Disclaimers:  I do not own either Gundam Wing or Harry Potter.  I am making no money with this.  This story is purely for
entertainment purposes only.

Notes:  Quatre suffers in the confines of his own mind.  Madam Pomfrey tries to help him.



Soldiers of Sorcery



Part Sixteen


The world around him was pure chaos, darkness and pain closing in on him.  It was trying to tear him apart, trying to break
him.  Quatre shivered in the unbearable cold, chains weighing him down and binding him to the small corner that he had sought
refuge in.  Still, the biting stings of the chaos around him tore at the flesh it could reach, slowing eating away at him and
wearing down his strength.

The wind howled, lightning flashing across the endless barren sky, not even a single star within his sight.  A moment later, the
shadows sprang from the darkness, clawing gouges in Quatre’s arms and legs, tearing away at the tender flesh of his body.  He
weakly defended himself, lashing out and hitting nothing, the shadows being only bodiless masses when he tried to fight them
off.

They were gone as suddenly as they had attacked, retreating to the swirling chaos, biding their time as they awaited the next
opportunity to hurt him.  Quatre curled in on himself even further, tears streaming along his bruised face, blood flowing from
countless cuts to his body.  He shivered again, struggling weakly against the darkness that tried to invade his mind, fighting it off
even when all he wanted to do was close his eyes and sleep, to give in to the sweet silence of an all-encompassing void.

Something grasped his shoulders and Quatre let out a scream, flailing his arms to fend off this new attacker even before he had
opened his eyes.  When he did open his eyes, he gasped, looking up at a brightly shining figure in front of him.  She was a
beacon of light amidst the darkness, her smile warm and comforting.  He ceased his struggles, watching her with widened eyes.

“Quatre, can you hear me?”  She asked.  “Do you know who I am?”

Quatre looked at her closely, his body shuddering from agony.  “Y-Yes.  Y-You’re Madam Pomfrey.”  He said, nodding slightly.

“What is this place, Quatre?  What’s going on here?”  She asked, her voice laced with kindness as she wrapped her arms around
him in a warm embrace.

“This is the darkness.”  Quatre whispered, fearing that to even speak of it would hurt him.  “My pain, my fears, all the bad is
here, waiting for me to lose myself.  It’s so difficult to hold on.  I’m so tired.”

As he said that, the darkness closed in another few feet, a scene playing out as if on a movie screen.  It was a memory, Quatre
knew that.  This was the place where his past collided with the present.  And there, played out for both of them to see was the
face of a woman as she brutally beat the child she had been hired to care for.  Quatre’s nanny had beaten him on numerous
occasions, calling him worthless just as was happening in the memory that they could view.  It was her cruel encouragement
that led to him running away when he was twelve, it was she that made him feel unloved and disgusted with himself.

She had beaten him for most of his life, the frequency of her brutality increasing with each passing year as he got older.  She
feared the loss of her job, and so made Quatre seem fragile and in need of a watcher, someone to help him after one of his
numerous ‘accidents.’  Until the day that he ran away to escape her, he had suffered through his days and nights.  Then the
woman had finally been fired for incompetence, since he had run away while in her care.

Quatre turned away from the memory, burying his face in his knees.  “I want to go to sleep.”  He whimpered, tears falling from
his eyes once again.

“No, Quatre . . . you can’t go to sleep.  Not here.”  Madam Pomfrey whispered, a gentle hand lightly brushing through his filthy
hair as she pulled away from him slightly.  “If you sleep now, you will be lost forever.  I cannot allow that.”

Flashes of memory played around them, the darkness continuing to close in on them.  All of Quatre’s past was played out, his
childhood, his days as a Gundam pilot . . . the Zero System and the colony that he had destroyed during his grief over his father’
s death.  Each and every one of those scenes were unpleasant . . . seemingly focusing on only the bad things that had happened
in his young life.

“But I can’t take this much longer.  It hurts and I’m too tired to fight it.”  Quatre replied, raising his gaze to view the woman
before him.

An instant later, the dark shadows swirled around him again, biting and clawing as they sought to destroy what little was left of
him.  He screamed and thrashed at them, attempting to fight off the apparitions.  Eventually they did subside . . . however, not
before they had hurt him quite considerably.

“Sshh . . .”  Madam Pomfrey hushed, her hands gentle on his shoulders.  “I know you are tired, but you are still strong enough
to withstand them.  You have to hold on, and fight back.”  She wrapped her arms around his body and quickly a deep sense of
warmth spread through his weary body.  “Here, I will shield you for a time.”

“Shield me?”  Quatre asked, a bit bewildered.  

Madam Pomfrey pulled away a little, smiling gently at him.  “I am here to guide you, Quatre.  I will lead you to a safe place,
where you can sleep and heal and the shadows can’t touch you.  But I cannot carry you, or help you to walk.  You must take
the steps on your own . . . I am only a guide here.”

Quatre nodded.  “I understand.”  He said, then cast his gaze down to the chains binding him.  “But I am trapped . . . I cannot
escape.”  He said, holding up his wrists for a moment before dropping them weakly to his sides.

Madam Pomfrey merely smiled.  “This is your mind, Quatre.  You have the strength to leave this dark place whenever you
wish.  If you see yourself as trapped then you are trapped, if you see yourself free then you are free.”  She stood, backing away
a few steps.  She smiled again, holding out her hand to him.  “Come, Quatre . . . I know you have the strength to do this.”

Quatre nodded, rising to his feet.  The chains fell from around him, disappearing before they landed on the cold ground.  Quatre
smiled, nearly laughing in relief.  He could leave, he really could.  He stepped toward Madam Pomfrey, his body threatening to
give out on him with each step.  However, he smiled as he clasped her hand, a deep sense of relief and warmth flooding him as
his hand came into contact with hers.

She led him out of the darkness, the shadows seeming to scream in agony as they parted the way, hurt by the brilliance of
Madam Pomfrey’s light.  Quatre followed, holding off on collapsing until he knew that he was safe, trusting in Madam Pomfrey’
s words, hoping that she wouldn’t lead him astray and into somewhere far worse than the dark where the cruel shadows
dwelled.

Suddenly, the darkness was gone, swept aside by the calming rays of light ahead.  Quatre sighed happily, looking out at the vast
oasis before him, where trees swayed in the breeze beside a pond of crystal clear water.  The air was sweet smelling and
warm.  Memories played out around them, just like in the darkness.  However here, the memories were not painful, they were
good and filled Quatre with deep feelings of happiness and love.

Quatre looked around, reveling in the memories.  There were the Maguanac treating him as a member of their group, his sisters
and the way they doted affection on him.  There was Trowa and the way they played such beautiful music together, and then
his father as Quatre hung off his arm.  There were memories of the happy times with his fellow Gundam pilots, the party after
the war, the few pleasant times they had shared between battles.  All in all, this place was full of love and kindness, and Quatre
felt good here.

Madam Pomfrey wrapped her arms around him once more, holding him gently for a few short moments.  “You will be safe
here.”  She said, releasing her hold and guiding Quatre to lie down as a warm breeze swept through the air.  “Rest now and
heal.”

Quatre smiled, closing his eyes, giving in to the soothing sounds around him, bathing in the love and happiness he felt here.  He
felt loved, he felt safe . . . he let himself sleep, knowing that nothing could hurt him while he was here.


*****


Madam Pomfrey broke the connection, leaving only when she was certain that the young man would be safe.  She smiled,
sliding her fingers along his cheek when she saw that he had fallen into a slumber.  It was expected though.  Naturally, he would
be quite exhausted after what he had been through.

“Serverus, would you mind giving me a hand?”  Madam Pomfrey asked, all but holding Quatre in a sitting position.  “I want to
make him more comfortable.”

“Are you certain I won’t worsen his condition?”  Professor Snape inquired.

Madam Pomfrey shook her head.  “No, it’s quite safe to get near him now.  That potion we both drank not only connected our
minds for a bit, but it will block him from sensing any and all emotions until he is strong enough to put his own blocks up again.”

Professor Snape nodded, stepping over to the bed and laying his hands on Quatre’s back to keep him upright.  Madam Pomfrey
then removed Quatre’s robes, and unbuttoned the top few buttons of his shirt.  At least he would be a little more comfortable
until something more suitable was found for him to wear during his stay here.  He wouldn’t be leaving any time soon.

As Snape lay Quatre down on the bed, Madam Pomfrey slid her hand along the side of Quatre’s face again, marveling at how
strong someone so seemingly delicate as Quatre seemed actually was.  He looked so fragile, and yet he had suffered through
great adversity.  “Poor child, it is a miracle that he has retained his kind heart after all he’s been through.”  She whispered,
mostly to herself.

“Will he be well?”  Professor McGonagall asked from the foot of the bed.

“I was almost too late.  The darkness inside his mind was eating away at him.  He was barely holding on when I got to him.  A
few minutes later and it would have been too late.”  Madame Pomfrey said, then sighed.  “But I did reach him in time.  He’s
resting now, and probably will rest for a good deal longer.”  Then she looked up at Professor Snape.  “I’m afraid that he may
have residual memories of yours for a few days at least, Serverus.  The prolonged contact with you only enabled him to make a
stronger connection to your mind and will leave your emotions more open to him than others in the future.”

“He won’t be able to block me?”  Professor Snape asked.

Madam Pomfrey smiled.  “Of course he will be able to block you for the most part.  However, the stronger emotions might be
able to seep through his blocks.  It’s unavoidable.  He has made a connection to your mind.  Over time it will fade, but it will
never truly leave him.”

Snape nodded.  “If you’ll excuse me, I should prepare for my next class.”  He said, and made a hasty retreat.

McGonagall also left, although she was a bit more slow in her departure.  She repeatedly cast worried glances back at Quatre,
apparently fearing for the health of the boy in her house.  Trowa tried to get out of bed on numerous occasions, only Ginny able
to keep him in bed.  Even that panther of Trowa’s seemed worried about Quatre, as it had taken a place lying on the young
blonde’s bed.  Madam Pomfrey allowed the creature to remain, not foreseeing any danger of it being there.

“Trowa, if you wish you may return to your dormitory.”  Madam Pomfrey said.  “But only if you agree to return here before
each meal for your medicine.  It may benefit Quatre to have as few people as possible here when he awakens.  The potion he
took will wear off with time.”

Trowa nodded.  “Okay.”  He said, slowly getting out of bed.  

Ginny assisted him in getting dressed.  She was the only one he allowed near himself, apparently trusting her far more than
anyone else.  Once he was attired, he made his way out of the Hospital Wing, pausing at the door to look back at Quatre before
Ginny ushered him out.  The panther remained on Quatre’s bed.  

Madam Pomfrey watched them leave.  She took a seat beside Quatre, taking hold of one of his hands, offering comfort even
though he couldn’t feel it right now.  He was dead to the world right now, his body and mind both needing to heal after the
onslaught of emotions that had torn at him mentally.



To Be Continued . . .