AN-Thanks for the great reviews from last chapter. It may not have been many, but they were absolutely amazing.
A few quick words, I'm writing this using one of my characters from Origins, a female Dalish by the name of Lydia. I started her character especially for this story, and I am working my way through the game again while I write. Updates may be few and far between because of this, as Skyrim and Fable 3 are eating my soul yet again, 100% complete status or not. Yes, I am a gaming nerd, blame my husband. The actions of Lydia in the fic reflect the choices I made in the game, but are of course not the only options you can make. I tried to flesh the side characters out a little bit, and made some inferences on the situations surrounding the characters. If these don't jive with your choices/inferences, that's just the great thing about Dragon Age, everyone has a different game experience.
I am starting a poll as well, for the class Harry will take when he arrives in Fereldon. I have ideas of my own, of course, but I can swing either way. So, shall Harry be a Rouge, a Warrior, or a Mage? Remember, just because Harry's a wizard in one world, doesn't mean that's going to transfer over * cheeky smile *
I'm sorry its taken me...much much longer than I had hoped to get this new chapter out, but I have taken a new position within my company, which has left me with zero time to write. This has been sitting on my harddrive for a few months and I have only just now gotten the chance to get it posted. Keep in mind that it is rough and unedited, and hopefully the next chapters won't be as was the last chapter that has been transcribed from script format.
All of my stories will be cross posted to A03 as soon as I am able to get them uploaded, with MA sections included where applicable. My pen name is the same.
Disclaimer-I still own nothing. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied, and no profit of any kind other than enjoyment is being made on this work of fiction.
Lydia stepped behind Tamlen, the two of them beginning to quietly move through the forest of their latest campsite, her bow gripped tightly in her hands as she leapt over the fallen trees, keeping their prey deftly in sight.
Tamlen was angry, he always was whenever a Shemlen entered their domain, his hatred of the human race caused by more recent events than most of their clan.
"You're just in time. I found these...humans lurking in the bushes. Bandits no doubt." Tamlen smirked over at her, his eyes lit up with the thrill of the hunt, and Lydia tried to bite back a laugh.
Tamlen was a Hunter at heart, and it didn't matter what prey he was hunting, it was all about the chase.
It didn't take them long to drive the three humans into a clearing, the cowards freezing in one place as they turned to face the two hunters.
Tamlen spoke to them, the words sounding in the background of her mind as she found herself staring off into the distance, remembering a dream that had haunted her for days. Something was coming, something that would shake the very foundations of her world, and she was unsure if she would meet it head on or run afraid and cowardly. She had felt it building in the future for over a year now, but had tried to ignore it as much as possible. The Dalish courted enough danger without focusing on what hadn't occurred yet.
"What do you say, Lethallan? What should we do with them?" Tamlen nudged her, blue eyes concerned under furrowed brows. Lydia was jolted from her musing, her bow arm never wavering from its position pointed towards the heart of the Shemlen in green, and she focused in on her life mate. She and Tamlen had been promised for years to one another, and it wasn't often that she found herself blocking out his words.
"Let's find out what they are doing here, Tamlen." He scowled at her, shifting from foot to foot. The details had never been something that interested him. Motives were of no import.
"What does it matter? Hunting or banditry, it is all the same. We will need to move camp if we let them live." It was no surprise to her that he was boiling for a fight with the Shemlen. He, of all the Dalish, had more of a reason to hate the humans than most of their clan.
"L..Look, we didn't come here to be trouble, we just found a cave," One of the shemlens began babbling something about a cave, and ruins, and Lydia's eyes snapped to him, narrowed into slits. She did not mind Shems, any more than the next Dalish, but she could not abide a liar, of any kind.
"We know this forest. There are caves but no ruins. You lie, Shemlen." Her words were biting, and Tamlen's hand tightened on his bow string, ready to launch an arrow in her defense if one of the Shems became more stupid than they already appeared, when the Shemlen handed over a stone to Tamlen, forcing him to lower the weapon.
"I...I have proof! Here, we found this just inside the entrance." The human's hand was shaking as he pulled it quickly away from Tamlen, trying to step back into his group of companions but being forced forward. Of course, there was no honor among thieves and poachers. If one of them died but the rest lived, they would see it as an even swap.
"Is this elvish? Written elvish?" Tamlen was incredulous, the language of the fathers had been lost to the ages along with the majority of their history and lore, to see something this important in the hands of a Shemlen who would not care to treat it with the reverence it deserved was maddening. Lydia looked over at the stone, brow furrowing. Written elvish hadn't existed in centuries beyond count.
"We found it just inside the entrance, we didn't get far." The dark haired shem standing behind their leader spoke up, but quickly quelled at the glare Lydia sent his way. Lydia couldn't believe her ears. These...brave shemlens left a cave as if the very hordes of an archdemon were on their heels? She had to know why
"Why not? I'm sure you thought there would be something you could sell." She sneered the words, tension making her more aggressive than usual. Tamlen shot her a look, warning her with his eyes to be careful, to not give their interest away too easily, but she pushed it aside. She had to know.
"There was demon! It was huge, with black eyes! Thank the maker we were able to outrun it!" the red head leader was almost hysterical, pacing a few steps in either direction, unable to keep his eyes on the two Dalish Elves that held his life in their hands.
Whatever was in that cave, scared the humans more than the threat of dying on a Dalish arrow did. Lydia lost her self in thought as Tamlen expressed his disbelief, thinking to herself. A demon? A demon protecting an elvish ruin in a part of the forest the Dalish knew better than most? It sounded extremely unlikely, but even that much more intriguing for its mystery.
"Should we let them go?", Tamlen fingered his bow string, pulling it back as he looked over at her, and Lydia didn't really have to think about what to say. There was only one option Lydia didn't have to think about it. It was unlikely that letting them go would be a good thing for the clan, and the clan must be protected at all costs.
"So they can bring a mob to drive us out? Kill them all." Tamlen gave an almost evil grin at her words.
"Yes, one could expect no less from a shem. This will not take long." Each of their lives would wear heavily on her soul, but she accepted the cost without comment.
It was her lot in life, as a hunter and protector, to make sure no harm came to the clan.
The two elves let arrows fly, Tamlen taking a perverse pleasure in taking down two of them, even letting think he would be able to get away before striking him with an arrow to the back, stepping over them as if they were not even there once they were dead.
"Well, shall we see if there's any truth to their story? These carvings make me curious!" He sounded like an elfling again, excited and adventurous before the truth of their situation in life replaced it with cynicism and hate, and Lydia found herself nodding and smiling along with him.
"Sounds like a good plan. If we do not, another Shemlen will undoubtedly find it and all history will be lost to us once again." Tamlen nodded.
"And if we find anything, the keeper will want to know. No point in bothering her with their lies, if it ends up being another Shemlen falsehood." The blonde hunter shrugged a shoulder, shifting from foot to foot. The two Hunters headed down the path in front of them, weapons held at the ready.
Lydia made a hard decision, hanging her bow and quiver on a low hanging branch to her left, covering it with the leaves as much as she was able. Carrying her bow often impeded her knife work, a fact that no one but Tamlen was aware of, but she was more deadly with her knives than she ever would be with a bow. She would leave the bow work to the Rogues like Tamlen.
They walked quietly through the forest, feet leaving no trace of their passing. A few wolves met their end on the blades of the two elves, a dead halla laying beyond them. Lydia knelt down next to the corpse, closing her eyes and whispering a prayer to the Lady of the Halla, reaching out and closing the poor creatures' eyes.
Tamlen stood silent behind her, keeping watch as Lydia completed her ritual. Her mother had been the keeper of the clan's Halla as long as she had ever been able to remember, until the day of her death, and Lydia had always connected with the animals more than most. Tamlen revered them, as did all Dalish, but he had never understood Lydia's insistence that they be treated exactly as Dalish.
Sacred or not, they were just animals after all. They continued on in silence, leaving the dead far behind.
Tamlen and Lydia stopped frequently to pick the Elfroot that grew scattered along their path knowing that the Keeper and the Healer would have both of their heads if such a precious resource was left uncultivated. Lydia was digging through a pile of rubble, yelling in triumph as she finally pulled free the root of Elfroot that she had seen glinting under it, only to hear Tamlen exclaim in shock.
"This must be the cave. I don't recall seeing this before, do you?" Lydia shook her head, one hand sneaking back to the duel daggers she had strapped to her body, the feel of the cool metal under her fingertips soothing and fortifying at the same time. As long as she had these in her hand and Tamlen at her back, she would be able to take whatever the world through at her.
"No, I have not. But," she paused thoughtfully, shifting her weight from foot to foot, "It does lend truth to the shems words, and that worries me. We should be wary."
"Always the careful one." He scowled but laughed after a few moments, stepping closer to her, "Fine, but I'm not running back until I know there's something to make a fuss over."
Lydia nodded and laughed softly, reaching out to run a hand down his arm, the only sign of affection they allowed themselves on hunts. He grinned back at her, giving her hand a gentle squeeze before letting go and stepping away a little, putting a small amount of space in between them.
It sobered her, as his actions always did. Out here, she had to remember that they were not life mates, but brothers in arms. "Come on. Lets at least see what's there. How dangerous could it be?".
Neither of them knew how fateful those words were going to be.
The two elves stepped into the dim cave, feeling an immediate, and intense, dislike of the closed space enclosing them, but they pushed on. It was dusty, and gloomy, and cocoons of spider silk hung over head, telling of the dangers of the Forest Spiders lurking within the depths.
Both hunters gripped weapons, as Lydia stopped to pillage the first cocoon she saw. There was a shortbow within its depths, her mind very carefully not thinking of the mess she had just pulled it from and she examined it, looking for markings of ownership. She found none and stowed it away in her pack with a shrug. It wasn't Dalish, the once living being inside was most likely a shem, and didn't deserve her pity. She would give it none.
"I don't understand why you do that, Lethallan. Surely we have enough supplies without looting the corpses of the dead?" He was making a face, and she laughed at him. Even though he was the male in their relationship, and liked to believe himself the harder of the two, he had never felt quite comfortable with her habit to use anything around herself to her advantage.
They stepped down the ramp in front of them, gentle teasing back and forth before they got a nasty surprise. Two spiders, bigger than the infrequent ones they had met on their hunting trips through the forests of Fereldon.
Tamlen and Lydia ducked and weaved through the two creatures, slashing and hacking as they went, until disaster almost struck. Lydia was slow, the dagger in her left hand getting stuck in the body of the spider she was attacking, cutting deep and refusing to let go.
Grunting with effort, she fought to release it from its prison, forgetting that there was still an enemy left on the ground for her to worry about.
"Lethallon!" His cry was all the warning she got before his body slammed into hers and they both went to the ground, her only remaining blade flying from her hand to clatter against the stone wall of the cave, huge fangs embedding in the stone where she had only moments ago been standing. She gasped for breath, laying there on the ground fighting to get herself back under control as Tamlen finished the creature off, coming to stand over her with a hand reached down to pull her to her feet, no judgment showing on his features.
They stood there, in the ruins of what could be an elvish colony, a human colony, or some strange mixture of the two, hands on each other's forearms, simply breathing in the fact that they had survived yet another fight against things that should have destroyed them and come out on the other side of things still breathing, still alive. Still together, almost most importantly.
Lydia wasn't sure what she would ever do if she lost Tamlen, they had been destined for as long as she could remember. "Be careful, Lydia." He was shaken, he almost never used her name unless something terrible had occurred and she felt horrible for sending him into a spiral of worry.
"I am sorry, Tamlen. I will pay better attention next time. We must go, I want to find out what those Shems were talking about." It was a change of subject, and he allowed it, rubbing her arms once before he nodded and stepped back once again.
"Of course, Lethallon." Tamlen eyed her once more before forcing himself to move away, and it warmed Lydia to know that he was worried about her. Even if it was completely unnecessary. She was more than capable of taking care of herself.
They spent a few moments gathering weapons and making sure they were ready for what undoubtedly was to come next.
Lydia leaned over and looted the corpse of the spider, coming up with yet another Elf root to add to their growing collection, before moving farther and farther into the ruins. Tamlen followed behind her, silent for once, as they kept an eye on their surroundings for more danger.
There was always more danger.
There was a door directly in front of the two hunters, strange runes carved into the wood and stone, barely discernible where the vines did not cover them from centuries of neglect. Tamlen stopped and ran a hand down them, muttering to himself, before he pushed it open, Lydia following him carefully through.
"What could all of this mean, Lethallon? Elvish runes, human runes, no sign that our ancestors were ever slaves here. How could we not know about a place such as this?" The hunter didn't know if he should be angry or if he should be glad to see a reminder of a time when they had not been servants to the human overlords that ruled them even now.
Lydia just shook her head, studying their surroundings as she prodded him to keep moving. She was as curious as he, but they did not have the time to stand still and wonder about things they would most likely never know the meaning to.
She wanted to know what the 'demon' the Shems had spoken of was, it would make things much easier to explain to the keeper if she knew that the Shems she had killed had indeed been lying.
Sometimes the Keeper was too soft for her own good, though no one would doubt she had the interests of the Clan first and foremost in her heart. The Hunters had to sometimes act without her consent, but they would keep the Clan safe as they could. It was as much their job as it was hers.
Of course, it would also help to know if their were dangers other than the spiders in the woods.
"Hermione, love, you have got to stop worrying about him as much as you do. Potter..." Lady Hermione Granger Malfoy shot a quick, sharp glance towards her husband's head floating in the fireplace, showing him with one look exactly how she felt about her referring to her oldest friend by his last name, her quill never stopping its almost frantic scribbling across the parchment in front of her.
Draco continued on, but his tone showed that he was picking his words much more carefully. The former Gryffindor bit back a smirk, but tallying a mark in the list she kept on her desk. So far, she was ahead in her little game. It always helped when the other side didn't know they were playing.
"I mean, Harry is more than capable of taking care of himself. He works with the Unspeakables, just like you do darling, he will be more than fine." She ignored him, ignored the placating that he had done over the last week that her partner and brother in all but blood had been assigned to the Mirror of Erised debacle, without her. She was excited, beyond elated, to be on maternity leave, her first child due in only a month or so, but it irked her to no end that they had placed Harry partnerless into a situation he wasn't emotionally ready to deal with.
And after Ron, she wasn't sure he would ever be ready to deal with it.
If she would have been there to help him, he may handle it better. And if McGonagall pressed him and belittled him, again, for not taking that teaching position, Merlin himself wouldn't be able to save the Headmistress from Hermione's wrath.
Hermione just sighed. "Its too soon, Draco. He's not ready yet. I don't want to piece him back together again, not now. Not when he was finally back to something like the Harry I knew." Her voice faded off, and a few tears splashed down on the missive she was writing. She dashed them away angrily, cursing the pregnancy hormones that kept her emotions flitting from one extreme to the next. She had never been this out of control, and she wasn't sure that she liked it.
None of the men in her life were willing to risk life and limb to explain to her that she had always been that volatile.
They all liked having body parts firmly attached.
Draco sighed, but stopped arguing. He knew when he had been bested, and he had to admit if he was going to lose to anyone it may as well be his darling wife.
"I'll be home in a minute, Hermione. We'll go check on Potter together."
Hermione turned and smiled at her husband, wondering how she could have truly believed that he was an evil little cockroach as they were growing up. Despite the horrible front he sometimes put up, and the horrible little piss ant he had been when they were younger, he had a heart of gold and he cared about Harry as much as she did.
It hadn't been her, after all, that dragged Harry home night after night after...after Ron. It hadn't been her that had borne the screams of rage, the curses, and the thrown vases and artifacts.
Yes, her husband had a heart of gold, even if he would die before he admitted that to the general public.
Hermione sat in her chair, one hand absently rubbing her distended belly as she read over the letter she had penned in her anger. Scoffing at herself, she balled it up and threw it in the wastebasket next to her desk, picking up the latest issue of the Quibbler and setting her mind to deciphering Luna's latest pearls of wisdom, hoping that Draco would hurry and arrive home so she could go check on her brother.
She was so engrossed in Luna's description of the latest ministry folly, cleverly hidden in riddles about Heffalumps and Blibbering Humdingers, that she missed the sound of the floo chime, and was completely unaware of her new arrival until hands gripped her shoulders and shook her.
Hermione screamed, hand flying for her wand and pointing it at the throat of her attacker before her vision focused in enough to see who it was hovering over her.
"Harry?! Harry James Potter, what the bloody hell is wrong with you?" She berated him for a few seconds before his appearance sank into her mind and she sat back in her chair in shock, his hands falling away as he stared at her.
There was a crazed look in his eyes, dark bags circling them and his hair greasy and limp where it hung over his forehead, the scar that had plagued him all his life covered.
"Mione! Mione, I know how to get him back!" Harry gave a grotesque grin as he spoke, a smile that made chills run down Hermione's spine though she knew (hoped) that he wouldn't try to hurt her.
He was her oldest friend, certainly what ever he had discovered wouldn't stop him from remembering that. He stepped away from her, running shaky hands through his limp hair, pacing a few steps away from her before moving back, his steps erratic.
She sat up slowly, her wand still in her hand even though she didn't think he would attack her. Even if he did, she told herself, the wards of Malfoy Manor would protect its unborn Heir, if not specifically her.
It was the whole reason they had moved back in with Draco's parents for the last few months of her pregnancy. Draco wasn't willing to risk her life, or their daughters, to the few enemies the two of them had still around. It was the only time he had used his rights as Head of House to force her to comply, and one of the few times that had led to him sleeping on the couch for weeks as her ire died down.
With that thought it mind, she very slowly placed her wand down, pushing herself awkwardly to her feet and waddling towards her 'brother'.
"Harry? Harry, honey, what are you talking about? Bring who back, love?" She spoke to him like a child, hoping that if she stayed calm, he would calm down. His magic was powerful, and in times of great emotion it had the tendency to get away from him. She didn't want to be in the fallout if this was one of those times. He turned on her, a grin on his face that nearly split his face open.
"Ron! I can bring him back, Hermione! I can have him back!" Hermione bit back a sob, reaching out a hand towards him, her heart breaking all over again. She thought he was past this, thought he had given up the idea that Ron could ever be brought back and begin to grieve. She had thought he was beginning to try to move on.
"Oh, love, you can't. The stone will bring him back wrong, remember? Ron's gone." She broke it to him as gently as she could, not wanting to see the tears fall from his eyes again, not wanting to ever see such a broken look in his eyes again.
He only laughed loudly, boyishly, tilting his head back and laughing to the ceiling. It was just like those first few awful weeks, when they had first lost Ron.
"I know I can't use the stone, Herm, but I found another way! Dumbledore had it all along! I can bring him back!" He just laughed again, eyes staring into hers with a familiar glee.
Hermione stared at him, confused and scared though she would never admit it to anyone. Had Harry finally gone over the deep end? She didn't know what to think, and she wasn't sure that he was safe to be around anymore. She called herself eight times an idiot for dropping her wand.
"Step away from my wife, Potter. Or I will make you." The voice was cold, layers of ice over a core of steele. Both Gyrffindors turned, Harry in surprise, Hermione with a look of relief on her face, to see Draco standing by the fireplace, his wand out and pointed straight at Harry.
Not many knew it, but Draco was a powerhouse in his own right. The Malfoy family had reason to boast of their heritage, their children's power only growing as the years past. Draco was most likely the only wizard in Britain at the moment who could face Harry if he decided to lose it. He may even win, with his tendency to use Slytherin Tactics and do what it took to win.
Harry was still bound by Gryffindor integrity, even through everything that had happened.
"I think something is wrong with him, Draco. He says he can bring Ron...that he can bring Ron back." Her voice choked on Ron's name, her own grief rising to the surface, and she immediately felt Draco's hand warm on her back.
"I'll take care of him, I want you to get somewhere safe. Mother is in her sitting room, the wards will protect both of you." His voice was soft, pitched so that she was the only one that would hear, and Hermione nodded. For once in their married life, she did not argue with him. Hermione had her child to think about, and she came before anyone, even Harry. No matter how hard it was for her to admit that.
"Potter, I'm only going to ask you this once, before I am forced to act. Will you listen to reason?" Draco's cultured voice, his posh accent Harry always made fun of him, failed to get through to the crazed Unspeakable, the emerald eyed man simply pacing more and more feverishly, muttering to himself. He didn't seem to even notice that Draco was in the room, hadn't even noticed Hermione's exit.
The Boy-Who-Lived just continued to pace and mutter under his breath to himself.
"It has to work, it just has to! It will, everything says it will. I can see him, just on the other side. He has to be there! In that city. I'll bring him back, and everything will be better. It has to be."
Draco listened to the murmuring for a few minutes, sorrow on his heart for the man that his one time worst enemy, and now brother in all but blood, had turned in to, before whispering a spell.
It hit the Man Who Defeated and slumped him to the ground, his eyes rolling into his head. Draco stood there for a moment with his wand tapping on his arm, studying the man who lay on his wife's office floor, before sighing and snapping a finger, Merry appearing at his elbow.
"Master Draco calling for Merry? Does Master Draco need Merry?" The small house elf bounced on her toes and tugged at her ears, eyes glowing at the thought of being useful.
"Yes Merry, I have need of you. I would not have called you here otherwise. Take Lord Potter to his room, make sure he is comfortable and watch over him. Get me immediately if he begins to wake. Understood?" He left no room for misinterpretation in his words.
The small creature nodded, hands going to his large ears and twisting them more harshly than before. Draco pulled the digits away absentmindedly, knowing what Hermione would screech if she caught him allowing one of their house elves to abuse itself.
He liked sleeping in a warm bed, after all. And the couch, the couch he was determined had been cursed to cause him the most discomfort possible. There wasn't a night he spent on it that he didn't wake up, springs and feathers poking into his skin when by all accounts there shouldn't be springs and feathers poking into his skin.
Merry nodded happily.
"Yes Sir, Master Draco Sir. Merry will watch Lord Harry Potter sir and will let Master Draco know the minute he stirs. Yes Merry Will!"
With an enthusiastic pop, if a pop could be called enthusiastic, the House elf disappeared, taking their guest along for the ride, leaving Draco to ponder the situation they had found themselves in, before leaving to comfort his wife and assure his mother that "That Boy" had done no lasting damage to his wife or her granddaughter.
Harry dreamed, nightmares causing him to toss and turn even under the influence of the strongest sleeping spell Draco knew.
"Ron! Ron, where are you!" Harry ran through the fog surrounding him, ignoring the blurry shapes that pressed in around him, calling for Ron. They didn't matter, the whispers that trailed out of the fog towards him didn't matter. Nothing mattered except for getting to Him. Everything would be better if He was found. Everything would go back to normal, back to what it was supposed to be like before it all went wrong.
"RON! Please!" Harry stopped running with an anguished howl, giving into his pain and falling to his knees. "You said you would be here. Come back..." The Man Who Defeated collapsed into sobs on the ground, heaving in air quickly only to let it out just as quickly with his cries.
The sounds of his pain echoed throughout the dim world he had found himself in, the dim shapes that had followed him from the moment he first entered the faded world crowded around him.
"Please, Harry, you have to get up! She'll take you too!" The dim shape of a little girl shoved at his shoulders, trying to get him to move to his feet, her phantasmic braids flowing around her as she struggled. He paid her no mind, too engrossed in his grief.
"Don't go Harry, stay here with us! Nothing matters here, noting hurts here." An old man's ghost smirked at him, arms crossed over his chest. He seemed entirely at ease with his shadowed existance, and the little girl gave him a disgusted look.
The words jumbled over each other, becoming more and more indistinct as more voices joined the cacophony, Harry merely pressing the heel of his hands over his ears to block out the racket as he continued to sob.
He was supposed to be here. He has PROMISED that he would be here.
'He also promised he wouldn't leave, remember? Everyone lies, Harry, everyone lies.'
Harry bit his lip, feeling weaker than he had since he was a child living with the Dursleys. Even being treated like a slave would be better than this hell. Nothing was worth living without Him. They had only realized what they were to each other, what they had been hiding and refusing to feel for all the years of their friendship, and then he was just...taken away. It wasn't fair! It just wasn't fair! Harry had defeated the Dark Lord, he had done every thing that was asked of him and he had given up so much for them. Harry deserved something in return.
It was time that he had something for himself, damn every one and everything that tried to get into his way. Harry Potter was taking his life back, starting now. Until...
"Harry! Harry wait up! Bloody Hell Potter wait the hell up!" Harry turned, his eyes going wide as he watched the scene that haunted his every waking moment and his every sleeping dream since it happened the first time around, Ron's voice echoing around the emptiness. It was just as horrible watching it now.
"Hurry up Ron! They are going to get away, we'll never be able to close this damn case if they get awaY now!" Harry watched with morbid eyes unable to look away as Ghost!Ron and Ghost!Harry ran towards certain death, wincing and moving forward to try and stop the two from charging, wands drawn, into the house full of ancient, dark, and deadly artifacts. His last field assignment.
Harry couldn't help himself, he screamed at the figures in front of him, his heart breaking all over again.
"Ron! Ron don't go in there! Its a trap, we walked right into it! Don't open that door!" It did no good, though Harry hadn't expected it too.
"You let me die, Harry. IF you would have just slowed down, taken in what was so very clear in front of you. Its all. Your. Fault." Harry froze as the voice came from behind him, so loud and so very very real. He turned on his heel slowly, face drained of all color as he took in the figure standing behind him.
"Ron...Ron you came back." Harry took a step forward, the previous words of his dearest friend and lover not making it through his grief crazed mind, just relief and thanks at seeing him alive once again.
'Ron' just chuckled and stepped back from that questing hand, crossing 'his' arms and laughing.
"Not quite Yet, Harry mate. You haven't brought me back all the way. I had to remind you exactly what's at stake. You have to finish what you started, Harry James. Only then, can we be together."
Ron stared off scolding, a sequence of events that brought tears to Harry's eyes at the thought that Ron was mad at him, ending smoldering, moving parts of Harry that he thought died with Ron. HARRY didn't know if he could do what Ron wanted.
"How? How can I bring you back? Hermione won't help me!"
"She never cared about me as much as you, Harry love." 'Ron' circled around him, a thin freckled hand coming to trail down Harry's shoulder, a touch that the affection deprived Boy Who Lived leaned in to as if it was the last oasis in a desert.
It had been too long since someone touched him with only the care Ron could. He had missed more than he would ever be able to explain to anyone. Ron snorted.
'Of course she won't help you. She married Malfoy.' The hatred of Malfoy that would have normally been present in Ron's voice was absent, but Harry shrugged it off. Ron was trapped here, of course he wasn't as upset about old grudges as could be expected if he was free and alive as he should be. Harry was sure that the venom Draco and Ron always met each other with would reappear as soon as things were back the way that they needed to be.
As soon as he did what he was supposed to.
Ron walked a few steps away and turned back to study Harry, his eyes studying Harry carefully.
'You must fix the mirror, Harry. I thought I had shown you that. I'm stuck in here, only you can release me. Hermione and Draco will not help. No one will. You must do it alone, so I can come back to you.'
Ron was suddenly at his back, and Harry felt himself gasping for breath as the familiar formed pressed himself fully against Harry, filling in every plane of his body until there was no space between them.
'You want me back, don't you Harry? You don't want me to be stuck here, in this place? You don't want to be alone.' Each word was whispered against his neck, Ron's breath ghosting over it as it always had when the red head was feeling playful, and Harry found himself shivering in supposed want and desire. Harry was frantic when he replied.
'Of course I want you back Ron! I'll do whatever it takes to get you back, I swear on my Magic.' Even in this place, he felt the strength of his words take effect, his very magic binding him to his words. No matter the outcome of the mirror, if he didn't bring Ron back, he would pay for it with his magic.
Harry didn't care.
If Ron wasn't with him, magic wasn't worth having. It had only taken everything from him, and given nothing but heartache and scars back for his efforts. It was Ron or nothing. 'Ron just laughed.
'Good! Oh that's wonderful Harry! You must go now, if you stay asleep any longer you'll miss your chance to get out of Malfoy's mansion. Hermione will never let you go until its too late.'
Harry nodded rapidly and pulled away reluctantly from his once lover, feeling his absence from the moment their skin separated.
It was breaking his heart to leave, but he would.
It was the only way to get Ron back.
Harry made his way back towards where he thought he would be able to wake up, the path back to where he had entered this dream world filled with more and more of the shadowy features that had accosted him on the way forward. He was shocked to see what he recognized as Hogwarts Uniforms, Green Slytherin Ties and Yellow Hufflepuff Ties the most prominent.
'Don't, Harry, don't listen to her! It is a demon, nothing it says is true! We're stuck here because we listened to it, you can't give into her!' The little girl from before was back, her hufflepuff tie oddly bright in the gloom around them as she tugged on his arm frantically.
Harry ignored the part of his mind that screamed at him to listen to reason, the part of his mind that told him what he was attempting to do was complete and utter madness. The lovesick and grieving part of his mind didn't care.
Harry didn't care.
He didn't care that the Resurrection Stone wouldn't work, he didn't care that no magic on earth could bring back the dead, he just. didn't. care.
Harry wanted Ron back, and he would get it.
The Man-Who-Defeated began to run, pushing through and past the forms that tried to get in his way and stop him, running until he sat up in his bed at Malfoy Manor, panting with sweat running down his face.
He ran so far, and so fast, that he didn't see the shape of Ron melt away, red hair and pale freckled skin giving way to purple skin and purple horns, the Lust Demon floating a few feet above the mist of the fade. The lust demon smiled cruelly.
'Yes, My boy. Fix the mirror. It has been too long since one of my kind as fed on one from your world.' She looked around at the ghost of the children now stuck in the fade, their bodies too far from the world of the Fade to be truly inhabited. A wizard that strong however...she chuckled evilly. She would own everything, would be able to do anything, with someone as strong as he was.
'Yes, hurry back little wizard. We will have fun before it is all over.'
AN-THanks for reading, hopefully the next chapter will not take as long for me to upload. This was posted from an iPad so I apologize in advance for any strange formatting errors.