DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER.
Cogita Mori (Remember Death)
Book 0: Childhood
Chapter 01 - Genesis
-In the end, Death claims us all!
** Hog's Head, 1980 **
It was an unusual cold and wet night. The winter had yet to come, but on the shores of December, the icy wind and freezing rain seemed undisturbed by the date. Inside the Hog's Head, however, a fire burned low and cold, setting a chill over the room. Behind the counter, a tall and thin man with a long, stringy grey beard polished the empty glasses with a rag he had found lying around.
His tired eyes looked around the dirty room. Empty. Perhaps he should be worried since the place he ran was an inn, and emptiness was a rather worrisome thought. Breaking himself from his thoughts he turned around and picked a random bottle from the shelves. Without a moment's hesitation he popped the cork and poured a generous amount on the glass he had so vigorously polished.
He drank it in one go. The usual burning sensation that the drink was known to carry seemed to have been diluted through the time. He was about to pour another when the old, cranky door of his establishment opened to reveal another man, one whose beard was just as long and just as grey.
"Oh, it's you." The barman commented rudely.
"Aberforth. Always nice to see you again."
"Albus." He replied gruffly, corking the bottle and placing it back on the shelf. "What brings you to this shithole?"
"A meeting." Albus replied easily enough, settling down in one of the corners of the room. The shadows draped over his face, showing only his unusual bright blue eyes. "An applicant for the post of Divination – "
"Ah! Divination? What a pile of dung." Aberforth said sharply, getting a frown from Albus.
"You never held interest in the most…obscure branches of magic." Albus commented sadly getting a snort from his younger brother.
"Obscure my ass." Aberforth replied colorfully, and was about to add a few more adjectives to liven his opinion on the subject, when the fireplace flared a bright green and a woman stepped into the room, unmarred by the green fire.
"Miss Trelawney, I presume?" Albus asked, getting up from his seat and approaching the woman. She was gaunt, thin, draped in gauzy shawls with shinning sequins and glittering beads that threatened to crush under the ridiculous amount. Thick glasses framed her face, greatly magnifying her eyes.
"Sibyl, please." She replied warmly. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Professor Dumbledore."
"The pleasure is mine." Albus replied kindly. "Let's us seat and discuss your application."
"Of course." Sybill replied, following his lead into a brightly lit table as opposed to this previous spot on the dark corner.
"Now…" Albus began, crossing his hands together and peering intently at the woman. "I confess myself surprised by your application. As you know divination is a rare form of magic and I'm afraid it no longer holds the same appeal to the masses. Fewer and fewer students choose to follow this elective."
"It is truly unfortunate that such mystical art is diming. But fear not, headmaster, the sight will find a way. If not through me then through whoever it chooses." Sybill replied cynically.
"And do you possess the sight, Miss Tre-Sibyll?" Albus amended.
"Of course. As the great-great-granddaughter of Cassandra, I do indeed possess the inner-eye. My family was always blessed with the ability to see the beyond." Sibyll answered truthfully.
"Indeed." Albus replied neutrally. "I'm afraid divination is a field that eludes even this old wizard."
"I – " Albus attention was suddenly broken from the woman by the loud bang of the inn's door. It appeared his brother had left the room. His focus returned on Trelawney, only to see her in some trance, her eyes turning into a misty white. She took a deep, and somewhat forced breath, and spoke in a raspy voice.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies..."
"GET OUT OF HERE YOU RASCAL!" Albus disregarded his brother's loud screams as he focused solely on the woman in front of him.
"and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
She finished, blinking very rapidly and taking several coughs to clear her throat. "Where was I? Oh yes! It is indeed true that the field of divination is only suited for those blessed with the inner eye, but – "
"I'm afraid that I will have to cut this short, Miss Trelawney." Albus said, standing abruptly. Sibyl followed his movement. "However, it is with great pleasure that I offer you the post of professor of Divination at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft."
"Oh…" Sibyll was momentarily shocked by the sudden decision. "Of course. Thank you, Headmaster."
"I'm truly sorry for cutting this short but I'm afraid I must hurry." Albus replied shamefully. "I will schedule a proper meeting to finalize all the paperwork."
"Thank you again, headmaster." Sibyll said, biding Dumbledore farewell as they split apart. She was shocked to see Dumbledore exit the old inn in the blink on an eye. The old wizard was surprisingly limber for someone of his age.
Trelawney turned to leave. She approached the fireplace but was unable to locate the floo powder. Luckily enough, Aberforth, who had just come back inside, seemed to notice her troubles and approached her.
"Here." Aberforth said, handing her the pot filled to the brim with dry, grey powder. She reached for the pot and froze for the second time in the evening. The pot slipped between their hands and shattered into the wooden floor.
"Miss!" Aberforth shouted in alarm, noticing that the woman began to spasm in his arms. Her hands wrapped around his rags, her bony fingers grasping Aberforth's arms with strength that seemed out of this world. The glasses slipped from her face, revealing piercing white eyes that sent a shiver up his spine.
She took several quick breaths, as if she had been without air for minutes and then she spoke with a voice so raspy, so rough and harsh, that Aberforth felt like she was going to kill herself because of it.
"T-the true dark lord approaches…"
Sibyll took a large breath and shuddered before continuing.
"Born from shadow and death…"
The lights of the inn flickered.
"Born as the Seventh Month Dies…"
Her grip tightened around Aberforth and her body shook.
"He will have terrible power You Know Who Knows Not..."
Aberforth felt a chill crawl up his spine.
"And none can stand against him…for he is one with Death itself…"
The flickering lights stopped and her grip loosened ever so slightly. Her raspy voice calmed down and the remaining words came out as nothing more than mumbles.
"He comes… as both a God of Creation to calm the world…and a Destroyer, to reduce everything into nothing…"
The woman went completely still and a for a moment Aberforth thought the woman had perished. Without a second's thought he gently lowered her on the floor and scooped up a handful of floo powder and throwing it at the fireplace.
"ST MUNGO'S!" Aberforth shouted at the floo and was moments later that several healers stepped into the Hog's Head and took Trelawney to the hospital.
He shook his head and returned to the counter. He picked up the same crappy bottle and removed the cork. This time he did not pour it into the glass but simply drank directly down from the bottle. He didn't know what he witnessed today.
He had heard of prophecies, of course. But he was always skeptical.
The raspy voice.
The white eyes.
The power behind her words.
Even as he thought about it the lights flickered once more.
He took another swig. Whatever happened today…it had made a believer out of him.
** A few months later - July 31th **
Dumbledore was pacing calmly outside of Lily's room in Godric's Hollow. However calm he may have looked on the outside, there was much anxiety and apprehension inside his mind. Thoughts about the Voldemort, the prophecy and to whom it may apply were a constant.
Born as the seventh month dies
Albus's eyes drifted to the enchanted clock hanging in the living room. Only two hours left on July and part of him desperately hoped that Lily didn't give birth before it. Prophecies were historically cryptic and usually applied to multiple people. If Lily held on for two more hours, then young Neville would be the messiah the magical world needed.
"Stop pacing, Albus! You're making me more nervous than I need to be."
Albus's attention shifted to one Sirius Black sitting in the couch. He was unconsciously biting his nails while his right leg seemed restless. He kept stealing quick glances at the door, hoping for it to open and break him from this state.
"Relax, Sirius. Lily is in good hands." Albus replied calmly and stopped pacing to ease Sirius' worries. Just behind the door, were three people. And if he was to guess there would one nervous James, one fussing Poppy and last but not least, one mother in pain.
"Come on, Lily, push!"
"I AM PUSHING!"
Albus couldn't help but to let out a small chuckle at her fiery temper. There was no doubt that she was in pain, but Madam Pomfrey was a very competent nurse. There was no doubt in his mind that Lily was in capable hands. All he could do was wait, and hope for the best.
His eyes trailed once more to the magical clock. One hour remaining. For a moment Albus's mind was filled with hope only for it to be utterly crushed when a cry filled the room. Albus sighed and even though his hopes were crushed, he couldn't help but to let out a small smile. James and Lily were among his favorites in Hogwarts.
Happy as he may have been, he was completely unprepared when the baby cried one more time. But this time, a wave of magic washed over Albus and Sirius, a wave powerful enough to make the furniture rattle ever so slightly. The clock that dangled from the wall detached and shattered on the floor.
Sirius stopped twitching and locked eyes with Albus in disbelief. A silent message seemed to cross their minds as both got up and rushed into the room. They barged in, completely disregarding the privacy of the couple.
"WHAT HAPPENED?" Sirius barked immediately.
"Merlin's beard!" Poppy whispered in shock, cradling the new born in her arms before handing him to James. "That was accidental magic."
"L-let me see him. James, let me-" Lily panted, her sweaty, bright red hair clinging to her face. James smiled softly before handing her their first born. "Look at him." Lily whispered and watched as the baby calmed down in her arms. He yawned cutely before slowly opening his eyes to reveal a bright green color. *1
"He has your eyes." James said, bending down and kissing her on the forehead.
"Come on, Lily, push!" Pomfrey said, completely ignoring the fact they had an audience. It was mere minutes later when a second cry filled the room and Lily let out a breath of relief.
"Have you thought about names?" Pomfrey asked, casting a couple of charms on Lily to ease the pain and soreness from birth. She then turned and quickly cast a few more charms on the newborns. Simple charms, really. To keep them warm. To clean the mess of childbirth.
"Harrison James Potter. Harry for short." Lily said, happily humming towards the baby in her arms.
"And the girl?" Sirius asked, looking at both babies with a longing look.
"Katherine Lily Potter." James replied, look at the little girl that shared the same bright green eyes and red hair as her mother.
While everyone chatted and mostly gushed about the newborns, Albus was the only one surprisingly silent. He stood in absolute silence watching both babies.
Harry, Katie and Neville.
One of them would be the chosen one. Now which one, Albus didn't know. His eyes shifted to young Harry in interest.
He had never heard of babies having accidental magic when they were born. Now that he thought about it, it wasn't entirely implausible. Albus didn't remember being born, but the process didn't seem very appealing so the boy did have reason to protest. He locked eyes with Harry and could have sworn he saw his eyes glow.
He sighed and stepped forward, hating himself for what he was about to do. "James, Lily, I am sorry to break this happy moment but we must consider the Fidelius Charm. Now even more that young Harrison and Katherine were born." Albus said. The new parents frowned at the news but nodded nonetheless.
** The Fateful Night - 2 Years Later **
An unusual cold spread across the deserted streets of Godric's Hollow.
One would expect a street filled with people to celebrate this day. Halloween. An old celebration marked by children, and even indulging adults, partaking in trick-or-treating in costumes. A few jack-o'-lanterns to set the mood. Maybe even a few bon fires to help light the streets in the darkness of the night.
But on the snow covered cobblestone road, no children's voice filled the cold air and no bon fire lit the street. As the clouds drifted apart, letting the dim light on the crescent moon shine across the empty roads, a dark figure appeared in the sky, seemingly floating in midair before it began a slow and steady descent.
It touched the ground with no sound, not even the small sound of snow crushing was heard. The figure was tall, at least 10 feet in height. Covered in a dark hooded and tattered cloak. Tremendous wings convulsing behind it. From beneath the rags emerged a thin, gaunt hand.
The figure gently leaned forward, as if supporting himself in the wall. Through the cracks on the cobblestone, the ivy that had faced so many hardships before started withering from a bright green into an empty black until it crumbled into dust. It landed on the floor, the black contrasting heavily with the pure white snow.
The figure shuddered and the bony, featherless wings disappeared. The dark hooded cloak seemed to tighten around it's frame – even as the figure shrunk down, into the size of an ordinary man. Soon enough, the dementor like figure seemed no different than a person.
He wore a dark business suit, hiding beneath a skinny and frail body. In his right hand, a steel tipped cane. As he ventured down the empty road, his overly large pupils and wrinkled face surveyed his surroundings.
Death had come to Godric's Hollow.
Soon enough, he found himself at the gates of one particular residence. Death looked at the house. To others, it would have been hidden by the powerful fidelius. Invisible, intangible, unplottable. But to Death, it was like looking at something through a transparent veil.
Death sees all.
He moved forward, slipping through the veil with no resistance. He approached the wooden door and kept walking, passing through it like a ghost. He crossed the dimly lit hall and stepped into the warm living room. On the hearth a steady fire blanked the room in warmth. On the wall, hang an enchanted clock.
He had a feeling he would be reaping someone today.
Death's eyes ventured across the room and finally landed on the couple, vividly discussing something in the couch.
"I don't like it, James." Lily said apprehensively, her eyes darting to the stairs that lead to the rooms. "I don't feel comfortable leaving two, two-year old kids, unsupervised."
"Oh, come on Lils." James said in a whiny tone. "They will be fine. The order meeting is only supposed to last an hour. We will be back before they know it."
"I don't know." Lily said uneasy.
"Follow me." James said, taking her hand and leading her up the stairs. From behind them, Death followed unseen – invisible to all.
The couple arrived the room the twins shared and gently pried the door open a fraction of an inch. They both peered inside and saw the kids playing with their toy dice cubes together. "See?" James whispered, looking at the calm kids. "There is nothing to be worried about."
"I guess." Lily replied half-heartedly, still feeling unconfutable with the situation. She sighed and eventually relented. They made their way downstairs and approached the burning fire place. The orange fire died and in two bursts of vivid green fire, Lily and James had left the house.
Death went back upstairs and once more passed through the room door as if it was no obstacle. He surveyed the room. Simple. Ordinary. He visited so many nurseries since the dawn of time. They all looked the same. Plain and boring. He looked at the kids and raised a delicate eyebrow when he spotted a pair of bright green eyes staring back at him.
Death narrowed his eyes at the sight. No mortal could see his vessel on earth. He looked at the girl, who seemed to notice nothing and kept playing with her toys – completely undisturbed.
Death moved across the room. Green eyes followed him with a giggle. "Interesting." Death commented, his words heard by the boy and completely disregarded by the girl. Eventually young Harry grew tired and got back to his toys, feeling no discomfort from the supposed stranger in the room.
Death remained in the room for several minutes. No movement in his body as he patiently waited what had drawn him to be here in the first place. "Ah…" Death murmured, feeling the presence of a powerful mortal approaching the house. "Let's see the outcome." Death said, moments before the bedroom door was disintegrated and the towering form of Voldemort stepped into the room.
"So this is it?" Voldemort said, looking pitifully at the two babies that stared back at him. "One of you is supposed to this great savior? To be able to vanquish me?" Voldemort snorted. "I find myself amused. I had to come personally to see this." His red eyes seemed to glow with amusement.
"Now…" He hissed, his lips stretching into a dark smile. "Which one shall I kill first, uhm? Perhaps the boy?" He said, levelling the wand at the dark haired boy. "Someone who performs accidental magic at birth is bound to be strong, no?" He asked with amusement.
He was about to kill him when the boy looked at him and giggled, clapping his hands in joy. "You mock me?" Voldemort hissed, his smile turning sadistic. "Crucio!"
Harry's joyful eyes were replaced with pure pain. He trashed on the floor, wailing and crying desperately. Voldemort smiled cruelly for a few moments before lifting his curse. Harry loud screams were replaced with soft sobs.
"MEANIE!" Katherine cried, throwing the cubes at Voldemort to simply smiled in amusement at her antics.
Suddenly, the lights in the ceiling started flickering and Voldemort himself felt magic blanket over room. He looked back at Harry who now stood up, and looking at Voldemort with hateful eyes. Voldemort nearly flinched. Those eyes were not meant to belong in a child.
The shadows at Harry's feet flickered. "I HATE YOU!" He cried before a piece of his shadow launched itself at Voldemort like a spear.
Voldemort's eyes widened in shock and disbelief, but he didn't allow such emotions to stop him. He flicked his wand, covering his body with an invisible shield to stop the attack. He was completely surprised and shocked beyond belief, when the shadow slipped past his shield and struck him the gut.
Voldemort fell to his knees. Not wounded, for there was no blood. But he felt weak. He felt drained, as if he was slowly withering away into dust. He griped his wand tightly before snarling and blasting Harry backwards. The boy hit the wooden frame of his bed and was momentarily dazed by the heavy blow.
The shadow retracted and Voldemort rose once more, now eyeing the boy with weariness. The ability to use shadows as weapons was not a gift he had ever heard of. A shiver ran up his spine. Maybe the prophecy did have some truth after all. Better end it now, once and for all. He summoned his strength until he was hit in the head with a dice cube from the wailing girl.
"You annoying little creature!" Voldemort snarled, levelling his wand the red haired girl. "AVADA KEDAVRA!" Green light streaked across the room, intending to end the life of Katherine Potter.
But there was one thing Voldemort had not taken into account. Magical twins were very special. They shared a connection few people in the world could ever begin to grasp. Finishing each other's phrases was just a parlor trick.
Emotions were strange things. Harry was too young to fully understand what was happening. But something inside him urged to protect his sister from the stick. Maybe it was his imagination. Maybe it had been love. Or maybe he just didn't want to see his sister hurt like he did. So he did the only thing that came to his mind.
He stepped in, placing himself between the curse and his sister. The killing curse struck him and Harry dropped to the floor instantly. His vivid green eyes now dull and his body unmoving.
Voldemort didn't try to conceal his shock. He stared at the boy, now dead, standing between his wand and Katherine. He hadn't intended on murdering the boy yet and he certainly never expected, not in a million years, that the boy would step in to protect his sister. He shook his head.
"And now, to end it all." Voldemort smiled, pointing the wand one more time at the wailing girl who was shaking Harry's body, begging from him to wake up.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" Green light filled the room a second time. The curse struck the girl and rebounded on Voldemort. He had a mere moment to widen his eyes in shock when the rebounded curse struck him and his body fell to the floor like a puppet whose strings were cut. Voldemort's spirit cried in pain and fled.
The girl survived, and the only marking of her being struck by the killing curse was a vertical slash across her left eye.
Death had remained in the room and witnessed the events. So Tom Riddle had found way to avoid his grip. Though the thought severely displeased and angered Death for not getting his soul, he wasn't much worried. Many had tried to escape his grip, but he always found a way. You can't cheat death forever.
Next to him, stood Harry's spirit who was looking at his distressed sister in worry. He turned to face death. "She safe?" He asked in fear, not for himself, but for his sister.
Death looked at him. "Yes, young Harry. Your sister will live." Death replied, draping a hand over the boy's shoulders. The boy nodded and allowed Death to guide him out of the room.
Just before Death was about to leave the room, his eyes caught the top of the door frame. There, engraved on the wall, stood a phrase.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death…
"Interesting." Death said, looking at Harry who watched him with confusion. "So you are one of Ignotus's sons." Harry crunched his eyebrows in confusion and simply shrugged his shoulders.
Then, a cunning glint appeared in Death's eyes. "Yes…" Death murmured. "That could work indeed."
"Look at me, young Harry." Death said. "I do not like those who escape my grip. Those who go against the natural order of things. Those that violate laws set before the dawn of men himself." The smile that spread across Death's face was terrifying and something much more sinister than Voldemort could even hope to achieve.
"You will live, Harrison James Potter. You. Will. Live!" Death said before vanishing out of sight.
Harry's body drew a sharp breath before lambent green eyes snapped open.
Be sure to leave a comment!
I have a general plan for this story and like I said on the author notes, it will include a necromancer Harry. Death will come to play an important role later in the story.