I have a dream each night. I have had it since the war. I am on a ledge, just a ledge in the middle of nowhere. There is no light at all, everything is dark. Though, I can see the ledge and at the end of the ledge is nothing. I stand there staring and waiting. Each night I wait and wait, straining to see through the darkness, but there is nothing to see, and I know that there is nothing to see. I have always known it. There has always been this emptiness inside me, a terrible hole that only seems to rip wider with each passing day.
The ledge is life, and each of us walks on that ledge knowing nothing, seeing nothing, and then we drop suddenly and without warning into the endless darkness… waiting. Only it was different with me.
I could see the edge; I could see the end... It was right there. For some reason I was being given a choice to go or to stay. Stay on the ledge or walk off. I had planned on being pushed. I walked closer and looked down… it was nothing but darkness.
There was no illumination, no whispers of the loved one's I had lost. They were there though or maybe they weren't. Maybe once you went over the ledge you just kept falling and falling never to meet the ones that went before you because of the basic rules of gravity. But why should gravity apply in a place such as this? I walked further until my toes were over the edge, I leaned further ready to fall. I took a deep breath and tipped forward.
He grabbed me like he always did, he grabbed me and I spun around to see a pair of golden eyes before waking up. Always the same dream and always the same ending, sooner or later I was going to fall off that ledge. I knew no one with eyes like that. I was walking steadily to the edge and that handsome stranger would not be able to save me.
At some point in life there is a moment. Everyone has one. It could be an event; something witnessed or something you have done yourself. It could be anything, it was never the same for anyone, but there was a moment however brief, however fleeting. In this moment something happens; maybe something terrible or maybe something great. Whatever it is it prompts a question and always the same one; why am I here? What is my purpose?
For Harry Potter that moment had come early. He had been young and he had watched a man die, he watched as his body was literally broken down and blown away. The moment had come and the question was born. Harry gave himself an answer, he gave himself a purpose. He would win the war and he would save the world. That was his purpose that was why he had been born. He worked with purpose, he walked with purpose. Harry centered his life and his death on it. His purpose gave him the strength to do what needed to be done.
For Harry the moment had come early and the moment had passed. When he stood to face his death to fulfill his destiny something else happened, something all of Harry's planning had not accounted for. His purpose had been to die and instead of dying, for the second time he survived the impossible curse and lived. The worst part was Harry was brought back to that moment which led to the same question and now Harry didn't have an answer.
The war was finished and it had taken many lives. Harry was spared the loss of most of his family. The image of a smiling dead Fred would never leave Harry's mind. He would never forget it despite how much effort he put into it. Harry sighed and took one last look at himself in the mirror. He was wearing very tight black leather pants and a silver mesh top that left nothing to the imagination. Harry was in a slow burning hell of his own design.
He took a last look at himself not recognizing the boy he saw as Harry Potter but that was the point, there was no longer a need for Harry Potter… at least not anymore. The boy in the mirror wore no glasses, he had long hair that hung down to his waist and waved gently.
Apparently it only took a little weight to stop it from going in every direction. Perhaps the boy could have been a little taller, a little more muscular, perhaps he would have been. That is if he had ever been fed properly as a child. Harry looked away from the mirror and turned to face Draco who was smiling at him softly through the mirror.
He smiled back at Draco who was dressed similarly. He was taller and much more muscular. Draco had lost more in the war than Harry. Draco had lost his family, his status, his fortune. Harry couldn't figure Draco out… he looked into his eyes and he saw hope. Harry had no idea what Draco was hoping for, though.
The war had been over for months, the wizarding world was getting back to normal, with a vengeance. In what Harry considered record time, the population of wizarding Britain had turned on him. He was feared and as far as Harry was concerned he was once again undesirable number one. He was a little stunned to see Draco dressed. He didn't seem to want to go out anymore.
"You look good Harry. Where to tonight Harry? Wicked? Nocturnal Curse? Pink Lotus?"
Harry smiled at Draco and headed out the door and down the hall. The truth was, anywhere was good. Anywhere there was booze and sex, anywhere Harry might run into someone who just might slit his throat. Harry was not the type to kill himself which left him in a desperate position since he desperately wanted to die. Draco sighed loudly as Harry waited; Draco had become a sudden pillar of morals lately. Harry braced himself for one of Draco's long winded speeches about safety and responsibility. To his surprise Draco just hugged him and handed him a pack of condoms, the package was of course spelled to appear at the right moment.
"You already know what I think Harry. Just be careful, for me, please?"
Draco handed Harry a pinch of floo powder and took a step away from the fireplace.
"Aren't you coming, Draco?"
Draco sighed in a way that made Harry's heart ache just a bit. It was a tired sigh. He was driving the last person who gave a damn about him away. It hurt even though it was what he wanted, there was a secret part of him that ached for someone to shake him and tell him to wake up. He felt like he must have fallen asleep at some point during the war or after, he fell asleep and ended up in this endless nightmare, he was dying to wake up.
"I was going to come out tonight, but I have a headache and I don't think pounding music is going to make it any better."
Draco smiled weakly and Harry suppressed a sigh, throwing the floo powder into the fire and calling out the name of a club known for murder. He ignored the look of pain he saw on Draco's face and then the world began to spin as he was thrown through the endless network of fireplaces. Harry liked the spinning; he didn't want it to stop. There was a drink in his hand as soon as he entered the club which was one reason why it was his favorite.
The music was pounding out a mind-numbing rhythm. It was loud enough that it wiped all thought from Harry's head. He tossed back his drink and when he was done he was handed another. The lights were pulsing. Sweaty bodies were everywhere grinding against each other. Harry was grabbed and groped quite vulgarly. Whoever was holding him in place was aroused and had no shame in letting Harry know that. A hot tongue licked at his throat.
"You want to get out of here; I can get you a lot of cash."
The man cupped Harry's junk roughly and Harry felt his cock twitch in response.
"A pretty boy like you would fetch a high price, you know."
A pimp! Harry wanted to laugh. He turned around and smiled at the pimp. His pupils dilated in fear and he took a few hasty steps back. Harry laughed and grabbed the man by his open button shirt and pulled him closer.
"What kind of price are we talking about here?"
The pimp smirked and grabbed Harry around the waist and led him outside. Remus watched Harry in fascination from the shadows of the club. If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes he would have never believed it. Harry was drinking and smoking and grinding and groping and throwing his life away. Remus had given Harry his space. Or more honestly, Remus had been too busy wallowing in his own grief over the death of his wife and son to notice what his godson was doing.
Harry needed his space, so he could clear his head and mend the wounds the war had left on all their souls, Remus could understand that, what he couldn't understand was that Harry's soul was not simply wounded, it was broken. There was a gaping hole in it and he was trying desperately to fill it up, but he was only succeeding in ripping it wider open.
Lack of understanding, or not what Remus knew, was what he saw and what Remus saw was his godson getting into a muggle car with a pimp that was on the ministries most wanted list.
Harry spun around and the car speed off with the door still open. Harry glared at the red lights of the car. That had been a good a chance as any to die and some idiot had scared it away. Harry was ready to let out a string of curses, when the idiot stepped into the light of a street lamp.
There was a moment in which Harry considered running. He did not want reminders of his past. He didn't want to face Remus or all that had been lost. When he saw Remus he thought of Sirius and when he thought of Sirius he thought of Dumbledore and when he thought of Dumbledore he thought of Snape and when he thought of Snape he thought of Hogwarts and when he thought of Hogwarts…
Harry blinked and took in Remus's face. He looked shocked and saddened to find him like this. Harry hadn't meant to fall so far. He hadn't meant to do half the things he had done. He had degraded himself, he had lost himself. He wanted to be nothing so he had become nothing, he became a common whore, drinking and smoking and taking anything that he was offered.
It had felt so good it numbed him. Harry craved that numbness… he needed it, he would do anything to sustain it. Remus continued to look at Harry and his eyes filled with sorrow. Harry took a step back from Remus his body turned away from Remus just slightly. He wasn't the boy Remus knew, not anymore.
"Don't run Harry."
Harry stopped but he didn't turn around. His eyes found the floor and he stared at it feeling his eyes fill with tears. He had to run, he had to run and not stop until he was so far away, until Harry Potter was so buried under filth and crap the he was dead and gone. He turned away from Remus and took a shaky step forward.
"Harry. I know what you want. I hate it too. All the familiar places. All the hope. Everywhere I look, I see her face. I see some woman and I walk quickly only to realize it's not her. I can't stand it anymore Harry. I can't stand the sounds, the smells, and the magic around us. I hate it so much Harry. I hate it because who I wanted to save our world for isn't here to see it! I know what you're trying to do Harry. It won't work. Don't run away from me, we can make a new life somewhere else Harry. We can go somewhere far away from here. I need you. I can't do it alone and you…I'm sorry Harry. I left you alone and you're still a child and I should have made sure you were alright."
Harry bristled at the mention of him still being a child but he calmed himself quickly. Remus was his legal guardian, he had seen his birth, and he would always be a child to Remus. Harry turned around. He was still short; he suspected he always would be.
"I hate it Remus. I hate all of it, but it's worse than that. I hate myself, I hate me. I can't run away from myself even if we can run away from here."
Remus took a step forward and Harry become visibly stiff. Remus closed the small distance between them quickly and embraced Harry tightly even though he didn't attempt to return the gesture. The young man in his arms was wounded and Remus could tell the world intended to let him burn, but Remus wouldn't let that happen. He had allowed his grief to blind him to his young cub's pain. He knew it was unlike Harry to go partying but when he heard about it he had chalked it up to the boy needing to let off some steam. He knew Harry though and the boy did not do things halfway, he went from one extreme to the next.
"It's going to be ok cub, we will help each other. It's going to be alright. You'll see, everything is going to be fine."
He felt Harry's body shake and then the young man was sobbing in his arms. He took him home, letting him cry and comforting him when it was appriaote. Harry fell asleep on his couch with his nose red and his eyes puffy. He was so small, he looked so young. This world had failed him, they used him and now with his job done they meant to toss him aside. Remus hoped he wasn't too late to save him.
He stayed up all night watching Harry sleep. He had nightmares halfway through the night. Remus soothed him sitting close, he smiled when Harry moved closer practically molding himself to his side. He conjured a map; it was magical and showed the entire area in something like 3D instead of a round blob that was supposed to represent a piece of land.
Remus focused on places that were first and foremost far from England, secondly muggle, and the third requirement was a large area of surrounding forest where he could transform without causing alarm. He was currently scanning America, zooming in on the parts of the map that looked green. When he looked further he realized that the areas were heavily populated and that most of the forests were considered national parks and had frequent visitors and overnight campers.
He needed a place that was small with a surrounding forest that went mostly unused, perhaps somewhere with some mountains. He scoured the map picking out each dense green spot with his wand then reading the information the map would provide. It was near morning and his eyes were stinging and tired. He spotted one last tiny spot on the map that was very green, he tapped it with his wand and read through the information.
The town was small, populated with only muggles with a large expanse of forest that went mostly unused; there was a nearby Indian reservation that seemed pretty similar to the town, it was perfect. Remus tapped the tiny spot on the map twice with his wand to reveal the name of the tiny town. Forks, Washington, perfect! He looked over at Harry who was still sleeping peacefully. This would be good for them.
A place as small as Forks would be peaceful, quiet, and ultimately muggle; there would be no reminders in Forks, no deadly disasters or ministry of magic, just clean, fresh air and peaceful quiet. Remus investigated further finding the perfect house that was just right off the main road. Forks was perfect, nothing would go wrong there. It looked utterly boring and that suited Remus just fine.
Harry slept feeling a little more peaceful then he had in a while, but his dream was still disturbing. It wasn't exactly a nightmare; it just hadn't been the same. He was used to having the same dream each night where he was standing on a ledge and right before he would wake up he was about to let himself fall. Right before he fell the golden eyed stranger would pull him back.
It was different now, he was on the ledge as usual, but the golden eyed man was standing in front of him. His hands were in his pockets and he was smiling at Harry with such open longing on his perfect face. Harry stayed still, not sure what this meant. He was used to his dream and he like the way it normally went. The emptiness he felt in the dream was perfect. It was pain so exquisite that it became pleasure. Harry thought he was probably sick for enjoying such a thing.
He knew he was, but he didn't deserve to be happy, he didn't deserve to be alive. He continued to watch the perfect man who seemed to be made of marble. The man was right to invade; he didn't even deserve this emptiness since it brought him a twisted peace. He closed his eyes wanting to walk forward to the edge as usual but not wanting to put himself any closer to the stranger in his dreams. He opened his eyes again to find that the man was now very close.
His beauty was overwhelming this close up; he wasn't smiling anymore but looking at Harry intently. He leaned forward slowly as if giving Harry the chance to run. He didn't run and the stranger came close and then he felt a pair of cold hard lips on his. It was strange, but it felt so perfect that Harry nearly cried. He didn't deserve something like this. The kiss seemed to be slowly filling him with some type of warmth.
The warmth was like a balm to his broken soul, it closed over the gaping hole the war had left making him whole and complete. He felt hope and he felt safe. The stranger pulled away and Harry opened his eyes glad to see that the strange man was still close. Harry was gripping the stranger's biceps but he was beginning to fade away, feeling less and less real under his finger tips. The stranger smiled at him becoming transparent as if movement was robbing him of his last strength.
"I'll keep you safe Harry."
He faded away completely and Harry woke up seconds later to a smiling Remus who happily pointed to a spot on a floating 3D map. He couldn't focus on what Remus was saying, he couldn't breathe, he was burning and the pain was too much, it was just too much. He screamed and the room began to shake. Dust began to fall from the ceiling. He could hear Remus shouting but it was nothing compared to the noise in his head. He was losing it and he knew it, but he couldn't stop. Sometimes he felt like he would explode and then he felt so empty.
"Let's go Remus wherever you want, let's just go."
Edward's family was worried about him constantly. It was obvious to him. They couldn't hide it though they did try to. He could hear their thoughts, so their carefully constructed facial expressions hid nothing from him. Edward was tired, to put it simply. The days ran together, all of them had since the day he had been turned. If Edward measured his life by anything, than it was by his level of pain and that was it. There wasn't a single event; there wasn't a single person that stood out to Edward.
Nothing shocked him, nothing moved him. He was empty. He had loved once, only once and he had loved completely and with no restraint. He had given everything and he had lost everything for his gamble. Edward was convinced that the world was an empty place. There was nothing here for him. Worse yet, he was cursed with his gift. He heard everyone's thoughts, he heard their truth. He heard the dark and twisted things human minds could come up with.
Edward stared forward, not listening to the teacher, he was lost in his own thoughts, morbid as they were, at least they belonged to him. He had been in this class before, many, many times. He wasn't a dunce; he had just been alive for over one hundred years, alive and trapped in a seventeen year old body. His body afforded him little options, especially with his family's lifestyle choice.
He could be a golden school boy or he could be a golden punk. He knew those were not his only options. He could also leave and be whatever he wanted but he loved his family so he stayed and played high school student over and over. He knew the assignments backwards and forwards, they never changed no matter where he went. Edward Cullen was bored. He wanted a surprise, but nothing shocked him. He wanted an adventure, but nothing challenged him. Edward wouldn't go so far as to say he was in a rut.
It went beyond that really. It was more like something was slowly eating away at him; each moment that went by seemed more pointless than the last. Nothing pleased him and nothing displeased him. He just moved about because the act required it. Edward was near positive that if left to his own devices he wouldn't move at all.
Time was supposed to heal all wounds, and perhaps that was true, but for Edward time had become a great knife and it was running trough him slowly and steadily cutting him wider open. Time was his coffin. Endless time to think and to become more perfect with no apparent cause. The thought of it used to make him want to scream, but now he didn't even have enough emotion left for that. His family was convinced that his 'mood' was caused by not having a mate.
For a vampire a mate was considered a nesscesity. It stemmed from some obscure belief in Greek mythology… at least Edward thought it was Greek, it may have been Roman. At any rate, the belief wasn't surprising considering who the vampire ruler's were. Some of them were old enough to remember the world without roads, without sewage systems, with nothing but caves and large beasts.
They believed that a soul was split in two at the time of birth. One half was born and then the other. You were meant to complete your soul once more by finding the other half. There was no love like your soul mate and no other match that would be more perfect for you. Edward did not believe that a vampire could have a soul but he was the only one with this point of view. Most other vampires believed that when you were turned you were reborn with a new soul, with a new match.
The pull to find your soul mate became much stronger and easier because the other half of your soul would be born into a vampire as well, and supposedly you would be drawn to each other. If there was such a thing as fairy tales for vampires Edward was sure the soul mate story was the closest to it.
His mother believed it though and so did the rest of his family, they were sure that there was a vampire out there with the other half of his soul. They believed he would find that person and then magically be better. Edward was sure of two things; there was no such thing as soul-mates and there was no such thing as magic.
The bell rang and Edward stood up gathering his things without a thought. He avoided bumping into Bella Swan a pushy little girl who was trying to put herself in his path. She was head of the; I-love-Edward-Cullen-but-he-kinds-of-creeps-me-out-and-acts-like-a-jerk-committee.
Edward walked to his next class avoiding touching all the students with ease. He nodded to Jasper who was walking in the other direction and entered the classroom. He took his customary seat and ignored the thoughts of his classmates, which to him was just so much white noise. If he had been paying attention perhaps he may have left the classroom.
"Hello, I'm Harry Potter."
Edward looked up at the sound of that soft voice. It seemed like it shot right through him and setteld somewhere near his heart melting him and making him feel warm. He locked eyes with the small boy and the boy's eyes widened, his lips parted slightly and his skin flushed, his heart rate spiked and then his expression blanked out and became serene. His eyes shifted away from Edward's and he nodded politely to the class and took his seat.
Edward stopped breathing; his eyes followed Harry's small form to his seat and became locked there for the rest of the class. The boy didn't speak; he just took his notes quietly, smiling politely at the students who stared too long and ignored Edward completely. Edward didn't mind being ignored, he welcomed it. He silently willed the entire student body to ignore him. Harry, though, he wanted Harry to look at him, he wanted Harry to speak to him. The boy seemed determined to ignore him though.
He was never interested in the thoughts of the children around him. He scanned the minds of the children trying to pick out that soft voice. He couldn't find it. Edward frowned, feeling frustrated and curious, in five minutes Harry had caused him to feel more emotion then he had felt in years.
Harry was glad for once that he was friends with Draco. The Slytherin had taught him how to control his face and if not for that training, Harry would have just been standing in front of a room full of muggles gaping like a fish at a vampire.
He knew who it was, but he didn't understand how it was possible. He dreamed of that vampire every night. It had never struck him that his perfect stranger was a vampire. For the remainder of the class Harry forced himself to look anywhere but at the vampire, even though he could feel that the vampire was doing the exact opposite.
He wondered if Remus had noticed it already. He didn't know if this boy was the only one, but it seemed Remus's perfect, peaceful town was infested with his wolf's primary enemy. When the bell rang Harry got up quickly using a few wandless spells to evade the vampire. He made it to his car and out of the parking lot in record time.
"You alright Harry, you look like you've seen a ghost?"
Remus looked worried. Harry pushed his hair back from his face and went past Remus and up the stairs. To Harry's displeasure Remus was right behind him. A hand clamped down hard on his shoulder and he was spun around. Remus didn't look angry like he had expected, but he did seem worried. Remus wanted Harry to talk to him if he was having any problems or if any of his urges came back.
"Did you see them too Harry? I saw one at the grocery store. Can you imagine that buying groceries!"
Remus could only be referring to the vampires as 'them'. Harry was sure Remus could smell one on him but if he had run into one too. Harry considered lying for a moment… he wanted to keep his perfect stranger to himself. It was a stupid lie to tell though, and Harry wasn't even sure why he was considering lying. As stupid as it sounded he felt like his dream boy might be in danger if he told Remus.
"There are some in the school as well. Err, I still feel kind of jet-lagged. I'm going to go lie down."
Remus nodded and let him go, but not before hugging him tightly and kissing his forehead. Harry fought a blush but let his guardian carry on with it. He understood that Remus needed someone to take care of, nearly as badly as he needed someone to take care of him. Harry understood that he needed to be supervised. But he wasn't just tired, he was suffering from withdrawal.
He did not want to go so far as to call himself an alcoholic, but he had at the very least a tiny affliction. He had used the substance as a crutch; headache, drink, heartache, drink, hungry, drink. He smiled weakly at Remus who beamed back at him. He went upstairs hiding his shaking hands in his pockets.
Edward was not paying attention to the road. He was not paying attention to anything. It wasn't unusual, he didn't need to see the road to drive; he relied on the thoughts of others as well as his heightened senses and fast reflexives. Right now though, Edward was not even listening to anyone's thoughts. His mind was not so much silent as it was jammed. Instead of the road, he saw Harry, he was trapped in those endless green eyes.
The thoughts he normally heard were drowned out by that soft voice. He could scarcely believe it. There was something about Harry that seemed to call to him. There was something about the boy that made him feel…everything. He couldn't place what he was feeling; he only knew that it was powerful, extremely powerful.
"Edward! What are you doing?"
The world came into sharp focus and Edward surved to avoid an oncoming car. No one spoke but they didn't need to. Edward could hear them, and they all thought they had just witnessed the first sign of his slipping sanity. He focused on the road the rest of the way home. Edward was the first to leave the car. He went into his room quickly closing the door behind him and just standing there.
It grew dark before he moved again. He could hear his family all of them were talking about him and thinking about him. They were discussing him in soft voices. He felt like they might just have him committed if he wasn't careful. Edward moved away from his wall finally and approached his window.
He opened it and looked down, imagining for a moment that the fall could kill him. His thoughts were coming fast and jumbled. He felt confused, he looked down, once more studying the grass and then he jumped. He landed on his feet, he straightened up and looked around at the night, wet and damp, the air was soft. He breathed in deeply trying to pick up Harry's scent. He found it easily, it was soft and sweet and also spicy, a near mouth watering scent. He wanted to dive into that scent to suck it up, but he would never harm Harry, he would do only what Harry wanted him to do.
"Are you sure Harry wants you to do this Edward?"
Maybe his family was right and he had finally cracked under the immense weight of his own loneliness. He was talking to himself and spying on Harry through his bedroom window. It was twisted but watching Harry sleep calmed him. He absorbed every detail no longer caring. His thoughts became quiet and he felt so calm that he could nearly imagine that he was sleeping himself.
"I love you."
If Edward had not spoken at the exact same moment as Harry he would have heard him say the exact same thing.
I used to have the same dream every night. I'm here on this ledge, waiting for something. I can't see the edge anymore. It seems to be stretching on forever. Since coming here the dream keeps changing. Each night he's here waiting for me. He waits for me and he smiles gently and when he holds me I feel safe. You know what; I think I'm stuck on this ledge forever. I don't think I'll get what I want anymore, but that's fine as long as I'm here with him, in his arms…
Authors Note: Awake is being completely re written here is the new first chapter!!!! Let me know what you think about the third person perspective.