Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.
Written for the Challenge '200 Prompts, in 100 Stories!'
I picked as Additional Rewards: The Peverells - Antioch, Cadmus, Ignotus - 2 points.
It will consist of a small multi-chapter story.
Prompts for this chapter:
Character – Antioch
Other – Mirror of Erised
Chapter 1 – A Sliver of Death
Humans, in all their misguided beliefs, thought that Life was the very first thing that ever came to be in the Universe. Humans, as happened more often than not, were wrong.
The very first thing to have ever been was Death.
Before Time, before Space, before anything at all, there was Death and only Death. After Time, after Space, after everything, there would be Death and only Death.
Death was already old when Time began, and he was even older when Life came to be.
Death had always been, would always be.
It was an absolute truth. Nothing would ever change that. Death simply was. He was the withering of a bud, the decay of a forest, the last breath on someone's lips, the end of a star, the collapse of a universe. He was everywhere, any time, any place.
Though, it was on someone's last breath that Death changed.
As he looked down on the wailing woman holding the stillborn child, Death interfered.
He held the new soul in his hands, and, with a gentleness that one wouldn't expect from a being such as he, put the soul back into the stillborn's body – leaving behind a tiny drop of his very essence, of what made Death Death.
As the piercing cry of the newborn filled the air the parents were far too consumed by their joy to notice the boy's eyes flash black, darker than a starless sky in the winter, before turning back to the natural newborn blue.
Death's lips twitched, not quite forming a smile, when he saw the endless nothingness that had looked back at him. A perfect replica of his own eyes.
Because of nothing more than a whim of Death that tiny little human would become the very first of a new race.
A race that would later be called Necromancers, Death's children.
Years, decades, centuries passed while Death watched over the race he had created. His children were feared and venerated; they were adored one day and shunned the next – but they were his and Death had come to care for them, as much as Death could care for another being.
Though amongst all of them there were three that Death favored above all. The youngest three, the last three Necromancers to have been born.
Three brothers whose steps Death shadowed. These three brothers were skilled beyond all others. Their power awing and terrifying in equal measure. They had been personally gifted by Death, something that he hadn't done since that very first time in eras past.
Because he could, because he wanted to, Death granted them a little bit more of his essence.
A caprice that elevated those three brothers beyond all others.
Antioch was the eldest of the brothers. He was the more brutal of all three. He delighted in destruction and chaos. And Death enjoyed following in his wake.
Antioch explored his Death-given gifts with relish; razing entire towns to the ground only to bring them back.
The sheer joy Antioch displayed when he was surrounded by Death's presence was something that always marveled Death. Death knew for a fact that Antioch would turn the world asunder to bathe in Death's aspect.
Antioch was the definition of devastation and pandemonium; Death couldn't have been more pleased.
Though that didn't mean that Antioch lacked in intellect.
Antioch had a sharp mind, and was an avid worshiper of Death. As such one of his biggest desires was to please Death, to make Death proud, to be close to Death as none other had been before.
Antioch spent years trying to do just that.
Year after year, experiment after experiment.
Until one day Antioch stood in front of his creation and laughed.
A quirk of his lips denoted Death's pleasure.
For the first time since his existence Death showed himself. For a fraction of a second boundless abyss stared into infinite chasm. Then Antioch was on his knees, head bowed, words of worship spilling from his lips.
Death's gravelly chuckle silenced him.
Slowly, Death approached the kneeling man, marveling at the complete lack of fear coming from Antioch, and with great care deposited a wand at his feet; a gift to show his contentment.
Hesitantly, Death caressed the silky, black locks once, twice before dissipating; a gentle breeze through the unruly hair the only sign that he had ever been there.
Shortly after that moment Antioch joined him, and Antioch's creation was lost.
Years later, wizards would stumbled upon it. Many wasting away, losing themselves in front of it – far too weak to resist their deepest desires.
Death watched on as wizard after wizard came across his child's creation never truly knowing what they had found.
Wizards may looked into it and see their heart's desire, but Necromancers... Necromancers looked into it and saw the souls of the departed, a glimpse of the afterlife, a sliver of Death.
Antioch's heart's desire.