A/N: Yeah, I know, it's been forever lol. This will likely be the last chapter of this installment of the Sleeper series. I do eventually intend for this to be a trilogy with a prequel coming next. It is a shorter chapter and I know it seems a little rushed but to be honest, I was just really ready to get this out. I was starting to fear I'd never finish it if I didn't go ahead.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Don't sue.
Chapter Fourteen...Happy Is The Heart That Still Feels Pain
Gandalf observed the Dark Lord with a frown, not moving as the small fellowship drew down on their loved one. His bristled, grey eyebrows were furrowed in a heavy confusion as if he could see something within the figure that the others could not. Sauron summoned the fallen wand to his hands from where it had fallen by Saruman's carcass. It obeyed his command, flying into his outstretched hand and he leveled it at his opponents. Still, the Istari did not move to oppose him.
"What's the matter, Gray Beard? Have you at last seen your own feebleness? Will you lay down and allow your death to come so easily?" His words came out in a laughing hiss, as if from a serpent of the deep.
Aragorn flicked his eyes to the Maiar, concern filling his entire body. He found Gandalf's lips curving up into the tiniest of smirks though, not a man who had given up.
"I may die today, but not by your hand. Are you not feeling well, Sauron? Is your hold feeling somewhat...tenuous, perhaps?"
Sauron sneered in response though there was no missing the tremble of the wand tip in his hand, the tightening of the skin around his eyes and the perspiration that dotted just above his lip. He released a hiss of fury, shaking his head. His crimson eyes were wide with agony. He had chosen to take possession of his host at a most unfortunate moment. Valo was going into labor and the pain was helping the young wizard to fight off the Dark Lord's influence. A particularly painful contraction had the tyrant crumbling over the Fell creature but the cry that burst from the small, swollen body was Valo's own. Impossibly green eyes turned to them fearfully but with a steely determination. His thin hands shook as he raised the wand to his own chest.
"Gandalf, you will have only a few moments after I'm dead to save my baby. Please don't let this be for nothing..." His voice did not waiver or quiver, it was cool and steadfast.
Valo intended to drag Sauron with him. He was his last tie to the realm of the living. Once that last bit inside of Valo dies, the Dark Lord would be gone from the lands of Middle Earth for good.
Valo gasped as his wand was dug from his stiff fingers by a kind faced wizard. Gandalf smiled down at him, touching his trembling cheek. Twisted, paper-thin hands came up to cradle the back of Valo's head as periwinkle eyes leveled with his own.
"You will not lose your life today, my boy. I have been long for this world and my home calls me back. It will be my honor to take Sauron back with me. He will be judged by the Valar and by those who allowed him entrance to this world in the first place. It is as I said, I may lose my life today but not at Sauron's hands. This is my choice." The old Istari's voice was calm and sure, and Valo's lips quivered as he looked into the face of the man who meant to give him his life back.
They had followed him across Middle Earth, faced terrible odds and dangers to bring him home. These were the people who loved him. Just like the Weasley's and Dumbledore and Hermione. He threw his arms around the man, sobbing with grief, relief and pain as another contraction hit. Gandalf began to chant in a low, nearly hissed, deep whisper, drawing Sauron's soul out and into a small, rounded pendant on a chain while Legolas and Aragorn lay Valo down on the ground. It so resembled Slytherin's locket that Valo gave a hysterical laugh out loud. He could think clearer now than he had in centuries and-Merlin- he was in labor. When the Maiar began to dissolve into a fine mist was the only time he found himself distracted from the intense pain radiating through his body. The Istari was using his ties to Valinor in order to disappear from Arda with all haste. He wasn't going to give Sauron any chance to escape punishment. He laid a hand on Valo's shaking body with a proud, tired smile.
"Rest your fears, my boy, and be at peace." And then he was gone, carried off with the wind.
Another strong contraction hit and Valo was being undressed quickly as his cries heightened in intensity. Fortunately, just as the men were beginning to panic, a horn sounded nearby and a troupe of Elves, the last from Rivendale, it appeared, spilled quickly from the trees. With more than a few sighs of relief, a medic came forward. She was a no nonsense kind of woman, who ejected them all from the immediate premises promptly with a glare in her sapphire eyes. Some of the men erected a makeshift tent around Valo's quaking form for privacy just as the babe was beginning to crown. Lord Elrond placed a hand on the bewildered and anxiety ridden Legolas's shoulder as they listened to the prince's husband's screams.
"All will be well, Legolas. Eldarion will be well."
Legolas was taken aback for a moment. It was the first time he had ever heard Lord Elrond call Valo anything but the name given to him by Sauron. Perhaps it really would be alright. All they could do was take his husband home and wait for word that Gandalf had been successful. Valo's pain seemed to have calmed to gentle sobs. The medic, Eleisse, if he remembered correctly, emerged from the tent with a weary nod after quite some time. She gestured for Legolas to enter and he did so with some trepidation. Would the babe be a monster? Would it be disfigured or born with some darkness leftover from it's birth father, Sauron? The sight he walked in on when he entered that tent would stay with him for the rest of his unnaturally long life. The child was...beautiful. It held all of Valo's natural beauty and no sign of taint marred it's soft skin. His tiny husband gave an exhausted laugh, brushing dark hair away from the child's face.
"Sauron would not have wanted such a vessel for long, anyways." Legolas looked at him in question, "It's a girl. A beautiful, precious girl."
He sat next to them, brushing fingers against the little girl's exposed back.
"What shall we name her then, beloved?"
"I think...Lalaith. Lalaith Greenleaf."
Legolas's smile grew larger. Lalaith. Laughter, for she would bring them much joy. It was perfect. Valo didn't seem to mind when he was carried to Imladris, despite his pain. He only had eyes for the husband he had missed and the child that not slept in his arms. They had come upon a farm along the way and bargained for some milk for the child who sucked the concoction down greedily. Lalaith promptly fell asleep afterwards and slept until they were safely within the gates of Rivendale. Aragorn immediately sent a missive to his wife to let her know that they would be home as soon as Valo and Lalaith were fit for travel. Once the rush of their arrival was over, they all sat down together with a scribe and the new parent told the story of his home world and the world of wizards there. He told them of Tom Riddle, of magical schools and of a boy named Harry Potter.
A/N: I KNOW THAT IT'S RUSHED. I know that it's short but if I didn't go ahead and get this last chapter out then I wasn't going to. I decided that having a terrible last chapter was better than leaving the story incomplete. I do eventually intend for there to be a prequel but it won't be out anytime soon. I hope you've enjoyed Where The Sleeper Wakes and thank you for all of those who stuck with me until the end.