A/N: In all honesty, please don't take this story too seriously.
Chapter Two: Beyond the Veil
Consciousness came slowly, but it was bitter sweet in its arrival. It had been a last-ditch effort, truly her last option was to go through the veil- yet it seemed death would not receive her. The world around her ebbed into existence: all shades of grey and green- a desolate world if she could ever construct one in her mind.
Pain was the next thing to come, further cementing that she remained alive in some way. It was a burning sensation across the entirety of her body, something familiar to full-body soreness. With a small grunt of effort, she rose from the surface she laid, and looked upon that which lay before her.
It was a strange place; truly not something that she could have ever invented herself. Greys and greens littered the air around her, wisps of something floated beyond her reach and creatures of some sort wandered aimlessly. There was absolutely no life, aside from the creatures, and it made her wonder just where exactly she could have wound up in.
'If this is death…perhaps life was less cruel.' She couldn't imagine existing in this place. It was simply…void of anything.
Instead of simply staying in her place among the void, she decided to wander through this strange terrain. There also seemed to be no sense of gravity, as remnants of broken things littered the supposed walls as though they were the ground. She could see, not exactly ghosts, but shadows of people in certain places- their thoughts and feelings invading the air that it made it hard to find breath. They were all cries for help, and mostly fear of something that it was almost too much to bear.
"Now," came a booming voice that loomed over her, "what have we here?" it was a masculine, soft and taunting.
She looked up and noticed nothing, confused she wandered forward (or what she considered forward) looking for anything that the voice could have come from.
"You are neither a spirit, nor a demon." The voice informed, "Yet you walk in my realm so calmly. What manner of creature are you?"
She looked up to the sickly-looking sky and tilted her head, "Just a person trying to return to her family and friends." She answered quite honestly. She didn't fear this…thing. She had little to fear, what was the worst that could happen? She could be killed- yet it was what she hoped for, or she could live and nothing would change.
"I sense no fear…" the voice claimed, "What an odd little creature you are."
"…Thanks." She said not knowing what else she could say.
"Come to me, little creature." The voice soothed, causing her to tense slightly. Torture- that was something that could happen. It was never fun, just infliction of pain after pain…most certainly not something she wanted. "Come, let me see what you are." The voice continued.
Not truly seeing any other good alternative, she followed the voice as well as she could. There were strange black wisps of smoke surrounding her, floating in between her legs as she walked. She wasn't exactly sure what they were supposed to be as they were at least partially sentient in a way.
The path began to narrow, and she could see beyond some rocks that there was…something. She couldn't make out what it was, but it was grotesque for certain. Oozing slime and bulging flesh was definitely clear in her line of sight.
Before she made it through the crevice, the floor broke beneath her, a bright blinding white light engulfing her body.
"No!" the voice boomed above her, angry and vicious in its tone.
"You will not have her, beast!" A new voice broke in, but unlike the first, it was a combination of many. Men, women, children…their voices rang through together as one.
As she fell, she couldn't help but wonder if this was in any way how Alice felt when she fell into Underland. The swirling colors and objects floating around her was enough to cause a major case of vertigo and nausea. Thankfully, the light brought her to a new location quickly enough. It wasn't like the last, but it was particularly desolate as well. The greys were washed out and the green lighter, and though the terrain remained much like the last place it was…softer.
"You are foolish to wander into Fear's domain, little mortal." Looking to her left where the voice came from, Hariel took in the form of a woman made of light. She was literally light, yet it did not hurt to look at her.
"Is that what the voice was? A…personification of Fear?" she asked slightly confused. She was speaking to an emotion the whole time? How did that even make sense…
"It is one of the first Fears…and it has grown stronger the longer it exists. Its domain is not a place treaded lightly, yet you did so without question."
"It certainly wasn't intended." She informed the woman, "I just wanted to be with my family, not come…to wherever this place is."
The woman tilted her head lightly in a questioning pose, "You do not know where you are little mortal?"
"Not even the slightest clue." Hariel answered honestly.
"You are in what you mortals call the Fade, where spirits reside. How you are here in your physical form however…is curious." It replied bringing forth more questions than answers.
"What is the Fade?" honestly, she was becoming a bit frustrated.
"…You do not know of the Fade? But you are a mage, I can sense your power easily." The woman replied stunned, "It reeks of power and death. A smell which I sense not even the more curious demons would dare to touch. How have you not heard of the Fade?"
"I can honestly say that I have never met a Spirit in the way you're implying. I've seen the ghosts of family and friends who have passed, but not anything like yourself…you are a spirit correct?" Hariel asked.
"I am a spirit of Wisdom, little mortal. You are currently in a part of the Fade where I frequent. Safe and far from Fear."
"Wisdom…you are the embodiment of Wisdom?"
"Indeed. Though many do not see me as so, if at all. You mortals are so filled with preconceptions of what we spirits are that you…corrupt many of us to becoming demons."
"Demons?" this place was considerably more interesting and dangerous than Earth it seemed.
"There are many, the strongest Fear though there are some such as Pride, Envy and Sloth. Rage seems to be the more common around mortal dwellings."
"I…see…" she answered not really understanding, "But, back to the main question: where, exactly is the Fade?"
"That is truly a good question, and I cannot give you a true answer. It exists beyond the plane of mortals, yet attached by a Veil. A…barricade if you wish. Spirits and demons can only interact with mages when they dream. Their magic links them to the Fade mentally, and we can converse and see the mortal realm through them."
"But, you said I'm here physically. How do I go back to my plane of existence?"
"As far as I understand, this was an impossibility. Clearly not as you are here. I would suggest the way you came, but such an entrance was likely one-way, correct?"
Hariel nodded, "It was…so I'm stuck here?"
"The mortal realm has been quite active." She informed, "So many mages have shown the world spiraling down into chaos. The Mage Rebellion it's called I believe. So many turning to demons for power and "safety", willingly becoming abominations."
"What do you mean "Mage Rebellion"? I left there not thirty minutes ago and there was no such thing occurring. There hasn't been a Rebellion since the Goblin Rebellion of 1843." This entity was starting to really bother her with all this wrong information.
"I am beginning to believe you are, perhaps, further from where you hoped to be." Wisdom said, "Come, I shall introduce you to my dear friend. He is a dreamer and can show you the mortal realm easily." Wisdom moved across the terrain, and it began to morph into some sort of ruin. From the size and architecture, it was a castle of some sort, or perhaps a fort? She wasn't completely sure but it was something awe inspiring for certain.
"My friend" Wisdom spoke out into a garden at the center of the Castle. It was a man, from what she could see. Tall, slender and a wonderfully bald head was all that was really distinctive of him. That and the pointed ears, but somehow she knew she shouldn't bring those up in the conversation.
"Wisdom. You have brought someone?" He asked. His voice was soothing, in a calculating sort of manner. A soft British undertone that reminded her of home.
"New and lost." She replied, "And she does not dream, but is here physically."
"Physically? That shouldn't be possible without incredibly strong magic. Something that everyone would have been able to feel." The bald man replied surprised and curious.
"I walked through the Veil in the Department of Mysteries in Britain and somehow found myself here." Hariel answered the man, "I am Hariel Lily Potter."
"Ah, I am Solas if there are introductions to be had." He replied with a small nod of his head. "What is this Veil you speak of? And Department of Mysteries? Britain?"
"The Veil is otherwise known as the Veil of Death. It's…existence and purpose is honestly lost to us, but it sends one away completely so we assumed it was a passage to the realm of Death…" though that was clearly incorrect as I'm here, "The Department of Mysteries is a branch of the Ministry that overlooks obscure and dangerous magics of the Wizarding World of Great Britain, which is a Country in the United Kingdoms…which is a part of Earth." She explained knowing full well that this man knew nothing about anything she had just said.
The spirit was right, she was far from where she hoped to be.
"Fascinating." Solas replied. "I have never heard of any of that but I am quite curious to learn more. For now, perhaps we should look to take you out of the Fade."
"She would last here, her magic is…different. It reeks of Death so few demons would be attracted to her. I brought her here because she was something new, something that couldn't be corrupted like so many others." Wisdom replied.
"Thanks for that, but I would still prefer to leave this place." Hariel said honestly.
"Of course." Solas nodded, "It is nearing dawn, and I shall have to return to the waking world, but I shall do all I can to learn of ways to return you. Of that I promise you."
"Thank you, Solas." she said gratefully. "For now, may I stay with you Wisdom?"
"Certainly. There is much that I can teach you. Perhaps the ways of the mortal realm you will go to should everything work properly. It is, I sense, far different from what you know."
"That is wise, my Friend." Solas nodded approvingly, "Wisdom chooses to trust you with their knowledge and home, so I in turn shall as well. Know that I will keep my promise, and will return with whatever I learn when I next sleep."
"Thank you very much, I'll try to learn as much as I can until then."
With that, Solas faded from existence. Almost like, a shimmer and then he was simply gone.
"Come, we have much to speak of." Wisdom spoke, "There is much of Thedas in which you must learn if you are to survive."
With an internal sigh, Hariel couldn't help but think that at the very least, the Veil of Death did lead to the next great adventure. Simply not one she was expecting.
'Well, at least it won't be boring.'