The Meeting In The Woods
Hey there, long time no update. Sorry about that, grad school and all:( Anyway the main reason this took so long to get out was because I was unable to write the Willow Dawn reunion story I wanted. In the end I decided to skip it entirely(for now) and I'm going to be posting the final story in the series since it is proving far more fun to write.
As usual I own none of the characters you recognize. And I would like to thank my two Beta's Crowe and Dharkcharlotte. I would also send out a special thank you to the people who nominated The Early Dawn for best multiple crossover and best portrayal of Xander.
The first chapter borrows some characters from aditional fandom's, don't Worry about knowing who they are, they won't appear again(well maybe at the very end). I just needed some intimidating god archetypes to set the mood.
If you haven't read the previous parts of this series it will be a bit hard figure out what is happening. I will keep the other fandoms out of Harry Potter's world almost completely, but there are still the histories of Willow and Silas which will affect who and what they are. If you really don't like one of the other fandoms(i.e. Anita Blake or Stargate), I will be writing a summary of the Horsemen so far at the beginning of the next chapter but there will be massive spoilers for the other stories which will ruin the endings, (particularly for The Early Dawn). That said I hope you enjoy this story and the odd beginning I have laid out:)
Their Final Adventure
Janus strolled through the woods contemplating the meeting he was heading towards. The god's sedate pace belied his unease at dealing with Him again.
There were few beings out there that could cause this much fear in a god, let alone one of Janus' influence. The list contained such beings as Osiris the gatekeeper of death, the Morning Star, maybe the Fates (though they were more a mouthpiece of the universe than anything else), and of course Him.
The only other time Janus had been on the same plane of existence as Him was when he had been tasked with the creation of a game. Shortly after the Wars of Creation, mere days after the Morning Star had been banished; He had come to Janus with a mass of energy that the young god of chaos could barely comprehend. He had Janus split the energy among hundreds of thousands of mortal infants then scatter them across the history of a world. Finally he was to impose a deadly martial competition on them. He had left the details up to Janus with two conditions. The first was relatively simple, He had required that His houses of worship not be desecrated by the fights. The second was that once one of the children had taken on their immortal mantle, no god, no demon, no deity of any kind be allowed to interfere with their lives. This had turned out to be far more difficult to enforce.
All in all Janus figured he got off lightly, especially considering He could make the weaker god do just about anything. So Janus set up the Game in a backwater corner of the multiverse with virtually no other magical presence of any kind; ensuring no interference from outside deities. Everything seemed to be on track to an uncontested conclusion of the Game and Janus' freedom from his responsibility of overseeing it.
That was until the last surviving immortals somehow managed to escape into the multiverse.
Janus had felt slightly ambivalent about this. On the one hand it meant he had to waste time checking up on four creatures barely above mortals. On the other hand, he was the god of chaos and this was something even the Fates could never have foreseen. Regardless of his personal feelings, Janus decided to pay much closer attention to the four after this.
At first it had been boring watching them claw at the barriers between the worlds with their feeble magics and science; no more effective than a mouse struggling in a glue trap. Occasionally other gods would poke their heads in to place a wager on who would end up winning and together they would laugh at the apes' antics.
However as time went on Janus began to notice something unsettling. Simply put, the fours' worlds were not proceeding as they were meant to, as the Fates had decreed they would. In the female's world, her children suddenly swarmed out into the cosmos and neighboring dimensions. While they, as a species, should have remained on Earth until their extinction via massive solar flare. Somehow the course of Fate had changed, and the once Earthbound creatures were able to spread across dozens of galaxies.
Her husband, the self titled War, had been wreaking havoc in his own dimension as well. He had somehow managed to prevent his world from descending into a demonic hell. The malignant being who had bartered for that plane of existence was still furious about having its revenants held at bay like leashed dogs.
Thirdly was the large one's world where his presence had allowed magic to flower and bloom on a plane of reality where, prior to his arrival, none had ever existed. Even the cunning one, who seemed to shy away from trouble making had managed to tangle Fate's designs so badly that the creator of that plane, Iluvatar, was forced to let the reality collapse on itself and start from scratch.
At this point Janus stopped laughing at the apes and began to worry about just where the energy he had given them came from. After many discreet inquiries the only thing he knew for sure was that the energy was a soul. Of who or what he had no idea. Even his curiosity was not enough to cause Janus to seek Him out for answers. In fact if there were any way of avoiding this meeting, Janus would have seized it.
The wood he stood in was deceptively ordinary. It was filled with shallow pools of water and lightly populated with trees of various species. Each pool was a gateway to one of the infinite worlds of the multiverse. To a mortal's eyes, this place would stretch off to infinity; however, if Janus strained he could just barely make out the edge.
"Hello my child, I was surprised when you contacted me for this meeting."
Janus jumped like a scalded cat before he could stop himself. How something could sneak up on a being with two faces he had no idea, however He still managed it. When Janus had calmed himself, he turned to face the superior being. Before him stood The Lion. Not a lion, The Lion, victor of the Wars of Creation.
Taking a breath and forcefully ignoring the insult of being labeled a child by the talking cat, Janus spoke, "At this point I have little choice. Despite my best efforts, a deity was able to interfere in the Game and one of the remaining three was killed. There is no way for me to correct the problem and I decided it would be best to tell you in person."
The Lion suddenly appeared tense, "How did this happen?"
Janus gazed off to the pool of the world where the last two had decided to make a home, "It was so subtle that I did not notice it until a short time ago. A deity was able to eliminate Alexander Harris by sending one of the man's friends a vision of how to end his life."
The Lion relaxed at hearing those words. In a fatherly tone he said, "Be calm my child, you have not failed me. It was I who interfered."
Janus' jaw dropped, "But it was your explicit rule that absolutely no deity interfere. You broke your own law."
The fatherly demeanor disappeared in an instant, "And if you had prevented them from spreading into the multiverse I would not have had to interfere." The Lion walked toward the pool that led to the world the female had called home for millions of years and gave a weary sigh. "When their souls were shattered they infested countless planes. Their avatars have been throwing the multiverse into chaos. The Fates are furious."
"The Fates need to remember that they merely speak the plan, they don't design it." Janus spoke from his male face, while his female persona continued to peer into the pool where the two immortals had settled. An image of the immortals rippled across the water as they emerged from a forest onto the grounds of a large castle.
Though he hid it well, Janus was secretly amused that the sanctimonious being had been forced to break one of his own laws, he couldn't help but wonder what would have caused such a drastic action. "Surely dealing with three troublesome immortals is less difficult than dealing with one creature with the power of a god?"
When The Lion spoke there was sadness in his tone, almost as if he regretted what he had done, "Long ago I realized that the four do not draw their strength from their quickening, but from each other and their humanity. They were a thousand times more dangerous together and human than as a single lonely god."
"The four scared you!" Janus exclaimed in surprise, his shock keeping him from choosing his words more respectfully.
The Lion left his pool and came to stand next to his fellow god, watching the two. He did not deny the accusation, "More than any force since the Wars of Creation ended."
Janus was struck speechless for a moment, he finally asked, "Just whose soul did you have me cleave to those mortals?"
Without taking his eyes from the pool The Lion spoke, "Ahriman, Soul of Destruction, General of the armies of the Morning Star."
Before Janus could voice his blatant incredulity, The Lion continued. "When the Morning Star finally sent envoys claiming his surrender, I suspected a trap and demanded proof of his intentions. It seemed he was in far more dire straits than I had predicted. Upon hearing my ultimatum he turned to his General, the one being I believed he ever considered a friend, and rent the god's head from his body. In doing this he effectively alienated most of his remaining supporters, demonstrating the legitimacy of his surrender. He had Ahriman's soul delivered to me before fleeing."
With this small amount of information Janus understood why he had been tasked with creating the Game. Killing or imprisoning a god like Ahriman was not a simple feat, especially if one did not want to run afoul of the deep magic. There was always the possibility of the monster escaping, even from the clutches of something as impervious as death. By shredding Ahriman's soul, and having it placed among mortals, The Lion had effectively rolled the dice. Ahriman's personality had been wiped blank, allowing the victor of the Game to determine what personality would take the General's place. As usual The Lion had placed far too much faith in the uppity little apes.
Before Janus could say anything The Lion left his side and headed off to the pool of the world that currently held his interest. As he left he said, "It is a moot point regardless. I have felt the shock wave of his rebirth rippling back in time. In no more than five years the Game will be over."
Janus did not respond to this for he was already well aware of that fact. The birth of a god was an extremely loud event. The moment Alexander Harris had been killed, the end of the game became a reality. Every deity in existence could feel the eventual creation of the god as its birthing pains ripped time and space into shreds. Which of the two it would be was still undermined, the only certainty was that it would occur in less than five years. There would be no avoiding it because, in a manner of thinking, it had already happened.
The Lion was wading into his chosen pool when Janus called, "Aslan, why did you choose me to be Ahriman's midwife?"
The Lion paused in his descent into the young world of Narnia and spoke gravely, "It seemed to be appropriate for the god of chaos to aid me in the largest gamble of my life." He held Janus' gaze a moment longer before submerging himself in the pool and disappearing.
Maybe Aslan was right, maybe turning Willow Rosenberg or Silas into a god would remove their avatars from play. Maybe it would restore the Fate's precious order. As the multiverse now stood, it would take eons to find and wipe out every avatar of the Horsemen. That was if Aslan could even locate them all. However if either Willow or Silas had the Prize then all their power would be in one place, on one plane of existence. This would give Aslan a clean and focused target to fight. A fight he would almost certainly win.
Janus shuddered at the memory of the monster Ahriman. Aslan could wax philosophical about the four getting their strength from each other all he wanted. The only thing Janus knew or cared about was that when the Game ended there would be one pissed off god that would be seeking revenge for their family. And Janus was stuck right in the middle.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the actual story, it will be chock full of action, adventure, and I give a personal guaranty that I will stay as far away from adopt-a-Harry cliche's as possible(If I do fall into that trap please throw tomatoes or any conveniently rotted fruit).