Sandor POV 280 AC
He rode the horse as fast as he could, his heart hammering in his chest as if he was the one running as fast as he could.
The fear that had gripped him when he had seen his father’s corpse slung on the back of his horse while his brother smirked at him had not left his being. He knew he was next.
He wondered if he would find the protection he had prayed for, the gods had never answered his prayers but this time instead of protection from the Father or the Warrior he had prayed from the very depths of his soul to the Stranger, he had prayed for the death of his tormentor or for his deliverance from this constant state of fear and terror.
Mother had died in childbed trying to birth his sister when he was just three namedays, his sister died before she had even drawn breath. At least the gentle woman had not seen the depravity her eldest son held in his heart. His father had was blinded to Gregor’s cruelties by the glory his tall strong heir could bring to his lowly knightly house. Even when Gregor had burned his face when he was six namedays his father had told everyone that his bedding had caught fire.
The hunt his father had departed on this morning with his cherished son had ended his life.
He knew then that he had to get away, he had packed some food and left while the keep was all in a tizzy over the death of his father. He hoped he would find shelter at Casterly Rock, though was young, he was large and was good enough with steel, he would offer his services to his liege lord and hope that he would be taken in by them.
A bright light shone up ahead as the horse whinnied and reared up on its front legs, Sandor was busy trying to keep his seat and control the horse. It would not do to lose his only horse.
A man stepped out from the light, he had dark hair and was not too tall though even from almost five feet away he could see the striking green eyes that shone out of his angular face.
There was another man lying on the ground, who was groaning as if he was in pain.
Sandor knew magic existed when the dragons lived but this was the first time that he had ever seen something that could be classed as magic. The man had yet to acknowledge him as he grumbled to himself “Bloody Death, he could not tell me who I need to take in, only vague statements - Oh save the burned boy you meet - Hmph I rue the day I united the stupid things. Stupid Potter luck.” he then saw that he was not alone as he dusted his odd clothes “Oh Hello - oh thank Death you are the burned boy I was asked to save, that's awesome normally I have to do a lot more work.”
He then looked down to the man at his feet and started to fuss about him “Sirius, are you alright?” The man eyes opened for a bit and then he fell into a dead faint. The green eyed man panicked and started to wave a stick around and then as if some great question was answered he relaxed and sat next to the downed man.
Sandor wondered if this mage was mad - but wait did he say he was asked to save him by DEATH as in the STRANGER that he had prayed to just this morn “Ah.. Hello My Lord, my name is Sandor of House Clegane. Did you say you were sent to me by the Stranger?”
The man looked confused as he asked “Stranger, what stranger?”
“Death My Lord - the Stranger” Sandor was now sure the mage was little mad but he could not smother the hope that had sprung his his chest and the only burned boy he could think of was himself. “One of the faces of the Seven Gods, the one that means death”
The man shook his head as of to clear his thoughts “Oh you call him Stranger then, yes I was sent to take you in by Death...umm the Stranger, I am Harry Potter Black.” he pointed towards the man lying by him “and this is Sirius” then looked around at their surroundings “Where are we?”
Sandor now had misgivings over going anywhere with this mage, how could he not know where he was, he did just arrive here through some magical light, maybe he was just sent and not told where he was going. “This is the Westerlands My Lord, just a weeks ride from Casterly Rock.”
The man looked even more confused at that “Umm… Sandor right.. How old are you lad?”
“I am ten namedays My Lord.” Sandor by now had gotten off his horse and was standing a few feet away from the mage.
The mage mouthed something and then looked up at him again, Sandor was wondering whether the mage Harry had hit his head somewhere but he was very agitated as he did not want his brother’s men to catch up to him “My Lord we should seek shelter somewhere, there are people after me… We need to get somewhere safe”
The man looked up sharply at that “Who is after you lad?”
Sandor shifted uneasily as he hated to explain to people about Gregor however the mage had not looked at him with pity or disgust, it was as if he could not even see his scars besides the Stranger had sent him to save him and he hated liars “My brother my Lord, he has just killed my father this morning and will surely kill me.. I do not know whether he has sent his men after me however I would not want to stay here in the open.. Our keep is only half a day away from here”
The mage looked at him as if he was scrutinising his very being as the hand with the stick twitched, he did not say anything rather just looked into his eyes for answers that he did not ask, finally as if after an age he nodded and stood “Get your horse lad, I will put up some protections in that forest and we will set up camp there for sometime.”
Sandor was not sure how he was going to set up camp as he only had a small messenger bag on him; though he imagined magic would play a huge part in it.
He watched in amazement as the mage removed a tent from the small bag which erected itself with a wave of his stick, and then he waved his stick around the clearing at the side of the road.
He blindly followed the mage when he was waved to enter the tent behind the floating body of the other man..Serious odd name.. Maybe he too was a mage. He was sure his eyes were the size of shields when he was inside the tent “Seven hells” he blurted - the tent was a house on the inside, it had wooden floors, and from what he could see from here there were at least four doors and a large passageway.
He heard the mage laugh merrily at him “Ahh this reminds me of the time I saw a tent for the first time. It's bigger in the inside” he then looked expectantly at him “Nothing… well you would not know Doctor Who. Sandor sit here, and i will tether your horse, keep an eye on that lump will you.”
Sandor settled on a chair as he saw the mage leave, he looked around and saw that the place was very large, he could see a kitchen from here and the smell of pine permeated the place. There were candles burning around the place and there was also a fireplace a few feet away from the couch the other man was lying on. It did not take long for the mage to come back in.
“I’ll give you a tour of this place lad, don't worry but first I need to see to Sirius.” the mage spoke as he walked down the passageway and into a room. Sandor could hear some rustling and after a minute or so the mage come walking back with a few glass bottles with him.
“Sandor come here, can you hold his head up for me.” the mage asked as he settled near the man.
He scrambled up “Of course My Lord.” he quickly held the man, he was very light and looked quite starved to be honest, maybe he was in a magical war that is why they did not know where they were - how terrifying it would be to watch a magical fight.
As the mage fed him from those bottles, the man’s colour improved and he even opened his eyes for a bit before the mage again waved his stick and the man coughed and finally sat up.
Sandor let go and held his shoulder so he would not fall on his face as he struggled to sit up
Sirius had been in a state of limbo as far as he could tell, from the time he fell through the veil and to when he woke coughing it was as if no time had passed at all.
Harry had explained to him that it had been nine years since the battle at the ministry. Harry was now twenty four and had united the deathly hallows at the end of the war.
He had worked to find Sirius when his shade had not shown up at the eve of the battle, so he had gotten a job with the unspeakables and researched the veil for the last four years.
He loved the boy for not giving up on him, but he also wished that Harry had not wasted so much time on him, and had tried to be happy and find a wife and had a boatload of kids.
They were now not allowed to go back home, bah who cared about that horrid world anyway, all those he loved were now dead it seemed. Remus had a son which was great but it seemed Andromeda had denied Harry contact with his godson - she seemed to blame Harry for the death of Nym which was dumb but the Blacks were never known for their sanity.
As he lay on the bed trying to fall asleep his mind raced with all the possibilities this new world could offer them. Harry had taken in a stray, a young boy called Sandor - the kid was abused by this brother. Harry had used legilimency on the boy to find out what had happened to him and why he was running.
They were now in some sort of medieval world and had been stuck in that age for more than thousands of years. Sirius was happy to have another join their party and from what he had been told, DEATH himself had asked Harry to take the kid in, and he was released by death as a favour to Harry - so even if Sirius was not in full agreement of taking in a young scared boy he would not say no to anything ruddy death asked of him.. He might just fall dead for no reason at all if he slighted death and he had no intention of dying anytime soon.
He finally gave up on trying to quiet his mind and wandered in the kitchen to hopefully find some breakfast. Harry was already at the table scribbling something in a muggle notebook while a few cups of coffee were laying around.
He stood there watching a man that looked like James but was Lily in character and his heart ached for all the friends he had lost. “Early morning pup?”
Harry did even have the decency to look startled let alone jerk in surprise he just waved a hand at Sirius to find a seat.
“I knew you would find your way here sooner or later considering I did not answer all your questions Siri and I am sure hunger would have won eventually.”
Sirius had found that elusive drink that he had not consumed in ages and poured himself a sup of tea and sat opposite Harry. He nursed his drink and took joy in this simple pleasure as he pondered on how to phrase his queries to a man that was much different that the boy he had known.
“Don't get me wrong Harry, I am overjoyed that I don't have to spend eternity as a floating mannequin somewhere in the veil but why did you dedicate so much of your life to find me, you could have had a family, you won the war kiddo, you defeated that bastard that killed James and Lily, you bloody well deserved rest and peace.” by the end of his speech his chest was heaving with agitation and guilt at having consumed so much of his pup’s thoughts.
Harry just sighed and took a drink from his cup, it pissed Sirius that Harry was not angry or shouting back at him “Siri - I wish I could have married some girl, have a bunch of kids and had peace for what it's worth.” Harry’s eyes were sad and he looked defeated making Sirius wonder what the hell had happened in his pup’s life.
“I dated Ginny Weasley you know for almost two years, but then I discovered in a routine health check that I could not have children. We parted ways then, it was all very nice and courteous” Harry gave a self deprecating laugh at that and ran his hand through his hair “That is all I had ever dreamed of a wife and kids - a family of my own, they never could tell why it was so, we just concluded that it could be anything from me being a horcrux, or basilisk venom, or dying or even any number of things I went through in life. What did it matter though whatever the reason, the result was the same.”
“So I decided I would find the only family I had - You”
Sirius reached out and held Harry’s shoulder in a tight grip “You will always have me pup. I am so very sorry about the kids, but hey you have a new pup, one you found yourself, we will take him under our wing, I will teach him how to prank and you can do all the boring things like teach and stuff.”
Harry gave a laugh at that “Well he is good kid and he reminds me of myself.. Though he has been ill treated”
Sirius knew that Harry had never been happy at Petunia’s place but was he truly treated as badly as the new pup “Harry..were they” he started in a slow measured voice but Harry stopped him before he could even voice the question and shook his head and answered with a small smile “No Siri, they were not abusive if that is what you are thinking, they just kinda avoided me as much as they could and tried to keep me out of their way by having me work around the house. It's all in the past now. Sandor reminds me of me in his search for someone to take care of him, he wants to be cared for.. Not all that surprising considering his past.”
Sirius smiled at that “Well he will get that with us then.. Ahh but where exactly are we, do you know anything about this world apart from it being medieval”
Harry shook his head “No, I could get very little from my legilimency scan of Sandor - he is a child after all and knows things a young child would, besides he was not really paid attention to in his house, but I know that there are people called Maesters that are in charge of all the knowledge in this continent Westeros. The have their HQ at someplace called Oldtown.. So I guess we could travel there and find out as much as we can about this world.”
Sirius looked at Harry with emotion swimming in his eyes “I am happy you came pup, more than I can say. You will tell me everything else though, about death and the hallows when you can.. “
Harry stood at that and came and hugged the air out of his lungs.
The hug that he had shared with Sirius eased something in his chest, when he had woken up and Harry had explained a little of what had happened, Sirius was still very disoriented and was unable to process the information that Harry was dumping in him.
It was early in the morning when Sirius had come upon him while he was making a list of all the things that he needed to do in this new world, Hermione would have been so proud.
He had an inkling that he would not be able to come back from the trip to the veil but it was not set in stone, however the only one that knew of his plans was Hermione as she had helped him with some of his calculations.
The war had left them all in a state of preparedness that was the best thing he could call it, so rather than being hit head on with a situation that would spiral out of control, Harry had prepared.
He had gotten all of his belongings, all his money, he went shopping and stocked up in various items that he may not be able to get his hands on, even after the war had ended he had bought and kept a fully stocked tent on himself so that he would not be taken by surprise ever again.
It was only after a year of training as an unspeakable that he had realised that he had won the war with sheer dumb luck and a good dose of stubbornness, What did he know of magic, nothing it seemed. What the students were taught was not even the tip of the iceberg, He was just lucky to have been exceptionally powerful and as the unspeakables that later explained to him - circumstances had conspired to make him as powerful as his nemesis so that he could be his equal.
The win was his and his alone; as the prophecy did not proclaim who would win just that they would be equals.
After being informed that he would never father children, his heart had broken. So he had tried to find the last member of his family and unite with him no matter what it took.
Death had greeted him in the veil and told him he would give Sirius back if he went to a new world as he could not take Sirius back to his old one, he could of course go back alone.
He was also told what it meant to be Master of Death - what a joke. He was a servant rather than it's Master. He was to help Death defeat any imbalance in the course of life of death, he would have the chance to do so in his world after seven hundred years or so.. So he had chosen the world with the closest imbalance - Planetos.
Sandor was apparently a great worshipper of death in another life and thus Death had given him peace and family in this one through Harry.
He was not much averse to taking in a young child, Harry would have been overjoyed if someone had taken him away from the damn Dursleys. Though Sandor’s situation was much much dire. He seemed to be a good quiet lad.
Harry had no qualms in talking about how he had ended up here, there were no great enemies or traitors in his life back home, he could admit that he missed the action and well to find Sirius that was a dream for him. The guilt he had carried over his supposed death had finally abated when he had woken up.
He looked across the table at Sirius and he was sure that he face reflected the happiness he felt “Siri I have no problems in talking about the hallows and life back home - with the exception of Andromeda there were no problems and as I told you she left magical Britain and settled in America after the war. I regret that she did not want me coming around but I did not have the heart to fight with a woman who had lost so much in so little time.”
Sirius did not agree it seems “You lost people too Harry, she was not the only one to lose family in the war and she should not have kept you from Remus’s cub.. It was wrong of her to do so.”
“It's all done now, not like we could go back. Anyways I told you all about the war, you remember all that right?” at his nod Harry continued “It was only when I crossed the veil did I understand what I had done in uniting the damn things. It turns out I have to help death once and only then can I go on and die.”
Sirius was gobsmacked at that “What do you mean by finally go on? Do you mean that you cannot die?”
Harry ran a hand through his messy hair and nodded “Yeah.. apparently I cannot die and let me tell you that was a shock, but the good news is that I will always be in my prime and so I won't grow old and warty” he said with a chuckle “Death needs some major communication upgrades though - coz if I had not tried to find you and gone through the veil I would have had to wait over seven hundred years in our world to get that chance. I chose this world - as it has a problem that needs my intervention in just over 20 years after that I am free of the title if I want or I could keep it, as long as the hallows remain in my possession I will be unable to die or so I am told”
Harry then grinned up at Sirius “You want to know something really wicked though”
At a dazed nod from Sirius he grinned maniacally “I. have. The. Philosophers. Stone.”
Sirius fell off his chair at that statement and them scrambled to stand “What.. are you buggering telling me that I can get younger than I am now and you have not yet fed me the bloody thing.. Harry” he whined and went on his knees “Oh wonderful Master of Death, defeater of evil, vanquisher of Voldemort, saver of life I beseech thee to make me young again so that I Sirius Orion Black can once again be the saviour of maidens and lover of all women through the lands.”
Harry could not stop laughing and the noise brought out a sleepy Sandor through the door who was rubbing his eyes and looking at the two of them as if they had lost their minds.
He waved Sandor over to the table “Sirius get up off your bloody knees, you woke up poor Sandor.”
“It's alright My Lord - it's morning” he said as he sat at the table.
Sirius looked at the boy “Why do you call us My Lord? Just call me Sirius and him Harry. We are after all your family now..um if you will have us that is” Sirius finished lamely
Sandor had tears in his eyes that he did not let fall “I.. will my. Serious.. Um why are you called serious.” hsi question brought about another round of laughter
“No pup my name is not serious it's Sirius - it's the name of a star from our world.” he spelled it out for the boy
“Oh.. sorry I was wondering about it… can i ask why you are calling me pup - is it because of my house sigil?’
Sirius looked over to Harry at that who filled him in “The families that are noble or knights have something like a crest as we had in our world. Sandor’s is three black dogs on a yellow field.”
Sirius looked at Sandor with glee at that “Oh pup you found the right people to help you” he then laughed and stood “let me show you why I call you pup” and then without warning he changed into Padfoot and went up to lick at Sandor’s face.
Harry pulled the giant dog off of the poor boy and asked him to change back “Don't worry Sandor that is normal for wizards. Some study to become animals”
Sandor though far from being worried looked very excited “Can you become something else?”
Sirius smiled and ruffled his hair “No pup, you see each person had a spirit animal and mine is the Grimm which is a magical dog. It's an omen of death in our world. All nonsense I assure you.”
Sandor then turned to Harry and asked “Can you change into an animal too my lord?”
“Call me Harry, and yes I can - though I doubt you have ever seen this animal.”
Sirius was looking happy at his admission of being an animagus “You learned how to be an animagus, when, how? Show me now pup.”
Harry laughed joyously “I learned with the unspeakables, and I will show it to you later though I can tell you that even my form is associated with death.. And that is all I will say for now.”
All the begging and pleading that Sirius did throughout breakfast did not bear fruit as Harry steadfastly refused to change or tell him what his form was.
They had Sandor go for a shower and to brush his teeth so that they could make plans without little ears listening in.
Before they could make any plans a shout came from the bathroom “My Lords...what is brushing teeth and shower?”