23: Rides ansd Wishes
Chapter 23: Rides and Wishes
"This is cool," Ron sighed, awed, trying not to remember that the neck his hands were tightly gripping was technically that of a young, pretty and hot female. Strangely enough, the currently more equine form she was in was not much of a help.
Okay, so a horse with wings and a horn, but still, no help.
He felt movement and gripped his hands tighter as Sarah nodded in apparent agreement, and he grinned, knowing that the brilliant light of wonderment was probably still shining in her eyes, transforming a face that was pretty even in its equine form into some more beautiful and pure and bloody hell.
He hadn't just really thought that about another girl had he?
Damn it he had, Hermione was going to kill him.
He didn't pause to think why Hermione's opinion meant so much, especially considering they were only `friends', instead he tried to turn his attention back to the enjoyment of the ride he friend was giving him.
Ron grimaced, even in his head; he knew `ride' had been a bad word choice.
"She isn't going to break you know," Dumbledore said softly, startling Jareth as he gazed up from the parapet of the Astronomy tower towards the forms circling and diving above.
"She's new, fragile, she might just and if that happens…"
The headmaster smiled, touched and pleased as the depth of feeling in the Goblin kings quiet, almost unconscious words, "you will not be alone in being there to catch her, she has made her mark here and there are many who would stand at her side."
"But none at her hand," Jareth mused, his hands floating a crystalline ball unnoticed between them. For a moment, a Greek god of a figure, all rippling muscles and sweat appeared in the hazy glass of the ball and irritably, Jareth dismissed it, but Dumbledore saw it and knew it for what it was, a momentary expresio9n of Jareth fear, that someone would come along and take Sarah away from him.
"Perhaps… the right individual has not yet announced himself,"
Jareth barked out an unamused, almost loathing laugh, "I thought I had done that in the Labyrinth."
"No," kindly, Dumbledore shook his head, "you treated her as a prize, something to be won, a pet almost, to be used, controlled and discarded as you wish."
Jareth spun around, anger dancing in his eyes, but Dumbledore did not give him the opportunity to speak.
"But Sarah is no weak-willed child to be controlled, to be subservient to be another, nor do she want a play thing of her own," the bite in his words made Jareth wince, and Dumbledore softened his voice, "she wants an equal. She wants to be loved as such and to love another as an equal. Could you do that for her, could you be there for her, knowing that sometimes she will have to do things for herself and you will not always be able to understand why beyond that she wants it? Will be willing to know when to push and when to fold? Will you at last be able to accept another at you side rather then below it?"
"I don't know,"
"None of us does, not until we try."
Sighing, Jareth turned his attention to the figures on broom and awing above his head, his expression troubled and wistful and Dumbledore slowly backed out, his heart heavy.
It seemed so wrong to be pushing those two together at a time such as this, knowing Jareth was not allowed to interfere in the upcoming war and that Sarah would not be able to help herself. Knowing Sarah had made her choice and would ride at their side, putting herself at risk for what she felt was good and right, might lose herself in that fight.
And yet, at the same time, it felt like perhaps it was the best time. Ironic really, the Lady riding out to battle, leaving the Lord at home to worry and pray, but then, nothing was ever straight with this one.
Of course, he would have to be careful here, as much as he wished her happiness, she couldn't leave to stay with Jareth, not yet at least, that choice may come in time but he could not allow it until the war was over, she had become too much of a rallying point bringing the undecided to the light at Hogwarts, she brought to many strengths to their side.
Careful he would have to be, she did after all have the support of the Goblin king, but stay here she must, for the Greater Good.
"Our Lord wants the little Princess at his feet, broken and pliable," Bellatrix grinned, the expression nasty, emphasising the dark coldness in her eyes, perverting what could have been a beautiful face, "I'm sure even with your… help I can manage that."
Goyle senior frowned, "and just what does that mean?"
"Don't think too hard about it, your mind will overheat again," she glanced, her expression darkly, malevolently anticipatory at the figures darting across the distant sky, "just do as I say and Our Lord will reward us handsomely."
Goyle grunted, and she resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the obviousness of his thoughts, he meant to obey but was planning to get her back at some point… Merlin's beard, how pathetic. When she finally gained her rightly place as the new right hand, she would find some way to deal with the pathetic fools once and for all.
She was sure the Lord would thank her for it.