The Other Hawke
By: Ryu Katanna
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Harry bit his lip as he made his way to the base of the mountain with Fenris at his side. They had left Kirkwall just after dawn and now he knew that it had to be just after noon from the high position of the sun. The walk through the Wounded Coast had been quiet as the two hadn't spoken much. Fenris knew from watching Harry the last few weeks that the man had pretty much shut down since finding out about what had happened in the Deep Roads.
"We've arrived." Fenris said as the Sabre Clan's banner came into view.
Harry only nodded as he too spotted it a moment later. He felt his shoulders sag a bit at the sight in relief. Slowly, they approached and soon both of them could see the two hunters who had come to great them. Harry knew the clan already knew of there arrival as one of the scouts would have spotted them coming.
"An'daran Atish'an, lethallin." Harry looked up at the elven hunter who was about his age that had come to greet them to see the familiar face of an old friend.
"Mar enaste lan em lath'in'iseth, Fenarel." Harry returned the greeting with a small nod that was not like his usual smile; something his old friend noticed quickly.
"Th'ea?" Fenarel asked as he glanced at Fenris before dismissing him for his friend.
This was not the first time he had seen the city elf with Harry. He knew he would do no harm to the human his clan cared for. Right now his focus was more on Harry, who did not seem like himself.
"Ame telom." Harry replied truthfully as he let out a heavy breath and Fenris could now see the wall, which none of them could break, start to chip away.
"Come." Fenarel obviously recognized something was wrong from whatever it was Harry had said.
The two of them were quickly ushered into the camp. Fenris was surprised as the dalish elves started to gather silently at the sight of Harry's return to them. As he watched Keeper Marethari come into view he could see the wall Harry had built around himself give and start crumbling. As it did, the winds started to pick up, the clear sky rumbled and roiled, dark clouds appeared, and Fenris felt the lyrium in his skin feed on the magic in the air that started to roll off of Harry. He knew that a mage's magic could react when they are in an emotional state, but he had never seen anything like this. The amount of power oozing from Harry's skin was more than even most Magister's in the Imperium could ever hope to obtain with the use of their dark rituals and blood magic.
"Da'len." Keeper Marethari's voice was soft as she came to Harry as the rain started to fall upon the ground.
"Keeper." Harry's response was choked in emotion as Fenris had never heard from him.
The elf couldn't do anything but watch in alarm as Harry crumbled to his knees as the Dalish Keeper followed him down to grasp his hands in comfort. There was another surge of magic from around Harry as the emotions he had kept locked, for who only knew how long, finally found release. Even so, the members of the clan remained silent around Harry as a pillar of support in his grief. Fenris couldn't help but eye the young man wearily at this display of power that the mage himself didn't even seem to notice.
"There is no need to be so wary. He would not do you harm." Fenris looked over to the one who spoke only to find an older elven man he remembered seeing talking with Harry the last time he had come here.
"No mage can be trusted completely. Power corrupts. He may not act like it but he is still a mage. I just did not realize he had this level of power. He is dangerous, and I will not allow myself to forget that." Fenris replied as he looked away from the elder, back to where Harry sat with the Keeper in the middle as he grasped desperately to her hands, as if she was the only thing keeping him from fading away.
Fenris could see now that Harry had put walls up even around his own family. The man he was coming to know was only a part of the man he could see before him now. Marian and Madam Hawke knew Harry better than most others could claim, and yet here with the Dalish, Fenris could see as the walls he hadn't known was there came crumbling down.
"Anyone can be branded a danger given the right reasons. Mages, Warriors, Rogues, Humans, Elves, Qunari, Dwarves... Being a danger is not the same as being dangerous." The Hahren said sagely as he too watched the young man he had grown fond of start to find peace from the Clan's presence and the winds settled slowly as he did.
"I don't know how well you think you know that young one but I would say not well enough. For if you did, you would not brand him to be dangerous so easily. If I were you, I would take the time to try to really get to know him and understand him before passing your judgment. Those who judge will never understand while those who understand are not so quick to judge." The elder continued when he could see that he had the attention of the elf who had accompanied Harry thrice now.
Fenris took the time to think over the much older elven man's words. He realized he was right. More than once now he had judged Harry only for what he was, and not who he was. Truthfully, Fenris had only come to know Harry as he was during their time spent in Kirkwall with the others. Looking back to the man who was now surrounded by the clan, Fenris knew that he really didn't understand him at all. At the same time, Harry may appear to be open, but seeing him here with the Dalish these last few times had made Fenris realize just how much Harry held back from them in Kirkwall. The Harry he had come to know in Kirkwall was who he was for his family and friends. Here, he was who the 'People' needed him to be, but he was also a lot less restrained here. Fenris had seen him laugh more freely and more often with these people. Now he cried and allowed them to offer him comfort as he would not even those he considered his mother and sister.
"What do I do?" Fenris finally conceded as he listened to the elder's advice.
Harry crumbled as Keeper Marethari grasped his hands gently in her own. He could feel as he finally broke under all the weight he had carried since their escape from the Blight, but it was okay. He was with the clan.
He did not have to be the support for his family. He didn't need to be the happy prankster. He didn't have to be a leader or someone who spoke for other. He didn't have to be the one who healed and tended to those around him. He didn't have to hide his past or his connection to the fade.
Here he was safe to simply be who he was. The boy who had been pretty much alone in the world until he was eleven. The child who had been abused, starved and treated like nothing more than a servant. The child who had transcended worlds and grown up to become a man who lived two lives. The same one who had been lost and ignorant of the world around him until he had been found by a halla surrounded by legends that had to lead him to safety.
The People would not judge him for his display of weakness and power. They understood him. They had saved him. Taught him and allowed him a place among them as they hadn't any human before him.
Years of stress, pain, sadness, and grief flowed out of him as his barriers fell. The People surrounded him in a show of support no matter his troubles. He hadn't said anything yet, but they knew. He loved his adoptive family, but with them, he had to be strong.
Strong for his mother, sisters, and brother after Malcolm's death. Strong for Marian, Carver, and their mother after being driven from their home in Lothering and Bethany's death during the Blight, and for the life they led now in Kirkwall. Strong for his mother who had now lost her husband and two of her children. Strong, unshakable, and unbreakable before their eyes, but not here.
"Hush, da'len. Calm." Keeper Marethari's soft and comforting murmuring soothed Harry's frayed soul as he settled a bit and came back to himself.
"You are not alone, lathallin. We are here for you. Always." Fenarel's tone was strong and firm as he clasped Harry's shoulder in a show of solidarity when the air around Harry had settled.
"Come. Let us take a seat before the fire." Keeper Marethari spoke as she pulled Harry back to his feet, and with Fenarel's help, guided him toward the fire.
Once settled onto the log bench, Harry looked up to see most of the Clan taking a seat or standing around the fire as they waited to hear what had brought about his breakdown. Oh, they wouldn't push for it if he had no wish to speak, but even so, they lingered to offer advice if they could. This had happened once before when he had first come to Thedas. One day it had hit him that Sirius and the others most likely thought him dead, and he would probably have no way to return to them or let them know he was okay.
He felt Fenarel settle next to him as Keeper Marethari stared into the fire. He knew she would be listening and waiting for if he would speak. Looking around he nodded in thanks and greeting at the familiar faces until he stopped at the sight of Fenris a short distance away. He was speaking quietly with Hahren Vinell, and Harry felt his face flush a bit from embarrassment, knowing that he had just broken down in front of the elf he had feelings for. Seeing his eyes on them, Hahren Vinell nodded, saying a few short words to Fenris before coming to join them.
"...I am unworthy to be Sa ehn aravas Hanal'ghilan." Harry muttered after a few moments of silence; clenching his fist against his leg at the few surprised gasps that sounded from around the group who had gathered.
"Why would you say such, da'len?" Keeper Marethari asked as she silenced the others with a wave of her hand and turned to look at him.
"How can I fulfill my oath, Keeper? How can I be capable of returning the People their heritage when I have failed even my human family who took me in despite my peculiarities?" Harry's expression was wounded and he looked up in surprise when he felt someone settle on the other side of him and grasp his hand.
"How could you have failed them?" The soft voice drew Harry's gaze upward to meet with the tender expression on Ashalle's face.
Harry felt something cringe inside of him. Ashalle had been Lyna's guardian since her parents had died when she was still small. The time since Lyna's departure from the clan and her announced death in service to the Grey Warden's in defeating the Archdemon had been hard on the she-elf. She had acted in part as his guardian as well in the first months he had spent with them. Now he could only avert his eyes in shame as his gut clenched at his response.
"I could do nothing to protect them. First Malcolm, my adopted father, to the wasting sickness. Then my little sister Bethany to an Ogre during the Blight. Now my little brother, Carver, has been claimed by the Blight sickness as well. The Warden's have taken him, but we do not know if he has even been able to survive to become a Warden. We may never know." Harry felt her hand clench in his at the similarity to the circumstances that had pulled Lyna away from them.
Those around the fire were quiet as Harry told them this. The guilt and grief were heavy in his voice. They could tell that he blamed himself for the losses his family had endured since taking him in. Fenris watched on as the weight Harry carried was slowly exposed. The raw wounds he had been carrying since before he had met the young man. He felt that he had gotten to know more about Harry in the last hour than he had learned in the few months since he had met him.
"You can not protect everyone, da'len. As much as you may wish to, and as much as you may care for them, everyone will someday die. Do not carry their deaths with you. Carry the lives they lived, for as long as you remember them, they will live on in the memories you have shared with them. Cherish the lives they lived, and continue to cherish the time you have with those that yet live. That is the best thing that you can do for them, da'len." Keeper Marethari offered those words of comfort and Harry took solace in them before offering a trembling smile to those who had gathered around him to offer him comfort.
"Tuanuelanain." Harry turned his attention to where he knew Hahren Vinell sat.
The elder was one of the only ones who called him as such in such an amused tone. For Hahren Vinell it was a nickname he used only for Harry after he had pranked him as a teen. Now the old elf looked at him with a familiar expression. It was one he had seen a few times and it always told him he was in for a scolding. Harry had always wondered if the way he felt around the elderly dalish elf was what it felt like to have a kindly, but stern, grandfather.
"You are never to say anything like what you just said here today again. Hanal'ghilan chose you and brought you to us. It was not clear to any of us at the time why the halla of legend chose a shemlen. Even now we can not know the reasons, but what we do know is that you were the one brought to us. Your path had since been intertwined with the People." Hahren Vinell spoke sagely with the wisdom of the years lived.
"You have chosen your path. Only you can decide how you wish to follow it. You have grown over the years, Harry. You know of our ways as much as any of the People. You have received the blood of the People and been marked as an adult as part of us. Nothing will change that. Do not allow yourself to doubt now." Hahren Sarel spoke up from his seat across the fire and soon murmurings of agreement could be heard from the others who were gathered around.
"You're right. The dalish have taken me in when I was lost and alone. I learned how to hunt from my age-mates. Masters' Ilen and Varathorn have both mentored me in a trade that has helped me to support my adoptive family over the years. I have heard your stories, history, and teachings as you welcomed me around the fire. Keeper Zathrian and Lanaya taught me how to heal." He replied with a heavy swallow as he remembered those times.
They were memories he would always hold close to his heart.
"The Dalish have taught me, learned with me, and sheltered me in some of my darkest times. Even now, you all remain here to offer comfort. My adoptive parents and siblings have taught me what it is to have a loving human family, but the Dalish have taught me about community. I really don't know where I would be if Hanal'ghilan had never led me to you. The clans have done so much for me, and have asked nothing in return." Harry continued as Ashalle gently squeezed his hand and Fenarel shifted next to him while he stood.
The devastation had fled from Harry's eyes at this point. Where the visage of a child who had lost almost everything had been now stood a young man who felt revived in his purpose. His sister, mother, and Merrill had been right. This had been what he needed. He felt better outside the walls of Kirkwall. He felt lighter here, surrounded by the community and people who had accepted him and understood him.
Looking around, Harry could see small smiles starting to grace the faces of those around him as the darkness clinging around him ebbed away. He knew Keeper Marethari was right. There was nothing he could do now for Malcolm, Bethany, or Carver but live. Live to remember them and live for his mother and sister who were still there. He knew it would take time but he was determined not to carry their deaths with him, but their lives.
"Have you decided, da'len?" The Keeper asked him and he turned to look at her as the light of the fire played shadows of her face.
"I decided long ago, Keeper. I allowed myself to doubt when I should not. Hahren Vinell is right. Hanal'ghilan has guided my steps all this time. I would be a Felasil to start doubting ma'falon now." Harry responded and received a nod of approval from the Keeper in response.
The night passed quietly around the fire after that. A few times Harry would look around to see Fenris watching him as Hahren Sariel told old stories around the fire. A few of his age-mates told stories of their time with him when they were younger. Fenris listened as he paid attention to Harry's interactions.
He hadn't noticed when they had been here before, but Harry really was much more relaxed with the Dalish at their camp than he had seen him within Kirkwall's walls. Harry's moods had consistently shifted quickly since he had met him and much of what he had seen in Kirkwall was anger, determination, joking with the others in their small group, and some bloodthirst when encountering slavers. What he saw now really was different. Harry was at ease here. His smile was wider and more genuine as he laughed and spoke of old times. Fenris knew then that Hahren Vinell, as he had heard Harry call him, was right.
He didn't really understand Harry. He knew only of the parts of the man he had seen. His past with the mages in Tevinter had held him back from really trying to get to know him. He had been far too wary of what Harry was capable of to see Harry for who he was. Silently, Fenris decided that he would try to get to know the real Harry. Maybe then he would be able to understand him enough to really treat him as a friend.
It had been a few weeks now since the day Fenris had accompanied Harry up the Mountain to stay with the clan. He had not intended to stay quite so long, but Keeper Marethari had insisted after Hahren Vinell had told her of their conversation. She had asked him to stay as a reminder for Harry that he had people still waiting for him in Kirkwall. She had seemed under the impression that if Harry didn't have that then he may have chosen to leave. Fenris had been skeptical as to the reasoning, but the old elf had spoken as if she knew something as she looked at the young human, but what she knew she did not speak of to him.
It was during those few weeks that Fenris had learned a lot about Harry and the bond that he shared with the Dalish. He couldn't help but notice that Harry had been more open around the clansmen than he had been with his own family. While the clan had been wary of Fenris as an outsider, Harry had been accepted as a child coming home. Watching Harry, Fenris couldn't help but long for a connection like that.
He learned from Keeper Marethari that there was a reason for the way Harry acted. Harry carried a great weight from his past and had trouble forming attachments. Sooner or later those around him left; sometimes on their own and other times in the most final of ways. She had told him of how the clan worried for Harry, and that the path he had chosen would be a hard and potentially lonely one.
In an effort to better help Fenris understand Harry, Keeper Marethari had explained a bit of how Harry had come to them. She told him only the basics, but it had been more than Fenris had expected. She had told him that Harry was a bit different from the mages of Thedas. That while they didn't know where he came from that it was far from Thedas.
Magic had taken so much from Harry. He had told Fenris that once before in the Amell cellar. First, his parents, and then any affection his relatives may have held for him had he been like them. Then Harry had lost everything. Everyone Harry had ever known had been ripped from him by magic as it left him in a place far from home.
It was then Fenris realized just how much Harry really was different from other mages. His face held a kind of wonder and life as he helped the Keeper teach Feynriel, and Harry was more free with his talk of magic here, but Fenris had yet to see him use it for anything but to help the clan. Setting the fire, cutting logs, freezing perishables, and other practical things were spared no thought but Harry hunted with his blade. If he took life he did so with his own two hands. Fenris wondered over this, but couldn't bring himself to ask why.
Harry taught him more about who the Dalish really were. Letting Fenris see passed what he had often heard from people on the outside. He compared it a bit with his time with the Fog warriors and his learning of the Qun. Everyone here had their own role that they played within the clan.
Talking with Harry and others of the clan he learned more about the vallaslin on Harry's arms. Fenris learned of what Harry's role was, and the path he had chosen when he had come of age. He came to understand Harry more and of the reasons for his devotion to helping the elven people.
Soon enough it came time to leave the clan and return to Kirkwall. Fenris could see that as they did so, Harry left the clan with a small smile. It was more than he'd had when they had arrived and so he considered Marian had been right.
Harry bid Fenris goodbye when they entered the walls of Kirkwall as they headed their separate ways. While Fenris was headed for his place in Hightown, Harry went straight to his Uncle Gamlen's place in Lowtown. He knew he would have to let his family know that he was back before returning to his own place in the alienage. He was curious to see how they all had handled his busy schedule without him.
Not bothering to knock, Harry entered to see the three occupants turn to him. Uncle Gamlen stayed standing in his usual spot as Harry was rushed by his mother and pulled into a hug. Marian smiled as she could see the lines of stress and grief were not so prominent as they had been before her brother had left.
"It's good to have you home, dear." Leandra said with some relief as she pulled back to look him over.
That single sentence was all it had taken before Harry was drilled on how his trip was. After he had told them he learned that between his mother's petition to the Viscount and his sister's contribution from the expedition they had regained the old Amell Estate. The two women had already gotten to work on cleaning the place up for them to move in. Knowing that Harry had responsibilities in the alienage, Leandra had told him that he would still have his own room set up at the estate.
Harry also found out that Carver had told Marian to give Harry his portion on the money from the Deep Roads. That Harry would know what it was for and what to do with it. Harry had nodded solemnly at this before he had excused himself. He needed to get home as well as some time to think.
'Things really have changed.' Harry thought as he stared out at the sea where he could see the last light of day casting shadows on the water from where he stood in the alienage.
Most were already inside their homes as the streets of Kirkwall grew more dangerous as night fell. Harry had exchanged only a few greetings before being lost to his thoughts and memories. He knew he would be busy the next day as he returned to his routine and everyone learned he had returned.
'I know what you wanted me to do with that money, Carver. I just wish you were still here. I really hope you've survived. Maybe the Grey Warden's can give you what we couldn't. I really hope you've found what you've been looking for.' Harry thought as he remembered the talk the two of them had those months ago.
Carver was one of the few who had known that Harry would eventually be leaving Kirkwall. It may not be for some time yet, but Harry could already feel an itch forming under his skin. He would have to get the elves in the alienage settled before then, and start gathering allies to help the elves living elsewhere as well. Right now it all seemed like some distant dream, but the passing of time was all too quick.
There was so much of Thedas and it's people Harry had yet to see and learn about. So much of the elve's history and culture he had yet to find in order to return it to them. His choice had been made years ago, but his family was important to him too. He would see his mother and sister happy and settled before he left. He owed his family so much. Afterall...
"My name is Harry Hawke, and I am The Other Hawke." Harry murmured to himself as the last light of the sun faded from the sky before he turned around and headed home.
New Elvhen Vocab:
Mar enaste lan em lath'in'iseth, Fenarel.: Your grace warms my heart, Fenarel.
Th'ea?: How be? How are you? How's it going? (contraction of Thu ea which can be used when speaking to anyone) - Used with: friends and colleagues, informal
Ame telom.: I am not well.
Felasil- Meaning slow mind or Fool
Well, that's the end of The Other Hawke. The sequel will be titled Harry Hawke and will finish out the rest of the Dragon Age 2 timeline. I hope everyone enjoyed this story, and let me know what you thought now that we are at the end.
I hope this explained a little better about why Harry doesn't use magic. His views on magic may one day change, but it's a long time coming yet. It's not so much that he's scared of magic. What he's scared of most of all is becoming a man like Voldemort. The fact that magic is what took him from everything and everyone he had known doesn't help. He still doesn't understand how or why he was brought to Thedas. Only that it was magic that made it possible. I promise that it will be explained eventually though. He just has to meet a certain someone before he learns why. That's all I'll say on that topic for now.
Well, thank you all for your support through this story. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get this out to you. I had gone to a friend's house to use his internet but grabbed my gaming laptop instead of my work laptop. ^_^' The first chapter of Harry Hawke will be out as soon as I get to it. Keep an eye out for it!
Ryu Katanna of The Katanna Twins