voice toneless and his face carefully blank. Harry nodded and the two on the bed stood up.
"I'll see you soon." Honaw murmured, and he left. Severus stayed a moment longer, before he too left, silently. Harry sighed and got dressed.
He looked out the window to see Prongs, and smiled at his Totem.
He padded out of the room, bare feet barely making any noise against the floor, and went to the kitchen where a low murmur of voices could be heard.
Harry slipped inside, and stood next to Severus.
There were seven strange men in the kitchen, all at the table. They were all old and red-skinned and they were all starring at Harry and Severus.
"Mukki." An old man with misty eyes and an iron grey braid past his waist said in a deep, rumbling voice. He pointed to Harry, who looked as confused as he felt.
He turned to Howahkan. "Um…what did he say?" He asked tentatively.
"He called you a child." Another old man said. He was tall and lean and his voice was scratchy.
Harry's cheeks reddened. "I'm not a child." He growled lowly. The old men all laughed.
"He meant you were young." The tall man said.
Harry shrugged. "I'm young, yes. It just means I have longer to live." He murmured. Severus raised an eyebrow but Harry didn't see it.
"Harry, Severus, these are my friends. They are historians and shamans, like myself. And they were most interested to meet with you two." Howahkan said. The two nodded.
"We have heard you are starting your quest here, little raven." The tall, lean man said. Harry nodded.
"Where do you travel from here?" Another old man asked. He had no hair at all and his eyes were hidden in deep wrinkles.
"I'm not sure." Harry said honestly. The old men started to murmur in strange tongues and Harry was terribly confused. He looked at Severus for guidance, but Severus looked bored.
"Howahkan has told us that you summoned your totem on the first attempt, little raven." Another man said. This one had white hair and a dry voice.
"Yes. His name is Prongs, he's a stag. I also somehow summoned Severus's totem as well." Harry said. Severus nodded in confirmation.
"From here you must learn many things, little raven, so you can place the world back in Balance." Yet another stranger said. He looked exactly like the previous one, and Harry wondered if they were twins.
"It's not my place to put the damn world back in Balance! Dammit, I am not going to succeed Voldemort as a Dark Lord! It's not my fucking destiny!" Harry said, suddenly angry that these strangers would tell him what he was to do with his life.
"To Balance the world, you must first Balance yourself, little raven." Seven voices whispered as he ran out of the house.
Prongs was there instantly, nuzzling him in the shoulder. Harry clung to his totem's neck, and let the stag lead him to a calm clearing. Harry lay against the animal, and glared at the sunny sky.
"Who the fuck are they anyway? Why does everyone think I have to be the one to fix their goddamned world! I had to fucking kill Voldemort, and now I have to fix this stupid 'Balance' which no one has even really explained to me other than that damnable snake Nagini!" Harry was shouting by the end, and Prongs snorted into his hair.
"It's as much your world as ours, Harry." Honaw's soft, lilting voice to his right. Harry turned to look, and Honaw stood there, Len behind him, nibbling the grass.
"Yeah? Well why the hell can't anyone else step up, be an adult, and fix the goddamned problem? Why the hell does it always have to be me?" Harry growled. He wasn't angry and Honaw, and he really didn't want to take his anger out him, but he had to let it out somehow.
"The Gods chose you, Harry. They probably picked you form the very start of Creation." Honaw murmured. Harry glowered at the darkening sky.
"Yeah? Well why not give me a break? My life has been hell so far; why can't I live the rest in peace? I lost everything Honaw, everything. I had to live with abusive relatives, and by the time I got to Hogwarts, I was so royally fucked up that the first person I talk to is my friend for life, no matter how much of a jealous bastard said person really is! Then, I meet my godfather, the one living person who might really love me, might really understand my pain, and he fucking dies, because of me. No one loved me! No one! They all wanted to be with "Harry Potter" or the "Boy-who-fucking-wouldn't-die"! They didn't care about me! And then we had that fucking war! And he…and he…" Harry was sobbing now, great, loud sobs that racked his frame.
The sky opened up and started pouring rain.
"You see Harry? The Gods cry with you! For you!" Honaw shouted over a clap of thunder.
"Gods? What Gods? What 'Gods' would do this to a boy? What Gods would strip a boy of eleven years old of any hope of a normal life?!" Harry shouted into the downpour, clothes and hair sticking to his frame. He started pacing, and Prongs got up to pace with him.
"We must all sacrifice things in life to better our world Harry!" Honaw shouted.
Harry whirled on him, tears and rain drops blurring his vision.
"What have you had to sacrifice? What has your father had to sacrifice? What has anyone back in Britain had to sacrifice? Nothing!! I sacrificed everything so a maniacal fucker wouldn't take over the world and kill everyone he didn't immediately like! And I didn't even get a choice in the damn thing! No one asked me if I wanted to fight! No one asked if I wanted to kill him! NO one asked me anything! Everyone told me!" Harry shouted. Lightning flared and thunder crashed in the sky.
Honaw approached Harry's still sobbing form. He encircled the boy in his strong arms, and pull Harry to his chest.
Harry fought to get away, and succeeded in getting out of his boyfriend's hold. He then took off into the forest, Prongs racing after him.
"Len!" Honaw shouted, and the doe took off after the stag and the boy. Honaw ran to his home.
Severus and the elders were in deep discussion of were Harry and Severus should go after their time with Howahkan was done.
"Father! Harry's run off into the woods! He's very upset! I…I sent Len after him, and his own totem followed him. I'm worried for him; he doesn't know the forest. And the forest doesn't know him." Honaw said quickly as he barged in, soaking wet, into the room.
There was a silent pause before everyone started moving at once.
The elders, for their age, moved quickly. They sent out their own Totems; four wolves, two bears, and an elk. Then they gathered their coats and boots and flashlights, and took off, Severus in the lead.
"He's very distressed. And he's hidden himself well. They won't be able to find him, and if they do, they won't be able to console him." A high, hissing voice said in Severus's mind. Oriana was curled around his neck loosely.
"We have to find him then." Severus thought back. Oriana didn't respond and Severus strode forward.
"Take a left." Oriana said, again in his mind. Severus followed her directions until he came to a rocky outcropping. Oriana remained silent. Severus looked around and eventually spotted the antlers of Harry's totem.
He rushed to the Stag, and found the boy there as well.
Harry looked up at him pain and anger in his brilliant green eyes.
"How the hell did you get up here? I made it so no one could." Harry said angrily. His voice raised above the din of the storm, which was worsening.
"Oriana led me here." Severus said simply. He sat next to the angry, hurt youth.
"Leave." Harry growled.
Severus stayed silent, and sitting.
"Leave, damn it!" Harry shouted. Severus didn't move.
Harry put his hands on Severus's chest and gave him a firm push. "Leave. Me. Alone." He ground out, pushing the man to no avail.
Severus carefully caught Harry's hands in a gentle but firm grip. "Only after you calm down." Severus said.
Harry's nostrils flared. "I'm clam. Leave." Harry said, his voice calm. Severus could see the anger and pain in his eyes still though.
"Tell me why you're hurting so much first." Severus said, as softly as the storm would allow.
Harry stayed silent. "I…I can't." Harry murmured.
Severus thought the situation over. "I can look, if you want." Severus said softly. Harry nodded slowly, and Severus gently slipped into the boy's mind.
At first he was met with winding corridors. He recognized the halls of Grimuald Place. Elf heads were stuck on the wall on once side.
Gradually the defense let him in; and he saw a familiar, hated room at Riddle Manor.
"You've caught me." A hissing voice said, and he could see Voldemort smiling, almost gleefully.
"Yes." Harry ground out.
Severus stood as if watching them from the outside; he could see and hear them perfectly, but they had clue of his presence.
"And now you'll kill me, like a good little boy, and you'll celebrate my death." Voldemort hissed, his face still gleeful.
Harry paled, and hesitated before saying firmly, "Of course."
"And then what, Harry Potter? What will you do after you kill me, after your purpose is done? Yes, people will still love you for ending a war and killing a Dark Lord, but not as much. You don't have to save them after I'm gone, so they won't worship you." Voldemort hissed, grin spreading across his face at Harry's nearly palpable anger.
"They don't worship me!" Harry growled out. Voldemort faked a depressed sigh, though the odd smile never left his face.
"Of course they do, you silly boy. That Weasley girl—yes, I know all their names, faces, and homes—she loves you because you're a hero. Granger…she thinks you're so magnificent. And the youngest Weasley boy…he hates you. He hates you because you're everything he isn't. But that will all change when I die. The Weasley female and Granger will slowly stop loving you…The male Weasley will revel in your slow decline. All your friends will desert you, one…by…one." Voldemort said the last bit softly.
"SHUT UP!" Harry shouted, casting a random curse at Voldemort.
Voldemort shook his head. "And once they all leave you, alone and broken, you'll hate them. You'll hate them because you loved them all too some faint degree, and piece by piece they tore out your heart. And your hate is going to grow…until you either kill them, or yourself. And even if you kill them all, you'll hate yourself even more. But, by that time, they'll choose a new Savior, ruin his life, and send him after you. Only after his childhood has been destroyed, of course." Voldemort said happily.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"You don't think your childhood was an accident, do you? Of all the willing, caring people to take you in, Dumbledore places you with muggles who hate magic. After the sudden, tragic death of your parents, who were betrayed by a loyal companion. And, then, the same night, the capture and arrest of your godfather; without a trial. And we mustn't forget the denied requests to move in with the Weasley family. Really, Harry. Do you think none of this was meant to happen?" Voldemort asked in mock caring.
Harry was visibly angered again. "You're a madman!" He shouted in defiance. Defiance to what, it wasn't it exactly clear.
"Yes, I am. And you are an orphaned wretch who never knew love until Hogwarts, where you met your ever loyal friends, who never even entered my manor to fight. And of course Dumbledore, the man you love like a grandfather. Who never paid one visit to Little Whining to make sure you were alive, let alone safe and well fed." Voldemort cooed.
Harry screamed, a wordless, rage-fueled sound. He started firing curse after curse at Voldemort, who finally shut up and starting firing back.
Eventually, Harry downed him with a simple jinx, and stood over him to cast the Killing Curse.
"How many others have you killed, Harry Potter? How much blood stains your hands? It all looks the same after a while, doesn't it?" Voldemort asked. Harry cast the curse, wanting to get rid of the image of Voldemort's eyes. At the end, as he spoke his last queries, his eyes had looked completely sane.
Severus pulled back gently from Harry's mind.
"Those were lies Harry." Severus murmured. The now crying young man shook his head.
"Not all of them. And he was right, Severus! He was right about the blood! It all looks the same!" Harry cried, lunging at his old professor and burying his head in Severus's chest. Severus held him.
"He's wrong Harry. His hands were stained with blood from innocent beings that he murdered. You only killed evil, vile people, who had more than a fair chance to fight back at you. He was wrong about everything else too Harry. People loved you for you, and would have continued loving you until you died of old age." Severus said, trying to comfort the sobbing boy.
Harry looked up, after a while. The rain had lessened, though thunder still rumbled like an angry old man in the sky.
Severus would later say that he was either under the Imperious Curse or momentarily insane...but he leaned his head forward and gently brushed his lips against Harry's, once, twice, and then again, holding them in place and gently kissing the boy.
They parted when they heard people shouting Harry's name, and Severus stood, bringing Harry with him. They wandered out of Harry's hideout, and down the forest floor.
Len, an elk, and several wolves found them before the actual humans, but they weren't far behind.
Honaw ran to Harry and gathered him into his large red arms, cradling him to his chest as though he thought Harry would run away again.
"I'm so sorry, Harry. I'm so sorry." Honaw whispered against Harry's hair.
Harry was silent as the large man held him. Finally he took a deep breath and said, "No…it's not your fault, Honaw. I overreacted. I should have expected it, the final battle wasn't all that long ago, not even a few weeks. Hell, maybe not even one week. It wasn't your fault." Harry murmured, his lips pressed against Honaw's clothed collar bone.
They held each other amidst the animals, elders, and the drizzling rain which was finally letting up.
Harry drew back from Honaw a little, who immediately tightened his arms around Harry's body to keep him where he was. The Indian then crushed his lips to Harry's.
Harry knew they were being watched, could fee the eyes on them as their kiss heated. But a certain pair of cold, black eyes burned a hole in his back.
"You know, I had assumed that when people kissed, they thought, if of anything, the person they're kissing. Not someone else." Prongs's strong masculine voice, filled with amusement, said in Harry's mind.
"Fuck off Prongs." Harry thought back. His totem snorted from a little ways off, and the two finally separated.
As they walked back, Harry realized the rain had stopped.
A/N Hey! I know, I haven't updated in too long, but hey, real life loves to play interference, and it did. A lot. Its nearly one in the fucking morning here, and I have to get up early tomorrow…but I hope you like this…the one person who reviews anyway.