In the Blink of an Eye

Chapter 3

Will Turner woke with a groan, one hand coming up unconsciously to rub at the place where his heart had once rested. It still pained him at times; a phantom pain, surely, for nothing short of his heart – his real, physical heart – falling in to the wrong hands could kill him now.

But it hurt nonetheless.

Blinking open his eyes, he instantly knew that something was out of place. Well, more so than usual. In the few short months since he had taken to the task of ferrying the dead to their final resting place, he had come across some might strange sights – and some strangely dressed individuals. However, this man had to take the cake.

He was wearing a dress. And it was dancing. He wasn’t dancing, mind you. Just the dress. On it’s own.

Maybe he had hit his head harder than he thought.

Feeling himself being lifted to his feet against his will, Will eyed the man carefully, attempting to regain his balance only to find he was being held just off the ground by some unseen force.

This just kept getting better and better.

“Name.” Will blinked, wondering if playing dumb would work. No, he couldn’t pull it off like Jack could. Could anybody? “What is your name?”

Oh, right. He wanted an answer, didn’t he? Damn Jack and spreading insanity among everybody he met.

“Will Turner. And you?” A quick glance told him Elizabeth was still unconscious, but the steady rise and fall of her chest calmed the worry that wanted to rise up and overwhelm Will, and he eyed the older man warily as he struggled futilely against whatever magic was holding him place.

It was nothing like the magic he had run into in the past, however, reminiscent of Tia Dalma’s powers after she had been released from her ... prison.

And while he was pretty sure the man before him wasn’t a god ... you could never be too careful. He certainly hadn’t expected it of the other woman, either.

“Turner.” It was said as a statement, and Will frowned at the confusion in the man’s voice. Had he been expecting something different, then?

Starting at the feel of warm fingers brushing along his arm, Will watched the man carefully inspect his arms, pushing the sleeves of his shirt up and moving his fingers over the unmarred flesh he found, murmuring something in what sounded like Latin of all things under his breath.

Raising one dark eyebrow, Will shifted his gaze over to Jack, who seemed to be in a similar predicament as him. The other man simply shrugged his shoulders, a small smile curving his lips and hair falling in it’s usual disarray around his shoulders.

There was something else there, however, that Will hadn’t quite been expecting. A certain ... wariness, even fear, that Jack had yet to show when faced with undead, armies and gods, all hell-bent on destroying him.

And this man hadn’t even really threatened them.

“You are un-marked.” There was surprise in the man’s voice, and Will’s gaze snapped back to him as the man tapped a thin wooden stick against his lips, blue eyes narrowed. And for all his vaulted intelligence, there was only one thing that came to Will Turner’s mind.

“Huh?”

Now, there were several things that Jack considered doing at this point. For one, drawing the Old Fool’s attention back to him, away from the seriously confused Will Turner. Two, berating that same young man for such an inadequate response.

However, he opted for the final option – and laughed his arse off.

Albus Dumbledore jerked around in surprise, while Will merely shook his head with a sigh. “Ignore him. He does this a lot.”

Jack frowned, put out enough that he stopped his nearly maniacle laughter to stare thoughtfully at his companion. “And yet you still come ’round, William. Why is that?”

“If I remember correctly, you were the one to steal on to my ship -”

“Ship?”

Jack jerked slightly, having momentarily forgotten about the older wizard. Pulling experimentally at his bonds, he gave another exasperated sigh as he eyed the older man. “Ship. Floats? Sure you have those ’round here, mate.”

Albus Dumbledore pursed his lips, drawing another long-suffering sigh as he turned to the other man he had only just now revived. Perhaps he could get some answers out of this one.

“You bear no Dark Mark. Why is that?” His wand was leveled at Will’s chest, and Will took a moment to study the thin stick. It was similar to the one Jack had sported, though with some obvious differences – smaller, thinner, and made of a lighter wood that Jack’s.

He could just hear the obscene “size” jokes starting now ...

The wand - and the person holding it - came closer, and Will jerked out of his thoughts to meet the older man’s intense blue eyes, frowning as he recalled the question.

“Dark Mark?” The question was clear in his words, and Will rose one dark eyebrow as he watched the man shift impatiently. “I’m afraid I don’t know -”

“And I suppose you just found yourself here, is that it?” Albus knew he was being a bit unfair, a bit harsh - harsher than he would normally have been. Hell, normally he would have enjoyed a puzzle such as this.

But that damned man reminded him far too much of James, and the pain in his heart would not let him be anything but brusque with these intruders. Not when he wanted nothing more than to see James’ smiling countenance once again.

Hell, even his scowling face would have been a welcome sight.

“Actually ...” Will let his words trail off into nothingness, letting his face speak for itself. And speak it did, if the incredulous look on the older man’s face was anything to go by.

“We’re not quite sure how we got here, honestly. Or where here is.” Will tested the bonds that held him once again, the muscles of his arms flexing as he eyed the older man warily.

Albus, for his part, was more than a tad confused, and the sight of such a physical test of his spell only added to that confusion. The young man before him was young - young enough to be a prime pick for Tom’s forces. But his reactions were purely physical - he held no more magic than a mere muggle, from the looks of things.

And he got the same feelings from the young woman he had yet to awaken. Which meant -

“A diversion."

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