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Paradoxical Reality
Visions (R)
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Title: Visions
Author: booknerdguru/FluteKahlanChambers
Pairing: mostly general, but has hints of Blaise/Hermione and Draco/Hermione.
Rating: R
Summary: The visions haunted him... answer to the Boggarts Beneath The Bed challenge
Warning: mention of rape, slightly on the graphic side killings, description of war.
Disclaimer: HP doesn't belong to me, neither do Don Quixote or anything Robert Jordan writes.

So many visions, so many possible paths, so many beginnings and endings, so many might-have-beens’ and if-onlys’, all of them different, yet connected by a single common thread.

She was in all of them.

Every single last vision he’d had of what the future might become, of what he might turn into, she was there and her fate was inexorably tied to his. Their paths entwined together…

She was there, absolutely radiant in her long, white, flowing gown, a beautiful wreath of white blossoms encircling her brow, her wild and untamed curls streaming down behind her. She walked toward him with a brilliant smile on her face, the smile she only wore for him, her deep brown eyes clearly conveying her love and devotion to him. Life in that one instant was perfect. Only to have such perfection shattered in the next instant as he saw her taken by the one he’d called friend. Taken, beaten, defiled, and then finally slaughtered outright. No green glow of painless release for her, she was too good for that. Her body slashed open, her vital organs slowly failing as her life’s blood spilled out onto the green green grass. Her eyes glossed over with excruciating pain, her beautiful face now ashen, struggling to continue breathing as she was continually violated by both man and knife blade. He struggled with all his might against the hands that held him back, the pain of the Crucio cast on him no equal to that of seeing his love abused so. He tried to look away, not wanting to see any more than he already had, but he could not, forced to watch as she finally surrendered to the pain and breathed her last. The pain of a thousand simultaneous Crucio’s cast could not have equaled the piercing pain his spirit felt now. His heart ripped to shreds, his soul brutally mauled, the sheer scope of the despair overwhelming him forced him to his knees, arms wrapped around his middle. He was in agony, voice hoarse from the screams he hadn’t known until now he’d screamed

The visions haunted him. He saw not only her death, but his and he didn’t think he could take much more of this. His sanity hung by a few silken threads…

...a light breeze blew across the fields as merry laughter could be heard by the nearby creek. A little boy with soft brown hair and blue, blue eyes could be seen wrestling and rolling around in the grass with the man he called father. She was reclining on a red blanket spread out on the ground, her attention divided between fondly watching the antics of her fair-haired husband and son and playing with her infant daughter. The little girl was beautiful with hair like her father’s and eyes like her mother’s. Hermione looked well, in fact she was fairly glowing with happiness and contentment, the slight bulge of her stomach the only indication of her condition. Life was good for the people in this picture. But there in the background, on the other bank of the bubbling creek under a willow tree, there was a simple stone gravemarker. The inscription reading:

Blaise Nikolai Zabini
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
May you rest in peace,
Knowing that you gave your all
To the fight against the Shadow

Husband, Father, Friend, Son, Warrior
Forever missed.
Forever mourned.
Forever loved.
Nulli secundus, amor vincit omnia.

There was another common thread that he hadn’t seen before. He and She were meant to be together in some way, either as lovers or friends and his friend, his closest mate was almost always the object of their destruction. Was there no way to break out of this vicious triangle? He’d seen visions where he’d stumbled on his girl and his friend in close proximity, sometimes it was completely innocent, other times, not. The mere thought of his friend touching that which belonged to him and him alone, filled him with such furious jealousy, he saw red. Fair Hermione was fated; it seemed, to end up with either Draco or himself. The story never ended happily for all three of them, he noticed. One or more of them died in the end. Always.

...they'd come for them at daybreak. The wards that surrounded Hogwarts had for the first time in a millennia, fallen and the ancient castle stormed. The Professors and Order members had been completely taken by surprise. They’d expected a big move on Voldemort’s part, but not this, this was too bold or so they thought. While the professors and various other assorted personnel were frantically trying to mobilize their troops, the very students that they were trying to protect were throwing themselves into the fight against the enemy. Fighting out on an open field was one thing, fighting inside the walls of a castle was a completely different story. The first through fourth years had all been herded into the Ravenclaw dormitories and were being guarded by a contingent of students from mixed houses. Fifth year and up were fighting for their lives and the lives of their fellow students in the halls of Hogwarts. The four houses of Hogwarts had never been more united than they were at that moment. It was a thing to see, Slytherin fighting alongside Gryffindor, Ravenclaw alongside Hufflepuff. The students had found their courage, raised their voices and declared that they would not stand for this any longer.
At the thick of it, at the very heart of the conflict, fighting side by side were the brave Boy-Who-Lived and the valiant Prince of Slytherin. Harry, Draco, Blaise, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Theo Nott, Luna, Ginny, and what DA members that were not occupied defending other parts of the castle were holding back the main part of Voldemort’s forces. The fighting there was fast and it was dirty. The three Slytherins, one Ravenclaw, and five Gryffindors were quickly, efficiently dispatching their foes. Susan Bones had fallen prey to several Dementors as she covered the escape of a few first years that hadn’t made it to the dormitories with the others. Michael Corner fell to Rodolphus Lestrange’s knife, and Pansy was first raped and then strangled by Crabbe and Goyle Sr. Neville was duking it out with Bellatrix, Ginny was grappling with Flint, and Hermione was dueling with Dolohov once more. Ron, Luna, and Theo were keeping the rest of the Death Eaters occupied as Harry dueled with Voldemort. Draco and he were cutting a swath through the ranks of the Death Eaters, sending them flying this way and that. After nearly six hours of continuous fighting, the Boy-Who-Lived finally became the Boy-Who-Triumphed and Voldemort was no more.

The day was theirs.

But it’d cost him his best friend. As the Boy-Who-Lived collapsed on the ground after finishing it, a bloody, bruised Lucius Malfoy had risen up behind him, intending to strike from behind and rid the world of its savior. Draco spotting this, knowing that there was no time to even try disarming his father, unhesitatingly dove into the curse’s path. Blaise screamed and fending off the hands that were trying to keep him still, ran over to where his best friend’s corpse lay. Hermione was already there, weeping over the still form of her lover. Theo’d managed to gather the sobbing Head Girl up in his arms so that at least she wasn’t resting on the cold stone floor. Blaise dropped to his knees on the other side of his oldest and dearest friend’s body. Just the three of them and Drake’s dead body, it was almost as if they were in a little bubble outside of time itself, just watching the rest of the world go by around them. People had tried to come and pry their girl away from them, but she refused to go, and neither Theo nor Blaise were going to intrude on her private grieving for the man she’d come to love so. Sometime during their vigil, Blaise looked up, having felt a hand lightly rest on his shoulder. He stared into the black eyes of his Head of House and saw the naked grief present there. Numbly, he responded to his Professor’s unasked questions about Draco and how he’d gone. It’d been the first time he’d ever seen his stoic professor just relinquish control of all his masks and shields and actually allow himself to cry. That above anything else really hit home just how much they’d all lost that day. He looked around the entryway for the first time in a long time and saw the fallen bodies, the frantic mediwizards and witches rushing from patient to patient, the Aurors going from corpse to corpse, compiling a list of the dead. Hogwarts ran crimson with the blood and the filth that always accompanies a major battle. Filch, if he was even still alive would have one hell of a job cleaning all of the blood out of the assorted tapestries, off of the floor and off the paintings. Yes, Dumbledore would need all the help he could get to restore the school to its previous condition

They never stopped, the visions. Asleep or waking, they were always there, in the background, always dogging his every step. It was always Death, he saw, always. It rode on his shoulder, it walked in his footsteps, saw through his eyes, and spoke through his mouth. In a thousand visions, a thousand different lives, he’d been a lover, a husband, a father, a murderer, a rapist, a sadistic monster hell-bent on destruction. The possibilities were endless, infinite… It was kind of funny even; the thing about these visions was that no matter what you did, you can never unsee them; you can only stop looking if you’re strong enough to. He knew the rumors that’d been flying around the school; that Blaise Zabini had finally lost it, his mind had folded under the overwhelming pressure, the strain that he’d put upon it. Truth was the visions had pushed out all traces and ties to life, save but for the ones that sustained him physically. Life was nothing to him, all he had now was Death. Death…and the dream that one day, he’d find a way to break the system, a way that didn’t require Death and that would satisfy everyone involved. That hope was the only thing that kept him going, that kept him from relinquishing the tenuous hold he had on sanity and sliding into the black oblivion of blessed insanity. He’d loved and he’d lived and he’d killed, but for now he dreamed. Succumbing to Morpheus’ call, he welcomed whatever brief respite a deep sleep could offer him before the visions took hold of him once more.

Blaise dreamed.

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