Disclaimer: I own neither Sandman or Harry Potter. I also do not own anything recognizably from another published work. Some lines in the first paragraph are paraphrased from comic 203 if "xkcd".
Author's Note: I keep meaning to write a mutli-chapter fic for my Round-Robin, but I keep getting these one-shots stuck in my head.
This is dedicated to Shuna.
Summary: Another bad dimensional travel sends Harry to a world where nothing is ever as it seems and everything changes constantly.
It always disturbed me that we don't bat an eye to dreams. When you think about it, it is a vaguely disturbing quality. While dreaming you are comatose, you do not know what is happening in reality and anything can, therefore, be happening. While dreaming you hallucinate vividly, usually a sign of some mental illness. And then when you come to after dreaming, you may suffer amnesia about the whole thing, usually a sign of brain damage.
Yet, dreaming is a perfectly acceptable, and oft encouraged, activity.
Then you have the world of dreams. Anything can happen there.
I once had a dream where I was alone on a deserted island until I realized it was the home of a cannibal serial killer who was going to kill and eat my identical twin (which reminds me, I do not have one). I rescue my twin and we walk to the other side of the island where we find we're wearing Victorian era male clothing despite it being the twenty-first century (it wasn't steam-punk, either). There I find my grandmother working in an office next to the airport and must save her from a terrorist attack by flying a stealth bomber which magically turns into a early twentieth century biplane with a shopping cart in the back. Then I land with the shopping cart which, strangely enough, is equipped with a missile system that would put many armored military vehicles to shame. I rescue my grandmother and end up walking across a street only to be confronted by a friend I hadn't talked to in awhile with five identical kids aged newborn to five.
Then I woke up and asked myself what I had ate before going to sleep.
Now I wonder, what would happen had I not been asleep for the entire experience? What if that world was the real one? Then I remembered poor Harry the multi-verse hopping wizard with a no sense of direction. And I realized, maybe he had gone through this experience...or maybe not, it really doesn't matter in the end. Nothing does after all, for we are all just a dream of the cosmos...
A crack resounded through the land. Which wasn't an experience that had never been heard before, and would likely always be heard, even though it disappeared in an instant.
Harry found himself standing on a beach looking towards mountains with the sound of waves behind him.
In the blink of an eye he found himself standing in the sky surrounded by World War I planes which reminded him of that one dimension that had the funny talking adults and the rather precocious kids.
Another blink, he was standing on the water surrounded by light. "God, is that you?" someone asked behind him.
Another blink, he was balanced rather precariously on top of a telegraph pole. Extreme suction made him look at the tornado baring down on him.
Another blink, he was surrounded by black, words appearing in the darkness.
"Honey, the knife!"
"Ale, the best drink in the world?"
"Up is always down, and down is always up."
Another blink, a throne room where sat an extremely pale man with hair and clothes the color of midnight, and eyes like two stars plucked out of the night sky.
Another blink, he was standing on the hood of a speeding car racing through a city.
Another blink, he was flying, the sudden disappearance of the source of his forward momentum met he continued forward.
Another blink, he landed in a pile of feathers next to a rather large bird.
Another blink, he was falling upside down, inside out.
Morpheus blinked. That was saying something. Rarely did things stun him. After all, the Endless have forever, which is quite some time for something to occur.
In all his years ruling the dreaming he had never seen anything quite like it. He knew it wasn't a vortex, they were inexplicably drawn towards him. It was something entirely different.
He knew, sometimes, when a mortal fell asleep they travelled his realm to one of his sibling's realms, Delirium's most often. Indeed, that was the best way to talk to the Endless, was through the realm of dreams.
This was different, and he didn't much like different. He accepted that he was lord of an ever changing, ever churning, realm. He accepted that things were often different from one day to the next.
But that didn't mean he had to like it.
This seemed to be a mortal who had some how traveled to his land without the prerequisite of falling asleep first. He was tempted to just let the mortal fall through the fabric of the dreaming. But then he recalled a recent conversation with his sister.
"There is a man," she had begun, "who can travel to the sunless lands."
"All men travel to the sunless lands," he said, uncertain of why she was bringing this up. He, as well as she, knew it was a mortal's fate to travel beyond the veil.
"He can leave any time he wishes, and his heart still beats," she said.
"If this man can travel to the realm of the dead and come out alive," Dream thought out loud, "then it is likely that he can travel to my realm even while awake."
Harry Potter blinked again and huge wings carried him towards the sun.
Another blink, he was beneath the waves drinking tea with the Mad Hatter.
Another blink, he was swinging on webs through a city like a giant spider.
Another blink, he was surrounded by the ethereal whiteness of nothing.
Another blink, he was lying in bed, but was that moving nearby?
Another blink, a ball game, all the bases loaded. The hit.
Another blink, a large hedge maze stood all around him.
Another blink, the man again, except this time, when he blinked he didn't move.
Harry looked truly dizzy, and anyone would be if they had just had the experience he had.
"Okay someone stop this ride, I would like to get off," Harry said.
"Who are you? And why have you entered my realm?" the Lord of the Dreaming asked.
Harry took some deep, steadying breaths and took a look around. He was standing in a field, but at least he was no longer traveling everywhere. It took him a few moments to realize that the questions had been asked in the first place. "Oh, right, sorry, 'bout that," Harry said. "I'm Harry Potter. And, honestly, I'm very confused. I only wanted to find a nice beach."
"How did you get here?" Morpheus asked.
"I apparated," Harry said. "Well, apparated isn't entirely correct, the technique is similar to apparition, but differs in its results. I travel through the ether that is the space between now and then, here and there, and all matters of form and function. Where nothing and everything can exist at once. It's kinda hard to explain unless you experience it. In fact, those of us that experience cannot describe it to each other. I managed to make it to a convention where several versions of myself had dinner at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Finding seats was terribly difficult."
"How many of you are there?"
"Well, one of the other me's explained it like this, 'I can't actually know how many other me's exist because there are infinite number of possibilities and in any one of those possibilities a Harry Potter, or sometimes, Harriet, Rose, Jacquelin, etc. Potter, gains the ability to travel the multi-verse. Any infinity divided by a smaller number is so large that it must be infinite, as well. Then again,' he had said, 'maybe there's only one and you're all just figments of my imagination.' Lillian had then proceeded to chuck a napkin at him, he had called himself Einstein in his own dimension."
"So, I can expect this to happen again?"
"Quite possibly, after all anything is possible," Harry said. "But on that note, I think it's about time I leave. I hope I find a beach this time. Sayonara."
Another crack resounded through the dreaming and Harry Potter was gone.
Morpheus shook his head and went about creating something to alert him anytime the dreaming was breached by another Harry Potter or one of his female counterparts.
End Note: Besides Sandman, Harry Potter, and xkcd, cameo crossovers from the following were used: Peanuts, the myth of Icarus, Alice in Wonderland, Spider-Man, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.