Author's Note and Prologue
title art by Esme
TITLE: Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
FEEDBACK: I live and breathe for it. Pretty Please?
DISTRIBUTION: Shadows & Dust, Twisting the Hellmouth, anyone else please ask.
SUMMARY: Connor wakes up with his new family, after dreaming of his old one. All too soon he finds that the dreams have unforseen consequences on his future.
SPOILERS: AtS: Season 4 finale, HP: none really, PoA to be safe
RATING: appropriate for the video game playing crowd. If you play Halo, you can read this.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, WB, UPN and their associates, or J.K. Rowling for the characters and places from Harry Potter.
NOTES: In all likelyhood, this will be a fairly dark fic. You have been warned. Also, there is a companion fic, called Walking on Broken Glass, that sets the stage for SDMT. It features Lilah, and should be read after the prologue. To read it, go here:Walking on Broken Glass
Esme has created a fantastic piece of title art for this fic. It even won an award! To see it, go here:Esme's Title Art for Sweet Dreams
CHALLENGE: Muggle of Mass Destruction, challenge two: the "Dawn syndrome" challenge. In the finale of Angel season 4, Connor was placed with a "normal" family. Wolfram and Hart inserted him into a different life. (Dawn much or anything?) What if he had been placed with a wizarding one instead?
DEDICATION: To Karen, who got me hooked on Connor in fics, with or without Dawn. You should all go out and read her wonderful HPxover Freakazoid High.
~~~Sweet Dreams Are Made of These~~~
“You’ve sent him somewhere safe?”
“As we agreed.”
“May I see him?”
“I’m sorry, but it’s not possible.”
“We have taken him somewhere safe, given him a new life, just as you asked.”
“In a dimension similar to our own. He is part of a well thought of family, connected politically, with parents similar to his real parents. Every effort was made to make him as comfortable as possible.”
“And he has no memory of… the life he had here?”
“Not as such, no.”
“Don’t you have a perky little blond to sweep off and rescue?”
A pause. “Send around the car.”
“Very well, *Mr.* Angel.”
*** *** ***
Connor rolled over with a groan. The dreams he had last night were incredible. If he believed in that divination nonsense, he’d have to have been worried, but as it was, he was just fascinated.
He forced himself up and out of bed, fumbling to the bathroom. Scenes from his mind played out, overlapping with and filtering in the world around him. He fought a monster ten times worse than anything he’d seen in Defense Against the Dark Arts, and won. Without his wand. There were others with him as he fought first this and later monsters. To begin with it was only one man, ‘father’, grizzled and growing old, struggling in a world too horrible to comprehend. Later, it was large, dark haired man, who unexpectedly also got the label ‘father’ in his dream, throwing him a sharp piece of wood, smiling in pride as the vampire he faced fell to dust.
Connor shook his head and stepped under the hot spray of water. He knew vampires were real of course, but he didn’t know anyone who went around killing them without being an Auror. He tried harder to pull bits of the fading memory back again, smiling faintly as he recalled a woman, dark chestnut hair, embracing him, promising him something real. Another woman, striking and grotesque, called ‘daughter’. She filled him with sadness, and he watched himself put his fist through her head.
Gasping, he shook his head to clear that image. He’d never dreamed this way before, as if it had really happened, as if he were real in another time and place. He wasn’t sure he wanted that at all. His shower finished, he wandered back to his room. He dressed carefully, making sure his cuffs were perfect with the cufflinks of his family crest, the tailored suit in dark grey elegantly arranged under similar colored outer robes, cut close to his body. He slicked his hair back, so it curled just below his ears and watched himself in the mirror. He saw another face, scraggly hair, scruffy chin, haunted eyes, cold and deadly. He blinked quickly blurring the image away.
He turned to the low table by his bed, now neatly made up, and slid his ash wand into a holder on his forearm, covered by the sleeves of his robes. For a brief flash, he thought the wand should have been thicker and sharper and the holder comprised of springs and raw energy.
All the flipping between dreams and reality was making him light headed. He went down the stairs to breakfast, carefully noting every familiar decoration and painting, reminding him that this was who he was, not some… heathen… He reached the breakfast room and surveyed the occupants closely. His parents were both there, calmly drinking tea and reading the papers. His little brother, on the other hand, was not. Connor figured he was still getting ready; he always was more lazy than was good for him.
Noting him in the doorway, his mother looked up. For one stomach lurching moment, another woman’s face was warped over hers, a delicate blond with light eyes, pleading with him to stop, to think about it, not to do it…
The shadow mother still cried, but the one at the table arched an eyebrow. “Connor. You are still taking your brother to Diagon Alley today, are you not? You’ll get your supplies there for school.”
He nodded. He was in his last year at Hogwarts, and though he was looking forward to following in his father’s footsteps, he would miss the school, the camaraderie of his house. On the other hand, his father had exciting connections, and the world was ripe for change. He smiled faintly and took his customary seat.
The father in question, now fighting with two other fathers in his mind’s eye, nodded perfunctorily and passed a dish of grilled tomatoes and the platter of bacon. Connor accepted the distraction happily and focused on eating his breakfast. Inside he was trembling slightly, no longer fascinated with his dreams, but wishing they’d leave him alone. His mother, noting his distress, placed her hand on his.
“What is it?”
“Nothing, Mother. It’s nothing.”
She nodded, but he knew she saw more than she acknowledged. Mothers were like that he supposed. He looked at his parents carefully, wondering for the first time which side of the family he really took after. His coloring was so different, he noted absently, though some of his mother’s kin were darker. None had the same shade of dark golden blond that he did, and his eyes…
His brother rattled down the stairs, flopping into his seat. One glare from his father almost had him sitting up straight, and he began picking at his food. Connor inwardly groaned. Nothing was worse than a thirteen year old boy.
The rest of breakfast was completed in silence, and when Connor was ready, he stood, tapping the back of his brother’s chair.
“We’ll be off now. Are there any errands you need us to run?”
His father sat glaring at the paper. “Do you see this? Black’s escaped from Azkaban. What sort of security are they running these days? I’ll see what the Ministry has to say on the subject when I go in today. Bloody bunch of incompetents.”
Connor raised his eyebrows with interest, but his father offered no other explanation or elaboration. With a thump to his brother’s shoulder, he herded him to the door. As he opened it, smelling the warm damp of early summer mornings, his mother called out to him.
“Keep an eye on Draco.”
He sighed as Draco made a well hidden rude gesture back towards the breakfast room.
He shut the door tight behind him and called for the coach. Draco threw a handful of rocks at an irate raven and Connor rubbed his eyes. If the dreams didn’t drive him mad today, his little brother would. He squinted as the sun reflected off the windows of the coach, and he pushed Draco inside, ignoring the squeak of protest. The door closed behind him, and he stared through the glass, watching the way his reflection rippled and moved in front of the familiar landscape of home, and the less familiar landscapes of the shadow lands of his mind.
To be continued, because who doesn't love the idea of Connor Malfoy!