|Posted On:||2005-09-15 00:00:00|
Notes: An HP/Sandman crossover in progress. No sense of a timeline just yet, may eventually crack open into a seven-chapter novel-length bit of fic... or at least, that's the intent behind it. If you've never read The Sandman by Neil Gaiman - there's not much I can do to help you, other that to say there are seven Endless, and they all play a part in the lives of mortals.---
The path he walks through his garden twists, and dips and turns in places that – to anyone else – would be daunting and fearsome.
But Destiny is blind, and he preoccupies himself well with his book.
There is no hesitancy or pause in his meanderings, no wish for ill or for well – just the simple, iron clank of chains and the soft crackle of the turning page as he goes.
His fingers still over the book – a yellowed page resting on the edge of his index finger as he feels the words write themselves on the leaf.
A sigh, and then, his steady tread over the earthen path resumes.
The cotton wool of his robes irritates him as he leans against a library stack and casts his amber gaze around the library. She doesn’t like the yellow. “Bronze” really. It’s not a clear yellow that decorates the lining of her robes and matching tie – but a burnt bronze that does absolutely nothing for her features.
Bored, Desire sashays behind the nearest bookcase and wills the offending hue to a deep crimson.
Much better, he smirks, before returning to his perusal.
Nearby, a fat boy hunches over a table protectively coveting a cupcake – a morsel stolen from the kitchens, undoubtedly. This amuses her but marginally.
The boy is saving it until his mouth waters, until he can bear the chocolate frosting no longer and he’ll cram it into his wobbling gorge with wanton abandonment.
Boring, really, but still somewhat satisfying to watch as the child’s eyes glaze over and he neglects the loaded quill in his hand in favour of the treat.
This is no sport. In a school of hormonally-driven, bawdy youngsters – there should be more of a – he falters, turning a corner – challenge.
Desire smiles blithely and inches closer.
A young man with high cheekbones, and loosely tangled black curls, rests against a shelf casually. He is lean, with broad shoulders and elegant despite the fact that he is shorter than most boys his age. There is a detached grace about him – aristocratic and fine though his sleeves are rolled and his tie hangs partially askew where the topmost button of his shirt is undone.
Desire hums in her contentment as the young man, Biagio, by birth – that is his name – sticks his tongue out; small, and wet and pink, and licks a thumb to turn a page in the book he reads.
Then, like a soft shuffle of whispered breaths, the other comes. She moves behind the shelf Biagio leans on – Blaise – yes, Blaise – ah, such duality, Desire smiles – instantly fonder of the young man for his duplicity.
His friends do not call him by his birth name. It is something safe that grounds him to his home and family, but the other will make him forget.
Just like that, a book is pulled from the shelf, creating a small opening between the dividing aisles. The other stares back through the space left by the absent, dust-covered tomes at the boy who raises his head. Her mouth pulls into a small, startled, “oh” – plump, moist, and heated from where she has been chewing her lower lip in her fervent search.
There is a moment’s pause before Desire strides from his resting place – pulling in his wake something craving that draws one from its sublime rest, and from the other, a rising, hesitant blush that betrays every ounce of propriety she possesses.
Satisfied, the sport is renewed.
Tumbledown in the mantle of dreams, they sleep. It’s a soft and warm blanket that lays its hand over the school – permeating will and want, creating a timelessness that soothes even the most dismayed and hopeless.
The Lord of this realm slips between them – from one boy’s overgrown jungle, filled with purple vines and spackled foliage where he rules over them all with a round face transformed into the glowing, benevolent sun – to the shaded places, where a child cowers at the feet of his father and begs for mingled mercy while coveting glory.
Morpheus travels in stealth, pausing only once to linger in the heated embrace of two lovers as their limbs tangle beneath sweat-sodden sheets.
Half-immersed, they are – and so he presses closer.
She drifts out of consciousness and into an ambassador’s court where she stands beside him. An alliance. She dreams of a united Hogwarts; a world joined and strengthened much in the same way that her love for him has brought them together.
She is clever, and she is naïve. It is endearing to him.
Beside her, staining the sheets with his sweat, her lover dreams of blood; and of betrayal.
It’s a matter of cause and effect. If a butterfly beats its wings in Arizona a little too earnestly, across an ocean, a tsunami floods the land in Khao Lak.
He didn’t take any more pleasure in it than plucking splinters out of his thumb left by one of his brushes.
Still, it happened anyway even without his coaxing.
Destruction sighed, and contemplated again the darkening finger-formed smudges rising on the girl’s neck. The blue, tinged with green around the edges and dappled in faint splotches of a sickly yellow, made a grotesque canvas on her white skin.
Across the room, her lover shuddered and continued to whimper with his head bent against a wall.
It didn’t always need to wash out cities, Destruction sighed again. Sometimes it was concentrated in such a way that it ran like paint thinner over only one person’s life.
It’s really dark in here. Um. Did you know you can see colours? Yeah. Not a couple either – I mean. Lots. They’re everywhere.
I see them.
Even in dark places. Like here. But. What was I talking about?
The lake’s calm surface is unsettling. It’s black as pitch and, despite the fact that he stands in the shallows, its lull is worrisome. For a moment, he wonders vaguely if something so placid is supposed to pull at his ankles with each ebb.
The sodden fabric bunches around his shoes and makes him uncomfortable. So he kicks them off – sending two heavy splashes to the center.
The leather oxfords send bubbles to the surface as they go down.
It soothes him somewhat.
I followed the fishes. They’re really something. Fishes, that is. They make little bubbles and um, they’re pretty. All green and yellow, and pinkish sometimes. I like following them – they show me new things. Pretty things.
A water logged shoe sinks heavily by the side of her face. She blinks at it and grins, watching as the bubbles turn from green, into yellow, then orange as they rise towards the murky green cast of the moon’s light on the surface.
There aren’t any fishes here – not except for the big one. But. I don’t think that’s really a fish. It tried to tickle me when I came in here – big tentacles. No. Definitely not a fish. Unless this water makes them really really big.
He knows he’s perfectly methodical in his logic. It’s a flawless concept – turn your feet to lead. It’s barely basic transfiguration, really.
He doesn’t run exactly. He’s caused enough of a disturbance on the smooth surface of the water already. Instead, he drops his hands into loose fists in the pockets of his robes – and wades forwards.
He doesn’t want to make anymore ripples.
The sharp stones nearer the water’s edge slice at the callused pads of his toes. The numbness has settled already, though, and he doesn’t feel anything below the waist anymore.
It’s too dark to see the blood.
And that’s good too.
I like red. Not as much as Desire – but it’s – Um.
Did you know skin has green in it? Blue too. This fish’s eyes are blue. With little speckles in it like a robin’s egg. He’s a pretty fish. All silver and white and green – and red too. He doesn’t see it – but I do. I see colours. Yeah. A lot of colours – they’re like rainbows.
He’s swimming away – this fish. He’s pretty big too – not as big as the really big fish in here. You know. The one with the tentacles? But he wants to see the bottom. I think.
And. I always follow the fish. So.
In the corner, a squat woman hunches in her own soil. She mutters to herself, swaying back and forth as her quarry pulls in a little more tightly upon himself.
He is barefoot, shirtless – a mass of bruises and angular bones protruding through the thin, bluish skin of his back where he claws at his shoulders with filthy fingernails.
She hums tonelessly. It is a grating rasp at the back of her throat as she rolls her hooked-ring between her fingers. The point is sharpened. It never dulls with time – though it is stained from those she has had before.
He trembles at her approach.
She will have him too.