The Sanctuary's Song
Redwall Series © Brian Jacques
Harry Potter © J.K Rowling
"'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die…
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
-Ulyssesby Alfred Lord Tennyson-
Chapter 1: Pyrrhic Triumph
Severus Snape stared death grimly in the face. It had been his choice, after all, to do this. He wanted peace. He craved peace. And he was done, with everything. Albus Dumbledore, man-of-a-thousand-faces and none of them honest, could go hang himself.
Lily. She was…he wasn't sure anymore. Albus Dumbledore, affecter of tragedy and well hidden bigot extraordinaire, had thought he loved her romantically and treated Severus accordingly. Stringing the Potions Master along like he had been some lovelorn jilted Romeo forever pining over his lost Juliet. The old wizard was so blind. The man knew nothing, would know nothing, and Severus would send the ancient bigot to hell himself if he ever so much as glimpsed him again.
To Severus, Lily had been like a flash of sunlight in a dismal, painfully dark world. She had illuminated it briefly before she too became like everyone else. A relief in a world determined to ignore his very existence because she acknowledged his existence. She had become a symbol for something he craved beyond the peace his weary soul sought but also a small precious memory he treasured. A balm for the crushing loneliness he'd always known. At least the Lily he had known before his friend had tossed him aside as she dulled and flickered out like a candle flame.
He had had many a long quiet moment to reflect on his bitter life. It was no wonder that his own demeanor reflected the harshness of it as it was all that he had known. How could others who were raised with everything he had not expect him to understand, to sympathize, to be like them? Especially when it was those very same people who forced him to grow up the way he had? And while they had the luxury of doubts and to dither away in self-righteous folly, they grew weak.
But as for him, the life he'd existed in, in-turn that harshness had made him strong. He was a survivor. And unlike the soft-fools who thought the world revolved around their notions who rolled over and died at the behest of others, as a survivor only he would choose the time of his death.
And that seemed to be here and now. Severus Snape looked into the crazed eyes of the self-proclaimed Dark Lord and instead of trepidation and the stirrings of old terror, he instead literally felt the ice cold hands of death upon his shoulders. It was as though a beloved mentor, whom he was seemingly an old friend with, affectionately supported his actions in a way no one ever had in life. In that vague moment, Severus felt his weary soul injected with steely strength and resolve, shield itself against the crushing fear that had once held him a prisoner much like his own anger still did. And his tempered spirit lapped up the offered solace like a thirsty feline.
Voldemort must have subconsciously sensed the change in his spy through the madness of his mind because he moved to remove the threat in the next moment. Scarce a moment after Nagini had finished her ravaging of Potions Master, he swept out without a glance, sure that victory was unequivocally his. Silence descended upon the broken down Shrieking Shack leaving its dying occupant alone.
The stillness was not a new feeling to him. He was used to loneliness, the pain of being alone. But as painful as it was, this one time it held a peaceful serenity that he had never felt before. It was soothing, like a numbing balm he'd used for his wounds far too many times in his life.
He felt himself fading, the blood flowing slowly down his torn neck. That small burst of strength seemed to have left him along with Voldemort. However his will was unparalleled, it had to be. His spirit was of a tempered steel far stronger than any to compare to. He had one last task to do. But even that seemed impossible now. Damn his honor and damn Albus Dumbledore. Neither would let him rest in peace and anchor him here until his last mission was complete.
But in that moment it seemed Fate, or at the very least Fortuna, had decided to finally grace him for but an instant. Because before he was able to comprehend that he was no longer alone, Harry Potter was there with a look of determination and, perhaps, malicious justice. Severus found that he felt nothing towards the child, that he didn't care, not anymore.
He groped for the boy-puppet's hand and slipped phial containing his memories into it. That was all he could do. It would be enough. Hopefully the child had inherited some of Lily's intelligence somewhere in there and would be able to finish this mockery of a puppeteer's dance Albus Dumbledore had started. With the last of his nonexistent strength and all of his will, he was able to force those painfully familiar eyes to meet his steely own. In a moment he was speaking, his voice sounded raspy and distant even to his ears. But somehow he needed to say it.
"You have your mother's eyes."
And then only darkness remained. The potions master seemingly faded from existence once Harry Potter turned his back, leaving nothing but an empty space.
Severus Snape, Child of Eileen Prince, Youngest and Greatest Potion's Master of the Century, Forsaken Child of Magic, abused and abandoned child of humanity was gone.
Severus woke up beyond disoriented. He was laying on something soft, but that was all he could make out. His head was spinning so fast that it was all he could do to keep still, though it felt like the very earth itself was turning, spinning and bucking wildly. If he hadn't already been lying down, he would have promptly plopped down and forgone all formality that he'd hammered into himself over the years and been thoroughly uncouth in his manners.
Clutching his pounding head with one hand, he slowly began to pull himself up with the other. His fingers clawed into the soft something he'd been lying on as he scrambled for purchase and wobbled hesitantly to his feet. He never was one to allow weakness to be visible. His life had been in perilous danger for too long for him to indulge in a sudden faint heart or hesitancy, indulgences he never learned the meaning of. Those were for the soft lumps who never risked life nor limb in their short meaningless lives.
Lumps like James Potter and Sirius Black…and Lily Evans. Severus forced the thought away.
When he finally found himself steady on his feet, and his head no longer swimming erratically, he was able to fuzzily take in his surroundings. His dark eyes slowly took on their sharp, calculating glint.
He was in a wood. And Severus might have mistaken it for the Forbidden Forest had it not lacked that certain magical air and the pervasive threatening darkness. The same kind of ominous air that beckoned idiotic teenagers to their own perils. Also the surrounding trees, while tall and dark, held a more natural peace and nothing at all malicious.
Once he was steady on his feet and his head seemed to stop spinning he was able to take in details with the clarity he'd used all his life whether brewing potions, ingredient hunting, but mostly when he was in the company of those he most reviled. The wood he was in resembled those he'd seen dotted across the British Isles but in the same token, they mostly inhabited the Muggle side of the boundary line and therefore he wasn't too familiar with the different breeds of flora. His needs had been magical in nature and that called for handling of mostly magical plants.
He was staring at a particularly fuzzy piece of what he thought was moss when his spine shivered and the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up on end. He slowly straightened his muscles tensed and he slowly straightened up. Whatever was setting his instincts on edge was dangerous. It had to be. He twirled around his hand automatically grasping for his wand.
His hand grasped air.
The shock of something as precious and as essential as a limb suddenly missing gave him pause for a second. But what caused him to stop completely was the almost Arthurian-like Wolverine gazing back levelly with an air of authority.
A wolverine wouldn't have caused the former Deatheater concern had it not towered over him by a head. And that was just one inconsistency amongst many that he was only now noticing. Severus forcibly stilled his hand to keep from pinching himself and, only with a force of will, draw him up to levelly meet the creature eye to eye. He had never backed down, not when his father went after him in a drunken rage, not when he was tormented by the Marauders, and not even when he faced down Voldemort right before the Dark Lord killed hi-…
"Yes, you are dead." The baritone growl surprised Severus, though he'd be damned if he showed it. Years of spying and infiltrating amongst the ranks of some of the most depraved creatures that ever walked the earth and a healthy dose of Occlumency kept him still.
The wolverine, at least he thought it was a wolverine, gave a nod of approval as if he saw something in the sallow bitter man that he thoroughly approved of. Severus had no idea what that was. It watched him intently for a moment more before speaking again. This time though it sounded like it was more to itself than to him.
"Yes, you'll do." It mused. The wizard immediately didn't like that phrase. Not at all. It had been used on him or in reference to him far too many times before. And since the rather intelligent speaking Creature seemed to make no movement towards him, neither threatening nor friendly, he decided to take his chances with a good measure of caution.
"Before you assume I will agree to whatever you have planned," Severus challenged it severely, "Where am I and who are you." Well maybe not so cautiously, he was, after all, dead…and apparently in a different afterlife.
The Being gave a gruff whuffle that could be counted as laughing. However unlike most humor he had experienced in his life Severus found it wasn't at all derisive but rather amused.
"Aren't you going to ask me what I am?" The growling voice to his ears seemed to take on a slight accent which startled Severus even more. It was an English-like accent, though which he couldn't identify completely. But that was neither here nor there. Severus shored up his already formidable nerves. He refused to be cowed by anyone in life and he certainly wouldn't be bullied by anyone in death.
"I have eyes," his voice took on a silky quality that his unfortunate students would have instantly recognized and cowered at, "I can see you are a magical beast, though a strange one even by my standards. Answer my questions." His silkily dangerous demand and iron like composure would have sent even the most foolhardy Gryffindor scurrying away.
The wolverine gave him something like a nod of approval at his defiant boldness. It seemed neither bothered nor intimidated by his rude manners. It was then Severus began taking in his strange companion's appearance. Great clawed paws rested upon the hilt of a large and dangerous looking broadsword, its tip easily planted in the soft forest floor. Severus eyed the weapon, the blade definitely was meant for use and not just decoration or exhibition as those he'd glimpsed during his lifetime. The being itself was dressed simply in a tunic similar to the Templar Knights of the Crusades with a fine chain mail underneath all of which were secured with a metal studded leather belt and sword sheath. His first impression of an Arthurian-aged warrior seemed spot on.
"'Tis only the strong that defy me but only the foolhardy that do not quail before me." Severus' not inconsiderable pride was pricked. Bitter he may have been, angry he definitely was, but never was he one to be intimidated even in the face of the self-proclaimed magical lords. The Potions Master fixed the creature with a cool gimlet eye.
"If I am as dead as you proclaimed then I have nothing to fear." His silky voice threaded with steel that kept even the most depraved of Deatheaters cautious around him. Bellatrix Lestrange may have been completely insane but even she tread carefully around him. Again the wolverine-like being was eyeing him, though the glint of approval was stronger this time as though he was confirming something only the creature knew of. Severus' voice became even deadlier as his temper finally roused itself, "and I am not easily frightened."
The wolverine shrugged off the implied threat with practiced ease. In the same moment it seemed to relax its stance though Severus could easily see that that had neither lessened its threat nor put him in any better position in case anything should happen.
"Good," came the grave reply, "for where you are going, fear is but another word for death."
"And where, pray tell, am I supposed to be going?" Severus sneered, "and for that matter, why am I even here? Wherever here is." He hadn't moved an inch since he woke up. Without a wand or any weapon he was relatively defenseless. He was dead, he was sure of that (his pragmatic mind would allow for nothing less), but he was in neither heaven nor hell nor purgatory nor anywhere else between. It seemed he wasn't even worthy enough to go into the human afterlife. Just what did he do in this life or whatever life prior to deserve this? The beast-creature seemed to read his mind and was unperturbed by the man's prickly nature. In fact it seemed partial to his spines.
"I will tell you now so listen well, wizard." The being began, its voice commanding Severus' attention fully, "You have a choice before you, to have your spirit forever in between, never to rest or be tormented, or take up a sword and protect those who need a champion."
Severus sneered derisively, "do look I some self-sacrificing fool of a Gryffindor who would throw away their life for naught but a bit of pride inducing praise?"
"Didn't you?" the question stopped the former Potion's Master mid-rant. His frigid glare pinned the still form of the creature.
"I gave my word," silky steel became positively arctic, "it was all I had and that was enough."
"Yes, you did give your word," the beast agreed, "but by that same token, you did become a martyr… and a warrior."
"I am no warrior," Severus hissed, however any further protestations were cut off by the authoritative growl from the creature.
"Did you not give your word?" The wolverine's tone was as severe and commanding as any high king of old. Severus gritted his teeth.
"And did you not protect the helpless?" Its tone brooked no argument and was as hard and forceful as a blow from the great broad sword. As one compelled, Severus answered though it was plain to see that he'd rather strangle himself than answer so honestly.
His nature was, as well as years of habit, to mask everything that could be potentially used against him. Pity would have welled up in most compassionate souls had they realized that that was all the man had known. He had been horribly wronged, used and abused by wizards, magic, and life. That he'd hardly ever experienced a lick of kindness during his life. However Severus would not accept pity, he would not want it and had no need of it. He was a fighter, a survivor and had used his wits and used cleverness to its fullest with great effectiveness. The creature seemed to know this and knowingly commanded the man to answer.
"Yes." The answer seemed to meet the approval of the wolverine and each time his senses told him that, he felt something sink in the pit of his stomach. He was meeting the approval of something with each answer.
"And finally," it pinned the Potions Master with a piercing stare, "did you complete your quest at a great cost to yourself?"
Severus refused to answer. The way the questions were laid out, they sounded as if he was some self-sacrificing martyr. At the thought he sneered vehemently in disdain. He knew all too well his own vices and shortcomings, none of them were virtuous. In fact for him to do his job effectively he had to ingrain those despised traits into his very character to simply survive.
During his long career as a slave of two masters, he'd done a great many things, terrible but great. The only comfort he could take was that he'd never touched innocents nor taken their blood.
He'd slain many, yes, but by that same token they were murderers, killers, and parasites. They had been blights upon the very earth and needed to be removed, though he wished he could have exterminated more. Unfortunately some of the more vile creatures had been in the Dark Lord's favor and thus untouchable. He'd also managed to save the souls of more students than he knew by diverting them away from the power mad Dark Lord and onto decent life paths, not that he would know the effect of his actions. He neither expected nor wanted thanks for his deeds, he was too stained, too damaged and too dark. He simply wished for peace and even that wish looked like it would be foiled.
However his silence seemed to be the final nail in his coffin. It seemed he was being measured for something. Severus had long ago mostly stopped paying attention to his surroundings in favor of arguing his lack of virtues with his oddly determined companion.
"You are a born warrior in both Spirit and Tempered by Hardship. With a Will to Survive unmatched."
"I most certainly am not." Severus could almost appreciate the sheer ridiculousness of the argument had it not made him feel distinctly Gryffindor-ish. It made him feel uncomfortably like a young teen again caught in the awkward coltish stage of growth between child and young adult.
"You are." At the Being's certainty he fell back to an argument that had almost become habit to him when he was amongst his most esteemed and vaunted colleagues or Albus. Before he could check his next words they were out of his mouth like racehorses from the gates.
"I am not-"
"-Harry Potter." The beast finished his sentence with a trace of amusement. The Potions Master cringed momentarily. How juvenile and witless an argument, it seemed the others had managed to dull his wit after all. What an unpleasant thought.
At Severus' momentary dumbfounded look before he shuttered it under a well-practiced scowl, the wolverine continued. "That boy was forced into the position by self-fulfilling prophetic fools, he may be a 'hero' of the moment." At the word the wolverine seemed to spit it out with surprising in disgust and contempt, "but he is no warrior."
Of course Severus had to rebuttal, his life servitude to the brat, the puppet's master, and his own pride would allow nothing less. Though, his attempt was only a token argument. Absently he wondered when he'd actually started using Albus' load of tripe as an argument point.
"Perhaps not a regular warrior," Severus sneered, "but a magical Warrior of Light." however the creature's next words checked any further mocking.
"He is not a warrior of anything other than, perhaps, hot-headed ignorance and youthful self-righteousness." The being looked at the gaping former spy amused, "he is still a child and has neither the heart, nor soul, nor the will worthy of a warrior. He merely just survived from one moment to another and stayed at the mercy of his circumstances, nothing more, nothing less."
"You though," and Severus did not like the sound of that, the beast simply ignored the man's sour expression and continued explaining as if the wizard was a simple dibbun, "you chose to continue to fight. You did not give in. You continued forward. Even when your heart was despairing and even when you had to stare upon your childhood tormentor's greatest triumph and your loss every single day and protected him simply because you gave your word."
The creature's gaze seemed to burn Severus with its intensity. The wizard, for his part, felt as though all of his shields were being peeled apart and his wounded soul was being bared and vulnerable. It was something that brought his defenses afore to their prickly glory.
"I am not noble." The wolverine seemed more than a little amused being Severus' defenses. It gave him a rather toothy grin.
"Perhaps not," it agreed almost amiably, "but you are honorable though. Most would think that would be worth its weight in gold."
"I am not what most expect." Severus' tone seemed more than a bit offended at the mere suggestion of anything positive in response to his character.
"No, you are not, but you might be what is needed. What we need." There was a moment of heavy silence that followed where the gravity of what the Beast was saying and the horrifying realization of what he might be volunteered for. No. No, no, no, no, he did not like where he thought this meeting was leading at all.
"However…" The wolverine seemed to study the man intently again. This time though Severus had a distinctly uncomfortable feeling that it was analyzing his left forearm, but more specifically where the Dark Mark had once been. At least he hoped it had once been. The Beast's next words swept that hope away and left horrified realization in their wake. "You are still tainted, a slave to the abomination that still walks your world."
Severus' quick mind seemed to sum up the implications of his dark mark and what it could possibly mean. More to the point what the brat hadn't yet done. The Potions Master couldn't keep the slight trace of bitter anger out of his voice as he spoke a summation of his greatest fear over his life's work.
"Potter failed?" The creature-like being seemed to pause as if thinking deeply or listening. Severus couldn't tell. Finally, with a sigh it answered.
"That has still yet to be seen." Severus actually found it refreshing to find that some other being looked upon the boy as severely as he did and was not prone to hero-worship like defense like so many in his former acquaintance, "He is still wasting time and has yet to move against the taint. But a puppet must first dance to the tune of his master's strings before he can become a real boy, let alone a man." Severus almost, almost smirked at the Pinocchio reference. However, his rather slim sense of humor was destroyed by the knowledge that the boy was still doddering around like an addled Mundungus Fletcher. Had he no sense of urgency, at all?
They were all so close to the end. Even he could almost taste it.
"Why me?" it was almost a plaintive question, had not Severus been so far out of his element by his situation that he had enough time to berate himself for a loss of composure. The Beast didn't seem to mind.
"I have a preference for those who survive rather than self-aggrandized heroes." Again the disgust for the very gryffindorish word was almost palpable.
Without warning the Beast hefted its sword out of the soft ground, spun it around and with a two-handed thrust, buried the blade up to the hilt in Severus' forearm. Dead center of the Dark Mark. The great blade burst from the back of his arm with rivulets of blood running down its steely surface. Its tip was pinned into the trunk of a nearby tree, trapping Severus where he was. In shock the potions master looked at his arm and almost absently noted that not only was blood seeping from the wound, but that a disgusting black ink-like substance was also draining alongside it. Dripping onto the forest floor with a hissing sound that smoked from where it hit.
A moment later after the shock wore off; a fiery pain, indescribable soul ripping agony reverberated through him like a wall of noise from a too loud base. The potion's master legendary control reasserted itself as he merely grit his teeth.
The previously vacant space where the mark had been was filled with the disgusting brand. It seemed to writhe as it came to life, the snake weaving back and forth almost frantically. Then he noticed the broadsword, a Zweihander, while buried to the hilt in his mark, begin to glow slightly.
Tendrils of dark mist seemed to waft off the surface of dark magic like the heated whisps off the top of a hot cup of black coffee. It might have been Severus's imagination or it might have been his delusion brought on by the pain but where the blade plunged into the ugly tattoo the metal seemed to glow orange with heat.
The pain was searing through him and should have been enough to bring him to his knees. He had soldiered on for too long and was too disciplined and too stubborn to bend knee, for any reason.
"You are no beast." He gritted out, pain wracked him down to his soul. He literally felt like his insides were being torn to shreds and then sewn up again only to be ripped apart once more, "Why choose such a form?"
"Form?" While the Being spoke, Severus felt, what could only be described a feeling like his magic erupting from his center much like the sunbursts the scientists of his world observed when the surface of the sun burst and arced back into itself. The wizard's very core seemed to be in upheaval.
"The creature you are." Severus' voiced seemed very far away from him in that moment, as though he was floating somewhere else, detached from his body.
"I chose this animal, this wolverine, because it was a form you would most be unfamiliar with. Wolves and Lions would frighten and infuriate you and unfortunately you have unpleasant memories associated with both, and mice and small beasts would insult you. Foxes and snakes would put you on guard."
That seemed like such a logical answer that the wizard found himself nodding in acceptance. Even if the situation was bordering the ridiculous. The conversation seemed so surreal to have in the middle of their events. The Beast impaling his dark mark, his magic seemingly imploding on itself, and him waking up in a forest of some kind after he died.
Something attached to his magical core snapped and sent tsunamis of pain stinging through him. The ripples crashed through him from his center outwards. It seemed as though all of the impurities, scars and imperfections he'd acquired throughout his lifetime, and many he wasn't aware of, pulsed with each ripple and stung as though they were open wounds covered in antiseptic.
Oddly enough it also felt like his magic was simply brimming and then was over flowing and pushing outwards, filling him up like water in a water balloon. However unlike a water balloon he felt like he was sweating his magic through his pores. As if his body was ridding itself of all impurities and hurts from his life. Dimly Severus realized that the sword was the epicenter of the resurgence of magic in his core and it was from it, that the force of the magic was filling himself. Like the water facet spouting the water into the balloon.
Finally it was over. The beast yanked out the blade with a swift movement, spilling the last of the ink-stained blood on the forest floor and moved to clean it off on some growth of nearby moss. Severus had collapsed to his knees, breathing heavily and found his heavy clothes were soaked through with sweat. He chanced a look at his arm and found, not a dark mark, but a great scar that span the breadth of his forearm. He drew a long breath in and then another. He felt…clean. Perhaps for the first time in his long life. Or his near memory. He had been a slave of that mark for far too long to remember what it felt like to live without it.
Another far more prominent thought took precedence. He was free. He was finally…free.
His joy at being cleansed of the dark mark and his last reminder of guilt was severely hampered by an all-encompassing fatigue. He felt utterly and completely drained of any and all strength and all at once Severus felt exhausted beyond anything he'd ever experienced.
The wizard then looked to the beast that was now just returning from cleansing its blade and was watching him intently. Severus for his part was finding it harder to keep his eyes open by the moment.
"You still haven't told me where I am." Severus cringed internally as he sounded rather like an impudent brat than the dangerous spy he had been. Though, he could blame this mostly on his bad temper and the remainder of his pain. He never was good at dealing with his pain, usually he isolated himself to deal with it alone.
He almost thought the Beast was not going to answer him. And that he was very likely going to merrily pass out before he ever got an answer. However, he was unexpectedly surprised once more.
"You are at the very heart of the Dark Forest." The Wolverine looked off as if reminiscing. "It is where those who have passed come, for life holds them no longer."
Energized slightly by the knowledge and more awake than he was a moment before, Severus asked again, "Then why am I here? Do you know who I am, the deeds I've done?"
"Yes," the simple reply held a wealth of knowledge. "I am completely aware of who you are, what you've done and a great many other details which I'm sure you'd rather keep private. Such as the fact you had loved Lily Evans and thoroughly despised Lily Potter. Or perhaps that since your home was filled with so little of it, you only knew that she was dearer to you than most but didn't know if you actually loved her like most assumed."
The Beast peered back at the lost man and segued on a momentary tangent. "Do you even know what love is? The Greeks identified at least four categories to love and the Hebrews have at leasttwelve notable facets by which they refer to love in a precise fashion and each have specific connotations. And they were all identified by philosophers far more intelligent than yourself, Severus Snape. You English speaking creatures have a woefully imprecise expression beyond the one simple word 'Love'."
Not liking having his innermost doubts spoken aloud, the Potions Master glared back. But before he could speak, the Being in creature form continued.
"I have not chosen you blindly, you know." It remarked, almost casually. "What I have to offer you is a boon. A second chance, tis no more or less than the life you've lived." It casually planted the great sword once more into the ground and leaned upon it. Severus, eyeing the blade with more than a little trepidation, began to be suspicious as to what exactly this second chance entailed. "The land which I wish to send you, the universe so different and alien to your own as similar as it will be in many aspects, needs one such as you. Needs a being I have personally selected."
"There will be many chosen champions and great warriors to walk the lands, though great hast many meanings to different creatures. What I want and the land needs is a healer," here the Being became almost sly in his wording, "a potions master if you will. One who is wise in the ways of the land and the plants that belong to it. A master of their craft and one who is disciplined to record all things. Perhaps a cartographer which requires someone with an eye for detail and perfection. A wit and tongue to match."
"But mostly one who is indomitable, passionate and will bow to no one. Whose judgment will be unvarnished by self-righteous views or prejudice."
Severus couldn't stop the derisive laughter that broke through his ironclad control. He was, and most would probably agree, the most fallible wizard next to Albus 'The Puppeteer' Dumbledore or Thomas 'Voldemort' Riddle II and the least fitting of those particular requirements. He was violently prejudiced against Harry Potter and his assorted sycophants as well as most of those 'Light-Sided' fools.
"There are those elected champions and those of my choosing." Severus squirmed at this pronouncement, "You will be the latter."
"You have a will that has not been tamed by the very life you've led. Your sense of survival would serve you well in a land where survival is a must and you have been the victim of injustice too many times to let it slip by your attention. The injustices wreaked upon you in life will serve as lessons to you."
The wizard straightened. That sounded awfully similar to what Dumbledore had offered him. The Beast, as if reading his mind held up a paw to stop his protests before they started.
"I do not ask you to be a martyr nor infallible. Simply neutral and just, fair to all beasts as you were not granted in life." At this he seemed to smile wryly, "neither light nor dark. But simply a fine shade of gray. Sound fair?"
It sounded almost too good to be true. "And where will I go?"
"Here and there. Wherever you wish." At this the Wolverine smiled again, though it was less toothy and far more pleased, "I am quite positive that this world will have more than enough room for at least one wandering wizard, don't you?"
"I wouldn't know what this new place would and would not have room for. The place you will send me…"
"I would send you to the young world. However as with all things, time and place and the need vary. And the need for now is great."
"Will it be safe." Severus almost bit his tongue. Nowhere was safe. He knew this very well. Had known it all his life.
"Safe, no." The wolverine replied succinctly. "Life by virtue is unsafe. The land has a need and this need unfulfilled makes the land unsafe and costs many lives needlessly. The very earth cries out to me."
"And what is this need?"
"A Sanctuary. In this your magic will serve you well." Severus had to wonder what that meant. But set the tidbit aside in favor of the more relevant matter to his mind.
"I have chosen you as you are. And chosen you shall remain. For when I chose you, I chose all of you. And all of you in essence shall remain. A Prince you were, a Prince you are, and a Prince you shall remain."
Severus wondered briefly if the Being was referring to his late mother's side of the family. It had to be. However any knowledge of them was lost to him long before he'd ever set foot in the magical realm of Britain. Indeed his mother's cessation of ties after she had been disinherited ensured that he would never attain any magical knowledge of his lineage. He had been lucky to eke out as many crumbs of clues and facts as he had over the years to assemble some sort of picture. But they, by no means meant he had a complete picture. Whoever was the idiot who said the past and history did not matter needed to be disposed of and quickly before they created even more dunderheads as ignorant as the youngest Weasely boy if not more so. History influenced everything, especially if what the being was hinting at about his own hidden ancestry. Though his more pragmatic mind was closer to erring on the side of disbelief.
"Your forbearers had not the name Prince simply as a wish to be royal. Child of Merlin, you are the Child of Magic as well."
Having said its cryptic piece and leaving a confused wizard on the verge of spouting out questions not unlike a bookish Gryffindor, the Wolverine sucked in a large breath and blew on Severus. The wizard, still on the ground from where he'd fallen, threw his arms up reflexively and shut his eyes. When nothing happened after a long moment he opened them.
He blinked. Then blinked again. And blinked a third time.
Nope. He was not imagining things. The world was growing larger and the trees were getting taller. Which meant he was shrinking. He looked up at the veritable giant of a wolverine with wide eyes.
"Oh," Severus could hear it muse, "so that's what you are, I had wondered which you would be. neither one nor the other. How…appropriate."
"Though still a kitten I suppose. But wild nonetheless. Very fitting indeed. Not a tame creature at all." Again the Being seemed beyond pleased with this development. As if sensing the impending end of their strange encounter, Severus' lightning quick mind made itself known once more.
"Wait! Who are you?"
"I?" It seemed surprised that he even thought to inquire.
"Yes, your name."
"My name was lost to time long ago to this world and 'tis not important nor remembered to them."
"It is," Severus spoke up suddenly as though he needed to know this Being's name. It was important. "It is." The Wolverine cocked it's head to the side inquiringly.
"Oh. Why is that?"
For, perhaps the first time in his adult life, Severus answered honestly. "That I may know you more." The simple reply seem to please the Beast though it gave no outward indication of it.
"That you may know who to swear at and by more likely." The wolverine eyed the sour wizard knowingly and with no small amount of amusement. Severus of course refused to acknowledge It. However he was belatedly struck by the wisdom he now recognized in the Beast's eyes. His fear and anger blinded him to such knowledge before, but now he could see it as plainly as he could see the mail and tunic worn by the Creature.
The Beast hefted the large sword form the ground and rested it on its shoulders, stepping back as it did so. Severus became aware of the lights darkening around him and a thick fog creeping into the clearing, blurring everything.
"You may know me as Oritus, Lord of the Dark Forest and Son of the Emperor of the Lands Beyond."
"Will I see you again." Severus called out through the blanket of mist. He was faintly answered as everything faded from his sight.
"You may. You may not."
To Be Continued…
A/N: This will have erratic updates while I rework the storylines. Fair Warning.
I have never grown to love Brian Jacques' Redwall as I had J.R.R. Tolkien's Arda nor C. S. Lewis' Narnia, so I will not have reservations like most in dealing with the creatures of this world. It was one of those series that I always told myself that I would read later, but promptly forgot. Now, I decided to see if I could cut my teeth into something 'new' and was sorely disappointed at the black and whiteness of it.
But enough of that…
You are probably wondering if I'm mad, making a crossover between Harry Potter and Redwall, is that possible? Perhaps, perhaps not. I would like to rise to the challenge though.
But what about Harry Potter, you'd ask. I shrug, what of it? I would have had an neutral, ambivalent attitude towards the series J.K. Rowling crafted had not an irrational idiot of fan so insulted my childhood loves while proclaiming the series the 'be all to end all' to everything. So I developed a deep, err, not hatred, but something near it, for it. However, I believe in experiencing something and being informed before turning my disdain (or attention) on it. So I read the books and watched the movies. What a waste of my time and life. And because of that, I have no problem mangling Harry Potter canon to hell and back.
Ergo, the Harry Potter series is my favorite target of use. Other series I thoroughly despise I wouldn't touch with a 39 ½ foot pole. And I need a recognizable anti-hero whom won't cooperate with, well, anyone…but…I face a dilemma. Kill him when he's fifteen or when he is murdered by Voldemort? There are a multitude of pros and cons for both.
This particular work will be my original idea, starting after with his murder at the end of the series. He will be a lot like Buffy in Asha Dreamweaver's First Knight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Lord of the Rings Crossover).
OceFossa 3/14/2013, 8/06/16, 1/14/17