A/N: We can all blame this flash fic in part on NJChrispatrick, a few days ago he texted me with this great idea for a writing challenge and I, always looking for some ways to keep my creative river from running dry, was all too eager to give it a shot. With this challenge we each assigned each other a song, we took one hour (that ended up being more like two) to write a short fic based off of our allotted songs. I didn't do so well with it the first go round, but we decided to give it another shot yesterday and I managed to finally produce something in which I find myself moderately satisfied with.
The song I was assigned was Running Up That Hill by Placebo. It was meant to be a songfic, but rather than using the lyrics as a sort of line break like we see in most songfics I attempted to insert the lyrics into the actual story. I'm not entirely sure how successful I was at that.
"You ever hear the tale of Sisyphus? Greek mythology, muggle stuff, so I'm not all that surprised that you haven't. He was a king from ancient times, can't remember when or where, but be was smart, cunning, and terrified of death, as all powerful men are I've come to notice. He did some pretty nasty stuff; attempted to kill his own brother, betrayed the god's secrets, even bound Death at one point in time; the gods were none too pleased with his actions and so damned him to an eternity of fruitless labor, basically he had to roll a big rock up a steep hill over and over, every time he reached the top it would roll back to the bottom and he was forced to start again. Why they chose that particular punishment I have no idea, but the point is I've come to identify with Sisyphus' myth.
"I'm the poor, damned king of course and the wizarding world is my boulder, at the top of the hill lies my hope for peace, or at least a world no longer at war, but whenever I'm close to reaching it I stumble, I fall and the gravity of decades worth of hatred and prejudice push me right back down to the bottom.
"I don't have to keep pushing that bloody boulder up the stupid hill, of course. I know that even if I kill you tonight it'll only be a few years before another dark lord comes out of the woodworks, willing and eager to carry on where you left off and I'll be right back at the bottom pushing those useless, thankless little cretins back up the hill to a peace I'm not even sure they deserve. A few years will pass and it'll begin again and again and again.
"Sisyphus and I are different only in that I have a choice. I could just as easily leave the boulder to roll down the hill while I climbed to the top without such a burden slowing me down. But in the end it's not worth a damn, because we all know that I won't, I'm too noble to let you or any other megalomaniac just walk free."
The Boy-Who-Lived and the Man-Who-Must-Never-Be-Named stared at each other down the lengths of their wands, both tall and unyielding, terrifying figures to the few privileged and damned enough to bear witness to this battle of wills.
"But the knowledge that this world will never be at peace, it doesn't hurt me, believe it or not. Because I've found a third option. One far better than any other I've been presented with thus far. Do you want to hear about the deal I'm making?" He slowly paced a few steps to the left before pivoting on his heel and pacing to his right, ignoring the quiet hiss of warning from his opponent. "For a long time it's just been you and me, locked in this seemingly endless struggle. It was all I knew. And for a while I thought if I only I could, I'd make a deal with God, and I'd get him to swap our places, and for once it'd be you going down this road, it'd be you running up that hill.
"Unfortunately, God's been AWOL most my life so I had to turn to the…darker side of the force, if you will."
Suddenly the unholy gleam in those green eyes made so much more sense. The wand that had not too long ago returned to rest at its owner's side raised once again to track the movements of the slowly pacing boy.
The wary action received a smile full of sharp teeth and jagged humor. "Oh, you don't want to hurt me." Pale fingers traced a lightning bolt etched in red. "Not when you realize just how deep your curses lie. Or that all the while I've been slowly tearing you asunder."
A shiver ran through the air as the boy stalked forward on silent feet, the other's body trembled as something oppressive and cloyingly evil settled along his skin. Both figures fell to their knees, one of no volition of his own and the other in a mocking attempt to remain on equal grounds with his stunned opponent.
"What have you done?"
"A long time ago, I tried to make a deal with god, and get him to swap our places." The boy slunk forward on all fours until, with a single nudge, he sent the man across from him toppling backwards; a sprawl of pale, lean limbs slid over the prone figure, stopping only when their faces were inches away. "God never answered, but I found the devil makes a much better playmate.
"Because of him I can steal this moment from you. Even if what I really wanted was to exchange the experience. I wanted it to be you running up that hill." Slender fingers settled upon a bony chest, pressing painfully into flesh and bone as they dug and they dug and they dug. "But I suppose this will have to do.
A/N: To be brutally honest, I have no clue what I wrote. I went into this with the intention of doing a sad little piece about love and sacrifice and it turned into this. Though I find I'm not all that mad about how it turned out.
To any of my Triumphants (those who found their way here from my other story, Triumph of These Tired Eyes) I'm sorry for posting this when it could have been a new chapter for Triumph, though I'm sure you're all old hats at dealing with my sporadic updates. It should be up within the next week, though knowing the kind of person I am it'll be closer to Christmas.