Actions

Work Header

New World Coming

Chapter Text

The valley Harry overlooked was beautiful. It was the last and broadest of a long chain of valleys, all connected by a silvery brook that widened into a glacier blue stream the close it came to the sea. Beneath him the water fell down into a turquoise bay, round in shape and surrounded by mountains like a crescent moon, which had given the bay its name. Rather fitting, especially since the rainforests on the mountains were shrouded in silvery grey fog for the majority of the day. Only now, during sunset, the fog cleared and the sun light fell between the two gigantic stone sphinxes that guarded the entrance to the bay and its harbour. The city connected to the harbour reached high into the mountains and shone white-golden in the evening light.

If he looked behind himself, he would see the great terraces that the river had passed to reach the bay. Each waterfall was crossed by a marble bridge, all of which glowed warmly in the last sun rays. The walls of water crossing them caught the light as well, making it seems as if the usually clear blue river was made of gold.

Harry had been to the spring that fed the river. It was located in a cave and very hard to access. He only had been granted permission due to his status and deeds in aiding the magical races. The spring was known as the “Source of all Magic”. Another very fitting name considering that this was the last magical community in the world. He and his companions had brought the rest of the Magicals here after the muggles had discovered their existence. The journey had been very long and when they had arrived here instead of a community willing to share their land with them, they had found a feral nature that had to be treated with respect. It had taken several decades to establish the city and a few outposts farther up the stream.

Now you may wonder why there was a harbour if the purpose of the city was to be away from the rest of the world. Why build a harbour when no one would ever come? Well, you know, it was not that easy. First of all there were people who visited the outside world on a regular basis to make sure that their protections and wards were still working, as well as catch up on any achievements useful to them (nowadays that mostly included medical break-troughs and new forms of energy generation). Another task of these teams was to bring the few magical beings – mainly vampires and werewolves – left in the muggle world to this place, only if they wished of course. And lastly there were still magical children being born to muggles and now that there were no magical schools left, they made sure to protect them from any harm and bring them to their world for education. If they wanted to leave afterwards no one would stop them but many stayed for the security and simple beauty of this land.

The name of the land you ask? It had been known under many names…Asgard, Tir na nOg, Atlantis, Utopia, the Land of Shadows, the Garden of Eden but it was most commonly referred to as “Avalon”.

So Harry was sitting on one of the many marble bridges to cross of the stream keeping Avalon alive and looking out onto the wide sea. There would be nothing for miles and miles Avalon was unplottable and moved locations on a regular basis. The sheer luck that had made it cross their paths on their long flight from the muggles.

“Oh Harry…so old and wise and still so silly.” He turned to the little girl that had joined him. She looked very young but she was old as Life itself, though not as old as Time and Magic. Her endearing button nose and round opalescent doe eyes were framed by hazel cherub curls. If you looked at her in passing you would think she was a cheerful seven year old girl, not the entity known as Fate.

“Please don’t call me old, because if I am old, what are you?”

The girl huffed. “Rude.”

“Why are you here, Fate?” he asked her.

“SHE has sent me. SHE wants to talk to you. And she also told me to tell you that you don’t have to worry, because HE won’t be there.”

Harry hummed thoughtfully. “Very well then…please guide me to her then.”

The girl’s face broke into a smile. She took his hand and Harry felt the twist in reality that always accompanied this way of travel. It was like lightning cursing through his body, like moving at speeds no human ever could, if he were to open his eyes he would see what Fate had called “The Ineffable”. This structure was ineffable mainly because its appearance was hard to describe and everyone perceived it differently. But the purpose of this sphere was easy to explain it was the border between reality and the sphere where the entities dwelled. The border between the source of magic and the world as humanity perceived it.

He and Fate landed gently in the Gate Hall. It was a round pavilion with a glass dome as roof. In the centre was the so called “Main Gate” that led to the human world. It was made up of two sphinxes – like the ones guarding the entrance to Crescent Bay -, their arched wings holding the swirling, ever-changing disc of light that was the interdimensional gate. From this point you could travel to anywhere in any dimension or reality, though most of them had already collapsed for one reason or another whilst others were too new to be of interest yet. The different planes of reality and the different dimensions created a network that the gods called “The Multiverse”. The Multiverse was a constantly changing creation with new connections between different realities popping up and getting disconnected again. If you walked around the gate you could see a thread of light leaving the Gate, gradually thinning when it entered the Ineffable and lastly splitting into many smaller paths to connect to every existing reality, universe or dimension.

Harry knew that he was from one of the central universes and his reality was unlikely to collapse any time soon. His dimension was also connected to almost every other universe. Next to his universe were three very stable universes whose borders had almost been completely erased, forming a triangular ring around his dimension.

After Harry had often come here to travel the universes or just simply watch the movements of the multiverse. Fate had often accompanied him on his travels, making sure that he stayed safe.

“As fascinating as the Multiverse is, Harry, we do not have time!” Fate whined.

“You were also watching, I know you find it just as enthralling as I do.”

Huffing Fate let go of his hand and started running over the long roman bridge that connected the Entrance Pavilion with the Palace, crossing over a silvery river which Harry knew would flow in between the Universes keeping them alive with its power until it finally entered his universe in that very special spring in Avalon. Not the Source of all Magic, mind you, no this stream was known to humans as “Time”, its winding curves sometimes allowing people to travel from one point to another, even stream upwards.

Following Fate at a more moderate pace, Harry used this rare opportunity to take in the plants of the Divine Realm. Silvery Weeping Willows let their leaves fall into the River, these leaves would follow its course until they entered a Universe and became dreams sent to people. The longer the leaves were in the Time Stream, the more likely it became that they would be prophetic dreams, which meant that the Universes in the centre – which the river took longer to reach – were the ones with the highest count of prophetic dreams.

“HARRY JAMES POTTER! WILL YOU HURRY IT UP!” screamed a very irritated Fate. With a small grin Harry did indeed hurry it up and slipped into the Palace, past the irate goddess, giving her a wink and a whispered “Sorry m’lady”.

Fate gave another huff – a habit she was prone to indulge in when stressed –, then swept past Harry, almost running through the Entrance Hall and knocking on the Throne Room door. The double winged door slowly slid open, releasing a bright pearly light into the darkened Entrance Hall. Slightly blinded Harry let Fate take his hand again, who of course dragged him through the Throne Room. The hall was almost entirely made of glass and was surrounded by Magic’s light. The floor was made of marble and a crimson carpet was laid out in the centre, up the stairs and ended beneath the Throne. This overly lavish chair was as broad as a queen sized bed, allowing a constant change of sitting positions. It also had a comfortable back rest, which made the whole seat look more like and armchair than a throne.

On the previously described throne sat none other than Lady Magic, or rather the small part of her consciousness mortals could bear to see -not that Harry fit into the category of “mortal” anymore – with the rest of her being surrounding the Throne Room and basking it in ethereal light.

Harry sank onto one knee, his forehead touching the other knee, like a knight bowing before his queen (which it was in a way). Fate was also bowing though not as deep, more like a right hand woman to her lady, as befitting of her position.

“Raise your head, Fate.” Magic said, her voice motherly and wise, yet smooth and soothing. “Thank you for bringing him here. You may leave now.” Fate bowed another time and hurriedly left the room, Harry remained in his position.

“I can feel your questions, Harry. Speak.”

“Milady, I was merely wondering what I have done to get this honour bestowed upon me once more.” Harry may have found the old fashioned speech exhausting but it was one way of paying his respect to Lady Magic and who was he to complain.

Magic stood from her throne and turned to the one window that was not covered by her light. She motioned Harry to join her in front of the broad rose window, which overlooked the entire divine realm.

“Remember when you asked me to rewind time, so that you could save the lives lost to the war?”

“I was but a foolish young man, milady. And I was covered in manipulating spells. Now I know this world I live in have now is the best possible outcome with the original situation being as it was. There were many things that could have gone terribly wrong and somehow I and my companions managed to navigate through them. I made a lot of mistakes and can consider myself fortunate that the world came to be as it is today.” Harry said, turned slightly to Magic, who was still looking out of the window.

“Many things were not supposed to happen.”

“And for that I am truly sorry. I regret that I failed the expectations you had for me.” Harry meant this. He had been young and foolish, had endangered his friends more often than necessary…he had many regrets, more than all of his friends who were still alive had.

“You did not know what was expected of you. The manipulations were so deep that I, in my very essence, was manipulated and I doubt that I have removed all restrictions put onto me. I also am unsure that I will ever be able to.”

“How can I help you? Can I even help you?”

“I am not sure of my plans yet. There are many factors I have not considered, so it might take some time until I can -” Magic was interrupted by an earthquake like rumble that shook the room. “Oh no. I did not expect HIM to return so soon.” Harry looked up to the ceiling fresco that usually depicted a perfect imitation of a summer sky with a few clouds. Now thunderclouds covered the painting, lightning flashing across it. Suddenly he felt all of the rattle focus on him, the sky turned into a clear starry night. Magic’s light was dimmed down, the whole Throne Room seemed a lot darker.

“Fate!” At Magic’s command Fate appeared. “Distract HIM, while I get Harry out of this realm. I promised that HE would not be present, I intend to keep my promises!”

Fate nodded, her form merging from a small child to a fearsome warrior. Harry had seen this form only on seldom occasions but the adult face of the entity had told him to call her “Justice” when in this form. Magic took Harry’s upper arm and transported them back to the Entrance Pavilion. The portal to the Multiverse was flickering, as if someone was trying to shut it down.

“Go! I will call you once HE has calmed down again.” Harry was hesitant. While he knew Magic was stronger than any entity, the being she was about to face was more dangerous than any other existence in the Multiverse.

Another earthquake shook the ground. “GO!” Magic implored. With one final nod Harry stepped through the gate, only hearing a shouted “You cannot keep him from me forever!” behind him.

 

New World Coming

 

Harry landed a bit ungracefully on the bridge, in the exact same spot Fate had taken him from. It was night by now, the moon turning any flat surface into silver. Dusting his clothes off, Harry started to make his way back home. On the street he met a few acquaintances and students who greeted him, in turn he wished the students good night and told the adults to have a good evening.

Finally he had reached his home, a small cubic house that was nestled into the cliff beneath the sphinx guardian and only connected to the city by a small path with the rock on one side and the sea on the other. Most of the walls were windows and gave a wonderful view over the bay, the town and the ocean without compromising their privacy, due to their remote location and a few anti-sight charms.

The doors slid open once his magical signature touched the wards, telling everyone inside that he was home. Through a small hall way he entered the living room connected with the kitchen. White walls, bleached worn wood flooring, windows that showed the opposite sphinx statue and the sea, the long, sleek island counter that held all kitchen appliances except the fridge, a chrome dinner table between the kitchen and the seating group of modern white leather sofas and lastly the chrome spiral staircase that led the upper floor. It was simple and private, just like he loved it.

He heard frantic footsteps from above and with a loud “Harry!” Teddy launched himself into his arms. His godson was still six. He had been six for a long time...Just like Hermione – who had quietly followed Teddy - had been 23 for a long time.

“Hey there, squirt, how come you aren’t asleep yet? It’s already half past nine.”

“I saw the light on the bridge and I knew that you would be home soon!” exclaimed Teddy. Harry gave a small smile. “Well let’s make an exception for tonight then. So how about you get ready for bed and I might be persuaded to tell you a bed-time story.” Teddy squealed in excitement and bolted up the stairs again.

“How long was I gone this time?” Harry asked Hermione who was still standing on the foot of the staircase. He knew that time ran differently in the Divine Realm and sometimes years could pass on Earth when you spent just a few minutes with the entities. “Just a few hours” said Hermione.

“Then why are you so worried?” he asked her.

“Because you look like the weight of the world has been put on you. The last time you looked like that you were about to tell the IWC that the muggles had discovered us.”

“Remember how I told you that we had been manipulated and I never told you who or how they did it?” she nodded in affirmation.

“You never asked and told me I should share the story once I was ready and I would like to tell you what really happened, if you are still willing to listen…” Hermione nodded again, her look turning solemn.

Harry tried to smile, they had both been through too much. When she failed to smile back, he only said “Well, I’ll be going, tucking Teddy in…” Hermione nodded again, looking even more worried than before.

 

New World Coming

 

Teddy was practically bouncing on his bed. Harry grinned: “Hey, squirt.”

“Tell me the story of how Magic made the world!” Teddy blurted out.

“But I told you that story already twice this week and today is only Tuesday!” Harry said in mock-exasperation.

“It’s my favourite!” exclaimed Teddy.

“Well, if that is the case, it cannot be helped, can it?”

Satisfied with the answer, Teddy slipped under his covers, sitting up a bit to show that he was paying attention.

“Many believe that in the beginning all was dark. That is wrong. In the beginning, Magic’s light was the only thing that existed. And when that light gained a consciousness, Lady Magic, she realized that she was all alone. Of course, like any being, Magic did not want to be alone, so she pulled her light together, to give herself a body and to create space for the things she wanted to do. In the space left behind by Lady Magic, a dark force flooded. It took the form of a male being and he was dark simply because he was not light. That did not mean that this force was evil, he just was the polar opposite of Magic. When Magic realized that there was another being with her, she asked where he had come from and what his name was. The man answered that he had always been there, Magic had just been too bright for him and he had been outshone by her light. He also told her that he had not yet chosen a name since he only came into existence after Magic had gathered herself to make space for him. The young Lady found this person, who spoke in convoluted sentences and cryptic comments, to be very boring, so she turned her away, leaving the dark force alone again.

To find some distraction, Magic separated some of her ever-growing light from her consciousness, letting it gain its own sentience. That way she created several different life forms and she took on another name “Mother Nature”. It was a name the creatures had given her and she wore it with pride. A long time passed in which Magic created everything that exists on Earth, she also separated the Realm of the Gods from the different worlds she had made. During her time as a creator, new gods joined her, there was Knowledge and her twin sister, Love, there was the three-faced goddess named “Fate”, “Justice” and “Fortune”. So it occurred that one day, one of the beings of the Multiverse left the light. It had found a sliver of darkness. Having never seen such a thing before, the being touched the darkness and stopped moving. The darkness had counteracted Magic’s spark inside of the creature, killing it. That was the first death.

Horrified by what the darkness did all life began to fear the dark, not knowing that the entity residing within it tried his best to reign in the destructive force of his powers. So Knowledge said that there must be a solution for all of them to live happily, her approach was that they ought to lock the Darkness up. Everyone followed the goddess’ instructions, as she had never failed them before. And when they had lured the Darkness into its prison, the gods kept doing their usual daily business. Meanwhile the Darkness watched from his prison tower how the Multiverse started to overflow with beings. It was full and chaotic and the creatures of the Multiverse suffered, since the spark Lady Magic had gifted them was wearing thin and they were exhausted, but could not bed themselves. Sometimes, when no one was watching, the Darkness released some of his power into the world, not enough to vanquish the Spark, but enough to put the Spark to rest, so that it could regenerate.

Magic noticed the problems in the Multiverse as well, she also saw how the Darkness tried to help. And one day, she approached the Darkness in his prison, opening the doors and freeing him. As it was, once the prison opened, a wave of Darkness washed over the Multiverse and took down any being whose Spark was not strong enough, the dead beings all joined with Lady Magic’s light again. Magic finally realised this beings power and she asked him to roam the Multiverse to bring the ones who had been cut off from her too long back to her and to bring sleep to those who needed a bit of rest. The male nodded and Magic asked him if he had chosen a name yet. The entity answered that he quite liked the name “Death” but that this what not his true name, his true name should never be said out loud, because that would mean whoever said his name gained absolute control over him.”

Teddy had become sleepy, but before he fell asleep he still mumbled: “Did you say Death’s name then, uncle Harry?”

TBC

Chapter Text

Harry leaned on the sink. His already pale fingers were ghostly white from the death grip he had on the ceramic. He looked at himself in the mirror. Green eyes looked back. Black hair messy as always. The boy in the mirror looked not a day older than eighteen. Harry would for always look eighteen. Just like Teddy and Hermione would for always look six and twenty-three respectively. Unless he would let him take them, something Harry refused to even consider, not after all this time.

They had noticed rather quickly that something was wrong with Harry. Then the many accidents started happening, every time they believed him to be dead, only that he would wake up a few minutes later, completely unscathed. At one point he even got buried under a pile of runic boulders, which blocked any magic. There had been no way for him to survive. However, when they had slowly cleared the boulders away, Harry was lying on his stomach, standing up as soon as the last rock was removed.

The accidents started getting more violent after that. One time, Harry’s job as an auror had brought him down into the Hall of Prophecies, where a whole shelf had collapsed around him. If the glass shards had not killed him, the weight of the metal shelf surely would have crushed him, even if he miraculously survived the piece of furniture falling on him, the sheer magical energy would have ripped him to pieces. Yet, none of the above happened. Harry stood up, just a few seconds later, seemingly unfazed, brushing pulverized glass off his robes.

The more incidents happened, the shorter Harry’s time of “being dead” became. At the beginning, he took five minutes to come back to life, the Prophecy shelf only “killed” him for about ten seconds.

Even more happenings piled up, slowly other wizards and witches, even creatures got involved. Once he was trampled over by a herd of enraged hippogriffs. Another time he was hit by an actual killing curse. It was only when a pride of hungry manticores ripped him to pieces, that no one could deny that there was something completely wrong with Harry James Potter.

The hippogriffs and the killing curse had not even pushed him into the in-between of the living world and afterlife. Being ripped apart held him captive in the white-washed version of King’s Cross for roughly 24 hours, give or take.

Harry could not remember much of these 24 hours, but he knew that he had forgotten something very important. Still, he woke up near the place where the manticores had attacked him, not thinking much of it, as he was already used to waking up after dying.

So when he walked into the office next day, as if nothing happened, he found his co-workers in funeral attire holding speeches about his good deeds. He even saw a few former Slytherins shed some tears.

At first he had liked this new facet of him. It meant that he never had to cause Ginny worries when going into the field. It meant that he could do more risky jobs to keep more people safe. There were only upsides to this new development.

At least on first glance.

Ginny realized it before everyone else. Harry did not age. It broke her apart. And Harry could not blame her. He would have also pulled away if he had notice that his partner was not aging. It meant that they would never grow old together.

He would not only outlive her - he could have dealt with that. They both could have. No, he would stay by her side, yet growing more distant from her. They would stop recognizing them as husband and wife and start thinking them first mother and son, then grandmother and grandchild and at last he would be a teenager grieving his great-grandmother’s death. Not aging also meant that new people did not take him seriously anymore. They believed him to be an impudent brat, most of them would not even see reason when he proved them that he was indeed none other than Harry Potter.

His continuing youth would also affect Ginny’s image sooner or later. They would start thinking of her as either a perverted old lady, who kept herself a young boy toy, or they would claim that she was not worthy of him.

Both Hermione and Ron told Ginny as much. Harry added that he would move to the end of the world with her if it meant that her life would be easier if no one recognized them. If no one was around to judge them.

Ginny told him that she felt betrayed. That she wanted a divorce. Harry did not argue. He knew the muggle idiom: “If you truly love someone, let them go.”

And he let Ginny go.

That was when he first noticed that there might have been someone manipulating his life. Because Ginny said that she wanted alimony. As they did not have children yet, Harry asked her why she wanted alimony.

Ginny answered that the money would be a compensation for her. After all, at only nineteen she was a divorced woman. It was unlikely in the traditionalist wizarding society for her to find another husband, especially since her family was not that well-endowed. She also added that their two years of marriage had gotten her used to the comfort of living like a pureblood Duchess. Taking that from her would make the whole situation even worse for her.

Harry, stricken with grief over their ruined relationship, granted her the money and one of his manors in the South of France. Ginny moved there immediately, not once turning back.

Just a few months later, on Harry’s 22nd birthday, he had a huge falling out with Ron who screamed that Ginny’s situation was all Harry’s fault. Many of Harry’s acquaintances from work interpreted this as Harry having cheated on Ginny. Slowly, Harry’s career at the Ministry came to a halt. Many women claimed that they had been his secret lovers and the Prophet tore his reputation to shreds. At one point they had started claiming that it was not actually Harry who had defeated Voldemort for the second time, but Ron and that any money Harry earned by his titles should go to him.

It was then, right there, that Harry had enough.

He was cursed to live for eternity, trapped in the body of a child and society refused to let him live his this horror of a life in peace, robbing him of any last will to live.

His solution was simple.

He left.

New World Coming

In the living room Hermione was in a similar reverie. She remembered the time of Harry’s disappearance very well.

Without notice or warning, Harry Potter vanished from the face of the planet, only taking his godson with him, who was five at the time. Many started looking for him. The Prophet had lied to them often enough, why should they tell the truth this time? The wizarding world was still filled with people supporting Harry. Slowly rumours started. Ronald Weasley had never given any proof that his claims were true. Had anyone actually ever said that Harry had cheated on Ginny? A few even believed that Harry had only left to fight evil elsewhere, in a place where his work would be more appreciated.

Others supported the Weasley fraction. These weeks reminded her of that horrible time in fifth year when everyone and their mother called Harry a liar. One part of that group said that Harry’s disappearance was practically admitting that the Prophet was right and that he was off training to be the next Dark Lord. The other part of the group that basically the same, but their motivations for saying so were different. Harry was known for treating everyone equally, whether they were Dark or Light. Creature or Wizard. Woman or Man. Magic or Muggle. This policy and his political goals of turning that philosophy into laws, had made him many enemies, especially in the elitist upper class of the British wizarding society. Many other European nations had been inspired by Harry’s speeches and aspirations, slowly integrating his vision into their laws. Many Asian and American countries had followed.

Still, his home country rejected Harry. It rejected progress, which was the reason for the constant wars between Light and Dark. So Hermione decided to look for Harry. She had no plans what she would be doing once she found him, but she was sure that some path would open up.

It took Hermione a year to find him. In the end she just followed the trail of medication Harry needed for Teddy. Another hint of Harry’s presence was the fact that wherever he went, good deeds happened. Harry travelled, helped the people he met and inspired them to do the same. This part of his personality had always been what fascinated Hermione the most about her friend.

Still, a year was a year. A lot can happen in a year. A little girl finding out that she was not a freak, but a witch. That little girl finding friends for the first time in her life. You can fall in love within a year. You can stop a war within a year. Kingdoms can rise within a year. And the darkest wizard of all time met his downfall within a year.

So it should have come with little surprise that Harry had changed a lot during this single year. These twelve months and 365 days. She should not have been surprised.

But she was.

She was shell shocked.

On the outside Harry had stayed the same. But his eyes…they had lost all life. Only when looking upon Teddy some of their old fire returned. Harry had grown weary of the world, slowly coming to terms with the fact that he was doomed to stay alone. To never have a family.

For someone like Harry, never being able to life “happily ever after” was bad. But to never be allowed to die, to never be allowed to simply rest. To never being allowed to let go. To be tied to a world whose inhabitants slowly destroyed it. Such knowledge would have pushed a lesser man into despair.

Harry just seemed empty. Still, he had walked the hardest paths and had helped people wherever he could. Because that was who he was. A helper. A protector. A saviour. The Prophet had gotten that right after all.

Hermione remembered their reunion as if it had been yesterday. Although it had been so long ago that she had lost count of the years.

It had happened in the bleak autumn landscape of Eastern Mongolia. It was a place so dreary and lonely, that Hermione was surprised that anyone could have found it at all. In hindsight, it made perfect sense for Harry to choose such an isolated location. The full moon had been just the night before and Teddy was still affected by the moon.

While the little boy’s bite was not passing on lycanthropy, he was still a danger to others but mostly himself, especially in a crowd. So Harry had taken the Teddy here, where he could not harm himself. Several red scars across Harry’s arms told of how he had held his godson, when Teddy’s wolf racked through his body. They told of how Harry stayed close, of his support, acceptance and love.

Hermione had sat with them, watching Harry bandage Teddy’s wounds before his own, his eyes filled with pain so old and deep, that Hermione found herself close to tears. She asked him about the time they had been apart.

Harry’s answers were vague at best. They were more evasions that actual facts. The only things she could out of him were the facts that he knew how he became what can only be described as “immortal” and that this time the entirety of the Wizarding World was in danger.

She could not ask much more but she asked if he was coming back.

That was the second surprise.

Harry agreed immediately. Without any resistance he started packing for their way back to Britain. Since Teddy was still rather weak, Harry and Hermione decided to travel the Muggle way. It took them two weeks to find other humans. Another two to get to the next city. Harry held Teddy in the protective embrace of a father the whole full moon night.

They took a bus ride to Ulan-Bator, from there they flew west to Moscow and from Moscow they travelled to Paris via train. At each station Harry met with people in navy-blue robes, people Hermione knew to be IWC officials.

The night before they took the train to Britain Harry had a break down. Literally. The Paris main station was empty for once, so no one noticed Hermione guiding Harry to a wooden bank, where he lied down.

It was then that he told her, almost confessed what he did.

“I informed the IWC of some things I noticed. They are still unsure but I handed the proof I found in Mongolia to the officials you saw during our travel. If I am right, and I hope I am not, then Magic will die within this decade if we do not do something quickly. The IWC said they will check the material I found for me and promised that they would back me up, if I needed help. That…time…ahead of us will cost many magical lives.”

“You do not seem overly concerned for yourself and Teddy.” She did not say or me but Harry picked up on it anyways.

“Because I did something horrible.”

Hermione shook her head: “I cannot imagine you doing something that should be called horrible.”

“I made Teddy immortal. I made him like myself.”

For a long time there was silence.

“I used the naïveté of a child that loves me, depends on me. I need permission of the person to do what I did. In a single weak moment I asked Teddy if he would stay by my side. Teddy said that he would stay with me forever. That is how it happened. The next day, you found us.”

“Where you aware of what it would do?”

“Yes. Because there was someone else whom I asked to stay with me.”

“Who?”

“Draco…It was an accident…but…need him. He reminds me of who I am and where I come from.”

“Ask me.” Hermione stated.

“Are you crazy? Do you know what that means? What it would do to your marriage?”

“First of all: I am the brightest witch of my age, I am aware of the consequences, so never imply otherwise! Secondly, the moment I declared that I would be looking for you, Ron divorced me. So ask me to stay with you, before I imperio into it!”

“Hermione Granger, my oldest friend, will you stay with Teddy, Draco and me?”

“I will stay with you. Forever if I have to. Until we finally find a way to give you eternal rest.”

Harry smiled weakly. A hushed: “Thank you” passed his lips before he fell asleep with his head in her lap and Teddy curled up on his torso.

Hermione remembered that moment in the Paris station as a last moment of peace before all hell broke loose for the next years.

TBC

Chapter Text

Harry was well aware that he could not keep staring at the mirror forever. At some point he would have to step down the chrome staircase and face Hermione. Hermione who had stuck with him without ever stopping her support.

He owed her the truth. At least the part of the truth he knew. The talk with Magic had left him rattled. If the puppet player behind this scheme was strong enough to manipulate her…that would mean things were even worse than he had imagined.

From the very beginning Harry had known, that their return to Avalon had come too late. After the Second Wizarding War he had spent four years on his own life, including his year of travelling. Then they had fled across the world, looking for an island that could not be seen. This expedition had cost them nearly thirty years. Transporting everyone who was willing safely onto the island had taken another two decades. Figuring out how to keep a connection to the outside world took almost ten years. Another fifteen were needed to let them realize that there were still muggleborn being born. The next 21 years were spent mostly on making Avalon a space that could be inhabited by any race with the same level of comfort.

The last five decades had been quite peaceful, though they all knew that this could not go on forever. The historians had researched old documents that the deities – now strengthened by being worshipped again – had provided. These documents consisted of Goblin scans that had been made of Hogwarts students and staff. They been removed from Gringotts at one point, with the necessary authority, otherwise they would have been noted as missing.

These scans showed that someone had been rather loose with their wand, removing any traces of their presence from any mind that they had altered. The spells ranged from memory charms, to compulsions and even magical bounds on personality traits, intelligences and even core alignment. All members of the faculty had been affected, nearly every student, several Slytherins that had later on become junior Death Eaters during the war, a few Gryffindors. But the victims with the most damage had been Harry and Hermione.

They had researched who could have cooked up such a plot, but they found that the manipulations had reached deep into the 1920’s starting with Merope Gaunt. The trail of magic had been particularly thick around Tom Marvolo Riddle, Charlus Potter and Abraxas Malfoy. Following the magic even further they found that even the entire Dumbledore family had been under the magic for quite some time. Yet, no clue seemed to guide them to the one responsible.

At one point, Harry had consulted with Magic…what had followed was something that shook every single truth he had ever believed...

 

New World Coming

 

Hermione had moved to the window, looking over to the city. She did not like being reminded of the time that magical history simply called “The Exodus”.

It had not been an exodus. There had been several international groups of witches and wizards, swarming out to find Avalon, while the other part of the mission had been to collect every magical being in existence and bring them there.

Finding Avalon had been hard. The island could not be seen but by those who had already walked upon it and even if you miraculously found the exact spot were the gate had appeared, every single person who wanted to enter had to prove themselves worthy. Men, women, children, elderly, infants, disabled, ill or crippled. It did not matter.

So many died by the passage alone.

But the alternative had been worse. Getting caught by the muggles put everything the guards of Avalon could throw at them to shame. The non-magical community had found out about their existence. In itself that had been no problem. The problems started when the muggles started developing anti-magic weapons and started capturing innocent magical beings.

Some had experimented on them to “understand” many monotheistic religions had declared magic an abomination, the work of demons and had called their followers to arms against Magic. The governments had not cared. They did not count Magicals as human beings and saw them as freaks of nature at best and as a danger to humanity at worst.

Hermione knew that Harry still felt guilty for not being fast enough, to not find Avalon sooner. She knew that he blamed himself for every single death. He had done so in the Second Wizarding War as well. Even more so during The Exodus.

When all the survivors had finally reached Avalon, laying on its shores, it had taken another 25 years to make the Island inhabitable and bring the muggleborns to safety as well.

It had taken a long time for the different species to accept one another. To build the first village without damaging the new home they had been given. They had explored the island a long time until they finally found the perfect spot to build their first and only city.

Hermione remembered Harry during that time. Never sleeping, always helping to build houses, to aid with the farming, to figure out a way to map the land. And finally, when they thought all was said and done, that they could finally rest, then Harry took the journey stream upwards, taking nothing but Gryffindor’s sword – a gift from the goblins – with him.

For five years they all thought he had disappeared forever. That he had guided them to Avalon and then finally asking the deities to grant him death.

For five years Hermione took care of Teddy alone.

For five years she thought her friend had left without saying goodbye one last time.

On the day when his disappearance reached its fifth anniversary, Harry came down the Silver Stream into the bay, looking wearier than ever. As if, once more, the weight of the world had been put upon his shoulders.

Hermione’s heart had broken at the sight, not even leaving enough room for anger at Harry. As it later turned out, for Harry, the time he spent away had been but a few months, a month stream upwards, two months where ever he had been (he had refused to tell her) and two weeks to travel down the stream, back to the city.

Once more, he had given little to no details about his talks with the gods. Even after roughly a hundred years he still kept so much pain to himself. Still, she helped him research the documents and figure out what had been going wrong in the world.

What they had found had put everything to shame. It let her wildest nightmares seem like stories told to scare little children. The manipulations, the scheming, the forcing of history. The deaths. The War. The muggles. It had all been part of a plot so intricate, no one could see the purpose.

So Harry once more had been summoned by Magic, this time minding to ask her about the plot. He had clammed up again afterwards. But she knew from his face alone that Magic had given him an answer. It was driving her crazy, but she knew that he would tell her one day. After all, time was not a matter anymore.

That day had come.

Today.

Of all days. Nothing special marked this day. He just had been summoned to Magic again. The deity must have told him something. Something that made it necessary for him to open up. Harry was like that. Keeping the pain from others as long as possible, even if he hurt himself in the long run.

TBC

Chapter Text

When Harry walked down the stairs, he was Hermione sitting on the couch, one leg thrown over the other. Before starting their long overdue talk, he went into the kitchen and heated up some left over tea from this morning. It was not perfect by any means, but it would have to do.

“So…what made you finally open up?” asked Hermione.

Harry set down the tea set on the couch table and let himself fall into the couch opposite of her. “There are a lot of things…but to fully understand what I am about to tell you, I need to start at the very beginning, so this might take a while…”

Hermione nodded.

“Okay, you know that in the beginning there was only one world. But then, many different ways of magic evolved, some more potent than others, some on a larger range and some even completely rejected the idea of magic. Thus, the entities created the different realities, so that the various ways of perceiving magic didn’t end up in a war with each other. Sometimes you can cross over from one reality to another if they are similar enough and a path exists. The structure of the different realities and timelines is called the multiverse. The multiverse itself is held by a structure called “The Ineffable”. That structure is deserving of the name to say the least. Outside of the multiverse and unaffected by its ever-changing worlds and dimensions is the Realm of the Entities. From there you can travel to every point in time and space in the Multiverse. Does this make sense so far?”

“Yes. It would also explain your long absences and how you perceived time differently.”

“Indeed. So after the Multiverse was created, time had come to form the different ways of magic and how it should be used. For our world, we received our wands and those of exceptional power could control their magic reservoir wandlessly. Lastly magic itself was split into two categories. Dark and Light. Dark Magic destroys. Light Magic creates. So the different kinds of magic are not actually associated with good or evil. Take the Unforgivables for example. Imperio is a light curse, creating the bonds needed to enslave a mind. Crucio is the same, it creates pain. Only Avada Kedavra is a dark spell, severing, thus destroying, the connection between brain and body.”

“So, why is Dark Magic generally perceived as evil?”

“I was coming to that…To balance the two, Magic set in place to people, so called Lords or Ladies of Magic, Merlin Emrys being the first Light Lord and Morgan leFay being the first Dark Lady. After a few generations of fighting, the role of the two guardians of Dark and Light came fell to Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin. Due to their deep friendship and later love, Magic flourished and during that time many discoveries were made, like the animagus transformation, there were breakthroughs in Warding and of course, Hogwarts was created.”

“But what about the Feud between Slytherin and Gryffindor?”

“There never was one. The story of the Feud originates from the time of the Renaissance, when the muggles slowly regained the knowledge that had been lost during the dark ages. Pureblood supremacists felt threatened by that, so they looked for a figure head. The heir of Slytherin was one of the leaders of the pureblood movement, so he forged documents, that said Salazar himself was already against muggleborns, which is utter nonsense, Slytherin supported muggleborns, he even married one, Gryffindor himself. And that brings me back to the two. They had two heirs, one who carried on the Light Gryffindor line and one who carried on the Dark Slytherin line. The Slytherin line would late become known as the Gaunts, and you know how the rest of the story goes. While the Slytherin line married into one Peverell line, the Gryffindor line married into many other lines, a fact that made it nearly unpredictable who the next Light Lord would become. So being a generally Light government, the Ministry labeled Dark magic as evil.”

“That’s all very interesting, Harry, but what does this have to do with the manipulations against Magic.”

“Well, during all the time, the Dark Lords had grown weak, so Fate and Love intervened. Love would make sure a strong Dark Lord would be born into the Gaunt line and Fate would meanwhile give the title of Dark Lord to another strong Individual.”

“Grindelwald.”

“Exactly. And Fate wanted him to meet Albus Dumbledore, current Light Lord, so that the two would already start reinforcing the balance.”

“But it didn’t go as planned.”

“Indeed. Grindelwald was cunning. He was well aware that his power would only last so long as their future pair of Dark and Light Lords or Ladies would not inherit their titles.”

“How do they inherit? I thought the old pair died and the new pair takes over?”

“There are different ways. Either Lord can give his heir the power they hold at any point the current lord deems fit. Or yes, they can be passed on due to death, but the most common way of inheriting is for the heir to win a duel against the old Lord, to prove that there are more capable and ready to take on their task.”

“So I am guessing that Light and Dark aren’t actually supposed to fight against each other?”

“No, never! We have two such duels behind us, and look how our world has crumbled!”

“Are you trying to tell me that whatever Grindelwald did caused such a great imbalance in magic that we completely ruined ourselves?”

“Yes.”

“How? What horrible thing did he do to create such a chasm in magic?”

“Three guesses and the first two don’t count.”

“You mean…Grindelwald was the one who manipulated us? Manipulated magic? How…”

“It started with him bringing the Light Lord under his reign, Dumbledore was backed by his family, so Grindelwald slowly drew a wedge between the brothers. He murdered Arianna Dumbledore which caused Albus and Aberforth to ultimately break it off. The next few years he gathered his army. By then Albus had already tried to free himself, so Grindelwald started checking on him regularly. Unfortunately, Albus had realized the danger the balance of Magic was in, and he tried to protect the coming pair of Lords. Tom Marvolo Riddle and Charlus Potter, but his goodwill led Grindelwald straight to them, so he unwittingly signed their death warrant as well.”

“What happened?”

“Grindelwald cut the connection that exists between a pair of Magic Lords, making the two boys disconnected with the rest of the world. But he concentrated on Riddle who was the real threat to his power. He made sure the boy’s childhood was as miserable as possible, I am not sure what he did, but the Gringotts documents show horrendous results.”

“What happened then? I mean, Dumbledore defeated him, he was in prison!”

“Or so he wanted us to believe. That duel 1945 only caused the first rift in magic, forcing the deities out of this realm, and thus left Grindelwald with free range to do what he wanted. But he also knew that if anyone suspected what was about to happen, he would be discovered, so he removed himself from the obvious scheme, faking his defeat. That also had the side effect of Dumbledore – who was still his puppet – to get into positions of power, since he was a celebrated war hero.”

“What happened next?”

“He used Dumbledore to further drive Riddle down the path of self-destruction, planting an innate fear of death inside him. Charlus Potter almost died heirless, because of Grindelwald’s constant interfering. But Dumbledore started fighting back. He took the invitation to a month long visit for the newly founded IWC, at that time those visits took months and little to nothing productive happened. With his puppet indisposed Grindelwald only heard of my father’s birth months later.”

“And the First War?”

“Well, Tom had no children, so there was no one next in line to Dark line. James became heir to the light once his father died, but since neither he nor Charlus knew anything about their potential, Grindelwald’s power was secured. Until…”

“Until Voldemort became too powerful.”

Harry nodded. “So Grindelwald started the whole scheme with the prophecy, causing Voldemort to fall from power, but there was an unexpected consequence. Voldemort lost a duel with a child powerful enough to become a new Lord of Magic.”

“You. Voldemort unwittingly made you the Heir to the Dark line…”

“Yes. But since no one could hold both Lord titles it went to the next person in line.”

“Neville…”

“You truly are the brightest witch of your age.” Commented Harry, earning a slap over the head.

“So all the compulsions, all the potions, the plans, they were to keep you from becoming powerful, from becoming a threat.”

“Yes. But there were two problems. One, Dumbledore saw two new Heirs of Magic, so he forced himself to keep fighting, ending in Grindelwald discarding of him in our sixth year. This of course left him without a puppet, so he fell back onto the people who helped him execute the plan of our manipulation. To this day no one has figured out who was involved and who was just another victim.”

“And the second problem?”

“I was supposed to die. And once I died, Neville and Voldemort would kill each other. But Grindelwald had forgotten three certain artefacts which had fallen into my possession”

“The Hallows.”

“Hmhm. That made him truly fall from grace. When I returned, I allowed Death a small grab into this reality, and he took Grindelwald out. You know the rest.”
For a long time none of them said anything. Then Hermione took a sip of her tea, which had long since turned cold. Then she stood up, taking the tea service with her. Once she had dunked the china and cutlery into hot soapy water, she leaned on the kitchen counter.

“You should have told me. You shouldn’t have had to shoulder this burden alone.”

“I wasn’t alone. Draco knew.”

“Harry, you let Draco go decades ago! Because he couldn’t handle it anymore. Because I…”

Because Hermione had still been heartbroken over Ronald and had not seen Draco’s actions for what they were: The desperate deeds of a man who wanted nothing more than to see the woman he loved happy. Only when Draco was gone had Hermione truly let herself realize what she had felt for him. The brunet shook her head.

“What happens now?”

“Now…now we wait. Until Magic tells us what she has planned to do to get rid of the manipulations placed on her.”

“There are still problems? But…”

“I don’t know much either. She only told me that she recently realized that Grindelwald, or rather the Second Wizarding War he orchestrated left deeper marks on her than expected.”

“So we wait.”

“Yes. We wait.”

TBC

Chapter Text

It was dark. But in the dark were a few white lights. Instantly Hermione knew that this was a dream. One of the dreams that connect you with a different realm. Judging from the glowing, softly pulsing lights around her, Hermione would say that she was in the “In Between” or “The Ineffable” a place that is neither here nor there. When she took a step forward, the world suddenly tilted on its axis and-

White.

Blinding perfect white.

But then…

Slowly outlines of several things appeared. A brink. Brick arches. Skylights. A platform slowly took form around her. A bench grew out of the ground right next to her. Curious, she sat down, and kept looking around the station that emerged from the white fog.

“Fascinating, isn’t it?”

Hermione whirled around.

There he was. Looking not a day older than when she last saw him, not a day over twenty-two. She could barely hold back a sob. He was so close, if she reached out her hand, she could touch him. Yet he was farther away than anyone else on earth, for he did not linger on Earth anymore.

“Hey, love, please don’t cry. This is a happy occasion. There’s no need to cry.” Hermione only realized that her tears had spilled over when Draco was slowly wiping them away with his thumbs, while his fingers cradled her cheeks.

“I…I’m so…I never knew…I…l-v- ye-“ she hiccupped through her tears.

“Shh.” The blonde pulled her close. “I know.”

“But I never…” another sob tore itself form her throat.

“It’s alright. I knew. But I also knew that we wouldn’t be together in this life.”

She simply sniffed.

“But I hope we can be together in the next…”

Hermione pushed away from him a bit, just enough to be able to look him in the eyes. “What do you mean?”

Draco smiled ruefully. “There is talk. Magic’s call always upsets the dead, but what she told Harry is unsettling at best and disturbing at worst. So the realm of the dead is up in arms, waiting with bated breath for what will eventually happen.”

“And assuming from your tone of voice the four of us are right in the middle of it.”

“Completely correct on all accounts, if I were to guess I would say that plans something big. Something that has never been done before…this could go wrong on so many accounts.”

Hermione pulled him close again. “Please don’t talk of the future. Don’t bring up the past either. Just let me enjoy being here with you again. At least for the presence. We can worry about what is to come later.”

Draco smiled. “Yes, no time like the present, especially if it means I get to see you once more.”

The rest of Hermione’s sleep the two spent hugging each other, basking in the other’s presence and simply being.

Hermione felt oddly reminded of that moment in Paris, all those years ago, the last moment of calm before a storm.

 

New World Coming

 

Hermione woke up slowly. Her cheeks still burned from where Draco had kissed them goodbye and her fingertips still tingled where she had run them through his hair. She smiled. It would be a good morning.

And it would be the last. She somehow knew that after this day things would not be as before, would never be the same again. But from what her instincts told her, it would be a good different, the kind of change that is needed, that heals and repairs.

The golden sunlight reflected of the bay, drawing twisting patterns on her ceiling, rearranging them every second. A soft breeze that smelled of the ocean and the lavender on her nightstand danced through the room. From the kitchen she could hear Harry singing children songs to Teddy, and the noises of him making breakfast.

Indeed, it was a splendid morning, the best she had in a while and perhaps the most perfect way to say farewell to this world and get ready for the adventure that was to come.

Another smile stole itself across her features. She might never admit it, but she missed the secrets and mysteries of her teen life, the unknown, the mysteries…she had missed them. So maybe not all would be bad about Magic’s plan. Whatever that plan contained.

With the slightly lazy grace of a person who knew that they had all the time in the world – how odd, it being the last day – she got out of bed, righted the covers and wiggled her feet into her slippers. With another lazy stretch she made her way down to the kitchen.

There she saw Teddy. All her optimism crashed and burned at the sight of the small boy. What would become of him? What if they did not make it out alive? What if whatever Magic had planned made him disappear? What…

Harry caught her gaze. He looked at Teddy, like he was the most precious thing in Harry’s world. Then he returned his eyes to Hermione. “It’ll be fine.” He mouthed. “Magic loves Teddy. She would not have given him so many of her gifts otherwise.”

Hermione felt herself relax. It was good that Harry knew the deities so well, she most likely would have suffered a heart attack ten times over, were it otherwise. Her optimism creeped back into her heart, her giddiness returned. Whatever the future held, it would be their next great adventure.

TBC

Chapter Text

Two figures stood in a room made of light. One of them hooded and surrounded by shadows, the other female, emitting light.

“Why won’t you let me meet him?” the hooded figure asked. The voice was male, but not much else could be said about it. It seemed to be rough and smooth at once, high and deep at the same time, loud and quiet, soothing and terrifying.

“I would like to say that he asked me to.” She replied. Her fingers twirled into her black curly hair. She seemed to contemplate something, her gold green eyes shone with curiosity. “Why do you ask?”

“Do not answer a question with a counter question.” He whispered. As before his voice could be angry, could be sad, could be resigned. Thin fingers pulled down the black hood.

“We are alone…don’t you think you can show me your face? It’s not anything I haven’t seen before…” she teased. Her thick black eyebrows were raised and the gold in her eyes sparkled.

“You are deviating from the topic.” He pulled down his hood even further, this time keeping dark fingers clenched into the hood. His words were near muttered, as if he pressed them out.

“I always think it amazing. You are so calm and composed, so bound to duty. But when you stand before me, you become as awkward and petulant as a five year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar.” She had raised the equally dark fingers of her own hand to hide her chuckle. It wouldn’t do to upset him too much. Though, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t keep teasing him.

“You still haven’t answered my question.” His reply was pointedly less whining than before.

“My, oh my…sweet Harry must have wormed his way into your cold dead heart. You wouldn’t be so persistent otherwise.” Her tone was still amused, a bit teasing. But as warm as a mother speaking to her child. “Should I expect a wedding invitation soon?”

“What?!?” he screeched, all composure gone, “NO! Why would you even say that?” He grumbled. “I just want to talk to him again…I mean…” he crossed his arms, though it looked more like hugging himself.

“He doesn’t remember, you know…” she said, her eyes taking in the new defensive habit. “It has something to do with the rift. He won’t remember until we fix the imbalance our missing precautions have caused.”

“You won’t be able to fix that. It’s already too late.” He said.

“You and I both know that time is not the matter here.” she said calmly, knowing he had meant no offense. An eternity of loneliness would leave anyone with a crippling lack of anything resembling social skills. Or common sense, though luckily that was not the case for him.

“The old man won’t be pleased with what you’ll ask of him.” he commented casually. “But you are right. He isn’t the problem. Neither were your missing precautions.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, her eyebrows knitted together in a frown.

“An old enemy has been awoken by the power shift. When Grindelwald came into his Lordship, he reached out to the boy.” The male loosened his posture a bit. He slipped one hand underneath his hood. When he pulled the hand back out again, it held the silvery string of a memory. He offered it to her.

“This should contain all the information you need.” He said, as she gingerly took the silvery substance away from him.

“Is he really wandering this reality once more?” she asked him.

“All three Wizarding Wars and the Exodus at last have strengthened him. But he is only awake, not able to move, just whispering things into people’s ears. If you truly go through with your plan, if all goes well…it just might lull him back to sleep.”

“I planned on sending Harry and Hermione back as they were…but this changes things. I need to adjust several factors. If we really woke him up not even Time will have power over him.”

“As I said, his movements are still restricted. You need to act fast. At the moment Time should be able to force him to comply with your plans.”

They both kept silent after that. The situation had been dire before, but now it only got worse. “Even if everything goes according to the adjusted plan, we still might have to interfere…”

“What do you want me to do?” she may not always be his favourite person, but he would help her. Their differences seemed petty when compared to the threats looming over their heads.

“I-”

She was interrupted by Justice. “My lady, I have collected the others. Our meeting can begin.” The three-faced deity bowed her head. Magic acknowledged the warrior with a curt nod.

“I will be with you shortly. I only have to-” when she turned back, the hooded man was gone.

“On the other hand, never mind, lead the way.” Internally Magic shook her head. He could be so stubborn sometimes.

 

New World Coming

 

The throne room was in uproar. As it always was when the deities met these days. Love was wearing her many layers, hiding her face. It made her no less intimidating, though Knowledge seemed to care little. Her usually calm and proper demeanour had all but vanished in her sister’s presence: the glasses on her hooked nose askew, her usually terracotta skin was flushed in a deep, irritated red, her russet eyes sparked with barely restrained anger.

Love was not off much better. While the deity preferred to keep herself veiled – as her beauty had blinded many before – some of her layers had been cast off in anger, revealing golden brown arms and calves, both etched with black, ever changing patterns. Her dark hair was fuzzy, as if her fury had charged it with electricity.

Fate – in her adult form of justice – jumped between them, trying to keep the two separated. The only calm in the storm was Time. An old man with bronze skin and his head was shaven, so only his wrinkles and white bushy eyebrows indicated his age. At one point, Time had taken to wearing the orange robes of Buddhist monks. The old man insisted it was simply a matter of comfort, but Magic had longs since suspected that he wore them out of admiration for their philosophy and faith.

When magic raised her hands, the bickering ceased and all turned to her. “We have gathered here because I have finally found the causes of the rift that has been tearing at the structure of this reality. I wanted to present you a plan at the beginning of this meeting. I wished to reset history by sending two of our most trusted knights back through time and space. As it is, we no longer have that option, as a warning of an old foe has reached me. Now, I want you all to participate in amending the plan, but please remember, we have no time for petty fights. Today, more than ever, time if of the essence and we need to device a new course of action quickly, before HE finds a way back into this reality.”

Surprisingly, it wasn’t Knowledge who spoke first, but Time: “Can the warning be trusted?” asked the usually taciturn deity. Knowledge looked as if she had bitten into a lemon, an expression she always had when someone asked a question before she could.

Magic nodded: “The bearer of the warning was the one who never lies. He speaks the truth as it is, especially as he himself would have nothing to gain from an adjusted plan.”

Time tilted his head, acknowledging Magic’s hint at the identity of her informant, as well as his understanding of what she had said. Remembering the other deity’s expression, Magic turned to Knowledge: “If what you say is true, why don’t we just all lend our powers to Time? Why change the plan?”

Magic seemed to contemplate Time’s inquiry for a moment. Not because she couldn’t answer, but rather putting it in terms Knowledge would understand. The logical deity wouldn’t accept an answer such as “gut feeling” or “instinct”. Emotions, however foreboding and vague, were Love’s area of expertise. “If we adjust the plan, we might be able to lull our foe back to sleep, which would give us more time. Time we can not only use for preparing a war, but also to grant our knight what he never had the chance to experience: A proper childhood. We can also avoid casualties, and if we play our cards right, we might be even able to free some of the already lost souls. It would have much more merit to let children be children then sending two jaded individuals back.”

“Say no more,” trilled Love’s melodic voice, “if the new plan involves more love for everyone in whatever form, I will support it!” Her bold statement gained her an eye roll from Knowledge. Fate – now back in her child form – voiced her approval, while Time remained neutral as usual.

Magic settled back in her throne and started explaining what exactly she wanted to change. In the back of her mind however, worry and anxiety were rearing their ugly heads. They needed to buy themselves time, but did they even have enough time left to do so?

 

TBC