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The last chapter of Almost Here so [personal profile] moth2fic you can read the whole thing now :)

Title: Almost Here
Genre: Crossover fic (Harry Potter and Spooks)
Characters: Dumbledore, Ruth Evershed and Danny Hunter
Word Count: 1300 words approx.
Summary: The final test...

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three




Some time later, Danny appeared as usual; and yet Ruth knew something had changed. He was erratic, overjoyed. All that learned solemnity had fallen away like a discarded cloak, or an unwanted article of clothing.

He was smiling, all those pearly white teeth showing, eyes bright.

“It’s time.”

It hit her quietly, the realisation an aching cold in her heart. He was finally leaving her. For what seemed the longest of moments neither said anything at all.

The joyous glow never left him, even as he must have sensed her fear. He held out his hands.

“You don’t need me anymore and I have done what I was required to do.”

There was the old Danny, the alive Danny; selfish and oblivious and unaware. “Was that all I was to you? A duty to be fulfilled?” She spat, perhaps with slightly more venom than she had originally intended.

He didn’t react. He laughed instead. It wasn’t malicious and cruel. It was a laugh of genuine happiness, genuine uninhabited freedom.

So she laughed too. “Don’t bother answering that, Danny. I know you care.”

“It’s partially that acknowledgement that allows me to leave you. You don’t need my help. You’ve got hope. You’ve got love. There is only one thing left here for you and I am not part of that story, not anymore.”

Ruth remembered Dumbledore, remembered the soft joy of her own realisation. Danny was right. It wouldn’t be fair to keep him stuck between life and death with his purpose gone.

She took his outstretched hands...

***

And they were in a shadow replica of the flat Danny had once shared with Zoe. Even simulacrum mugs sat on the table, tea bag strings still dangling out of the cups.

Danny gazed at the misty room for a minute, and Ruth guessed he was drinking every detail in.

“Good bye Ruth. Don’t give up on him. Not now. Not later.”

She found it in herself to be brave, to smile. “I won’t.”

He nodded briefly, turned and opened the flat door. There was a shadow taxi waiting in the shadow street. Danny opened the taxi door and stepped inside.

Ruth stood still, arms loose at her sides, as the taxi spluttered to life, took Danny away from her too, into the bright, blinding light, and death.

As she rubbed a tear away, the room began to peel away, disintegrate, the light sucking the details into blinding heat. She shielded her face with her arms and staggered forward into...

***

Dumbledore was at her side, and he too, was smiling like Danny had, her startled, terrified expression staring back at her from his infernal half moon spectacles.

She sighed. “I should have known.”

“Be brave, Ruth. It is, after all, the final test.” He was clutching his illuminator whatsit between gnarled fingers. Even as her retina’s burned, she noted how aged he was, and wondered how tired.

He brandished it up at the blinding, ever encroaching light that threatened to swallow them both up and clicked once, twice.

The light didn’t fade gradually. Ruth was left in total darkness. Dumbledore was gone. She could see nothing but blackness. Blackness and silence for what seemed eons and then- after what seemed an eternity, the sound of somebody familiar screaming.

She began to run.

The screams were ones of agony.

“Erin. For God’s sake, Erin. Where are you?”

And closer now...

“Erin, for God’s sake, please find me.”

She followed the sound, down the deepening and dark passage way. She didn’t stop to wonder where she was. She ran to the sound of his voice, fell on her knees at his side, gaped at the gunshot wound, blood blossoming slowly out in scarlet splendour.

“Harry,” she whispered and to her relief and surprise he finally heard her, finally looked up and heard her, as he hadn’t done since the day she had died by the lighthouse.

He groaned. “Don’t send ghosts to torment me now. Hasn’t the world taken enough from me? Ruth is gone. Ruth, darling, you’re dead. Leave me be.”

He began to choke, his hands clawed up, rigid.

“I’m not dead yet, my love. But I’m not alive either.”

“Am I to go with you?” he managed to gasp.

“Haven’t you dreamt it all this time?”

Erin and Dimitri ran into the dark tunnel before Harry could answer. They were older and more mature. They were jaded too, but who wasn’t in Ruth’s old job?

“Harry!” Erin cried out and fell to her knees next to Ruth. Dimitri ripped up his shirt, tried to staunch the wound, while Erin frantically rang an ambulance. From the expressions on their faces, Ruth knew it was already too late, as the mists rose like an angry wave and she felt herself being tugged away. She just had the forethought to clutch hold of Harry’s blood stained shirt collar, before the mists crashed down over their heads.

***

Harry blinked confusedly as Ruth touched his face in wonder. It was a bitter face, and careworn with years of fruitless file pushing. He’d been burnt out, chewed up and spent by the system. The saddest part of all was that he’d allowed it to happen, allowed that bitterness to swallow his entire life up, till all had become useless and futile. She knew, because she had seen it.

He didn’t acknowledge Ruth now. “It isn’t real,” he muttered, “We are separated. There is no happily ever after for Ruth and I.”

“We are both dead,” she snapped, “but at least we are dead together. Let me in.”

“Why should I believe you? It could be one more trick in my torturer’s repertoire, and God knows, I’ve seen enough to believe it.”

“You can feel my touch can’t you?” She asked, her finger tips tracing his cheek.

‘I’ve imagined that touch for years. My imagination has learnt to run wild since Ruth left me.”

“Stop being so pig headed. I am Ruth,” she snapped, forgetting her own confusion upon first entering the mists in her frustration.

“Do I dare trust my judgement enough to believe it?” He replied bitterly.

“Learn to,” she pleaded softly.

***

It took a long time to wash that bitterness away, but time can heal many things. Even the dead can be healed in time.

***

Dumbledore wiped a tear from behind his half moon glasses. Oh! But how he did love a happy ending!

***

And so it was that finally... finally, Ruth and Harry could stand together, swathed in the mists of King’s Cross Station, as a train pulled in at the station.

Ruth was holding Harry’s hand. “Come on! Let’s get a seat!”

He stepped forward off the platform, wrenched a carriage door open, and swept Ruth up off her feet and over the platform gap and aboard. She laughed like a teenager and leant out the train door, waving enthusiastically at Dumbledore, his glasses gleaming from behind a shining white pillar. And then she turned and put her arms around Harry.

He kissed her passionately on the mouth and he too, was laughing, as he hadn’t done since he had been young.

The train pulled out of the station and the light crashed over them, but this time, neither noticed nor cared. As the unknown swallowed them up, nothing mattered at all, because they were finally facing the end together.

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station

Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now I see
Have you left a seat for me?
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination

- O Children, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds



Well. Weirdest fic I've ever written but so worth it...
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