Everything has power. Every single thing in every single world, material and not. The simple existence of something is a power on its own. Of course, not everything has the same kind of power or even the same amount. But it's inevitable that 'what is' in some ways influences 'what can be'. It's the natural Order of Things.
Names have power, for example, and so have Days.
It is completely understandable then, that on a particular 31st of October, at night, two concentrations of power of incredible proportions came to interact with each other.
It is even more understandable if we think that in both equations the same Name was being uttered by a loving and dying mother.
Even though held apart by the invisible barriers separating those two different worlds, something was bound to happen.
Lily Evans Potter
She didn't know what was worse, whether her husband's scream or the dull thud followed by an empty silence. What she knew was that James, her sweet James, was no more. She was certain of that as if she had witnessed it. The creaking sounds coming from the wooden stairs only confirmed it.
The person coming upstairs was not her husband.
Strangely enough, the realization brought anger first and foremost, a rage she had never felt before. She found herself shaking because of it and embracing her son even more tightly. Now she regretted not taking her wand. She had panicked, running upstairs like a frightened chicken, leaving her only weapon on the coffee table in the far away dining room. If only she had taken it...
A dark shape appeared on the doorway and Lily's anger faltered at the sight of Lord Voldemort, his black robe greatly contrasting with his pale features. A pair of bloody red eyes bored into her as a deep, alarming terror started rising from her chest. She forced it down again, though, getting her Harry back in his crib, without taking her eyes off the monster who had just murdered James.
"Get out of my house," she said in a frosty voice, cold anger seeping out of her in big waves that would have put any man to flight. Unfortunately, it wasn't a man the one facing her.
"My, my... is that how you treat your guests?" Lord Voldemort said, hissing the last syllable in a snake-like fashion. He took a step forward and into the room, and Lily stiffened visibly as if ready to strike. Voldemort's wand rested on his right hip, apparently not needed.
"You're no guest," Lily replied, her voice shaking in anger and fright. "You're a trespasser and a murderer. If you don't go away now, I-"
"You what?" Voldemort interrupted her, laughing derisively. "You're weak and disarmed." He produced her willow and unicorn wand and held it mockingly high, twirling it between his pale fingers. "You're alone. Little James, Lord of the ancient House of Potter and your husband, died by my hand in a foolish attempt to oppose me. And, if you don't stand aside, you will join him soon."
The monster took another step forward and she instinctively positioned herself between him and the crib.
"How did you find us?" she asked. 'Make him talk,' she was saying to herself. 'They always love to talk'. But in reality, she actually wanted to know if what she and James had most feared had happened.
"I'm the most powerful wizard of all times. No one can hide from me. No one," he said with a fanatic look in his crimson eyes. He then smiled a cruel smile. "But if you really want to know, it was rattled to me."
Lily stiffened at that, gritting her teeth and trying with all her might not to cry. A lone tear escaped her left eye and ran through her cheek, leaving behind a trail of sadness and pain.
Peter had betrayed them.
"Now, I understand you're angry and maybe sad. But I have a busy schedule tonight," the monster continued in a madman-like voice. "The Longbottoms await me."
She started to shake her head repeatedly, whispering "No, no, no," under her breath over and over again. Tears started running freely down her cheeks now, blurring her vision and burning her eyes. "Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!" she pleaded falling on her knees.
"Stand aside, you silly girl... stand aside, now..." Lord Voldemort threatened, his face slipping into an impatient expression. He lifted his wand and pointed it at her. But she could not stop and she could not stand aside. Her son... her Harry... she would do anything to keep him safe!
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead!" she said, her voice, her body, her very soul shaking awfully.
"You're pathetic," the monster replied, disgusted. "Pleading like the mudblood you are. Stand aside, now!"
He cast a banishing curse at her and she flew through the air, slamming painfully on the wall, back first. The blow took the air away from her lungs, but even like that, numb and gasping for breath, she could not stand aside. She made her way to the crib, crawling as something wet and slick slipped down the right side of her face. She then sat there and lifted her eyes to meet Lord Voldemort's.
"Not Harry! Please... have mercy... have mercy... Harry!" she slurred, searching his face for something, anything. A trace of understanding, of pity, of indecision. But all she found was disgust, hate and cold cruelty.
"Foolish, foolish girl..." the monster whispered, shaking his head and raising his wand again. "Avada Kedavra!"
The green light hit her like the ray of an unhealthy sun. She didn't feel anything.
When the mudblood's body slumped down on the wooden pavement, Lord Voldemort regarded it for a long minute. He tilted his head to the side in curiosity as tears continued to appear in her eyes. That was odd, he told himself before losing interest. He shrugged it off and banished the corpse in a corner of the room, clearing the space between him and the crib.
He advanced slowly, already tasting the moment that was about to come. When he finally peered down at the baby he had come to hate – and fear - in the last few months, he found nothing extraordinary, nothing at all. He was just a toddle, so little, so weak. He was awake, his green eyes reminiscent of his now dead mother, looking up at him in a curious way.
Lord Voldemort laughed softly, a scary hiss that made the baby feel uncomfortable judging by his fidgeting and the frown appearing on his rosy face.
And this was the boy destined to vanquish him? The thought seemed so ridiculous now.
Long, pale fingers tightened around a dark wand as it was pointed at one Harry James Potter.
"If you really have the power to vanquish me, this is the right time to use it," Lord Voldemort said, amusement lacing his voice as he thought again about how he had been worried about this whole Prophecy thing. The only answer he received from the baby was a gurgling-squealing noise.
"That's what I thought too," the Dark Lord said. He smiled for a second more before steeling his resolve. "Avada Kedavra!"
It all took a couple of seconds. The green light he was so confident in started from his wand and reached the baby in the crib, striking him on the forehead.
Yet, it didn't dissipate.
It flew back at him instead, without even giving his instincts enough time to kick in. He couldn't move, he couldn't react at all. The green light hit him in the chest and he withered in pain, as a chunk of... of something was torn from him like a yanked cloth. He tried to scream, but he felt like nothing could escape his mouth. He felt like he didn't even have a mouth.
He soon found himself floating in the little room, dizzy and in pain. The only thought in his mind suggested that it was time to flee. Go away, the farthest possible. He noticed the closed window and launched towards it - not even elaborating through his dazed state how its glass surface didn't stop him. He reached the cool air outside and spared a glance towards the place he had just left. The last thing he saw was an eerie, white light coming out of the crib and lighting up the entire room before he finally fled.
Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay Dresden
I ran as best as I could through the long hallway. My bare feet slapped the pavement of concrete with enough force to hurt. I was already past my physical limits and didn't know how longer I could have stood. Still, there was no way I was gonna stop. Not even all the pain I felt at the moment could make me.
I grasped my lower abdomen where my son seemed intentioned to stay no longer. Two hours had already passed since the waters had broken, and my body was burning as if on fire.
I reached the door and fumbled with my keys to open it. The threshold. I had to cross it. The curse wouldn't be as strong if it had to pass it. It would buy me a little time.
My trembling hands somehow managed to open the door of my apartment and I stumbled inside where my legs stopped answering me and dropped me to the ground. I twisted painfully in order to land on my left side and with a superhuman effort I rolled on my back, gasping loudly for breath.
I tear my hospital clothes open and started pushing with all my might, resting my head on the cold pavement. There was too little time.
"Come on… son," I groaned through gritted teeth. "You have to… come out… right… NOW!"
With a shout, I felt the uncomfortable sensation of something stretching unnaturally in me. It hurt like hell but I couldn't help but laugh gleefully.
The head was out.
Two minutes later - the longest two minutes of my life - I was holding a howling baby in my arms.
I watched him through my blurred vision and for a moment, I couldn't even breathe seeing how beautiful he was. Some of my tears dropped on his head and he started crying even harder. I embraced him tightly and lulled him as much for his benefit as for mine.
"My baby… my baby…" I whispered in his ear with a broken voice.
For a moment, a wave of rage surged through me to the point of making me dizzy. I wanted to stay with him, with my Harry, my little Dresden. I wanted to give him everything he needed, everything he wanted.
But that was a foolish feeling and I forced myself to stay focused and start moving already. There was too little time, and I was so tired. I had to act immediately. The curse could reach me anytime now.
I brought a hand between my aching legs and soaked it in my son's blood and my own. Then I started drawing a circle around us. I groaned and hissed as I completed one half, the pain threatening to overwhelm me, but it was not finished yet. I was not finished yet.
The effort was almost too much to bear, but I managed to stay conscious and put Harry gently in front of me, gathering the focus needed for what I was about to do. The still squealing baby watched me with beautiful dark eyes - so much like my man's - stretching his hands to reach mine, to be held again. My heart ached at that, and a last dart of pain and desire pierced through me like a spear, before I regained the necessary concentration again and willed the circle close.
"There's no time," I repeated to myself. It was only a matter of minutes before the entropy curse I had dodged once already would reach me and finally put an end to my life. It wouldn't touch my Harry, I was pretty sure of that. Raith only ordered his lady-sorceress to kill me, and the bastard didn't know of my son. I hid myself from him exactly because of that.
"I will... enjoy seeing your... downfall by Harry's hand... bastard," I stammered aloud, though I was not sure from where I would see it. Would it be from Hell? Probably, but I didn't really care. My only wish couldn't be granted.
I would not live by Malcolm and Harry's side.
I could feel it already. Death was coming, a huge dark shadow descending upon me. If I had activated the Sight, I could have probably seen It in all Its ineluctability. Just laying my gaze upon It would have ripped me apart. I was scared shitless already, anyway.
I was too weak to fight, all with my gestation and my reckless escape from the hospital. No, Death was unavoidable for me.
But there was still a little time. I had to give my second and last birthday present to my son, on top of the silver pentacle.
I started chanting the ancient spell, focusing all my pain, all my longing and all my love for the boy crying in front of me. Half-meaningless words left my mouth as I poured all those feelings together, shaping them in order to be useful instead of just intoxicating. I stated clearly, with every word and gesture what was my intent with that dangerous spell.
My powers to my son.
Something heavy slammed against the apartment's door, and I managed not to jerk my head towards it only thanks to years of painful and excruciating practice in meditation and focus. I finally ended the chant and felt a sigh escape my trembling lips.
A pressure as none I had ever experienced tried to overwhelm me at that point. It was like all the air around me had started pushing every inch of my body from all possible directions.
Another explosion-like sound came from my right, from where I knew Death was coming, but by that point I couldn't have turned towards it even if I had wanted to.
I've almost finished, dammit! Please God, help me! I need a little more time!
I managed to glance at the now partly open door, and I saw a heinous, dark shape through the cracks in the wall. I recognized it at once and after a moment of complete shock, could only smile grimly. Raith's entropy curse had worked in a curious way. It had made him find me after so many years of futile chase.
All the better… I knew him for what he was, and though an assassin of the worst sort, he was a professional even when things were more personal than business.
He was after me. I knew he wouldn't touch Harry.
But interrupting the spell would probably be equivalent to slit my baby's throat and I couldn't allow that. I hastily recovered my focus and threw all I had into the link I shared with my own son, the strongest two people could ever have.
I took the umbilical cord connecting me and Harry together and raised it in front of us, as if it could be the anthem keeping pain or even Death away. I let out a thunderous scream as all the power that had burdened me all my life finally left my being and reached my son's.
I raised my eyes in jubilant triumph only to see a knife flying at me. It sliced through my basic magic circle like any other physical object would have, making it collapse like a house of cards under a gust of wind and freeing the pent up power it had kept in until that moment. Then it struck me with the force of a bullet, digging deep in my chest and sending me sprawling backwards and gasping in pain and shock.
Blood came up my throat, gurgling out of my mouth in hot, scarlet rivulets right as power like I had never felt before, let alone wielded, started raging through the little room, roaring, screaming and searching for an outlet. I only had time to think that I needed to get it under control again before I realized it was far, far too late.
I was dying.
I wanted to crawl over Harry, to cover him, to try and protect him, but my body had stopped answering my orders. I could only watch helplessly as the unrestrained energy swayed wildly once more before rushing down towards my son, hitting him with a prolonged, loud swish. It engulfed him completely a beat later, shining with a white light so intense, I had to close my eyes against my will. The room fell into an eerie, almost expectant silence for what seemed like hours to me, but were just instants, and then I realized something through the burning in my chest and the tingling in my limbs, something I would have preferred not to in my final moments, as the last day of my life was about to end.
My son had stopped crying.
My last word, a desperate, bloody shout ringing in my own ears was followed only by a painful cough and then nothing.
Author's notes – Some of you might be thinking: 'why the hell is my favourite uncle starting yet another story? Why isn't he updating his other ones?' The answer would be: 'because my mind is very undisciplined. It isn't able/willing to focus on only one project at a time for more than a few weeks. It tires pretty quickly instead, and starts wandering on its own volition towards different ideas. And if I try to force it back to where it should be, it spitefully produces crap and only crap. Nowadays, I know it's better to simply humour it.'
So, another crossover then, a quite literal one between Harry Potter and Harry Dresden, from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. You'll find out exactly what I mean in the next chapter. In this story, there will be spoilers from mostly the first five Harry Potter books and from all twelve of The Dresden Files. The fic collected dust in my computer for a while until I took it up a few days ago and tweaked it a bit. As you could see from this prologue, I'll use third person for the scenes in Potter's world and first person for those in Dresden's.
As always, the general plot is already laid out in my mind, with concepts, ideas and a few scenes even on 'paper'. The first chapter is actually already complete, only in need of a revision. I'll post it in a few days, I think. After that… I don't really know what will happen. There are a few new projects that seem averse to leaving me alone. Some of them will probably attract my attention in the near future while others may not. Anyway, expect something from me soon.
Feel free to point out my mistakes and your impressions in the meantime,