Masters of Death by enchanted nightingale
Beta Reader: pussycatadamah
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me. I only use them in my plot for fun.
Pair: Harry Potter/ Methos
"This is new," the green eyed wizard known as Harry Potter muttered. He craned his sore neck, knowing there was a wound on the back of his head. He could feel the dried blood there. He stretched his legs and connected with something soft. He pulled them back when he saw Cassandra. He was at her side just when she drew breath, waking to his worried face. Harry, used to the abruptness Immortals had when recovering, put a steadying hand on her shoulder.
"Where…?" she gasped.
"Breathe," Harry told her.
She complied and he watched her recover.
"Where are we?" she asked him.
It was Silas who answered them. The Immortal was outside their cage, brandishing an ax and giving them a terrifying grin.
"You two are awake," he said.
"You!" Cassandra spat. She made to get up but Harry stalled her.
"What is this place?" he asked. "Why did you and your… brothers bring us here?"
Silas cocked his head to the side. "You ask a lot of questions."
"That's me, mister curious," Harry replied. He made eye contact with Silas. Behind the insanity and the blood thirst he saw the answer that Silas had brought to the forefront of his mind even though the wizard knew this Immortal would not answer him. Kronos had made him and Caspian go to the hotel. They had expected only Cassandra but Kronos later told them he had seen Harry with Methos. The green eyed man was here as collateral, Cassandra for Duncan and Harry for Methos. Because apparently, Kronos was suspicious of the oldest man alive.
Silas laughed and left them alone. The duo got a glimpse of Caspian up the stairs waiting for Silas. Then it was just the two of them again.
"You sent MacLeod to that fountain."
Methos kept a cool head, a patronizing look on his face. He would not show emotion because Kronos was worse than a hound, detecting weaknesses, real and imaginary, and using them to bring people to their knees. He let Kronos talk, gloat how he knew Methos would tell Duncan, gloat about how he got his hands on Duncan's woman.
"… While she was unprotected," the Immortal with the scar running down his right eye revealed. "That was the plan? Right? I know you Methos, better than you know yourself."
Methos covered a grimace he wanted to make, every fibre of his being protesting Kronos' claim.
"I wonder what MacLeod will think of you now," Kronos mused. "You, his friend, betraying him and taking his woman… I know what I would feel… Hatred. I'd want you dead."
"Well… then we should prepare for that."
Methos nodded. "Did you send Caspian or Silas?" he asked, dreading the answer.
"Both," Kronos replied and Methos cursed inwardly.
However the oldest Immortal did not get any reprieve.
"We wait till our brother's return," Kronos said. "Meanwhile… We really should feed our prisoners."
"Prisoners?" Methos asked.
The grin he got in return made his stomach roll unpleasantly.
"Didn't I tell you? Cassandra was not alone in that hotel room. She had company; a young, pretty boy. He felt like an Immortal as well. Green eyes, messy hair."
Methos paled. "What?"
"Right…" Kronos gave a terrifying grin and Methos then knew; he knew Kronos was aware that the young man meant something to Methos, more than Cassandra, more than MacLeod's trust and friendship.
"Better yet," Kronos said. "I'd feed them myself. But I could use the company."
Methos followed after Kronos in a hurry, hating himself for revealing his weakness.
Harry and Cassandra sat on opposite sides of the cage. The green eyed wizard was considering using his wand to get both of them out of here but he held back for two reasons. One, he wanted to know where Methos was and whether he was safe. Two, he knew Silas was going after MacLeod and Harry had no idea whether the Highlander was alive.
"I hate this," he muttered and Cassandra snorted. "What?" he asked her.
"I just wonder how a man like him could fool you so much."
The wizard sighed. "I was not fooled. Believe it or not, as soon as he revealed he was an Immortal he did mention his past. He said he had killed and done unspeakable things. The thing is, I've also killed."
"For pleasure?" Cassandra demanded in a challenging tone.
"No, for survival," Harry replied. "But I'm not going to judge Methos for things that happened millennia before I was even born. I know he had lovers and wives before he met me. That he had comrades and friends and enemies. His past and his memories made him who he is today. I'm not even asking you to forgive him," he told her. "What I would like is for you to stop trying to change my mind. I love the man he is today."
"You are a fool."
Harry smiled. "Yes, maybe I am."
The Immortal woman noticed the fond look on his face and averted here eyes. Finally she sighed.
"Do you trust him that much?" she inquired.
"Then I hope you are right," Cassandra told him. "For both our sakes." Then she went rigid. "They're coming."
Methos felt Cassandra before he saw the cage. Then, when the dratted prison was in sight he could see the two people in there. He nearly missed a step as he followed Kronos with two bowls in his hands. The Immortal woman that died during the Bronze Age noticed them first and her eyes burned with hate. Then, Harry turned and Methos once again saw emerald eyes.
"This is familiar," Kronos muttered as he sauntered up to the cage, Methos a step behind. "Put the food down brother."
Methos complied, approaching the cage, his back to his 'brother' and his eyes staring right at Harry, completely ignoring Cassandra.
"I'm not a sorry slave anymore," Cassandra hissed and kicked the bowls away.
Methos did not flinch at the crash, but he did straighten his back when Kronos touched his shoulder.
"They are funny aren't they?" the Horseman taunted. "Dead even though they still breathe. As soon as the Highlander is dead… Oh, that got your attention," he grinned at Cassandra. "That's right; MacLeod has probably lost his head already. I sent Silas and Caspian after him. What do you two think? Will he survive?"
Cassandra gasped. "You monster! I'll rip out your head first chance I get. I won't even need a blade!"
It only made Kronos grin and ignore her as he focused on Harry. "And you are being silent, isn't he Methos? Was he always so silent?" he leered at Harry and seemed unconcerned with the glare the wizard was giving him.
"Kronos…" Methos swallowed hard.
Right then Silas arrived and seemed to be yelling for Kronos. The last sighed and left Methos alone with the two prisoners. As soon as Kronos was out of sight and hearing, Methos approached the cage again and grabbed Harry gently through the bars.
"Are you okay?" he asked, not caring how desperate he sounded.
Harry favoured him with a reassuring smile. "We're both fine," he replied. "But I have a bone to pick with you mister. Leave me behind again and I'll tie you to the bed, better yet, to myself," the wizard threatened.
Methos smiled and kissed Harry's hand. "As long as you're alive," he said. "You're still in danger. When you're safe…" he sighed and took a deep breath. It would not do to start panicking now or start questioning why his lover had decided to follow Duncan or why he had not escaped yet, secrecy about the magical community be damned. He hated seeing Harry behind bars and concrete, in this place, in the company of the monsters of his past.
"Sooo, was that creep right? Is Duncan…?" Harry trailed off.
Harry's lover sighed. "I have no idea. Listen, Harry, do you think you can? the two of you can escape?"
The 'with magic' part was left hanging in the air but the wizard understood and nodded.
"I…" Harry started but the oldest Immortal shushed him and stepped away. Just in time too, because Kronos stormed up to them, looking enraged, Silas at his heels.
Methos rejoiced at the fact that there was no sight of the Caspian.
"… If MacLeod gets close… Kill her!" Kronos ordered Silas as they came close to the cage.
Silas was carrying his ax and Kronos had his sword out.
"He's alive?" Cassandra asked, looking hopeful and relieved that her champion, lover and friend had apparently not fallen. That he had taken Caspian's head made her feel even more elated.
"Not for long," Kronos growled. "Methos! With me."
When the immortal did not immediately jump to his feet, Kronos turned to Silas.
"Anything happens and green eyes here dies painfully," he ordered and waited for Silas to nod, before looking pointedly at Methos. "Is that enough of an incentive for you, my clever friend?"
"Kronos…" Methos tried.
"If you want your little toy alive then you better get ready. As soon as I own the world you can have him if you still want him," Kronos told him and Methos got reluctantly to his feet and followed after the Immortal with the scary eyes. "We are going to poison a city, Methos and no tricks from you."
They had been about to leave and Methos was already plotting how to incapacitate Kronos. He was no good against the other Immortal in a fair battle but he was crafty and he was desperate to survive because he wanted Harry safe. But then, Duncan came and Methos knew that he had more of a chance now. He let Kronos do the talking, trying to threaten and blackmail Duncan into putting his sword down lest Cassandra dies. When the Highlander refused he knew the battle was on. He was about to slip away when Duncan turned his gaze at him, looking a bit like a wounded puppy.
"You set me up," he accused Methos, who nearly rolled his eyes.
If they survived this, the oldest Immortal vowed to have a talk with the Highlander. Really, no one should be that noble and chivalrous, it bordered on stupid. He also seemed unable to take a hint or look further than the obvious.
"I always go with the winner," Methos decided to say, mindful of Kronos' presence.
"Tell Silas to finish her while I deal with your friend," Kronos ordered Methos.
The Immortal that posed as a Watcher did not need further prompting. He was on his feet and leaving but with an entirely different agenda in mind when Duncan called for him, asking him not to hurt the woman. Methos paused, just enough to give him an exasperated look. Then he ran, eager to get to Silas before the prisoners were hurt. Methos knew Harry could hold his own but now was not the day to test his immortality.
The sound of swords clashing reached them and Harry and Cassandra shared a look. Silas caressed the handle of his ax. Harry was mentally preparing. One move from Silas and the wizard would retaliate. When Methos appeared with his blade drawn Silas seemed to become more alert and eager to use his weapon.
"MacLeod's here?" Silas demanded.
Methos nodded and Silas reached to open the cage. He pulled Cassandra out first, roughly handling her and pushing her to the water that was splashing around the cage. Then he reached for Harry and the wizard winced as the bigger man nearly crushed his arm with his strength. Methos did not look pleased if the thunderous look on his face was an indication.
"Silas…" he tried but the ax wielding Horseman ignored him.
"Just wait till I finish this one," he told Methos and raised the ax over Harry's head.
Methos' sharp blade against Silas' stomach made the big man pause in confusion.
"Brother? You are challenging me? For his life? You don't want him anymore then? I can have her head, I don't mind," Silas told Methos, misinterpreting the other Immortal's intent.
The oldest Immortal in the world was practically trembling with rage and tension as he ground out an, "I'm not your brother."
It was then that Silas realized that Methos was actually opposing him.
"Are you really going to do this?" Silas asked. "This is what we do, this is our true nature? Are you betraying us? What we have?"
"Harry, take Cassandra and go, leave as fast as you can," Methos said, eyes trained on Silas. Then he addressed his opponent. "You don't know anything about me, who I really am not," he said and attacked.
Silas was quick to fend him off and push him back. Then he advanced on Methos just as Harry got onto his feet and helped Cassandra stand.
"Come on," he told her. "We need to find a bigger space and you need a weapon, we both do."
Cassandra stared at Methos and then at Harry.
"Come on!" the wizard urged her again and they started running.
Methos led Silas on a merry chase. He knew how his once comrade fought, recalled how heavy the ax was and how Silas needed space to manoeuvre it and how easily he tired when he had to run a lot so he used it to his advantage. He did not count on being seen by Kronos while he fought with Silas and he thought the look on Duncan's face when he too noticed them was bordering on ridiculous. But he ignored it and continued to fight off Silas while inwardly wondering whether he could actually do this, take Silas's head for real. So he fought and tried to hold it together because Silas was skilled and more powerful and Methos had to be quick on his feet to dodge and do enough damage on the other Immortal, enough to bring him to his knees. That is when he did it. He got past Silas' defence and with a clean strike he followed the move he had started and took Silas' head off.
Then the mists that speared out of nowhere suddenly were a prelude of the Quickening that was going to take place. Methos absently realized that he could not hear the clashing of swords from where Duncan and Kronos were facing off. He glanced and barely caught sight of the Highlander standing before the energy swarmed him. It was too much, too strong as the Quickening's from both Kronos and Silas rushed all over the place. Thunder lit the place up, creating explosions and fire and so much energy that both Duncan and Methos fell to their knees, staggering from the rush and the pain of the energy being absorbed within them.
Harry felt the Quickening before he stumbled upon it. He and Cassandra had been trying to keep clear of the fights but when the lightning came they rushed back.
"He's done it!" she said as soon as her eyes spotted the Highlander.
The wizard immediately searched for his lover and he saw him, finally, on his hands and knees, trying to breathe properly. He left Cassandra's side and ran towards Methos while everything exploded around him. He was just a few feet away, waiting for the energies to calm and dissipate. He could feel them all over his skin, carrying power and life and death and Harry felt grateful when it stopped. He reached Methos' side in seconds, dropping to his knees next to his lover, ignoring Silas' decapitated body.
"Methos?" Harry softly inquired.
"I… I killed Silas," the Immortal said, his voice roughed and nearly hysterical. "I liked Silas!"
And Harry understood without any words just what that meant to his lover. Even monsters had friends and family and the Four Horsemen had been that, a family the four of them had created. They had ridden together for years and that was a bond that was hard to disregard. The horrors that accompanied those times and those memories for Methos were interwoven with memories of his fellow Horsemen. Had not Silas threatened Harry, Methos would have probably let him go. But he had and it all came down to this. He did not regret it, not one bit, but it hurt so much, the realization that he had raised a blade against Silas… That he had practically judged another who was so similar to what he had been. He felt like such a hypocrite. Grief and relief tore at him, making him unable to stand straight. Then Harry placed his hands around him, drawing Methos up and hugging him tightly. Methos clutched him back desperately, burying his face in the juncture of Harry's neck and shoulder. He was shuddering and trembling from the shock of his actions and the after affects of the Quickening. Dry sobs racked his slender frame and Harry held on.
"I'm here," the green eyed wizard told him. "It's over now, I'm here," he kept repeating as he tried to get his lover to relax.
Harry was alert and he noticed Cassandra advancing on them. He saw her spare a contemptuous look at Silas' body before she picked up the discarded ax and focused on Methos.
"No," he told her. "Don't you dare, Cassandra? He's been through enough. Walk away," Harry warned her. Because he would fight her in order to keep his lover safe.
"Am I to forgive him?" she demanded. "Feel sorry for him? Forget?" her voice rose with each word.
"I'm not asking you to feel anything," Harry told her. "I'm telling you to leave us alone. There is no revenge for you to take. Unless you kill me first, I'm not letting you near him."
She wavered and dropped the ax. "He doesn't deserve you."
"That's not for you to judge," the wizard told her.
"Cassandra!" Duncan's voice reached them. The Highlander was being supported by a rail, looking a real mess.
"I suppose you want him alive as well," she said. Her voice held pain and sadness but she did not make to pick up a weapon again. She gave one last look at Duncan and then her piercing gaze fell on the immortal lovers. Then she shook her head and walked away and Harry's focus was back on his lover.
"…One of a thousand regrets, MacLeod, one of a thousand regrets…" (1)
Those words were heavy on his mind as he left the cemetery and returned to the room he shared with Harry. Cassandra had returned to the hotel, packed her things and disappeared with only a letter to Duncan. Methos could not bring himself to care about her or her plight or her well deserved right for revenge, not when he had to face Harry. The wizard had also gathered his things and had followed the oldest immortal on earth to this new location after a few parting words to the Highlander. Methos knew that his lover had certainly been patient, held him through his breakdown, the second one since Harry was in a coma. It was more than what he had hoped for when he had feared that revealing his past would drive the man he loved away from him for ever. Hearing Harry defending him to Cassandra despite the haze of his pain, back in that abandoned base had made his heart feel alive again, feel like there was a future for them. But his talk with Duncan had dampened his spirits, the whole debacle with the Horsemen had shaken him and it would be a while before he recovered and put his ghosts to rest again. Currently, Methos felt numb and raw, like he could not fit to his skin perfectly.
When he saw the room empty as he closed the door he feared that Harry had left. Then common sense kicked in and he saw the luggage still there and the balcony door open.
"Idiot," he muttered to himself as he took a few deep breaths to calm down.
"You're back," Harry said as he came in from the balcony.
"I had to see him," Methos said as he took his coat off, hiding how shaken he had been when he thought for a moment that Harry was gone.
"Yes, Duncan was rather angry. He believed you orchestrated Cassandra's kidnapping to bring him closer to Kronos, finish him because you could not do it."
Methos sighed and fell on the bed. The mattress dipped as Harry joined him. They stayed that way; close enough to touch but not really touching, as they stared at the ceiling and the chandelier hanging from it.
"Was he right?" Harry asked.
"I had no idea you were with them."
"So, that's a yes. You are one crafty bastard, luv."
Methos snorted. "Still calling me that? Still loving me despite being a monster?"
"You don't have the face of a monster and you certainly don't have the heart of one."
"I used to."
"Well, you used to think the earth was flat too," Harry quipped.
"I'm not being blind about this," the wizard said, his voice serious. "And I did give it a lot of thought after you ran away before I could stop you."
"Can you still be in the same room with me? Share my bed? Despite everything?"
Harry sighed and turned on his side, facing Methos. "No, not despite everything. Cassandra was right about who you were then. But I'm right about who you are now. I never doubted you, Methos so stop trying to make me. It's one game you won't win."
"My stubborn Harry."
"That's right," the wizard grinned. "I'm yours."
Methos turned on his side as well. "You might come to your senses one day, I won't blame you."
"Are you planning genocide and mindless slaughter any time during the future?" the wizard asked.
"Then Death the Horseman is dead and buried, pun intended," Harry firmly stated. "Kronos is dead, Silas and Caspian as well. It's over, Methos."
"Yes, yes it is," the Immortal said; his face relaxed finally after so many days of worry and stress. "I guess… I'm really free from them, from the past."
Harry moved closer. "You are."
Methos smiled. "She was right, I don't deserve you… Let me finish, Harry. I don't deserve you, but I don't care. I love you so much… When I saw you in that cage I knew… I knew you were there because Kronos did not trust me, because he needed me on a leash. Why didn't you leave Harry?"
"Because I wanted to make sure that you were alive and safe," the wizard replied.
"Definitely don't deserve you," Methos muttered before closing the distance between them and kissing Harry, something he feared that he would be unable to do ever again.
End of chapter
( 1 ) Direct quote from the TV series