The Sugar Quill
Author: Wings  Story: Uranus & Gaia  Chapter: One (of One)
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Title: Uranus & Gaia
Rating: Teen
Summary: The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Fandom / Pairing: HP, R/Hr
Notes: I mess around with mythology a little, so forgive me if that's a faux pas. This was inspired by, of all things, the last part of Bend and Break, but it is in no way connected to my quasi-universe over there.
Before there was anything, there was Kaos, or Chaos. And Chaos lived and thrived in the darkness. She ruled without interference, allowed to do as she pleased. And so, she ran wild. The universe was, as per its chief patron, chaotic. Stars and galaxies roamed freely and worlds collided together.

But even Chaos grows lonely. For aeons, she disappeared from this realm. She wandered the void, searching for someone or something, abandoning the multitude of worlds before her. None knew where she was until she returned one day, with child. From her womb came Aether and Hemera, the essence of light and the essence of day, respectively. Later, there came their siblings, Erebus and Nyx, who ruled night and darkness together. And so, the dark pair and the light pair lived together, happily.
 

&&&

"Congratulations, you two. It's a girl." The nurse happily handed the tired woman in the bed a small, pink bundle. HelÚne Granger, sweaty, red-faced, and panting, held the little, red-faced newborn in her arms and felt a surge of love so strong, she nearly cried.

"She's beautiful," breathed Daniel, removing his glasses to wipe tears of joy from his eyes; they had tried so hard for a child, and here she was.

"She's ours." HelÚne looked at Daniel, and they shared a look of such joy that, to the nurse, even their child glowed with love.
 

&&&

"ARTHUR PONTIFICUS WEASLEY, I AM NEVER, EVER BEARING YOUR CHILD EVER AGA---AAAAAH!"

Wincing, Arthur opted, instead of running away, to grip his wife's hand tightly. Sure, she was probably squeezing his fingers off, but they had healers for this sort of thing. Molly had opted for a "natural" birth, without numbing charms, and it seemed she was paying for it now.

"Molly, you can do it! Just one more great push!" At the foot of the bed, the midwife coached Molly through the last leg of the birthing process, hands positioned to catch the redheaded crown in her view.

With a final effort, Molly fell back against the pillows as the sound of a child's cries filled the room.

"Arthur, Molly," the midwife grinned, handing them a blanketed babe. "You have a boy." Molly reached out and cradled the head with an experienced hand. The face, buried in blankets, shifted before a pair of wide, blue eyes peered at the strangers before it.

"Arthur?"

"Yes, dear?"

"What do you think of the name Ronald for him?"

Arthur looked at his wife, astonished. "Are you sure?"

Smiling softly, she nodded. "After your granddad, yes."

In that moment, Arthur loved her more than he ever had. Gently resting his hand on the infant's head, he whispered, "Ronald Bilius Weasley. Ron." He paused to swallow thickly. "Hello, son."
 

&&&

Aether and Hemera were desperate for a child. Erebus and Nyx had no such problems; their union was fruitful. Nyx bore many children, though each reflected the nature of their parents, eerily similar and ephemerally beautiful in their own right, save for their last, Eros, the god of love.

Aether and Hemera tried and tried, but though their love was strong, Hemera still remained barren. Desperate, they implored their mother, Chaos, as to why. Chaos, proud as she was, replied that she had foreseen sadness in their children's futures and had therefore thwarted their best efforts. A great row followed, and Aether struck his mother across her face.

The blow sent her reeling, and she fell. "Impudence!" she cried, gingerly cradling her jaw in her hand. "Fine! You shall have children, but there will be only blood in their future." She spat on the ground before them and stalked off darkly. Aether and Hemera looked at each other, both joyous and fearful; Chaos was not a woman to be toyed with.

Soon after, Chaos was driven to madness by the uncontrolled forces that she housed. Ashamed, her children cast her into the furthest reaches of the universe, where she still wanders.

Finally -
finally - Aether and Hemera were blessed with a daughter, a baby girl they named Gaia, the very essence of the Earth. As she grew, she became even more beautiful in their eyes.

They never spoke of Chaos's curse.
 

&&&

"Ron! Ron, shame on you!" Molly forcibly grabbed her son round the waist and sat him on a chair.

"Explain." She glared down at him sternly.

He seemed to shrink under her gaze. "They took my teddy," he mumbled.

"You know they'll give it back eventually," she pointed out, crossing her fingers behind her back. With Fred and George, there was no telling anything.

"But they..." He trailed off, his big blue eyes filling with tears.

"What did they do this time?"

"I was hugging Teddy and they...they turned it into a spider!" He looked up at her, lower lip quivering, sniffling.

"They did, did they?" Molly pursed her lips. "Ron, go play with Ginny for a bit, okay? You can show her that trick you can do." He sniffed once more but smiled widely. Jumping down from the chair, he padded to Ginny's nursery.

"Oh Fred, George..."
 

&&&

HelÚne was stumped.

While she and her husband both appreciated their brilliant daughter's love of reading, they were worried. Hermione, their little miracle, was not the best of playmates. Georgiana Lucas, across the street, had already stated that Hermione was simply far too bossy for her precious Mary Elisabeth, and would they please keep their haughty daughter away from her impressionable princess? Needless to say, she and Daniel were concerned; Georgiana was not the first, nor would, they suspected, she be the last.

So HelÚne stood in the kitchen, watching the water boil for pasta, while Hermione curled up on the couch, gazing intently at Do You Want to be My Friend?, brows furrowed in concentration. Her curly hair was pulled back, and HelÚne knew Hermione had inherited her Grandmama's hair, thick and dark and utterly untamable.

"Hermione?" The five-year-old looked up at her mother, curiosity etched in all her features. "Would you like to play a game after dinner?" The girl nodded enthusiastically. "Which one?"

"Scrabble!" HelÚne resisted the urge to rub her temples.
 

&&&

Not long after Aether and Hemera gave birth to Gaia did they notice another babe lying above her. He had his back to her, and Gaia soon learned his name was Uranus.

Aether and Hemera loved their daughter tremendously. However, Chaos, whom they had cast into the far reaches of the universe, plagued their consciences. As soon as they deemed Gaia ready, they left her, unhappily, with the promise that they would return. In the interim, they asked Erebus and Nyx to keep a watchful eye on their precious daughter. Though the dark couple tried to provide for their adopted daughter, they had long ago learned that a hands-off method may well be best.

Soon after Aether and Hemera had left, Gaia shyly approached Uranus. Though he continued to not face her, they soon spoke of all and nothing, of light and dreams and beauty. And in speaking to him, Gaia felt that she had found a part of her she has never thought to look for.
 

&&&

As he ran a soft cloth over the handle of his Nimbus 2000, Harry mused about the couple at the chess table.

Though the bickering seemed for the most part to be good natured, Harry honestly had to wonder if there wasn't something he wasn't seeing. Surely the fact that they bickered at all was of note? He may have been just twelve, but even he could recognize the beginnings of a crush. At least, he could in his fellow males; it was Hermione that he wondered about.

His eyes rested briefly on both of their intense expressions. Ron's brow was furrowed to the point that creases appeared on his forehead. His ears had gone pink long ago and were flushing a deeper red with each passing moment. Hermione, too, was looking a little rough around the edges; slowly but surely wisps of her hair were escaping from the ponytail at the nape of her neck, allowing curls to frame a petulant face that wasn't above pouting.

He had to smile when he heard their volume rise again. "Round three," he murmured, turning his attention back to the broomstick.
 

&&&

Though Gaia and Uranus spoke often and well of many things, Gaia found herself lonely. She couldn't see Uranus's face, and that discouraged her from seeking more from him. Luckily for her, he told her that he would have to enter a deep sleep for some time; he was leaving her.

Gaia cried hot tears of fire, red as the furthest stars in the sky. She cried for what never would be, what she wanted, and what her girlish dreams had always told her she deserved.

A cool hand rose and dried her tears. Startled, Gaia turned her head to the cool hand and looked into a pair of sea green eyes, deep and cool and understanding.

"Hello," she said shakily.

"H'lo," he replied, his voice like waves on the beach. "I am Oceanus."

Gaia smiled, and the earth glowed. "I am Gaia."

Oceanus smiled as well and his eyes turned bluer. "Let me love you the way you deserve to be loved, and I shall promise you that you shall never regret it."

Gaia glanced up at Uranus, at the expanse he had left between them for his slumber. A whisper in her ear---Eros---encouraged her, insisted she try her chances with the cool, beautiful man aside her, one who would do right by her, unlike the arrogant Uranus.

With a final glance heavenward, Gaia lay herself down aside Oceanus and let herself be loved by an older soul. At night, her dreams were filled with the sound of rain.
 

&&&

Dancing with Neville, Ginny cast a quick glance over at Hermione.

Hermione, who looked radiant in periwinkle dress robes, laughed openly so that all her teeth shone in the candlelight. She was truly proud of her new teeth, Ginny noted distantly.

Beside her, Viktor Krum, all elbows and knees, offered her a hand to stand and led her to the dance floor. During the slower numbers, she rested her head on Viktor's shoulder. Hermione was having fun, and Ginny did not regret bullying Hermione into accepting Krum's offer.

Twirling through a waltz, Ginny caught a view of Ron. He and Harry were the only ones sitting. Ron looked murderous, and Ginny gave herself three guesses as to why. Harry looked exasperated, and she suspected it had more to do with the redhead beside him and less with the Bulgarians at the Ball.

Absolving herself of any guilt, Ginny set her shoulders and determined to have fun this evening. Later, when Hermione told her the whole, tragic tale, Ginny would wonder if it had been the right choice after all. And two years later, when Ron began to date Lavender, Ginny watched them become estranged from one another and blamed herself.

She had started it.
 

&&&

Oceanus loved her passionately, in all the ways she deserved to be loved. But he was too cold for her hot core, and so they parted ways, but amicably.

Not long after, Uranus returned to her. He still kept his back turned to her, and nothing had seemed to change between them. But something had; their chatter was quieted. Uranus seemed more withdrawn. Something simply wasn't right, and Gaia was at a loss as to what could have possibly changed.

Gaia was so deep in thought, so deeply entrenched in figuring out the reason for his change in manner that she didn't notice the meteor headed for her until it was nearly too late. Unable to save herself, she acted upon instinct.

"Uranus, help!" She cried and shut her eyes, afraid to stare destruction in the face. She waited for the impact to come but didn't feel it. Hazarding a peek, she opened her eyes and faced the loveliest pair of blue eyes she'd ever seen, framed in a face that glittered like diamonds from the stray stars that studded it. He was crowned by a plume of fire, the same color as the sunset on the horizon, all pinks and reds and oranges and purples. He was beautiful, and he had saved her.

"Uranus?"

Turning away from her, he hurtled the meteor into the far reaches of space. Then, he remained still.
 

&&&

It was Neville who saw what happened. It was unexpected and inexplicable, but it happened and that was his story.

He was racing downstairs, afraid he would miss the invaders, when he saw them. Hermione was warding off two Death Eaters while Ron physically struggled with another, brawnier one. Ron sucker-punched his attacker before crying, "Stupefy," and taking him out for the count. Meanwhile, Hermione was fighting a losing battle; two Death Eaters was too much even for her. One of them robbed her of her wand and sent her sprawling with the recoil. She skidded to a stop and gaped in fear as one of the hooded figured raised his/her wand.

Neville swore he shouted, to try and alert someone that she was in trouble. He swore he reached for his own wand. He swore he had the spell on the tip of his tongue.

But Ron was faster. In a heartbeat, he Stunned the figure with the raised wand and quickly kocked the other one 'round the head, sending both crashing to the floor, out cold.

Neville would swear that this next part happened, though no one else can vouch for its veracity. Ron knelt aside Hermione and handed her a wand. She looked at it and gripped it in a vise-like grip, then turned and hugged Ron, sobbing into his shoulder. Awkwardly, he rubbed her back and murmured presumably soothing things into her hair. Quickly, she recovered and pulled away. Then - and this is the part most unbelievable - Ron tipped her chin up and rubbed away her tears with a corner of the sleeve of his robe. According to Neville, they just looked at one another for a very long moment.

And then, Neville said, the wall exploded. He was cut off from them and turned his attention back to warding off the intruders.
 

&&&

"Uranus?" Gaia repeated, softer. "Uranus, please? Face me?"

Slowly, The Sky God himself turned himself to face her, fear etched in his face. "I can't say no to you," he murmured wryly.

"Uranus, why did you never look at me before?"

He looked stricken, his eyes darting everywhere but her. "I...that is, I..."

She reached out a hand and touched his face. "You can tell me," she whispered.

"I was afraid I'd fall in love with you," he blurted, cheeks reddening like his hair.

"What?"

"Long ago, I was cursed; the woman I fell in love with would see my face and love me. And our future would be black. I didn't want that for anyone, especially not the one I loved. Not...you."

Gaia stifled a gasp and smiled at him kindly. "But I am cursed, too. My future holds horrible events for me and all my children."

"It seems we are both doomed."

"Then let's be doomed together."

"Are you saying...?"

"I love you. Stay with me." Gently, she pulled Uranus down and kissed him chastely.
 

&&&

Luna watched the sarcophagus go up in flame and disappear. She knew that he was not dead, just as she knew her mother and Sirius weren't gone in the sense that the word meant. They were still there, whispers on the wind. And behind the veil.

Still, the solemnity of the occasion had not escaped her. She dressed demurely (for her, anyway) and paid her respects, whispering in his figurative ear that she knew and she was happy for him.

Offside, she scanned the crowd. It seemed fitting, she mused, that Hogwarts' colors were black. Her eyes rested on one trio in particular. Harry looked grim and determined, and Ron and Hermione appeared no less so. Harry's lips moved - something about Horcruxes? The younger cousin of the Snorkack? - and Ron nodded and straightened slightly. In Harry's eyes she saw a glimmer of relief before he walked away.

However, the scene only became more interesting. Hermione turned to Ron and said something - This is the end or They are like hens? - and looked up at him softly. Quietly, he took her hand in his and they walked off after Harry, like a pair of lovers. Or perhaps a pair of Rashkanalis.

In the midst of all the tears, Luna found herself with her trademark dreamy smile. No one paid her the least mind; they assumed she'd finally cracked. In reality, she was moved.

They looked happy.
 

&&&

The legends would tell of the fruits of their union: the Titans, Cronos, Zeus, and all the other Olympian gods. They tell of the sorrow and the heartache both would suffer later in life.

What they don't tell is how, as Uranus lay atop Gaia, they realized that they were truly and completely happy.

//
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