Chapter Title: Awakening
Fandoms: Buffy, Harry Potter, Stargate SG-1
Characters: Tara, Fred, Janet
Rating: Might eventually turn into PG-13ish, so we'll err on the side of caution
Author's Notes: This is just a random idea I had after reading the Deathly Hollows and will not take the typical course in storywriting I have done in the past, meaning it won't have the same type of storyline.Awakening
Even in a night of danger, of terror, of destruction, he had still smiled. And joked. And laughed.
Even surrounded by Death Eaters and narrowly dodging their deadliest of curses, he did not lose face.
Percy, the stuffiest of his brothers, the one who had abandoned them for so long, had turned against the family to side with the Ministry, had returned. He had turned his back on his ambitious plans of working within the Ministry. He had long ago realized the dangers of siding with a Ministry that was controlled by Death Eaters, and had returned to his family just in time to take his part in the Final Battle.
Not only had he returned, but now he fought side by side with his brother, fighting against the Minister he had followed for months. And he had made a joke.
Fred’s eyes had filled with amused wonder, brightening at his brother’s joke, a flash of warmth going through him as he wondered the last time he had heard Percy joke. Turning to his brother in glee, he had said,
“You actually are joking, Perce…I didn’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were – “
The words were still passing his lips when there was sudden darkness he could not explain.
A small portion of his mind wondered if their world had ended abruptly, for the darkness was all-encompassing, yet he felt no pain.
He felt nothing.
Groping his way through the unending darkness, he neither stumbled nor faltered. Time had no meaning in that darkness as he pushed ahead, frantically wondering where his family had gone, what had happened with the battle. He thought of nothing else as he fought to return to his family, until he unexpectedly pitched forward and then –
A clock ticking.
The smell of freshly baked cookies.
The trace of light seeping through his barely opened eyelids.
The shock of the change caused his eyes to snap open, breathing heavily as he stared at the unfamiliar surroundings, his gaze falling upon the unfamiliar woman now moving slowly towards him. With arms that shook, he tried to clumsily push himself into an upright position, failing miserably as he fell harshly onto his back. His panic only increased as his hands groped for a wand that was no longer in his possession.
“You have to calm down,” the woman said in a calm, but firm, tone, as if she had long been dealing with similar situations. Kneeling down slowly next to him she put a small hand firmly onto his chest and explained, “If you don’t calm down, you’ll pass out and we’ll have to do this all over again.”
“Do what? Where am I? What’s going on? I have to get back…”
She interrupted him, a note of finality in her voice, “There is nothing to go back to. The battle is over. Your friends have won. Now relax.”
The words were enough to calm him down – barely. He stared up at her suspiciously, wondering if this was some elaborate Death Eater hoax in order to get information out of him, to use him as a hostage to get his family or Harry. Yet, even though his mind felt slightly muddy as if he had spent a great deal of time unconscious, he knew that if this were some type of trick, it would be best to play along until he could get further information.
“Is he awake, Janet?” A second voice called out, another female voice that was softer, warmer than that of the woman applying firm pressure to his chest. He turned his head to the source of the noise and watched as a woman not much older than he stepped into the room, her hair cascading in waves over her shoulders, framing friendly eyes and soft lips. A tray was held in her hands as she explained, “The cookies are done.”
The first woman – Janet – warily removed her hand from his chest and sat down on her heels, nodding as she called, “He is, and he’s calmed down now. He might be willing to listen.”
Fred frowned and pushed himself into a sitting position, earning a deep frown from Janet, though he paid no heed. Turning his attention to the second woman, he demanded fiercely. “What is going on? Why am I here? I want answers.”
His glare seemed to unnerve the woman as she stuttered slightly in her words. “W-we don’t want to o-overwhelm you. It’s hard, a-at first. To understand.”
“Understand what?” he demanded once again, suddenly feeling as if he was now wasting time, time that was necessary in order to return to his family. His mother would be worried. His brothers and Ginny would be wondering where he was. His dad –
All of his thoughts ended abruptly as the stuttered woman sat slowly next to him and said in a soft voice, “Understand that you’re dead.”
He froze at her words, blinking slowly as he stared at her, unable to comprehend her words. Dead? He couldn’t be dead. She was obviously lying, keeping him from getting back to his family and the battle at hand. Still, a whispered voice in the back of his mind pointed out, where was his wand? How did he not remember anything? How did they know about the battle?
“You’re crazy,” he said, his voice flat as he stared from her to Janet and back, as if looking at them long enough would convince them the trick, the joke, the whatever game they were playing would not work and he was not falling for it. It did not work. They did not deny or take back anything, instead fixing him with sympathetic looks, with understanding looks. The looks unnerved him because it made what they were saying seem real. It couldn’t be real; he couldn’t be dead. What would his family do? His twin?
“So if I’m dead, what is this?” he asked, gesturing around, his tone still one of slight disbelief, though the disbelief was fading slowly. The woman who had stuttered earlier fixed him with that same sympathetic smile, though this time he could see the warmth in her gaze.
“This is where the ones who look after the heroes stay,” she explained simply. “Even heroes, especially heroes, need someone looking after them, as the spend all of their time looking after others. We are here because we could not pass on just yet, for a variety of reasons. When you pass on is up to you, though for now, this is your new home. I’m Tara. The First.”
He cocked his head slightly, his mind still troubling to comprehend her words, even as things began to grow fuzzy once again and he struggled to ask, “The First?”
Nodding, she said, “The one they created this place for. But you need rest. It’s a hard thing, passing between planes of existence like you did. We’ll explain more later.”
He wanted to protest, to struggle, he really did, but it was as if his body did not want to cooperate. Laying back down against his will, his eyes closed as he mumbled, “If this is a joke, it’s a really bad one.”
Then darkness enveloped him once again.