Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters. They belong to J.K. Rowling; I just enjoy playing in her sandbox when it's not raining.
Harry Potter, Master of Death, Destroyer of Worlds, Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, was studying his reflection in a spoon. The utensil was not particularly adept at displaying an accurate picture of himself, but it amused him to see his face warped and inflated in a bug-eyed stare. Harry didn't really care. He knew what he looked like, and didn't need the dubious surface of a spoon to remind him.
Idly, he flipped the spoon over and stared into the reverse side, watching as his head was compressed like an hourglass. He opened his mouth and made a face at his reflection, wrinkling his nose and widening his eyes in an attempt to make himself as ridiculous as possible. A few moments later he caught himself and stopped, letting the spoon drop from his fingers where it dissolved into ash halfway to the floor.
Heaving a sigh, Harry leaned back and sat down on a chair that materialized out of smoke and shadow just in time to catch him, angling his head toward the 'roof' of the expanse of nothing that made up his entire world nowadays.
He was so bored.
There was nothing to do anymore. He'd outlived all of Earth, twice, taken over various civilizations in various times and places, been a Dark Lord more times than he honestly cared to count, killed Tom Riddle as an infant six separate times out of sheer spite, and even united all the squibs in the magical world in revolt against their wizard superiors—which was surprisingly successful, seeing as squibs weren't afraid to use guns while their enemies disdained 'muggle weapons' as 'nonsense.'
And the purebloods kept on believing it was nonsense up until the squib President of the United States dropped a bomb on them.
Harry sighed again, letting his arm dangle off the side of his conjured smoke-chair and brushed the ground—it felt like grass for now—with long bony fingers that hadn't been that way before he'd made the mistake of retrieving the Resurrection Stone from the forest.
Honestly he couldn't even really call himself 'Harry Potter' anymore. The only features he had in common with the old Harry were the hair—still an untamable mess, even though it was made out of shadows now and moved on its own, which only made controlling it even more difficult—and the eyes, which had always been 'a bit creepy' but were now literally the color of the killing curse, instead of just often compared to it in passing.
He was much taller now, thank Merlin, but he'd also lost basically all of his body mass until he resembled either a skeleton or a concentration camp survivor, whichever one was worse. His fingers were longer, as if he'd somehow gained an extra knuckle somewhere along the way, and while his famous scar was finally gone he'd ended up trading it for a massive tattoo of the Deathly Hallows spreading across his entire back.
Oh, and he'd gained the delightful ability to steal the soul of whoever touched his bare skin—no matter how accidentally—which had immediately destroyed his sex life and any sort of possibility at normality he could ever have, forever. And when he said 'forever,' he wasn't just being an emotional teenager and angsting about his situation. He actually meant forever, seeing as how he was now immortal.
But he wasn't bitter. Sure, he had spent a century or two throwing a temper tantrum that plunged the entire world into another Dark Age, but he'd gotten over it. He'd even been a bit excited once his emo stage was over, thinking about all the things he could do and learn and accomplish now that he had all the time in the world.
And it had been bearable. He'd learned to live—sort of—with the fact that he was going to watch all his friends and family die, and eventually the pain of losing them dulled to a sort of numb indifference—which really helped, actually, because being in constant emotional agony due to something he really couldn't control sucked. He'd learned everything he could think to learn, read everything he could get his hands on, found teachers to teach him things he'd have never imagined, and did just about everything he'd ever wanted to do.
And then there was nothing left. Nothing. He had done everything possible to be done. No matter how small, how bizarre, or how dubiously moral… he'd done it.
And now he was bored.
Tossing a ball that hadn't existed until he'd wanted it to up and down in his hand, Harry pondered.
'Master of Death' was a bit of a misnomer, really. Death was not a person, or a creature, or a thing that could conceivably have a 'master.' Death simply was. Being Master of Death did not give him control over 'Death' as the name might have once implied. No, being Master of Death meant that the concept of Death, of The End of All Things, of The Final Breath of the World, was personified in him. He became Death. He was 'officially' in charge of making sure souls got to the afterlife once they died, but that whole business was done entirely subconsciously—he wasn't even aware that he was doing it until two thousand years in during a period of intense meditation—meaning he was free to do basically whatever he wanted in the meantime.
As Death, he (obviously) could not be killed. At all. Oh he could be injured, wounded, torn apart, atomized, liquefied, or otherwise obliterated, but he always pulled himself back together in short order. Killing Death was like trying to make water wet, or set fire to a flame. It was pointless because it was already true.
Harry was always 'dead,' so killing him again was useless.
He sighed again. He was getting introspective. The last time he'd gotten introspective, he wound up creating the dementors. He'd already known they existed, of course, but he'd gone back to a point where they didn't and made them exist because he figured if he had soul-sucking skin, he may as well make soul-sucking monsters to match.
It was slightly ironic that he used to have such a strong reaction to them as a mortal, since he'd actually created them in the past after he'd transcended mortality in the future. Paradoxes. They still boggled his mind.
But none of this solved his problem. He had nothing to do. He supposed he could go back to Earth again and screw up the timeline or something, maybe blow up a village or a small town, but he'd already done that so many times it really wasn't worth the effort. He sort of wondered if this was why Death had never been personified before. It wasn't like there was a 'Master of Life' he could talk to. He sort of hoped there never would be; despite how much he'd kill for some company—his jokes had only gotten worse due to the isolation—he would never wish his existence on anyone. Especially not the personification of Life itself.
Harry was halfway through another sigh when something interesting happened.
He almost missed it at first. It was a faint sort of tugging in his chest, like someone had tied a thread around one of his ribs and was pulling on it a bit. He felt an initial flash of irritation—Who goes and ties things around people's ribs? Honestly!—before he realized that this was different. This had never happened before, which was such a novel experience that he leapt from his chair (which dutifully dissolved unnoticed behind him) and stilled himself unnaturally so he could focus his considerable senses on this strange phenomenon.
It took him only three fractions of a second to scan his vast reservoirs of knowledge before the answer came to him.
He was being summoned!
He laughed aloud, the sound dry and rusty and rattling like the last breath of a dying man, but he barely noticed. Someone was summoning him! Him! Death! The Pale Rider himself! He paused at this revelation, furrowing his brows. No… not Death. No mortal could summon Death. But…
A smile pulled at his lips. It was a slow thing, a dead thing, cracking against the pale skin of his face like a Glasgow grin. They might not be capable of summoning Death… but they could summon Harry Potter.
He stretched out his power along the thread tied to his chest, following it curiously, only to find it led nowhere. It reached to the Edge of his formless Void, before abruptly vanishing into nothingness, as if the thread had materialized there and existed nowhere else. His mind raced with possibilities. The thread had not led him in the direction of the Earth, which meant the summoner was not on Earth. Or… at least not on this Earth.
He had toyed with the idea of alternate realities of course, but had never dared try and cross over to one, not even in the depths of boredom. He had no way of knowing if a Death already existed there, and had no desire to find out what would happen should he wind up in conflict with another personification of Death. But another reality had reached out to him. This, logically, meant his arrival there would not bring him into conflict against another entity like himself. The Death there would not have allowed it, just as he would not have allowed some other Death to piggyback on a summoning from his Earth.
The grin on his face could not possibly be equated to a human smile any longer, full of teeth that sharpened the longer he held the expression until it would not look out of place on a shark. Harry paused, only briefly, as he considered what might happen to this world if he answered the summons. He was confident that, as Death, he had the power to remain subconsciously connected to this world so as to perform his duties. After all, didn't Death exist in all worlds and all places? It made sense that he could do likewise.
Pulling his power around him like a shroud—no, really, it was an actual black shroud; where do you think the idea for the dementor cloaks came from?—Harry took a step forward and found himself at the end of the thread, having crossed the distance between him and it without actually having had to do so. Lifting up a pale, long-fingered hand, Harry delicately grasped the faint white thread between forefinger and thumb, his other digits raised elegantly in the air, and gave it a gentle yank.
Sensations of shock/fear/surprise/hope/elation echoed across the thread from whoever was summoning him—no, summoning Harry Potter, the boy he used to be—and the tug in his chest doubled. It was still barely noticeable to one such as himself, but at least his summoners knew he was paying attention now. His smile tilted oddly at the thought; he wondered just what they would think if they knew they'd just gained the full attention of Death.
With a wide, feral grin, Harry stepped forward off the Edge, and decided to find out.
AN: By far my favorite type of Harry Potter fanfiction is the "someone summoned overpowered-Harry from another dimension to fight their battles for them" cliché. I also adore stories where Harry is the Master of Death, and that the title actually means something as opposed to just being frivolous. Also, Unhinged!Harry and Godlike!Harry are enjoyable as well. So, I figured, why not mix all of them together?
Just to be clear, I have not actually read all of the Harry Potter books, or even actually watched all of the movies. Most of my knowledge comes from the thousands of fanfictions I've read, pieced together from canon events that they all had in common and therefore assured me they were fairly accurate. But this is a massive AU anyway, so I feel pretty secure about myself.
I've written lots of Harry Potter fanfiction starts (154 of them, to be exact, not including crossovers) that, obviously, I have never posted. Mostly because they're all pretty stupid in my opinion, and are all short. This one is short too, being only about 5k words so far, but I still liked it enough to put it up and prove that I'm not dead to my three loyal fans. No, this does not mean I have any sort of inspiration for any of my other fandom stories.
Here, have a cup of pudding for your trouble. It's chocolate, I promise.