A Harry Potter Alternate Universe(-ish) fanfiction
Description: The usual. My original story has been modified slightly to suit my liking.
"Now," she said softly, "I will tell you your choices, and you must dedicate time to make your final decision, all right?" Smiling sadly at my eager nod, Alera continued. "You may either choose to stay here in Sanctuary, as another inhabitant of the world beyond the world. You may also continue on to the Beyond, the finality of yourself, Severus. Or you may also..." her voice faltered slightly as she continued, "Choose to relive your past."
At first, I heard nothing but a slur of noise. As Alera gazed at me intently, her face clouded with concern, did I realize that it was not a deliberate attempt on her part to mask her words; my heart had been pounding so vividly that I felt light-headed once again. I buried my head in my knees and sighed.
"Alera... You didn't even have to give me the other choices. You know what I want." I spoke at last. The forest had gone still, as if silenced by my decision.
When the ethereal woman did not respond, I looked up slowly and found her back to me. Her arms hung limply at her sides, and her pale garment hung as limp as a wilting flower around her. Strands of silver hair had unraveled themselves from her neat braid as well. I got to my knees.
"Guardian," I said, hoping to catch her attention. "Alera... Please."
She turned slightly at the mention of her name, and my voice was caught in my throat. The eye that regarded me calmly was filled with such sorrow and pain, that I would have drowned in its depths had I not turned away. There was a distinct crack as a branch nearby had fallen, and the sudden protest of songbirds.
I continued to feel her gaze on me, even as I was turned away. My fingers slowly trailed the lion crest upon my chest, feeling the elegant design and sighing softly. Not even the comfort of the symbol could shield myself from the Guardian's eyes.
How it must feel, I wondered, to be Alera... Trapped within a forest forever, a place where spirits such as myself stopped by, and perhaps more often than not chose not to stay. Fleetingly glimpsing and connecting with the souls who passed on by, and giving them their choices, much as she was doing with me right now. There would be hope in her eyes, knowing perhaps maybe this one would stay, would keep her company until the end of time.
I had to crush her hope though, unfortunately. As she knew I must, as she would have known that all who passed through Sanctuary would inevitably do. I could pity her, really. Spending eternity within the forest forever, by her lonesome, would drive me to insanity too... Or at least harbour my emotions away, to stay sane.
There was a faint rustle, and I felt a cool hand gently touch my cheek. I turned slightly, and saw her kneeling beside me, dark emerald eyes shielded once more. There was a faint frown on her lips, which were also slightly parted, sighing.
"I know. I know that is what you want, Severus. I can see into your heart... And I know you think it is what you think you want." She removed her hand, and in its wake I could feel the touch of a lingering butterfly. "You loved her deeply; enough to sacriface much for her."
"I can also see your selfish-ness, your needs, your right to claim which that you think you own, too. All those years, lost, because of your actions... And you want to change those, as well." Alera stood and walked away from me, eventually coming to stop beside an ancient oak tree. Her fingers lightly trailed its base, and I watched in fascination as her touch had sprouted purple blossoms. But as rapidly as they came to life, a few moments later they decayed and fell apart, their fleeting existence seemingly connected to the woman's underlying pain.
"I'll not sway you from your choice." She turned to me once more, her melodic voice soft. "If this is truly, and I mean truly what you want. Is it?"
I had gotten to my feet as well, fully aware that the sunlight was rapidly fading now, the sounds coming from the forest becoming more disquiet, and feral. I shivered slightly, and a fleeting thought that Alera's control spanned far more than creating simple flora from her touch.
"Yes," I said finally, meeting her gaze, "It is. Upon my mother's grave, Alera."
She nodded, her composure cold and as unforgiving as the rapidly approaching nightfall. Extending her hand, she murmured, "So be it then, Severus."
I stared at her hand for a moment, and a flicker of doubt flowed through me. Her chilling demeanor did nothing to quell my fears, and for the first time since I had awoken in the forest, did I feel that old queer feeling... Fear. I swallowed.
What could possibly go wrong? My past belonged to no one but me, and I should be able to do as I pleased to it... Too many mistakes and wrongs had been committed, and I would finally have the chance to undo and finally make a fresh start for myself. And I knew I wanted that more than anything anyone could offer.
I could be a selfish person when I wanted to be. As I reached towards Alera's outstretched hand, the fear multiplied and almost drowned me in its protest. The forest around us had seemingly picked up on my vibes, and its howls and cries became almost as loud as my thudding heart. I hesitated.
She gazed at me intently, eyes suddenly very reminiscent of Lily's. "Are you sure?" Alera murmured, completely unperturbed by our surroundings, silvery hair dancing in a passing breeze.
I managed to meet her stare, struggling against the turmoil of emotion that was ravaging my insides. Lily... Alera's eyes reminded me of Lily.
I loved her. And I had to see her again. No matter what the cost, no matter what my instincts were screaming at me to otherwise, I was going to be with her this time.
My hand firmly grasped hers, and for an endless moment, everything slowed down. Our gazes were still locked upon each others, and I was acutely aware of how still everything was. Dust motes and fallen leaves had frozen mid-fall, but none of it was significant as I began to feel a strange sensation.
Alera nodded almost imperceptibly, and I tried to speak, but nothing came out. My vision began to fade, and the last thing I was aware of was of the single tear that had slid down Alera's cheek. Again, I could barely acknowledge her sorrow, as my mind had been on someone else... Someone, I hoped, that I would be seeing very shortly.
/Constructive criticism is always appreciated. Before choosing my current major, I was looking into creative writing... Now, it's just more of a side project, but I'd still like to improve. The review button is just below, and thanks for reading. Updates... Soon?