Why had he let his magic take him wherever again? He was really starting to regret that decision. He had been walking for four hours and no sign of water. It was frustrating and tiring. He thought this would be easier since he was a wizard, but no he had to go snap his fucking wand without fully knowing how to do wandless magic yet. That was a great fucking idea.

He continued to in the direction the compass had pointed when he finally saw it in the distance. A large cropping of grass and trees in the distance and that had to be a sparkling lake. Yes he was saved! His feet picked up the pace as he finally felt closer to his goal. Another hour and he was no closer to it than before. He whined lightly and fell face first into the sandy dune. It was a fucking mirage, he knew it. His luck was going to kill him…again!

Slowly he let his head hit the sand and he turned to stare at a medium sized rock next to him. He squinted at the light brown lump curled up beneath it. A smile split his face as he fully analyzed the shape and with a gentle sigh of relief he spoke to it, "Hello cousin. You seem rather comfortable in this heat"

The slithering creature raised its head taking in the form of the small wizard before snuffing, "A speaker in this desert? How intriguing. What brings you so far from civilization cousin?"

"I seek sanctuary from others of my kind"

"If you seek sanctuary, then you have but to ask the desert. It listens to all Gaia's children"

Harry frowned and slowly extended his hand towards the snake, "Perhaps you will be my guide?"

The snake peered at the hand for a few long moments, tasting the air around Harry with interest before slowly sliding out of the hole it curled itself up under and over the extended hand, "I would never be little myself to that of a guide, but you may be my traveling companion. I to seek sanctuary"

Harry smiled and finally examined the small snake with a keen eye. It was a light brown sandy color with deep orange striped going horizontally down its back. His tail was tipped with a strange hooked blade that Harry had never seen and the snakes eyes where a startling acid green. Everything about the tiny creature seemed different and dangerous despite its mere six inch size. "Then I will enjoy having you as my companion, May I ask the name of such a beautiful serpent?"

A blush of red appeared in the scales along his eyes before it vanished, "I have not a name. You may give me one if you wish"

Harry smiled brightly and lifted the snake closer and that when he saw a distinct star shaped mark near the base of the hooked blade, "How about Akhtar, it means star"

The snake twisted itself around Harry's wrist tightly as he contemplated the names, "It will do and what do I call you speaker?"

"Harry is fine."

"Sounds human and feels like a heavy name. Perhaps when we reach sanctuary you will pick a new one yes?"

Harry stood once more and slowly began to continue in his journey towards water. The tight pressure about his wrist keeping him focused and determined. He knew that when he reached his Sanctuary he would choose a new name for himself. A rebirth of himself. It would be the last step in becoming a new person.

He smiled and lifted his arms to the sky as a new breeze drifted across the dunes. The air was so heavenly it made him want to fly again. Too touch the clouds with his hands and to feel the air rushing through his hair. He spun about despite the hissing of his passenger and gave a laugh of excitement.

He drew in a deep breath and gave one last spun, or would have if his ankle hadn't caught on a large piece of stone protruding from the sandy dune. Crashing to the ground he hissed as the cut on his arm acted up from the rough treatment. Looking at the stone his mouth fell open at the strange writing upon it. There was also a large hand carved into the stones surface.

"This is it! The entrance to sanctuary! Reach out and grasp it foolish one before it vanishes beneath the dune and we are forced to search longer!"

Harry winced at the harshness in the snake's voice before he reached out. His hand falling upon the hand etched in stone. He felt a sharp warm pain before his mind swam with darkness and he fell into sweet oblivion.