The sound of skin meeting skin in a sharp slap resounded in the large expanse of the hallways of the last homely home. Following that sound would be another, a sound by the name of disbelieving silence. Though the disbelieving silence was for two different reasons for two different people. For our dearest ranger it was because the sweet, innocent and somewhat wise elfling, with fangs (How had he not noticed those?) and a glowing golden dragon, wait wasn't he a wizard? Had just raised his hand against him. For Harry it was because for once his other had been, dare he say it?-wrong. In fact, it hadn't helped at all, if anything it had made him go into more shock, stunning him into silence to say the least.
'I thought you said it would work!'
Clearly I was wrong...
He decided to ignore the obviously amused tone his other had used in favour of drawing information out of him.
'What should I do now?'
Try water. Cold, slimy, death inducing water. Yes, that I think is the best course of action.
Little Harry in all his naivety was seconds away from drawing his wand to carry out the 'best course of action' before he heard the teasing tone in his minds voice. He was being messed with, by himself, clearly he had issues. Normally he would have pondered over that for at least five minutes before getting distracted by a passing butterfly or something of the like but this time he decided to forego the five minute mourning period in order to quickly and efficiently correct his mistake - without apologising. Hey he was still a kid!
"Ummm Strider?" He purposely made his voice timid and weak garnering the knee jerk reaction of a slightly melting heart.
When he saw the rangers attention back on him he made sure his eyes were focused before continuing. "I'm..." He let lose a couple of sobs, "I'm sorry, sometimes my hand...it." War honed reaction! Perfect! "Ever since the war...that is, ever since then, sometimes I lash out when I feel-"
"Never mind little one. I felt no pain, only surprise." The warmed eyes of the ranger rested sadly on the small form. He knew better than to ask questions that could cause pain to the smalling.
"Know that if you ever need to talk to someone I am always available." He silently offered.
Harry tilted his head up to look at Strider an awkward and clearly uncomfortable smile on his lips. It may have only been an excuse but he knew the pains it had brought his other who hid his wounds with sarcastic quips and cynical humour. Just because his other didn't see it didn't mean he didn't, behind his mask he was just like him. Young and in a strange place. The only difference was just that, his other hid while he flaunted.
Sensing his saddened thoughts Aragorn went to correct his own mistake, changing the subject swiftly. "Why did you not tell me of your heritage. You needn't have made up a whole new place for your little story."
A light seemed to shine in Hadrian's avada kedavra coloured eyes at the turn of tide. "Nuh-uh I didn't lie! I'm from London, England and as for my heritage...I'm a butterfly." He said in a deadpan voice.
This had Aragorn's mind whirling...A butterfly? Suddenly a light laugh bubbled up his throat. The little one had a strange sense of humour.
"Of course you are Hadrian." He said indulgently causing Hadrian to frown.
"Strider-" Harry started only to be cut off by the ranger.
"Aragorn little one, my name is Aragorn."
This of course made Harry confused but at the same time amused,"Jeez everyone around here has so many names..."
"Yes, shall we give you another?" Aragorn asked in jest.
Harry smiled brightly showing off his gleaming fangs proudly, they were sooo cool after all, did dwarves have fangs? "Nope! I have enough as it is!"
And he did, titles, names, nicknames, aliases. Too many for such a simple being such as his self. In the recesses of his mind he heard his other snort loudly, he had no doubt it was on purpose.
This time it was Aragorn that was confused, "And pray tell, what that means exactly."
Harry raised his hand, causing Aragorn to slightly flinch to Harry's others amusement, and flippantly waved it in a shoo motion. "Don't even worry about it, they're just nicknames."
Like boy, freak, master of death, wizarding saviour, the boy-who-lived, the prophesised one, Hadrian, Harry, Potter, Lord Black, Lord Potter...Need I go on?
He once again ignored his others weird sense of humor and refocused on the ranger. "Stri-Aragorn, I promise you, and I never go back on my promises, that I am not an elfling...but I am one...but not." Harry sighed slightly, "When the time comes I promise I will explain but until then can you just wait for me?"
Harry looked up with illuminated eyes that glowed in the surrounding dark, searching for approval with an imploring expression and having Aragorn wanting to crush the small boy to him again. "I'm a patient person."
Harry understood the silent admission and beamed up at him. "Great! So you want to tell me what Boromir wanted?"
"Boromir? How do you know his name?" The heir of Gondor asked.
With a shrug Harry answered, "Met him at the gates earlier. Now don't even try to evade the question."
"I really don't know..."
"Fine, fine, keep your secrets will you? Okay then I'm going to explore~" Before Aragorn couldn't even get a single syllable formed on his tongue the young wizard was gone in a loud crack.
"But...the dragon?..." Aragorn shook his head in dismay, he would just ask about it next time. Right now he had an impromptu council with his foster father regarding little Hadrian. He also needed a way to keep track of the young boy.
Blind apparition was something that should never be attempted, this was mainly due to the fact that there is a large chance of splintering ones self. Harry would know, in his others fifth year he had seen a pretty girl with flowing raven hair appear out of the thin air with blood pouring down both her legs. His other never did find out what happened to her. So it was with luck that with his ever changing mind that he didn't splint himself when he blindly apperated moments before.
He didn't know where he was exactly but he had his wand and that was enough to keep him satisfied. A tugging at his clothes had him looking down. Dior stared up at him with narrow ruby eyes, growling in agitation as she swung limply from the hem of his tunic.
"Oops. Sorry Dior." With a nervous giggle he offered her his wrist and watched as she gave a silent hmph before slivering her way up his small arm and solidifying.
"Well, where to now?" He asked himself.
In every direction he looked he couldn't say he recognised any land marks but because he wasn't a frequent visitor of this particular section of the universe the matter wasn't exactly a mystery. Deciding just to trust his famous Potter instinct he swung in the general direction of his left ignoring the groan of his other.
Walking as long as he did he came across a small opening in the wooded area. If not for his small stature he would not have noticed it at all. He doubted anyone would unless you knew what to be looking for exactly. Shrugging his shoulders, and completely won over by his curiosity he wandered in the trail.
The further he walked the darker it got- to the point where he drew his wand, gripping it lightly in his small hand and squeaked out a quick lumos. The small ball of soft be light lit up the space he was walking down. Branches of varying trees and foliage grew at odd angles creating a natural walkway as rocks ad boulders helped stabilise walls. Water trickled down the rocks in small drops making small splashes as they hit the leaf covered ground. Flowers covered in odd patterns adorned vines that intertwined with other fixtures.
Water, these plants survive on water alone. But where does the water come from?
Harry shrugged indifferently deeming it unimportant. 'Maybe it rained?'
No. See those rocks? They're covered in moss meaning there has to be a constant water source.
Placing an outstretched hand on a nearby rock he nodded when he felt the slimy texture of the moss. 'So what does that mean?'
Keep walking and we'll find out.
Not one to disobey his other he picked up his pace while consciously trying to keep his steps light. Moving in more his other remained aware to the fact that the boulders became more compact and the foliage less as they moved. Little Harry on the other hand found himself breathing a little heavier with the amount of moisture in the air. He felt no wind but the air around him was quite warm.
We seem to be going downwards. The ground is declining slightly.
Harry glanced down at the damp rock that now replaced the leaf covered ground before looking up and tilting his head to the left.
'Water. I hear moving water Other!'
Excited by the prospect of discovering something Harry moved forward too quickly and slipped, his body hitting the solid ground with a wet thud. Unperturbed he simply got back up and moved on unaware of the blood pouring from his grazed hands and knees.
The sound of slow moving water became louder as he moved further into the alcove. When suddenly filtered light burst through and revealed a lake with steam rising off the surface of the water. Beams of light hit the small waves that crashed against rocks containing them and causing refracted light to bounce of in a rainbow scope effect. No longer needing the ball of light it dispelled as he tucked his wand away distractedly.
A hot spring cavern. Would you look at that.
Harry could hear the slight bemusement in his others voice causing a large smile to stretch across his face which promptly crumbled away as he heard the light skid of a stray pebble on the ground. His head snapped to face the origin of the sound.
Electric green met sky blue as the two froze. The two stared at each other in utter disbelief though for different reasons. Tall was the male elf that stared at him in paralysing astonishment. Shining gold hair hung tastefully about mid back, straight as a pin. A youthful face that showed his playful nature yet in his eyes a wisdom and quiet sadness that didn't quite fit with his young looks.
But that wasn't what had Harry frozen and unable to move on the spot. No, it was the red mist that hung over him, floating almost peacefully about his person. It warped crazily as Harry stared at it, him, warily. What was it? He didn't like it one bit.
His other seemed to recognise it immediately.
Death. He breathed out.
Sorry. It's not the fifteen thousand you were promised but hey! at least I updated. School is crazy right now not to mention family life is a little hard at the moment. It got to the point where I stopped writing all my stories but I'm back now. I cant promise that updates will be frequent once again but I know they wont take as long as this one did. They just wont have specific update routines because i'll be writing them whenever I have time to sit down- which is rare.
Any way, thanks to all those who stuck around. You have no idea how much that means to me,