Note: I have not abandoned An Heir Slithers Once More, I am merely trying to reach the tenth chapter and plan to publish more chapters soon enough. I stopped to edit the first two chapters and am currently on chapter five on my computer. I have 60K on my computer and am attempting to make a semblance of a story.
Summary: The Master of Death travels back in time to save everyone else.
Warnings: Character Death, Necromancy, Black Magic, PTSD, Suicide, Homicide, Inexplicit non-con, OCs (not prevalent), expansion on Peverell Brothers, OOC characters, warfare flashbacks, blood, some gore, possible references to religion though Harry Potter is not specifically religious in any way, references to Fae, to homosexuality, to pansexuality, to various deities whom I may or may not personally believe in, and this is just a global statement: This is M-rated; are you stupid? Don't complain; you have a back button.
Disclaimer: Imagine a world where Voldemort simply didn't die from Harry becoming the Master of Death, etc. That was very anti-climactic in my opinion – it fit the story; I would not have done that. Actually, I would have made a Slytherin Harry because teaching kids to discriminate is wrong. The world is not Good People sit at this table and Bad People sit at that table; Harry should have been a Slytherin or Draco should have turned (we saw hints of it; I liked that). I leave such childishness to JK Rowling and accept that my canon and hers differ. Also, "Absolution" is by the Pretty Reckless. This isn't a songfic, but I do recommend you listening to the songs when I mention them at the top of the chapter.
Chapter 1: Absolution.
"Jump into the sun
Dear boy, what are you running from?
The answer you will find in your grave
Time keeps rolling on.
I need my Absolution"
"Absolution" – the Pretty Reckless
Everything was set up perfectly. The graveyard was still and nearly empty, with only countless headstones as his audience and a simple portrait of a sleeping old man propped up against a statue of a couple holding a babe and looking both too average and too heroic. A circle of blessed salt protected him with crystals at the points of his pentagram of lamb's blood. Inside of the pentagram, at the pentagonal centre, at the cross roads, a man knelt before the simple portrait with a cloak and hood and dagger. He cut his hand easily and dribbled the blood into a shape within the pentagon crossroads: a triangle, and then a line from the uppermost point to the centre of the base, and circle in the heart of the triangle to make sure he would regain his soul.
He reached into his black cloak as his palm healed nearly instantly, retrieving several items. A black stone on a silver ring glinted in the moonlight and he heard the grounds stir. He retrieved a gnarled dark yellow stick of either elder or yew, and a shimmering fabric that his eyes could not quite capture.
He peered down at the portrait whose sagely blue eyes were open and mouth was turned in a deep frown.
"Don't act like you didn't expect this," the man told the portrait, slipping the shimmering fabric over his shoulders and knotted a purple cord at his neck. His voice was gruff but young, raspy from disuse and bitterness, "You knew exactly what you were doing when you played us like checkerboard pieces."
The portrait merely shook his head, dull blue eyes never leaving a haunting, eerily glowing green.
The man gave a sharp, false laugh and said, "You made me Master for a reason, didn't you, Dumbledore? You spent your life looking for all the pieces. You knew exactly what it would do to me, didn't you? Didn't you?" He pulled the hood of the shimmering fabric over his head, revealing a deathly pale skeletal hand with only slivers of skin still hanging on.
The portrait whispered, "I never meant for this."
"Yes, you did. You knew this would happen. Your search grew even more vigorous after lover-boy left you, after your sweet Arianna died. You knew you could have done it if you had gathered all of the pieces, but what you didn't count on was," he drifted off, green eyes glazing slightly with a strangely metallic sheen. He tilted his head back to the sky, to the face of the moon right above him.
"What are you running from, my boy?" the portrait breathed into the chilled Walpurgis Night.
"Fate," he breathed back in an exhilarated voice, "Death, Luck, who knows?" What was visible of his cheeks flushed a deep, sanguine red and he shuddered visibly as the feeling approached him.
He fell to his knees, eyes on the moon, as the circle of salt bled a purple dome over him as a fulfilled protective circle. He heard the lightning cracks somewhere in the back of his head, the red eyes and thousands of followers standing outside of his circle. Would they stop him? he wondered idly. They couldn't.
His mouth twitched and he bent forwards, face falling towards the portrait so that the now-never-twinkling eyes of Albus Dumbledore could watch his once-young charge shiver with the sudden thrill of power reaching into him with such pleasure he felt his heart race, his face flush, sweat pour from his head, his thighs quiver and his hips oscillate. His breath grew heavier as the crystals charged and white lightning charged the lamb's blood to a scarlet glow and the blackened blood triangle-line-circle shape began to seep into black opaqueness.
He finally gasped out as tears began to prick his too-green eyes, "They are all dead. Everyone is dead."
"You're not dead!" the portrait gasped, "You're still fighting! Don't let this happen!"
"No!" the man snarled, falling to his side as the opaque triangle bled violet sparks to the pentagram. "Even Tom is dead!" he cried, "I'm the only one left!"
Other spirits appeared outside the circle beside the phantasm of the red-eyed one and his followers – a brunet man in glasses, a pale man with tangled black hair and grey eyes, a red-haired woman crying, a man all in black, a redheaded family with a gangly young man ruined with scars sobbing openly, a bushy-haired woman without a face standing to his side, an eyeless blond boy holding a sword, a visage of white hair and white skin and sneer of respect, and finally the spirit of a man with a beard and never-twinkling blue eyes appeared.
The portrait seized, the paint dripping as heat rose and violet blackened like vines seized the edge of the protective circle.
The living man shook violently, jerking and spasming as black vines creeped into his very skin and shimmering fabric enveloped his form. The translucent purple dome wavered as his visibly skeletal hand greyed and began to crumble around a yellow elder wand and a silver ring with an onyx stone began to crack.
The dome shook violently and the green-eyed man screeched almost like a hawk or a vulture or an eagle descending to a kill. The graveyard shook violently and the spirits gathered for the Walpurgis Night all stood as witness to the sudden collapse of the Magick.
The red-haired woman fell to her knees at the spotless ground where nothing lay but a twisted wire pair of round spectacles and shattered glass lay.
Her green eyes began to glow as she shrieked her agony to the sky – both physical and emotional agony.
Her husband fell next to her, hazel eyes glowing as well.
A scarlet-eyed man fell to his knees, and his followers with him as his eyes began to burn as brightly as the moon and the sun.
One by one they fell.
Finally a faceless bushy-haired woman began to smile as brown eyes, a straight nose and a mouth reappeared from the mass of her shattered skull.
And the universe began to collapse around them.
Somewhere else, very far away, a young boy shrieked as he awoke from a nightmare in a dark, stuffy cupboard under the stars. He breathed deeply and a bright light appeared in the darkness, an orb of blue light dancing in front of him. He extended his clean, unblemished and calloused hands and began to hyperventilate as silver runes glinting against his skin spelling out in an Old Elven tongue:
Finally he raised the young hands to his face and did not feel the spectacles that marked him as human, spectacles that anchored his soul to the Earth and represented his very personality - twisting, breaking, and bending, held together by magic and tape, but everlasting and enduring.
They weren't there.
The orb of light disappeared and he began to smile.
His eyes glowed in the darkness.