Okay, here we go, another kick at the old bucket. Long story short, I didn't like what I had done when I looked at what I had created. I tried to please everyone and it backfired. So here we go, we have me writing it, as close to what I always intended it to be, let's see if it works out any better. Things are going to be different, I'm not going to tell you who the pairings are going to be, because I intend them to be discovered as part of the journey.
Oki Doki. What is this thing?: This my friends it my rewrite/second try at writing a Harry potter Fan Fiction. Will I make It? I have no bloody clue. I 'm doing this for fun and to improve as a writer over time. So don't expect professional quality right off the bat.
What is this story about?: Well keeping it as spoiler free as possible...Harry's died, again, and he needs to go back in time to give it another shot. Problem is, he's only got one more reset. It's a spin on the Reptilia28 Challenge, not adhering terribly closely to it.
What will this story be like?: Time travel, Some pseudo soul-bond/true love stuff...(it's complicated), powerful (but not godlike) Harry, Light Grey Harry, Ron and Molly Bashing, Well intentioned but meddlesome Dumbledore, WARNING: I will try and redeem a couple characters along the way. (I love me some redemption stories.)
Will their be humour?: Some...hopefully, my humour tends towards the dry, bizarre or random, but it's not a primary focus.
Warnings: Language (Both Severe and Mild), references to non-consensual sex (e.g. Rape, YICK!), sex (mostly off screen, tell me if you want a MA version posted at another site), possible use of drugs and alcohol (not by the main characters), Lots of mature subject matters (so you little freak-bags better get out or cover your ears.).
Additional Important Notes: There will be some religious discussion, but it is in no way meant to be evangelical (e.g. meant to convert), it's part of the story, if you can't handle it, don't read. I will be trying to redeem a couple of "evil" characters, you have been warned. I am religious, but I'm necessarily what you'd expect, in fact I may make other religious people very mad by being willing to write about some things they would not. So to the religious among you this is an M rated story. To the atheists I will be talking about religion, but I'm not trying to convert you, if you can't stand to even hear about religion this is not the story for you. Sex and Sexuality... I will be including stuff that is fairly mature in nature, Teenagers have sex drives, it's a fact of life, I don't intend to shy away from it, nor do I intend to magnify it unnecessarily. What does this mean, their is a good chance I'll reference and explore the characters sexual development and explorations.
Tags: Eh...I'll write warnings and such at the beginnings of the chapters I think.
Stuff I will not do: I will not write about graphic rape, I just won't do it, no not even as Omakes or whatever. I won't be using slurs except for mudblood. I will not be addressing sexual fetishes, I'm not here to Kowtow to your sexual fantasies. There will be no Ron/Hermione romance, there will be no Draco/Hermione romance or Snape/Hermione romance.
Other stuff: Seriously you pack of pansies rate, review, comment, follow, favourite, send me messages... these things fuel the little grommet that runs things in place of my heart. Also if you guys feel like it, send me the souls of the unworthy i'll gladly devour them, because it will at least mean I am getting mail for a change. Please keep the flames constructive or at least thoughtful. Nudes...No probably best if you keep those to your selves. You don't want those floating around the internet, somebody will hack it and post it on the news or something. Why hackers have to ruin everything I don't know... Well that was a tangent. uh... Point is send me your words and I will read. If this story does not receive some sort of response I will assume you hate it and give up to go cry in a corner until I eventually shrivel up from dehydration.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER, I don't know that I own anything really, BUT I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER, that honour goes to the lovely JKR may she rule as queen of fantasy for many years. *insert image of huddled masses bowing down before her greatness* and thank you to her for letting us use her world as a playground or possibly rave party as the case may be.
NUMBER 48 Rebirth: Prologue
It's horrible to be helpless, to know something is happening or going to happen, and to be completely unable to stop it. It is worse to be helpless because of your own actions. To have made a mistake, to have said the wrong thing, and have it put not only you, but those you care about in danger. To unintentionally cause the suffering of those you hold dearest to your heart.
This was the hell Harry had found himself in after making the mistake of saying Voldemort's name while it was under taboo. The Snatchers had descended on them like a swarm of locusts on a verdant field or a flock of carrion eaters on a corpse. Hermione had done what she could to try and cover for his mistake, but the ruse hadn't worked in the end. They had spent days down here in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor, during that time Bellatrix Lestrange had tortured his friend, and was doing so again now, it was only by cruel fluke of circumstance, that he was no longer as helpless as he'd been before, Dobby had arrived to rescue Luna and Ollivander…Luna, poor girl, he shuddered to think what had likely been done to her, here in the clutches of these monsters, many of whom had despicable appetites.
Now he stood over the body of Peter Pettigrew, the traitor who had sold his parents out to save his own worthless hide. Harry had tried to call in the life debt that he'd created saving the worthless rats life, and the hesitation it had birthed in Peter, resulted in his artificial hand turning against him and strangling the life from him. And he heard his friends voice once again raised in pain. He needed to reach her, to save her, from his mistake. He made it to the first landing when suddenly her trembling cries started to warble and then cut out. A panic rose in his heart, a clenching dread that seized it, and wouldn't let go. He hurried on and heard a rising murmur, agitated voices on the other side of the door. Harry burst through the door, and saw his friend, his Hermione lying on the ground, her eyes wide and staring and her chest stilled, no longer rising and falling with breath. A Death Eater, hooded cloaked and masked knelt over her, his hand at her throat, clearly searching for a pulse. Bellatrix stood above them her hands clenching in anger, and stamping her foot in frustration.
And Harry, saw red, he thought that was an expression, but no, he knew then that they'd taken something from him which he could never replace, something which would leave a hole in his heart forever. And he struck, lashing out with his stolen wand his curse striking the Death Eater on his knees, and throwing him across the room. Bellatrix gave a start and a mad smile began to open her mouth, no doubt to spout some ridiculous soliloquy as she was so fond of doing. But he launched himself at her not giving her a chance to talk. He cast spell after spell, curse after curse, and she had to bat increasingly frantically at them to stop them until, finally, she was just a hair to slow and a curse made it through. A bone shatterer, catching her full in the chest. She staggered back in a spray of red and looked disbelievingly at her chest before a following curse snapped her head back and finished her.
Harry didn't wait to confirm a victory, he skittered back across the room to his fallen friend and tried to find a pulse, desperate to prove this wasn't really happening. But he found no pulse, just as the Death Eater hadn't, he tried desperately to bring her back, he tried CPR, he tried enervation, but nothing worked. She was gone, Hermione was gone, his friend, was gone. And something in Harry broke, snapped, tore asunder, and exploded. He was shaking with rage, and grief, and pain. He turned to Ron who was weeping but also pacing, nervously? "Harry—Harry we have to go…We have to leave before more come…" He said uncertainly, Harry thought. "She wouldn't want us to…" He tried, but Harry cut him off.
"No, I'm staying, one way or another I'm finishing this," Harry growled and got to his feet.
"Harry, don't be stupid," Said Ron pleadingly, as Dobby finally returned.
But Harry didn't really give a damn what Ron thought, "I said, I'm staying, stay if you want to, or leave, I don't care. I won't turn away the help but I'm staying regardless." Harry said firmly, trying to keep his tears under control. But Ron was shaking his head and Harry sighed. "Dobby, take Ron out of here, you needn't come back for me, either I'll turn up on my own or I'll be dead." He said simply. The elf nodded sadly his eyes flicking to Hermione's body at his knees. He grasped Ron's hand and the two of them Disappeared.
What came next was somewhat inevitable. Harry knelt vigil over Hermione until he started to here the crack of apparitions in the distance. Then he fought, letting her death fuel him, let it drive his rage into an inferno, and cut a path through the swarms of minions Voldemort sent ahead of him. He slaughtered all who faced him, until finally the monster himself showed. But Harry's rage was nothing compared to the power of the Dark Lord, Harry had only one strength the Dark Lord could not surpass and it was utterly void right then. So ultimately, Harry fell, and was tortured by the madman himself, until he felt his heart begin to flutter and quake in his chest. And as his body broke the enemy believed himself victorious, unmatched and unbreakable. He cast Harry's broke form away from himself carelessly, allowing the boy to fall across Bellatrix's mangled body. Her wand still in her hand. Harry, if he were honest with himself, contemplated giving up, but he saw Hermione lying there broken and knew he couldn't, not yet, not until his last ounce of strength was spent, he owed her at least that much. And so he pried Bellatrix's wand from her cold dead hand. And whirled, his motion catching the Dark Lords eye. But even Voldemort could only move so fast, and he couldn't outpace a curse in flight. The curse, one Harry couldn't even consciously remember hearing before, Pulvisad Pulverum, caught Voldemort just below the ribcage. Harry didn't bother to finish watching the monster die, he couldn't bring himself to care, despite everything, after all, he'd be back soon enough. One of his Horcuxes would find it's way into the wrong hands and he'd return.
So Harry drug himself across the floor to Hermione and leaned himself, with her head on his lap against the wall, and waited for the end. It was, quite unfortunately given his level of suffering right then, exceptionally long in coming. But eventually he too passed, and the Boy-Who-Lived was no more.
Harry's eyes fluttered open and he stared at the blank white ceiling overhead and the pale incandescent light set into it. He had really hoped he'd been dead. That it would all be over, but he was hurting too much for that. After all, the afterlife should be painless he pointed out to himself. He sat there just breathing for a time before he decided it was time to at least figure out where he was. He rolled upright, and found that he had been lying on a plain white mattress on a similarly white frame, and if his fuzzy vision were accurate he was sitting in a white room.
He rubbed his eyes tiredly in the hope of improving what he was seeing somewhat, but was not surprised to find his poor vision largely unaffected by his efforts. He looked around him, and spotted a night table, white, beside the bed with the dark shapes of his glasses lying on it. He leaned over ignoring his aching body and grasped one of the arms pulling it into his hand.
He pushed the glasses onto his nose, and looked around again. The room was indeed all white. Almost every bit of it. The bed and mattress were white, the floor was white, the ceiling and walls were white. However the door was a dull uniform silver which lacked any features of any kind, including a handle. And across the room set into the far wall was a large two way mirror, similar to what Harry had seen on television. So that means I am where? In a cell? An interrogation room? An observation room? He wondered.
He settled on observation room. There was no toilet or sink in the room which kind of ruled out cell, and there was no table and set of chairs which suggested it wasn't an interrogation room. He stared at the mirror for a bit contemplating. Theoretically somebody has to be behind the mirror right? Have they noticed I am up?
Sure enough a light lit on a small speaker set into the ceiling which Harry had previously overlooked, and a voice emanated into the room. "Prisoner 1112C Harry James Potter, please stand and move into the black square marked before the door." A clipped and efficient male voice rapped out disinterestedly.
Harry contemplated the fact that he didn't really see himself as having much of a choice in the matter. Not if he wanted to find out where he was and what was going on. So he pushed slowly to his feet noting he was still in the scabby clothes he'd been wearing last time he was conscious. He shuffled stiffly into the marked square on the floor and waited for further instructions. He was still very tired he noted inconsequentially.
The door shuddered slightly and he heard a series of clicks as the locking mechanisms were manipulated. A small lamp above the door ignited blue and it the door smoothly and silently rolled into its slot in the wall. The now open doorway revealing a young woman of about his age standing in the space beyond it.
She was a little shorter than him, perhaps the same height as Hermione had been. His heart constricted painfully at that thought. She was dressed in a severely cut but nicely tailored black business suit. She had her arms crossed sternly over her chest and noted a few asynchronous details. First and most obvious, was that the pompadour of her blonde hair cut had been dyed Fluorescent pink. Something very out of character with her well tended suit. The second detail was that her suit was not buttoned up nor was the dress shirt underneath tucked in. Her shoes were flat black sneakers to match her suit.
She was chewed her lip irritably. Then nodded to him, and spoke in a fairly neutral american accent. "Damn, it really is you again. I was hoping we had you sorted this time." She said grumpily and sighed. She shifted to the side and jerked her head for him to follow as she let her arms drop. "Well come on then, we've got some work to do don't we?" She said snappishly when he didn't immediately comply.
He stepped out into the hall, which was, to no great surprise at this point, featureless white. It was somewhat disturbing to note however, that it also appeared to go on forever fading into the distance. The girl spun on her heel, and started a hurried walk down the corridor left of them. So he started following, having to trot a little bit to keep up with her in his still fairly hobbled state.
He decided to try getting some answers, and cleared his throat before speaking. "Excuse me miss, but do you mind telling me where we are?" He asked.
The woman rolled to a stop and swung about to point her finger in his face. "Shut. Up." She said biting out each word carefully before wheeling once again to begin her march down the hall. Harry had no choice but to follow confusedly in her foot steps. She was muttering under her breath he noticed, actually it was more swearing under her breath. "God Damn Wrinklenuts…Red Head Ass Crab…Fat Ginger Cow…"
He decided to hold off on additional inquiries for the time being. Eventually, about a minute later, they stopped before a section of wall that was just as plain and featureless as every other they had passed. She pressed a hand to the wall and waited irritably. Nothing happened. She pressed her hand to it again. Again nothing, and Harry was tempted to suggest it might be the wrong piece of wall.
She punched the wall and it rattled before she started shouting. "Gretchen! Get off the phone with your damn boyfriend, and open the door!" She then proceeded to kick the wall twice before a seam appeared and the door slid away. She glared daggers at a frumpy looking woman Harry assumed was Gretchen, and stalked past her deeper into the room.
Harry nodded apologetically to the woman, who look distinctly like a secretary, "Hello ma'am." He mumbled and the woman's eyes centred on him. She gave a squeak of what Harry could swear was terror and bolted behind her desk, where she proceeded to cower. Harry stared at her for a moment shaking his head before a noisily cleared throat grabbed his attention.
The woman was standing in to doorway of another room and waiting impatiently for him. He staggered up to her and into the room. He paused as she closed the door behind him and examined the room. Plain white everything again, with the exception of a red pen, and a hula dancer bobble toy on the desk. Man this place is depressing.
"Take a seat Harry," She instructed pointing to a chair on his side of the desk. He shuffled over to it and fell into it gratefully. His body was seriously aching again at this point. The young woman stalked around her desk before falling unceremoniously into her chair, hard enough that one of the casters broke off and flew across the room.
She stared at the broken piece of plastic on the floor for a moment before turning a glare on him. It lasted just long enough to get seriously uncomfortable before she up and lost her mind right in front of him. She brought her hands to her head grasping some of hair pink and blonde hair a pulling before shrieking heartrendingly and then proceeded to bang her head hard against the table three or four times.
Harry, being understandably horrified, tried to get to his feet and reach across the desk to stop her. At which point she simply collapsed limp on the desk and began shaking with frustrated sobs. Harry was wide eyed as the door opened, revealing the befuddled receptionist Gretchen who took one look at her boss and shot back out of the room. Really helpful that woman. Harry thought sourly. She should get a gold star for effort on that one.
The woman across the desk finally about a minute later regained some of her composure, and sat herself back in a slouched though upright position in her chair. Her eyeliner and mascara had run from the tears and she wiped the worst of it away with a tissue. Leaving her eyes looking bruised and swollen. She returned her glare to Harry before finally speaking. "Harry?" She said tiredly, "Do you hate me, are you trying to get me fired? Because if so you're doing a fabulous job of it." She accused.
Harry stared dumbstruck at the woman for a moment before shaking his head. "Ma'am, er…Miss, I don't hate you, I don't even know you. We haven't met before." He said exhaustion colouring his voice. "And I don't know what I've supposedly done to jeopardize your job, but I swear it wasn't intentional." He promised sincerity in his tired eyes.
She snorted but seemed at least a little amused by that. "That's both true and untrue Harry, we've met before, on several occasions, but you don't remember me, you never do." She said mirroring his exhaustion.
"I'm sorry miss, I didn't intend to forget you, when have we met before?" He asked trying to recall her face. But for the life of him he couldn't ever remember seeing her before.
"I suppose considering the change in protocol I better start from the beginning." She speculated doodling idly with her pen. Harry noticed various stick people were being killed by a being with laser eyes. She put down the pen and considered him for a moment,before plastering on a terrifyingly saccharine sweet smile on her still red eyed face. "Hi, I'm Kara Smith, formerly of the great city of Newark New Jersey. I am also a Grim Reaper, a probationary Angel of Death." She continued and Harry's eyes widened at that declaration. "I am your personal agent of death. Here to handle all your post life needs, and help you acclimatize to your new non-breathing state." She continued in the same dreadfully cheery tone. She leaned down and grabbed a file from one of her desk drawers. "In case you don't understand what I have just said." She continued in a more normal tone. "You, Harry Potter, prisoner 1112C, are dead. Welcome to Limbo, also known as Purgatory or Spirit Prison." She explained. "This is not the first time you have been dead, you have died…" She trailed off as she read through the file for something, drawing her finger across a line on the page. "Forty-seven times."
She sat back in her chair and continued to read the page. "Eighteen counts of death by blunt force trauma all except one caused by your cousin and uncle, sixteen counts of death related to motor vehicle, six counts of death by stabbing and resultant exsanguination three of which were Draco Malfoy and one of which was by a Hobo, One count of death by Avada Kedavara killing curse which we can attribute to Voldemort, One count of death by troll we count that one separate from the other blunt force trauma deaths, One count of death by Sectumsempra curse and resultant exsanguination, miss fire by Severus Snape, Two counts of death by poisoning, One count of death by soul evisceration, and finally one count of death by prolonged torture resulting in eventual heart failure. You probably only remember that last one right?" She said sarcastically.
She stood up and planted her hands on the desk in front of her and got angry again. "Harry, why can't you just fucking live?" She snapped. "Is it really so hard? It's something that billions of people manage repeatedly on a daily basis all around the world. But you just can't seem to manage it." She continued to rant. She raked a clawed hand through her hair "Its a simple mission Harry, first of all, live" she said pacing. "Find a true love, Beat Voldemort, and then grow old. Then and only then are you supposed to die. But noooo…" She said working herself up into a bit of a lather. "You can't manage even one of those." She spat.
Harry held up his hands to ward off further verbal assault, "First of all what do you mean I died before I was supposed to? If there really are Angels and such, shouldn't all this be predestined or whatever?" He asked thoroughly confused about the sudden turn his existence had taken.
"You see Harry, there's this nifty little thing called free agency, it means that, while yes we have a general road map and set of objectives for you. It's still up to you to do them or not. Not, being the case where it comes to you. Ultimately, your life, is in fact, your own." She said pounding her fist on the table trying to get her point across.
"Hang on though, you said you've sent me back forty-seven times, how is that letting me live or die in my own way?" He protested.
She glared at him "Seriously you're arguing about the way death works with a Grim Reaper?" She said perturbed. "Are you really that fuckin' stoopud?" she demanded a little New Jersey accent slipping into her voice. She relented after a moment and explained. "Fine, it just so happens that we're only allowed to interfere so much. Each action we take affects our moral capital to a certain degree, we've been saving up this "karma" for lack of a better word so that we can intervene in emergencies. Such as securing a critical node in time." She explained "You Harry James Potter, are in fact, sitting, or rather living, a critical node in time. A major turning point in history. Where things either get better or they go down the shitter in a big way." She continued. "Because of how you are critical to this node being secured we need to expend resources in the form of resets, and in one case a spirit reconstitution following that soul evisceration I was talking about, to keep you fighting, and keep this turning point from falling to the enemy." She declared. She waited until he nodded he understanding so far. "Problem is we can only afford to expend so many resources in one node, in one battle. We have other battles to fight, and as much as we want this one to be chalked up to us…" She said staring at her hands on the desk and shaking her head. "Harry, you've only got one more shot. One more reset and then we have to call this one a loss. And write you off." She said soberly.
Harry considered that for a minute. So I get one more chance? Well that's…something I suppose. "When you refer to this as a battle, a critical node, a war…"He started pondering what she'd said. "I assume your talking about a battle between good and evil?" He asked looking up at her.
She seemed relieved he seemed to be getting what she was saying, "Yes, good and evil, god vs the devil, heaven vs the adversary." She said gratefully.
He ran back over what she'd said so far. "Alright I follow that part, you mentioned part of the plan for me was to find a true love, a sort of soul mate I assume?" He asked and she nodded. "You also mentioned I'd failed to find that, so I assume I can take that to mean Ginny wasn't the girl I was intended to be with?" He asked surprised how easily he was following all this and how well he was taking the idea of Ginny not being the one for him.
"In essence yes, you see some souls just compliment each other, resonate with each other, and therefore make each other…more, when they're together. They make a more perfect whole when linked. And it while it usually is two souls, there are a few occurrences of there being soul mates of larger groupings. Its harder to work out but it happens occasionally." She admitted. "As to whether or not it's this Ginny? I assume you're referring to a cute red head a little bit shorter than you with a lot of freckles?" She asked.
He nodded, that summed up Ginny reasonably well. "Yeah that's her," He agreed.
She shook her head. "Yeah, sorry, I don't know much for certain in the area of your true love, AKA soulmate, but she's not it. The rest is redacted so I can't tell you who is your soul mate. However I can tell you it's not the girl you were potioned into loving." She said winced at the thunder struck look on Harry's face.
"I was being given love potion so i'd love Ginny?" He asked suddenly sounding dangerous. He remembered the Romilda Vane incident in sixth year.
"I suppose I should lead with it wasn't Ginny who was dosing you. She wasn't even aware of the plan." Kara said hurrying to stay his wrath a little, or at least redirect it. "All that was done by her mother, Molly and her lazy ass brother, Ron." She explained.
And the blows just kept coming it seemed, and Harry leaned back in his chair tiredly. "Explain…" Was all he managed to grit out.
"Well, it turns out Molly Weasley wishes to potion her way to a better life as it were, she tried it with her husband, but the side effect of her duplicity was that his ambitious side was fried and he went nowhere financially or socially speaking. So when she learned about you from Ron, who glommed onto the first free ride he saw, she came up with a plan. Her senior boys weren't cooperative enough, to have worked in any plans she might make to cheat her way to glory and fame and all that crap. But Ron was always the black sheep in that regard. Lazy, selfish and utterly unsympathetic, without a loyal bone in his body. And Ginny, well Ginny, was in love with the story book version of you. Not the real you, so Molly knew it'd be easy to use her in the plan without her knowing. The poor girl so badly wanted to believe you were really falling for her." Kara admitted sadly. "But that wasn't all, Ron was required according to the plan to drive off other competitors for your heart. And since we've already established Ron is a lazy prick, his mother had to come up with a way to reward him for his efforts. Ron had his eyes on the smart and ambitious girl Hermione Granger who he could reliably latch onto and ride to greener pastures as it were." She explained acidly.
Harry was even angrier than before. "You mean to tell me they've been potioning Hermione too, to get her out of Ginny's way, and to reward Ron for doing his part?" He demanded. His friend Hermione was one of the best people he knew, not only brilliant but kind and compassionate as well, she deserved better.
"That is exactly what I'm telling you Harry." Kara agreed. "It gets worse, the prolonged exposure to Amortentia and Loyalty curatives has had a degenerative effect on your health over time, both mental and physical. It was this potioning which resulted in both your's and Hermione's latest premature deaths. Your hearts were weakened by the potions, and the tortures you both endured pushed you over the edge. Poor Hermione, well…" She trailed off on the explanation gently.
Harry was beyond furious at this point, he thought back to how he felt holding Hermione's broken form in his arms and how Ron, the bastard that he was, was in such a rush to flee for his life. Kara spoke again "I know, I hate the little rat too. There's a bounty on his soul for it actually. He's responsible for the majority of your deaths one way or another. His favourite method being pushing you in front of the knight bus." She noted looking at the page. "The blunt trauma deaths were mostly your cousin and uncle." She said flipping back and forth in the report.
"You mention a "Soul Evisceration" I believe? Should I thank Ron for that too?" He asked still fuming.
"Yeah you should, but we won't go into that now. Point is Harry we've got a new plan for you a last ditch effort as it were, to save this node and your life." She explained urgently. He looked up justifiably interested. "You see up to this point, we've had to wipe your memory before sending you back, but this time we're expending some of our remaining capital to get you sent back with memories intact. We're gonna give you some nudges here and there to make things go a little easier, but like I said we've only go so much we can afford to use on you so don't grow to rely on them." She said a little excited.
"That certainly sounds like a better plan to me." He agreed a tired smile tugging his lips, he was still depressed by the realization his "best mate" was a back stabbing little tit.
"Good, because I've already filed the paper work for the emergency sanctions to get your memory preserved." She said nodding.
"I have a quick question if you can spare a moment." He said thinking hard. "What happens if you spend to much capital on one person? You just don't have enough to fund your other battles?" He asked considering how such a strategy might work.
"Yes, but there's an additional ramification. If we push it too far, we violate one of the covenants God made to…everyone. The covenant states that he, and thus we, can't interfere enough that it undermines the basis of free agency. If we violate the covenant, we start to run into serious problems. It would be bad enough if it just required direct intervention such as in the old testament at Babylon, or Sodom and Gomorra. No, if we violate the covenant, the shields preventing Demons from walking the earth in their true form, fall before Judgement Day and the world falls with it." She explained deadly serious.
"So I've got as many favours as I've got and that's it." Harry said nodding his agreement. "Demons actually walking as themselves on earth sounds bad." He admitted.
"You have no idea. Technically Leviathan is already on earth, but he's bound in such a way he can't break out of prison until around Judgement Day. In case you're curious he looks like a giant crustacean crossed with a squid in his demonic form, and he's about the size of whole freakin' town." She explained. It wasn't often she got to talk about the details with a client.
"And what does he look like normally?" Harry asked.
"He's a fallen angel, one of Lucifers top lieutenants, so more beautiful than anything on earth. Beautiful enough he's painful for mortals to gaze upon unless he wills it otherwise." She said solemnly. The looked at the sheet on her desk and smiled thinly. "I wish I could talk more about these things, it's not often I get to talk with mortals about the realities of the afterlife and immortals, but we've got a job to do." She said sadly. "You ready for your mission briefing?" She asked.
Harry nodded leaning forward, he needed to hear this bit he knew, so he tried his hardest to pay attention. "First things first, we're dropping you in the week following your return to the Dursley's, on the summer before your fifth year. We've arranged for you to be home alone during that period. Unfortunately our enemy has deployed a nudge to have you beaten by your relatives just prior to your return, whenever that may be. So you'll be in rough shape when you return. We can't counteract a nudge without expending more of your dwindling moral capital." She explained tiredly.
We know you will want to get hunting Voldemort's soul fragments right away but we need you to restrain yourself until Dumbledore begins the hunt himself. The plan of battle requires it." She apologized then continued. "First objective, survive the fifth year and raise the organization known as Dumbledore's Army for the battle at the Department of Mysteries." She explained. "Let Dumbledore get the cursed ring Horcrux and then proceed hunting the Horcruxes as Dumbledore instructs. Why? This leads into Dumbledore's intended time of death during the battle of Hogwarts. During sixth year it is recommended you continue to work with the organization formerly known as Dumbledore's Army," She nodded at his grim understanding. "Seventh year? Basically use whatever resources you've gathered over the previous two years and eliminate the Horcruxes and Voldemort. Expect the situation to alter and warp as the enemy deploys their own changes to favour their champion." She warned. Great so Voldermort's the Devils personal killing machine. Harry realized wearily. The odd stacked against him just got worse and worse.
"Allies you can trust without question? There are many, prime examples though would be Hermione, Tonks, Ginny, and the Twins." She listed. "Hermione has and will follow you to hell and back, Tonks can be convinced with evidence that Dumbledore's plans are often more destructive than constructive, Ginny loves you enough that she will want you to be happy, and the Twins are just plain old good people who will do whats right." She said explaining their qualities.
"Now, people you should distrust or at the very least not rely upon." She said more seriously. "Albus Dumbledore, he won't be convinced his way isn't the right way and his machiavellian tendencies will disrupt any strategy you lay out." She warned and Harry nodded. "Ron and Molly, for obvious reasons. Draco Malfoy could potentially be redeemed at this point but we request you not rely upon him or that hope. He's too wishy washy in his convictions and he's too loyal to his father." She warned. Harry nodded acceptance.
"This plan requires me to do a lot of sitting by and letting stuff happen." Harry noted frustrated.
"I know, and I wish we could manipulate things more early on but we can't with the resources we have available." She explained and tried to drop into her chair. Unfortunately the missing caster was to the back of her and she went over hard.
"FUCK!" She shrieked kicking her legs as she struggled to get herself upright.
"Language Kara." Chastised a smooth voice behind Harry and he turned to see a tall black man standing in the doorway. "I've taught you better than that," He said sternly point a finger at her as she staggered upright wide eyed. She spotted him and snapped to attention, not actually saluting but looking like she wanted to.
"Archangel sir!" She said stumbling a bit over her words. "I'm sorry sir, I didn't expect you in today." She apologized fervently.
"I wasn't going to be, but Michael requested I drop by long enough to help you with your problem case." He said smiling genuinely at the pink haired Reaper. Harry stared at the man Kara had referred to as an Archangel. He wasn't entirely enthused to be referred to as a "problem case" by an Archangel.
"Name's Ezekiel" He said stretching out a hand to Harry, who shook firmly "It's nice to finally meet you Harry, I hear you've been suffering some problems in your last few attempts. We're gonna see if we can't sort that out for you," The angel promised sincerely. Then turned his head to Kara. "So how far have you gotten?" He asked.
Kara just stared stupidly for a moment before she caught up. "Uh, we outlined Harry's previous deaths, pointed out he wasn't supposed to die yet, briefed him on the mission, talked about who he can and can't trust going forward, talked about true love, talked about how he's been betrayed by the two Weasleys, and were gonna give him boosts and nudges where we can in addition to letting him keep his memory this time. Is that right sir?" She asked clearly having a touch of Hero worship for Ezekiel.
"That sounds about right, come on with me and I'll help you with the reset," he offered and stepped out of the office. Harry did his best to get to his feet quickly but it was hard. Kara actually ended up helping him a little. They found the Archangel waiting patiently in the receptionists area. Ezekiel led them out into the endless hall where he started talking as they walked. "So a thing Kara might have forgotten to mention." He started "Two resets ago, so not this most recent one, the one before that, your soul got eviscerated. And we found ourselves with a bit of a predicament as to how we could put you back together. It shouldn't be possible for a soul to get that messed up in my experience but apparently it can. You were… Anyway's lets just say you weren't right and we needed the energy to put you back together, to gather the necessary energy to do so we had to expend most of our moral capital for this node." He explained and Harry winced, that didn't sound comfortable. "A soul is not intended to be patched together with energy not native to it, so it cost us a great deal to manage it," He opened a door and stepped through.
The room they were now standing in remind Harry of an airport terminal a little bit. Still all white as everything in this place seemed to be. But it had what appeared to be a scanner of some sort at a security station and an area full of chairs arrayed around a large set of four arches with a rune circle inscribed around its base. "Harry just step into the decontaminator and well get you on your way to your timeline." Ezekiel directed. Harry complied not really understanding what was going on.
Once he was through, a process which involved an odd static like charge running over him from head to toe, he stepped out and over to Kara. Ezekiel had moved over to the rune circle as was fiddling with it somehow. Every now and then standing a playing with runes inscribed on the arches. "Sooo…" He started uncertainly. "He mentioned sending me back to "my" timeline, what did that mean exactly."
She struggled to explain. "It's really difficult to explain time, and space and the continuum, and all that stuff in a language basically made for tell the other monkeys where the good or bad fruit is. But I'll try." She said screwing up her face. "Every time we make a choice, every time something which is based on chance happens, the streams of time split into alternate paths, think of them like branches on a tree." She suggested. "Streams because they're not just forward and back and side to side they have…volumes of possibility, that's as good as I can explain it in english. There are worlds out there, like mine, where there is no magic to speak of beyond god himself. If there had been maybe I wouldn't have died." She said grimly.
"You're from one of these alternates then? How did you…" He stopped himself and grimaced "I'm sorry you probably don't want to talk about it." He said apologizing for the insensitivity.
"It's okay it was…well lets just say a long time ago, time being what it is across the lines…streams, crap its complicated. Point is it doesn't bother me like it used to. Short version? I got run over by a truck, first metaphorically by my d-bag sort of boyfriend, who dumped me naked, stoned, and drunk in the woods, then a literal one when I stumbled like that out into traffic." She said sadly. She sighed as the runes lit up and started spinning around the arches.
Harry considered that, at a loss as to what to say following that train wreck of a story. "So, do you get a reset?" Harry asked tentatively.
"Nope," She said simply rocking back and forth on her feet. She saw Harry's pained expression and sighed. "I wasn't anyone special Harry, history didn't hinge on the actions of little old me." She said smiling thinly. "I didn't have a destiny like you, or Voldemort, or Dumbledore." She said. "I died when I died, and that was it. I should have been more careful with who I trusted with my safety and I ended up paying for it." She said tiredly, clearly not enjoying the topic.
Ezekiel had wandered back over to them and was watching expectantly. Harry's brow furrowed and he struggled to remain polite in voicing the thought he was trying to put into words as he turned his eyes on the Archangel. "That's not right, it isn't fair." He said shaking his head. "Why should I get forty-seven resets and Kara gets none?" He asked a bit accusingly.
Kara got between him and the Archangel. "Harry, don't be mad at Ezekiel, It's not his fault it worked out that way. And fair has nothing to do with it, some time things just are the way they are, things run they way they run." She said trying to calm him.
But Harry was frustrated, and tired, and more than a little fed up with plans which required him to stand aside and let things happen while the little people suffered for inaction. "That's crap Ezekiel and you know it. It's wrong that I can screw up so many times and still go again, but a person like Kara, only gets one shot just because they didn't have the good or bad fortune to be special." He growled at the Angel, who looked at him with a sort of stoic interest. He was pacing "Surely an Angel of God can step in and do something for one of your people, she's a Reaper for G-Goodness sakes." He said stumbling over what could perhaps have been a blasphemous turn of phrase. "She's helped me reset forty-seven times, she's helped god only knows how many others in her time. Surely if anyone can earn an extra shot, its someone like her?" He protested staring down a person he knew to be beyond anything he'd faced before. "Surely She's deserving of a little of God's mercy…" He asked finally stuttering to a halt and looking at his feet in frustration.
"Okay, that's nice and all but let's just get you to the circle and…" Kara said falsely jovial as she tried to drag him by the arm to the rune circle.
"Hold! Kara Smith of New Jersey" Ezekiel ordered his voice dropping in register. Harry noticed Kara's eyes close wincing deeply.
"Aw crap…" She whispered in a pained voice.
Harry turned to look at Ezekiel he had closed his eyes and was looking towards the ceiling as though deep in thought. But the way his lips moved just barely perceptibly, Harry realized he was…praying?
Kara was suddenly in front of him, her eyes burning angrily, "Damn it Harry!" She snarled. "You just couldn't keep your mouth shut. You had to lip off to the next best thing to a deity and now were going to pay for it. We'll be lucky if they don't take away all those things I arranged for you. You freakin' moron," she spat the Jersey entering her voice again.
Harry was about to get defensive when he saw Ezekiel shift, lowering his head and opening his eyes. Kara hurried over to him her steps tentative and soft as if afraid of drawing his wrath. "I'm so sorry Ezekiel, Harry's an idiot, can we please just get him reset and…." She tried looking terrified but cut off when Ezekiel raised a hand, palm flat to halt her. He turned his eyes on Harry and examined his face his eyes dark for what felt like an eternity to harry. Before turning back to the girl who quailed under his gaze, despite there being no visible change in his demeanour.
"Kara Smith, of New Jersey, do you wish to live again? To take a chance, and gamble with the fate of your soul?" He asked quietly, gently placing a hand on her shoulder. Kara's mouth dropped open in shock and Harry's wasn't far behind her. Holy crap, they're actually listening. Since when do authority figures listen to me? Since when does anybody listen to me? He wondered well beyond stunned.
She eventually snapped out of it and started nodding jerkily "Y-yes sir. More than anything," she said fervently. Ezekiel looked into her eyes speculatively.
"Would you be willing to accompany Harry Potter back to his world on his mission to get it?" he asked seriously. At this point Kara's emotions were clearly starting to catch up with what was going on and hopeful tears were starting to leak from her eyes. She nodded and Ezekiel nodded pleased with what he was seeing in her.
He smiled crookedly at her. "Then it shall be so. God has heard the plea of another on your behalf little one." He said soothingly. "You shall be a witch, to serve at Harry Potters side, in life and death, war and peace, fire and battle." He said solemnly, "You shall follow him until your dying breath or until his mission is completed. So it has been spoken by the Almighty."
He stepped back and raised his hands palms out and a pair of scrolls materialized. He held out one to each of them. "These covenants require you both to keep the secrets of the afterlife, from all except those bound by the same agreement, or from one who is your souls mate. This includes the details of the afterlife itself and how you came to know the things you know. This does not prohibit others from figuring it out on their own, however you must not help them in this particular quest for knowledge." He stipulated as they grabbed them. He produced a pair of pens and handed them over. He watched as Kara signed hers shakily, her hand occasionally coming up to wipe away the tears so they would not drip on the sheet, she was grinning brightly throughout, still in a state of shock.
Ezekiel waited until Harry had signed his own before turning his eyes back on him. "Harry Potter, by doing these things you have accepted responsibility for the care of one of God's Beloved, her fate will bear weight within your own judgement when the day comes. You have been warned." He said sternly. Harry nodded his understanding and acceptance, he still couldn't believe someone had actually listened to him. That one of his speeches had actually worked.
Ezekiel turned to Kara "Kara, you have been a friend to me for many years. Please heed my council now. Remember the lessons I taught you. Help Harry Potter find one mated to his soul, and you will be rewarded. But most of all remember the events which led to your death the first time. While living such as you did back then does not guarantee the same fate, nor does it lay the blame at your feet, it can put you in the path of those who would mistreat you. Do you understand Kara?" He pleaded gently. She nodded gasping a little from her tears which had washed away the entirety of her makeup now. He patted her on the shoulder. "I won't think less of you for being a bit…wild when you first return. The joy of new life will be powerful. Just, once it is reasonable to expect it, return to the mission and set yourself to the task." He requested of her, and she chuckled ruefully.
He turned dark eyes on Harry again. "She is dear to me Harry Potter, if harm comes to her, if this goes wrong and she suffers for it, you will pay for it. I swear it." He said firmly and Harry once again bobbed his understanding and acceptance. "Then step into the circle you two," He said soberly.
Harry and Kara both hurried over to the circle and stood beneath the arches. Ezekiel paced around the edge double checking his work. "You will be reset to the week long period following your return to Privet Drive, we have nudged events to encourage the Dursleys to leave. This was to buy you time to acclimatize and begin operations without interference from Dumbledore and his supporters, as soon as you are able get back on your feet and to work." He explained, he stepped within the circle and placed a glowing palm against Kara's skin in the space just above her breasts. " We will be dropping you in Newark, with the coven you are intended to be from for your cover. These, are the changes necessary to make you a witch, and the first half of your reward should you help Harry find one bonded to his soul" Ezekiel said and stepped back. As he came to a stop in front of them again he nodded. "Now let us begin." A circle of light lit and there was a flash which caused Harry to close his eyes tightly against the painful glare. Once the glare diminished Ezekiel stood before them in his true form, Ezekiel in his full glory was painful to behold, but impossible to look away from. A towering figure of perhaps seven feet, a being of pure light clad in fine gold and silver armour, wrapped and swaddled in beautiful white silks, a crown on the brow of his hooded head. Six wings of blazing white light fire hung in the air at his back. And a great sword which he had driven into the ground at his feet of shimmering starlight and the same pure white fire of his wings.
Harry heard Kara murmuring in a quiet voice as she quoted scripture "And Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." She took a breath and continued as the rune circle spun around them. "Above it stood the Seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." She said reverently then descended into a private prayer for a moment before opening her eyes.
Ezekiel spoke from without the circle as he set the runes on the arch spinning around them. "Good luck Harry, I suspect you are going to need it." He said as Kara turned to look up into Harry's eyes. She cupped his cheek and drew his face to her own and kissed him tenderly on the lips. The last thing Harry saw was her smile. The most joyful he'd ever seen.
P.S: I will try and limit the Author's notes in the future. However I want to say need encouragement in order to keep writing, it's just part of who I am, you tell me I suck, guess what, I'll believe you and it'll get harder to write. Otherwise... Let's see what we can manage together eh?
OH! Wait one question: I read a fix a while back, where Harry created rune powered spiders as a sort of Hobby, but damned if I can find it again to reread. Anyone know which one this is?