Just a little something I wrote for a thread on the Spacebattles forum, when discussion turned to Harry Potter and Discworld's Death.
Voldemort sat up. Something was different, but what..? Then he saw it. The Potter boy, not at all dead but standing there with two wands, and then a turmoil of other people, flocking him and cheering. But all this paled in importance compared to the figure standing next to him. Seven feet tall, wearing black robes and carrying a scythe - and, as if those things hadn't been clues enough, the grinning skull-face would definitely have given away his identity.
COME WITH ME, said Death.
Voldemort had never in his life retracted or flinched from another person, so it was perhaps ironic that his first act in death was to retract and flinch.
It had happened. The thing he had always feared, the very scenario from his worst nightmares, had come to pass. He was dead, and Death had come to collect him. But — it was impossible. He had won. The Potter boy had been dead. And then all of a sudden, for no good reason, he'd turned out to be alive. And had said all sorts of completely ludicrous things, before... before Voldemort had cast the Killing Curse at him again. By all means it should have killed the boy, not Voldemort. Especially not with — hold on. Something wasn't right here.
"This cannot be!" he declared, raising a hand towards Death. "I had beaten you!"
Death cocked his head and, insofar as it was possible for someone with no facial muscles, looked confused. I'M SORRY? he said.
Voldemort looked at him, feeling his fear and anger subside. The dead usually aren't capable of keeping up strong emotions for very long at a time. But this insolent confusion was puzzling all the same; Voldemort would have expected gloating, laughter, some sense of triumph from Death's side. Not just a blank look as if Death didn't have a clue what he was talking about.
ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? APART FROM THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DEAD, I MEAN.
"You must know," said Voldemort. "I was your greatest enemy! I had defeated you!"
YOU HAD? Death still seemed vaguely confused. I NEVER NOTICED ANYTHING OF THE SORT. ARE YOU CERTAIN YOU'RE NOT CONFUSING ME WITH SOME OTHER ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION?
"My Horcruxes!" This wasn't at all going the way Voldemort had thought it would. "Surely you know about my Horcruxes? No-one had ever gone further in defying Death than I!"
Death's expression didn't change, but then something seemed to have dawned on him. AH YES, he said. HORCRUXES. YOUR LITTLE IMMORTALITY TRINKETS.
"My little —!"
I REALLY DID NOT PAY THEM MUCH HEED. WHAT PEOPLE DO IN LIFE IS NONE OF MY CONCERN.
For a very brief moment, Voldemort was speechless. All his life he had viewed Death as his greatest enemy, and the Horcruxes as his greatest weapon against said enemy. The notion that Death might simply not care about the Horcruxes had never so much as entered his mind. "But... I held you off. You must have thought you got me that night seventeen years ago -"
I DIDN'T COME FOR YOU THEN. YOU NEVER DIED BEFORE NOW. THE ONLY APPOINTMENT I EVER HAD WITH YOU WAS HERE, TODAY. AND YOU ARE RIGHT ON TIME.
"But," said Voldemort, vaguely aware that he was starting to sound like a pentulent child. "I had seven Horcruxes! Surely that must count for something?"
Death looked at him, pausing for a long time as if uncertain what to say. DID YOU HAVE A GOOD TIME MAKING THEM?
Images from his life flashed before Voldemort's inner eye. All the things that he had done stood so much clearer for him now than they had when he was alive; the creation of all his Horcruxes and the terrible things he had done in order to create them. He hadn't cared much, then, and he still felt no remorse — after all, he had done no more than what he had to, in order to reach his goals. But good time? Had he enjoyed it?
"...not in any real sense, no," he finally muttered.
I'M SORRY TO HEAR THAT, said Death. BUT NOW, WE REALLY MUST BE GOING. The world was fading around them, Hogwarts and the mass of people slowly giving way to what looked like a dark desert.
"Wait!" Voldemort cried desperately. "I challenge you to a game of chess!"
CHESS. Death's voice was filled with disdain.
"It is traditional!" Voldemort insisted. "If I win, you take Potter instead!"
Death sighed. VERY WELL. IT IS TRADITIONAL. EVERY SOUL GETS A CHANCE TO CHALLENGE ME, IF THEY SO PLEASE. I JUST NEVER TOOK TO THE GAME OF CHESS. YOU WOULDN'T CONSIDER ANOTHER GAME? THUD, PERHAPS, OR POKER? GOBSTONES? I CAN DO GOBSTONES.
"Chess," said Voldemort. If Death wasn't any good at chess, then that was all the more reason for him, Voldemort, to insist on it.
IF YOU INSIST. A small chessboard materialised between them, and one by one, magnificently-carved pieces began taking their places on it... but to Voldemort's puzzlement, on Death's side - the black side - all sixteen pieces came to their proper places, while on Voldemort's side - the white side - only two pieces appeared; the king and the queen.
There was a long pause
WELL? said Death. AREN'T YOU GOING TO MAKE YOUR FIRST MOVE?
"This is nonsense!" Voldemort growled. "Where are the rest of my pieces? I cannot play with only a king and a queen!"
YOU CAN SWAP THE QUEEN FOR ANOTHER PIECE, IF YOU LIKE.
"I cannot play with only two pieces! What is my chance of winning then?"
ONE-EIGHTH OF A CHANCE, said Death. EVERY SOUL GETS A CHANCE TO CHALLENGE ME FOR THEIR FATE. BUT YOU ARE CURRENTLY ONLY ONE-EIGHTH OF A SOUL. THE REST OF YOUR SOUL WAS DESTROYED WHEN YOUR HORCRUXES WERE. HENCE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO ONE-EIGHTH OF A CHANCE. TWO PIECES IT IS.
Voldemort stared at his two pieces. It was impossible — but no, he was Lord Voldemort. He made the impossible possible. He could do this, he could win against Death with only two pieces. He just needed time to think...
I SEE THIS IS GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME. Death turned around to leave. SO IF YOU'LL EXCUSE ME, I HAVE MY DUTY TO ATTEND TO. I'LL STOP BY WHEN I CAN TO SEE IF YOU HAVE MADE YOUR FIRST MOVE.
And with that, Voldemort was alone in the desert, with the chessboard. He idly tried to see if he could move any of the black pieces (after all, cheating Death was what he was all about!) but none of them would budge. And he had the distinct feeling that once he had made his move he wouldn't be able to move any of the white pieces again until his next move.
This was going to take some time.
Three centuries later...
REMIND ME AGAIN, said Death, HOW THE HORSES ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE.
"I have reminded you twenty-seven times already!" Voldemort snapped. "Look, you win! I forfeit the game! Anything is better than being in this desert and only having you show up once in a blue moon to make your move, especially since you never remember that the knights move in an L-shaped pattern! Just end this already!"
OH NO, said Death. NEVER LET IT BE SAID THAT I DON'T PLAY FAIR. WHY AN L-SHAPE, THOUGH? I HAVE NEVER SEEN REAL HORSES MOVE LIKE THAT.
Voldemort beat his head against the ground.
Author's Notes: Told you not to take this too seriously. Terry Pratchett was quite possibly my favourite author, so consider this my little tribute to him.