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January 2011

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WIP_Amnesty fic: Harry Potter and the Search for the Red King

Title: Harry Potter and the Search for the Red King
Fandom: Harry Potter and Kirith Kirin crossover.
Pairing: This would have ended up HP/SS, but it's pretty much gen for all intents and purposes.
Notes: This is a Harry Potter/Kirith Kirin crossover. Yeah, you heard that right. Yet another post for wip_amnesty. This one I may actually finish someday. With all the other fic I have on my plate, however, it won't be any time soon. Also, for anyone who cares, this takes place after OOTP and goes wildly, wildly AU.

Oh, Where does the Red King wander?
He has strayed from the path to the mountains.
He has passed beyond Tornimul and vanished.
Even She, Who Watches, can not find him,
Hidden in the Shadow of Yruminax.

The Diamysaar have left Ilyn Water.
The Thaanarc has left Inniscaudra.
The YY-Mother weeps for her lost son.
And I wait in the Country of Heroes
For the return of Kirith Kirin.

--The Lament of the Blue Queen

Harry opens his eyes to a sea of stars and the faces of three women looking down at him.
"His eyes are open, Commyna, are you certain he'll stay asleep?" One asks, as another nods and removes the largest ruby Harry has ever seen from his forehead.
"We should be doing this at Ilyn Water." The third murmurs and Harry is suddenly aware of the gentle brush of her fingers through his hair, the heat from her lap and the scent of sweet field grass.
This is wrong, he realizes. He shouldn't be here, laying in this strange field, with these strange women bending over him. He should be safe in bed, in Gryffindor tower. He tries to move but his limbs feel heavy and strange. He tries to yell, scream, even perform some wandless magic. Nothing. Nothing but an odd sense of well-being. He even tries exerting his will as he has done when throwing off the Imperius curse, but as there is no voice in his head telling him to do anything, nothing happens but a very slight movement of his head.
Harry resigns himself to staring accusingly at one of the women holding him, since that seems to be the only thing he can do.
"We can't risk bringing him to Ilyn Water yet." The one called Commyna is saying.
"Are you sure the trance is holding? He's glaring right at me." The first woman says, looking back at Harry with a considering expression on her face. Harry pushes out with his will and his magic and manages to move his head again.
"Vella, hold him still! I can't get a good look at this mark with him moving around like that." The one called Vella holds his head firmly in her lap while fingers brush across his scar.
"Jessex could throw off a Fourth Level trance, as I recall." The first mutters, looking rather put out at being ignored.
"Hush Vissyn, let Commyna work for now. We don't even know yet if he is Yron."
There are more words and touches to his forehead but they are distant now and Harry can't keep his eyes from slowly closing.
He has no idea how long he floats in that strange half-aware state. All he knows is that it feels like only moments have passed before a familiar voice snapping "Mr. Potter, fifty points from Gryffindor!" has him springing awake, flooded with adrenaline.
The stars above him are exactly the same as the ones in his dream. For a moment Harry thinks he is still in that strange field and is wondering why three beautiful women have to be replaced with the Greasy Git of all people. Then he realizes that the ground beneath him is not sweet springy field grass but the cold stone of the Astronomy Tower.
Oh yes, this is definitely real. Harry is shivering on top of the Astronomy Tower in nothing but his boxers and his invisibility cloak and Snape is glaring down at him with an expression that screams that fifty points from Gryffindor isn't nearly enough. No, Harry's luck isn't good enough for this to be a nightmare.

When Harry goes to breakfast that morning he is still half asleep and is not looking forward to explaining the loss of points this early in the term to his house mates. No one makes a big deal about the points, however, which probably has something to do with the fact that it's Snape and it's Harry and that the points were going to be lost one way or another anyway.
"So what were you up to last night, mate?" Ron asks as he chews. Hermione frowns at him but the fact that she doesn't lecture tells Harry just how worried they both must be about him. Harry is reluctant to tell them, because any mention of dreams and strange behavior on his part is enough to alarm everyone. He'll tell them anyway. The last time he kept things to himself Sirius ended up dead and he still can't quite forgive himself for that, or Snape.
"I woke up on top of the Astronomy Tower last night. Snape found me there and took points off." Ron chokes and even Hermione looks a little surprised.
"What were you doing in the Astronomy Tower?" She asks and Harry can tell they're both trying to decide whether he was up there with a girl or whether he was brooding about Sirius, and why, in either case, neither of them noticed.
"That's the thing, I don't remember going up there at all." He says, lowering his voice. "The last thing I remember was going to bed in the dorms. The next thing I know I'm waking up in the Astronomy Tower." They both look alarmed now.
"Harry, did you have another dream?" Ron asks. Harry's face must have given him away because Hermione sits bolt upright.
"You did!" Her voice carries and Harry shoots a look at the Head table. Dumbledore is watching them.
"It's not what you think! I mean, I did have a dream, but I don't think it was sent by Voldemort." Harry tells them all about the field and the three women. Hermione looks even more worried, if anything.
"It could be another trap, Harry. Maybe he's trying to lure you into a false sense of security." Harry nods and rubs his scar. It's not hurting, though. In fact, it feels better than it has in months, not even a tingle. "What's really worrying is that somehow you sleep-walked all the way to the Astronomy Tower without realizing it. If Voldemort has found a way to somehow control you through your dreams-"
"Look Hermione," You say hurriedly before she can work herself up into a panic. "I know what you're saying, but this really didn't feel like a Voldemort dream and I've had enough of them to kind of get a feel for what they're like. My scar doesn't even hurt."
"Ok, Harry I believe you." She says after a moment, although it sure doesn't look like it from the look on her face. "But we should still try to figure out what's going on don't you think? With your history I don't think we can afford to just ignore this. No, we need to do some research and I really think you should talk to Dumbledore."
"Research on what?" Ron looks aghast and Harry really can't blame him. It's only a few days into term and they already have a pile of homework, independent research will really cut into their free time.
"Oh really Ronald," Hermione huffs, "research on somnambulation and gem magic of course. We'll also try looking for a reference to this Ilyn Water they talk about, and see if their names come up anywhere."
"The one was called Commyna." Harry offers, "I don't remember the other two."
"Anyway, if you'll lend me the cloak tonight Harry, I can check the restricted section while you go talk to the Headmaster." Harry sighs, knowing that at this point it's just better to give in gracefully.
"Er, I'll go with you 'Mione." Ron offers and then flushes a brilliant red when Hermione and Harry look at him incredulously. "You might need help." He mutters, attacking his food with a vengeance and refusing to look at either one of them.

They have double Defense first thing and after the first five minutes it's clear to everyone, Gryffindor and Slytherin alike, that the current Defense teacher is a moron. He gets two completely different hexes mixed up and fails to successfully cast either one of them in demonstration. Hermione's hand stays up in the air through the whole class and with each successive piece of misinformation he doles out she looks more and more like a cat that has had it's fur thoroughly rubbed the wrong direction. Whatever the man's profession was before coming to Hogwarts it clearly had nothing to do with the Dark Arts, defense against them or otherwise.
Eventually they are all told to pair off and duel, but it's early still and everyone is feeling rather lazy, so they congregate in little groups of Griffyndors and Slytherins and trade half hearted insults at each other while occasionally waving a wand or two. It's hard to get into a heated duel when you and your bitter house rival are in complete agreement that the class is a joke and the professor that teaches it is a moron. As for the professor he just stands about and looks like he's wondering just when the class got away from him.
Malfoy is preening again, standing in just the right light with his good side to the crowd as he insults Harry. Normally Harry would be insulting him right back, and maybe even escalating hostilities a bit, but he's finding it hard to concentrate on Malfoy at the moment because his wand is humming. Harry's not even sure when it started humming, because it has been a quiet little buzz in the back of his mind for a while and he's only just realized where it is coming from.
No one else seems to notice the humming, and Harry garners some odd looks when he holds his wand up in front of his face, starring at it like he's never seen it before. At some point Malfoy has stopped taunting him and is looking rather put out at the fact that Harry seems to be more fascinated with his wand than he is with Malfoy. He jumps a bit, startled when he feels a hand on his shoulder.
"Harry, are you all right." It's Hermione, who looks like she's seriously thinking about ditching class and dragging him down to the Headmasters office.
The wand has stopped humming now, but it still feels strange in his hand. Harry is struck by the surreal notion that his wand still is humming, and it's just that he can't hear it anymore, like a radio tuned into the wrong channel.
Harry flushes, because at this point everyone is watching, and tucks his wand into his sleeve. His wand feels strange and unnatural in his hand and he fumbles the maneuver a little bit, sending it clattering to the floor. For a moment, Malfoy looks like he can't decide whether to start ridiculing Harry again or just stand back and let Harry make a fool of himself all on his own. He doesn't get the chance before Hermione and Ron are making hurried excuses to the Defense Professor and ushering him out of the classroom. It occurs to Harry as he's being pushed through the corridor that he must be more out of it than he thought if Hermione is willingly skipping out on class.

It doesn't take much more than a few worried words from Ron and Hermione to McGonagall before Harry is comfortably ensconced in the Headmaster's office with a hot cup of tea and the sweet taste of lemon dissolving on his tongue. Even when Harry is a hundred years old he knows that the taste of lemon drops and tea will always bring him back to this office. He's been here enough times that the association is now deeply ingrained.
He tells Dumbledore the whole story, from the beginning, and from the knowing twinkle in Dumbledore's eye Snape has already been here to complain about Harry's after curfew excursions. Dumbledore questions him about every particular of the dream, up to and including how his scar has been feeling lately. When Harry mentions the strange humming in Defense class Dumbledore asks for his wand and examines it for a moment before turning his attention back to Harry.
"Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, my boy, but considering that Voldemort's wand is twin to yours it might perhaps be wise to have Ollivander pay us a visit and inspect it himself." Harry nods in agreement, the humming now taking on a sinister connotation. He doesn't like the thought of Voldemort finding a way to turn his own wand against him. "As for your dream, there is no need to panic just yet. It's quite possible that this is nothing more than a natural dream, or perhaps even a latent divinatory talent coming to light. Ms. Granger is right, however, that we shouldn't take any chances. It's also worrying that you somehow made it all the way to the top of the Astronomy Tower in your sleep. You say you don't remember anything?"
"No sir, one minute I was in bed, the next minute I'm waking up in the Astronomy Tower."
"Hmmm, Professor Snape told me that you had your invisibility cloak with you."
Harry shrugs. "I can't explain it, sir. It's not like I went to sleep with my cloak on, but If I had been awake when I left the dorms I certainly would have put on more than just my cloak." Harry flushes and Dumbledore's eyes twinkle.
"Yes, I imagine that must have been a bit drafty at this time of year. As for the sleepwalking, Harry, with your permission I will place a low level monitoring charm on you that will alert us if this sort of thing happens again." Before Harry has a chance to object Dumbledore raises his hand in a calming gesture. "The tracking charm will only remain active while you are actually asleep, Harry. This is in no way an attempt to invade your privacy." Harry reluctantly agrees, not entirely liking the idea but deciding the whole thing could be much more intrusive if Dumbledore decided to insist. "As to the matter of the dream, I wonder if you might permit me to use legilimancy to view your memory of it in greater detail?"
"Er, I'd rather not, sir. Might we use a pensive, instead?" Harry asked quickly, not at all keen on having his mind rummaged through again.
"I'm afraid that my pensive is being put to . . . other uses at the moment, Harry, otherwise I would be happy to use that method." The Headmaster says sorrowfully. Harry really does believe that Dumbledore sympathizes, but he's no longer naive enough to think that there isn't more going on behind those enigmatic blue eyes. " I realize that you've had some bad experiences over the past year, Harry. I wouldn't suggest this if I wasn't truly concerned about you."
It takes another cup of tea and a bit more conversation before Harry finds himself agreeing to the legilimancy without quite realizing how it happened. At least he knows that the Headmaster is a bit gentler about things than Snape. Even knowing that, however, he can't bring himself to totally relax when the Headmaster leans forward and the sparkle in his eye takes on the sharp glint of legilimancy.
He clenches his fists into the padded arms of the chair, waiting for the memory to be pulled to the forefront of his mind. He is therefore totally unprepared for the sharp snapping sound in the air between them that sends the Headmaster reeling backwards, with a look of complete astonishment on his face. There is a tingling sensation around his scar, the sort you feel when blood rushes back into a limb that has fallen asleep.
A small part of Harry's mind is thinking that he should really mark this down on a calendar or something because he's fairly certain that this is the first time he's seen Dumbledore completely speechless. Mostly, though, Harry's just worried that Voldemort has done something that Dumbledore really can't fix this time.
"Oh dear." Dumbledore says, after a moment, before going over to the fireplace and calling down to Professor Snape's office. "Severus, I hate to disturb you, but would you come up to my office for a few moments?"
"Can't this wait Albus?" Snape's voice bites out, the flames highlighting the scowl on his face. "I have first year Gryffindor and Slytherin next and if I don't make adequate preparations I fear they may not survive the class."
"It shouldn't take too long, my boy. I really am in need of your help." With a rush of flames Snape stalks out of the fireplace, shaking the soot from his robes with a flick of his wrist. It's beyond Harry how Snape can manage to exit the fireplace with his familiar 'prowling the corridors' stride.
It takes less than a second for Snapes gaze to whip from the Headmaster to Harry.
"Potter," He sneers, "skipping Defence class are we? Professor Buffoon's classes insufficiently challenging for the Boy Who Lived?"
"Professor Bavoon, Severus." Dumbledore admonishes. Snape smirks, looking not at all apologetic for the slip. "I merely need for you to perform a small bit of legilimancy on young Mr. Potter, here." Snape tenses and whips his head around to scowl at Dumbledor.
"Albus, if this is in reference to . . ."
"It's not, Severus. I will explain in a moment." There is a long moment of silence finally punctuated by Dumbledore's sigh. "Severus, would you please-"
"Very well. Over strong objection, Headmaster." Snape's glare swings back towards Harry and his black eyes take on the flinty sharpness of legilimancy. Harry clutches the chair again because he just knows Snape won't be gentle, not with this. This time instead of a small snapping sound there is a large crack, accompanied by the smell of burnt ozone, as Snape is literally thrown off his feet.
"Oh Dear." Dumbledore is saying as Harry inches the chair further from Snape. This won't be pretty.
The potions master lunges to his feet so suddenly it almost looks like he's levitating, an expression of incoherent rage on his face. His hands shoot forward and before Harry has a chance to react he is bodily lifting him from the chair, Snape's hands, claw like, bruising Harry's shoulders.
"Severus." Dumbledore says, his tone no longer that of a kindly old headmaster but the warning tone of the leader of the Order of the Phoenix.
"That's not Occlumency!" Snape is yelling now, his voice so loud that it's hurting Harry's ears. "What is that, Potter? What did you do!?"
"Severus!" Dumbledore roars and Snape lets him go so quickly that Harry staggers back. He doesn't look angry any more, he looks sick, sick and terrified. Snape backs away from him as if he's diseased and drops into the nearest chair, shaking. "Harry," Dumbledore says gently, his eyes resting on Snape. "Return to your classes for now. We'll discuss this in greater detail after I've contacted Ollivander."
Harry leaves reluctantly, shaken and feeling even more disturbed than when he arrived. He is just closing the door when he hears Snape murmur something in a broken voice and Dumbledore respond softly "I know, my boy, I promise we'll find a way."

Its hours after curfew when Harry wakes to the sound of the Fat Lady's portrait opening. It takes him a minute to figure out that he's still on the couch in the common room, and that he must have dozed off waiting for Hermione to get back and tell him what she's found. His face is pressed up against the plush upholstery and he buries his head deeper in it for a moment, wishing that, just once, he could have a normal year at school.
"-didn't do anything." Ron is hissing loudly as they walk through the door.
"Then how do you explain this?" Hermione is saying, her voice much lower but no less urgent. "And what are we going to tell Harry?"
"Tell me what?" He asks, sitting up and rubbing his eyes beneath his glasses. Ron yelps and hides something behind his back. Harry's eyes are still adjusting so he doesn't get a good look at what it is but whatever it is it must be glowing because Ron has a curious halo about him.
"Show him, Ron." Hermione urges, scowling. Ron's shifting from foot to foot looking guilty. Harry's seen that expression of rapid calculation so many times before that he can practically hear the gears in Ron's head churning as he tries to find a way to keep from showing Harry whatever is behind his back. Ron shoots an enigmatic glance at Hermione and the two seem to have some strange wordless conversation going on. Honestly, Harry would rather they just tell him what's going on and not get him involved in the rest of this stuff.
"It's your invisibility cloak, Harry." Hermione huffs, since Ron doesn't seem to want to say anything. Ron shuffles around a bit from foot to foot before slowly pulling the cloak from behind his back.
"You broke my invisibility cloak." Is all Harry can think to say.
"You can't break an invisibility cloak, Harry."
"It's not invisible anymore, Hermione. What's that if not broken!" And it's true, Harry's invisibility cloak is glowing softly in the dim light of the common room. It's eerily beautiful, and if this weren't his cloak, his dad's cloak, he might appreciate the beauty of the iridescent light.
"Harry, don't worry about it. I don't know what's wrong with it but I promise you we'll find out what's going on." Hermione is quick to reassure him. Harry appreciates the effort but he's mostly feeling like things are growing further and further out of control. He takes the cloak from Ron, running his hands over it as if he can figure out what's wrong just by touch. Hermione is giving Ron more meaningful looks and Ron is avoiding her gaze by giving Harry the look that says 'we're best friends and I'm here for you but I don't actually have to say any of that, right?' Finally he gets around to saying something.
"Look mate, there's not much we can do tonight. Why don't you get some sleep, tomorrow we can sit down and figure out what's going on." Hermione nods.
"That's a good idea, Harry. Maybe everything that's been happening lately is somehow connected. We'll sit down tomorrow and figure out what's going on."