Here we go for the last chapter. I'm planning a sequel, but I think it will take a while.
Tell me what you think about it!
XV. Growing Up
You are nineteen when they take you to your Harrowing in the middle of the night. You never thought they would allow you to take it but somehow someone must have spoken for you. Obviously the templars don't agree with this decision and they make it clear the whole way to the Harrowing Chamber. They sneer and make rude commentaries. They push you hard into walls and laugh about their own jokes about how they'll enjoy killing you up there. But you do nothing to provoke them any further and you don't show your fear. You walk silent with your head held high and your back straight.
You know nothing about the Harrowing. Do they let you fight against the templars? No, that's what they want to prevent. Maybe they let them beat and provoke you to see how much you can endure and how long it takes until you snap and defend yourself? These aren't pleasant thoughts but reality is worse. You have to face your greatest fears and desires, you have to defeat and withstand them. All while they're watching you, waiting for the smallest sign of you losing the fight against yourself, the sword at your throat, ready to kill you without a moment's thought.
You are no stranger to the Fade. The teachers show you how to find your way out there but they never confront you with a demon willing to destroy your soul. The moment you close your eyes darkness embraces you. You feel fresh air and hear birds singing. Then there's your mother, her arms wide open and her face soft, like you've never seen it before. 'My darling,' she whispers with a voice so clear that your soul cries out. 'Come home, child. I should never have let you go.' There's one single perfect tear on her cheek and then she smiles and for one moment everything seems to be alright. 'Stay with me and you'll be free!' She reaches for your hand and her touch is feather-like. That's the moment you realize all this is a demon's work. Your mother's voice was never so lovely, but loud so all her children could hear her. Her hands were raw and scarred from a life's hard work and she wasn't one to be overly motherly. And she is dead.
You remember Irving telling you about her death and your tears. You remember Mr. Wiggums and how he turned into an abomination. Suddenly you're afraid you hesitated too long, that they're about to kill you because you didn't fight the demon from the very beginning. You take a deep breath and gather all the strength you have. When the demon erupts in a thousand with pieces of light you can't suppress a wide grin. Because now you know you can fight and win. No matter who'll stand against you, in the end you'll be victorious.
When you're twenty hell breaks loose in the Circle. You noticed that the ever present tension increased and that every now and then students disappeared in groups of four or five, whispering and reading books that certainly weren't for their next lessons. The templars were clearly oblivious of the changes. And when they finally noticed it was too late. One day they come for you. You are amused as they tell you you're arrested for planning a riot. And when they lock you into the well known cell you sleep for the first time in a long while without nightmares, because even if you aren't part of the conspirators they just gave you the hope that this time the tower could fall. You know you have to be fast when the right time has come. As soon as the news of fighting mages will reach Greagoirs ears, he'll block all entrances to save at least the rest of Ferelden. So you wait and plan and the whole time you're excited like a little boy who gets presents on his long-awaited birthday. Everything you wish for is suddenly within reach. With bloodmages and abominations raging through the tower they won't have time to follow a single mage. And when the situation here calmed down they still have to go to Denerim to get your phylactery to track you down. Enough time for you to get as far away as possible from the templars.
One night you feel magic in the air, mighty and uninhibited. It calls for you but you block your mind. You have to concentrate on your task. It isn't long until the templar guarding your door notices too that there's something wrong. He leaves his post without a second's thought, ready to give his life for his duty. Idiot. You wait a minute that seems like eternity for you, then you open the door with a little ball of fire. Your senses are sharpened and the shades welcome you as an old friend as you sneak through the tower. You find your way through the hallways, unnoticed and unharmed, and it takes you no time to get out of these walls.
Some hours later you feel the morning sun on your face, there's wet grass under your feet and wind in your hair as you run. Suddenly you're five again, playing with your brother and the other kids on the fields near your village. You're laughing and it's the first true laugh in years, without fear, without bitterness. You close your eyes but you don't feel the well-known panic that usually comes with the darkness. Somehow you know they won't bring you back this time.
You don't know yet that nothing as wonderful as this moment can last, you don't know what sorrow you will have to face, what loss, you don't know that you will find yourself in another prison, one that you can never escape. But for now the future doesn't matter. For now, you got what you dreamed of for so long. For now, you are free.