Recommended OST: - 'Most Emotional Music Ever: Arrange'
He could not even remember when he had begun, only that by the time he realised it, he had been walking for a very long time.
So long that he could not remember why he had started. Or where he was going. Or if there ever had been a destination in the first place.
He had no reason to keep on walking, but neither did he have a reason to stop. There was nothing for him here. Perhaps if he kept walking long enough, he may end up finding something. Something worth stopping for. But he did not believe he ever would.
He had been walking for a very long time.
But he walked on anyway. Even if he had no reason to keep on going, he had no reason to stop either, so it did not matter what he did.
Besides, he was already used to it.
He was tired, weary beyond measure, from both loss, the years, from living. But his steady gait did not falter. One foot before the other, he walked on, he had been doing it for so long he no longer needed to think.
Besides, even if he was tired, he was already used to it.
And so he walked.
Yellow sand gave way to green, stems crushed beneath his feet as he tread on rolling grass, but he did not notice. Just as he hadn't when the snow gave way to sand ages ago. The world kept changing around him, but it never touched him, so he never noticed.
He was already used to it.
Soon he wove around trees that stretched to the sky, feet firm as they trod on the unsteady earth broken by upturned roots.
Finally, after eons, after entire generations began and ended, cities rose and fell, the man finally stopped.
Under the shade of a tree he stood, patterned sunlight slipping through the canopy of leaves raining onto him, brightening spot on his raven hair.
"Were you the one calling out to me little one?"
The wind flowed through the trees, sending the leaves swaying as he stood in silence. He made no move to leave, allowing the wind to ruffle his hair playfully as he waited, not moving even as the seconds stretched to minutes.
He was already used to it.
The leaves rustled above his head, as tiny waifish figure shyly peered down from where she clung to the tree, her forest green eyes watching him carefully.
"Umm..." she repeated again, nervousness clear. The little fairy watched shyly, half hidden behind the trunk of the tree, before she seemingly gathered up her courage and took a deep breath, "Kuu is a Sekirei."
So she stated, though she did not explain what that meant. But he did not ask either, he had already known she was not human.
Then again, neither was he.
The child looked down on the one she had longed to meet, uncertain what to say now he was here though she had so much to talk about.
Born the youngest, she was in many ways the weakest of all of her sisters, but, in others, she was the greatest among them.
Beloved by life, it answered to her call and would sprout at her touch. Thus her mind could reach out to others, far farther than any of her sisters ever could.
Yes, from all 108, the Green Girl was most special of them all.
It was she who called him.
Like a single dark cloud in the horizon, she had sensed him approach. She could feel it, in a way that called out to her soul, the sorrow and pain he always carried with him, more than all she had ever sensed all her life combined. Enough sorrow to drown a city whole, pain to drive a man to madness.
But she felt no fear.
In this world, he was the only one she had nothing fear from.
And without thinking she reached out.
She did not think of why, or what she would do after, all she knew is that she needed to reach him, now, before he was gone, before he disappeared from her life and she would never ever see him again.
That had terrified her.
With all the desperation of a scared child she had reached out, without words or a voice, she called out to him. Desperate not to let him go, to never leave him alone anymore.
And to her relief he answered.
"Kuu-chan has been wanting to meet you for a long, long time."
A smile at that, just a curving of his lips. He felt that what she considered to be long was very different then what he did.
"Is that so?"
A firm nod.
That was the reason why he had stopped. To find out why.
"You are Kuu's Ashikabi."
"And what precisely is an Ashikabi?"
"An Ashikabi is someone special. Very special. A Sekirei and their Ashikabi are fated to stay together forever and ever."
"Nothing lasts forever little one, all will wither and fade. All but I." The man reach out with one hand to catch a falling leaf, and no sooner did it touch his skin did it begin to age. Curling, the leaf turned brown before crumbling into flecks of dust as it withered until that too disappeared, leaving nothing behind. "Ephemeral as a summer rose, that is life. Even yours. No matter how much you try little one, I can already see how this tale will end. Like so many before it has. You will die as I hold you gently in my arms, brittle and old with age. Leaving me alone again."
"But Kuu doesn't like that. It sounds sad." She stomped her foot on the branch, sending a wave of fresh green leaves falling over him. She thumped her chest once before crossing her arms. "So Kuu-chan will never ever leave you. Hm." Punctuating the statement with a nod and an odd hum.
He watched her carefully; his emerald eyes seeing far more than they should have as they scanned her face. Shyness returning as she felt his eyes on her, she half-hid again behind the tree, causing his expression to soften.
"Are you alone too?"
A timid nod was her only response, her eyes shining with a mixture of trepidation and hope.
"Perhaps then," He wondered aloud, speaking more to himself than to her, "it was not for my sake you called out. Perhaps it was yours. When you look at me and seem my pain, I wonder, do you see a little of yourself too?"
Instead of words, the Green Girl gathered her courage and stepped out.
"Would...would you please be Kuu's Ashikabi?"
Her forest-green eyes seemed to bore into his soul. He remembered seeing those eyes once before, long, long ago. When a boy had looked back at him through a mirror with such eyes, emerald green to her forest, but every bit as lonely.
He remembered how it felt to ask for help only to find none, pleading when no one was there to answer.
Wanting to be loved only to find that no one wanted him.
Maybe, just as the girl had sensed a part of her in him, at the moment, he had sensed something of himself in the girl.
Everything changes with time, people, places, even languages, everything will succumb to it eventually. Until only he remained, alone, and even he too has changed.
But not that much.
He was different, but he was still him.
And somethings never change.
So though he knew it would leave him with nothing but heartache, another sorrow to add to the mountain he already carried, the man still open arms ready to embrace the pain for the child's happiness.
He was already used to it
"What is your name?" He asked at last.
Hope blossomed in her eyes.
"Hello, Kusano. My name is Harry Potter." He said, holding his arms wide open for her.
Everything changes, but in all the ways that matter, Harry Potter will never change.
A smile that shone like the sun bloomed on her face and, without hesitation, she leapt down off the branch and down to where he waited.
And so, Death greeted the child he would one day claim with open arms.
Author's Notes: At times I have these great ideas for stories jumping around, about characters and worlds begging to be written, but I simply don't have the time to. Not when I am already committed to writing multiple other on-going fics. So instead of writing them out or just letting those ideas die and be forgotten, I decided to write one-shots on those ideas. That way when I one day finish the stories I'm working on, I can go back to these one shots and start full stories based on them. Hopefully you enjoyed this small peak of what I have planned. One more chapter and that's it for this one shot.