So, this started off with my friend and I coming up with ideas for ridiculous ways to complete each task in the Triwizard Tournament.
We came up with so many crazy scenarios that I started writing them down.
This…is the mutated baby of that list.
I do not own Harry Potter.
So, what now?
Harry opened his eyes. He was in a world of blackness. It was quite unlike the nice, pristine nine and three quarters platform that he had been expecting.
"I died?" Harry whispered out loud.
Harry turned around to see a cloaked figure. He couldn't help but smile slightly,
"So, this is it then? My next great adventure?"
The cloaked figure was silent for so long that Harry thought that he might have said something wrong.
"You are so strange."
"Um…I'm sorry?" Harry blinked, not having expected that assessment.
"The Master of Death…you do know the hollows could only be owned by someone who could accept me. Yet you threw them all away. Weirdo."
Harry scrunched his face up in confusion,
"It all worked out though…so…maybe being weird isn't so bad." His aunt and uncle had always called him a freak. Strange how he'd always wanted to be normal, to be 'just Harry.' It seemed so peculiar how that had certainly not worked out as he'd planned. But being strange and thinking outside of the norm had made so many people happy that…somewhere along the way, he'd just accepted that.
Death mumbled something and Harry found himself wanting to know,
"Er, Mister Death?" he mentally hit himself, he had a weird feeling that there weren't a lot of people that called Death 'Mister.'
Harry blinked at the weird title,
"Um, well, how exactly did I die? Was it illness? I remember feeling kind of strange…"
"Poison." Death said.
"Oh." Harry said, not overly surprised, he'd pissed off a few people in his life.
Death gave him another strange look,
"It was your wife, if you were curious."
"Ginny?" this information actually did surprise him. Things had certainly been tense between them lately, but that was no reason to kill him, right?
"Why?" he asked weakly, he felt an overwhelming sadness at the thought that he'd been killed by someone he loved, and someone who was supposed to love him, "I just wanted to make her happy…"
Death moved over to him, and Harry got the sense that he was trying to provide some sort of comfort, but was unused to actually trying to provide it.
Odd, Harry thought, one would think he would meet a lot of people broken up about their deaths.
Harry's lips twitched upwards,
"You…aren't all that good at this."
Death shrugged uncomfortably,
"I only ferry the souls, I don't usually talk to them."
"Then why are you talking to me?" Harry asked him softly, wondering if this was yet another strange thing he ought to add to his mental list of 'strange things about his life.' Or did it even count now that he was dead? Harry mused before he noticed just how calm he was about the whole situation.
He'd been killed by his wife, and was now talking to Death like they were old friends.
"I'm talking to you, because you have achieved something very few mortals have ever attained." Death took in a breath, "Upon the completion of the three impossible tasks, and through judgement of your life deeds, you, Harry Potter have attained godhood."
Harry's mind went blank. The only intelligent thing he could think to say was,
"Every god is judged before they claim their throne. I, as the one who designed the test, am to be your judge."
"There's no need for that." Harry shook his head, "I just want to see Sirius and Remus and…and my mother and father again. It's my time to go, right?" his voice had a hopeful edge to it.
But death shook his head,
"It is your time, to die as a mortal. As a god, you are allowed to visit them whenever you so desire. You will be my master, no matter what decision you make during your judgement."
Harry looked confused,
"So…I'll be a god…no matter what? Then what are you judging exactly?"
"Your name and domain." Death answered simply, "Thor governs lightning, Poseidon governs the ocean, those are their domains, and then, bellow that they have their minor domains."
Harry stared at Death in utter bafflement. He was going to become a god…and the only thing he could think about was that Poseidon and Thor were from different pantheons…
"You shall make one wish." Death said simply, "And that wish will decide your domain. Forever and ever. For better or for worse. Choose wisely."
"A wish." Harry repeated, "One wish…" he trailed off. What could he wish for? Wishing for wealth was rather silly, he had no need for gold or any material thing. He was dead, after all. He'd lived to be twenty-one before he'd been murdered by Ginny. Should he seek vengeance? He shook his head. It seemed rather pointless. What about his children? Ginny was supposed to be pregnant.
"She isn't pregnant." Death shook his head, "Or rather, she was, but she miscarried. Had you continued to live you would have had three children. Two boys and a girl."
Harry felt a bit sad at that, and a bit happy. Sad that he'd never gotten to meet these children, and happy that they hadn't gotten raised by Ginny who, was obviously unstable.
His child was dead, Harry felt a horrible, empty pain run through his heart. Like he was hollow. It had never had a chance. He would never have had the chance to raise the kid, to…to have a family. He looked down at the ground with sorrow. He thought back to Teddy, at least he'd gotten to be there for a few years of his godson's life…and he'd have his grandmother…but Andromeda had been sick the last he checked, so then…what would happen to Teddy? Another boy orphaned by the war. Then there were the parents that had lost their own children, like Fred, or Lavender, or many of the other kids at Hogwarts.
He knew, in his heart that his wish was far too grand to grant. Even for a god.
Harry took a breath and thought about all those children and all about those parents, and then it came to him.
"I wish," Harry began slowly, "I wish, I could go back in time and do it all over again, so that those children that never had a chance, could spend a little more time with their family that they would otherwise never know. And those parents who had their children die young have a chance to see them graduate from Hogwarts someday or maybe even marry." He paused, "I know I can't save everyone. But if living through that hell again means that I can give even one orphan that chance…I'll take it, that chance. I can't believe they were all born just so they could be eaten by that demon…and never know happiness."
Harry couldn't see Death's expression, but he had the sense that his face was blank.
"You really are an interesting child." Death said after a long moment of silence, "You don't wish to 'save' a life?"
That hadn't been Harry's wording.
"No." Harry shook his head, "We all end up being taken by you eventually. I just want them to know happiness. The sort of happiness I never did."
"In that case," Death said, "I shall grant that wish…but you will not have to go through the three trials again. For all intent and purposes, the Deathly Hallows were only ever a legend."
"A legend…" Harry whispered.
Death seemed to ignore him though, as he continued,
"From this moment, onward, I name you Kino. The god of free will, human spirit, and time. I name you, minor god of orphans and familial love. Now then, my beloved master," Death said, "Let me give you some advice before you depart."
"Depart?" Harry, no, Kino whispered. Already he felt a strange…familiarity with the name, as though it were always his, as though he had never before been called Harry. As though his old name belonged to that of a stranger.
"A true and noble heart holds much power." Death said calmly, "Stronger than the hardest fist, and mightier than the most potent magic."
Kino opened his mouth to ask him what he meant, when suddenly he felt the pull of magic beneath the surface of his skin. It felt like he was being unraveled and reassembled all at once. It didn't hurt, but it wasn't particularly pleasant either.
"Good luck." Death's voice echoed as Kino felt himself vanishing from the world he had come to know.
He was so disoriented that he found himself falling foreword, faceplanting directly into the…table?
"Harry Potter!" Dumbledore's voice called out and the other kids in the hall laughed.
Kino looked up, fixing his crooked glasses which had been sitting on his nose, only to realize…the world looked different. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see the world clearly, like he had no need at all for his lenses…which were simple, plain, glass. He was so caught up in this revelation that he barely heard Hermione whisper,
"Harry! What are you doing? Get up there!"
"Um…right." Kino said, completely disoriented and confused, though he supposed it was for different reasons than from what others were assuming.
It took him a moment to identify Karkaroff and Madam Maxime. Harry blinked a few times. It couldn't be…the Triwizard tournament!?
Kino's mind raced as he stepped slowly around the table. That meant Sirius and Remus were still alive. Fred was alive. He looked over his shoulder to see two identical red-heads sitting a bit further down. Lavender Brown was still alive. Dobby was still alive…
The war hadn't started yet. Everything was okay…for now. Kino took a shaky breath. Power hummed beneath his skin. It was actually rather scary. He knew he could do things now. Things he could never do before…he didn't know how he knew, he simply did. If he wanted, he could destroy the entire planet. He resisted the urge to shudder at that. He was certainly not fond of such an absurd responsibility weighing on his shoulders.
Sirius had never had the chance to grow up, Kino recalled sadly. He'd come to understand the man a little better over the years of pondering on his godfather's fate. He'd been imprisoned for most of his adult life, and he'd never been allowed to mature or make his own choices. That irked him a little, though Kino figured that came with being a god of free will. Sirius hadn't been allowed to make decisions for himself after that, other than the choice to save him in the department of mysteries, and die for him, ending his suffering and imprisonment at Grimmauld once and for all.
Then there was Remus who had never had the opportunity to see his child grow, that pained him too, as he was a minor god of orphans and familial love.
Would he really keep being hurt by his domains like this? Kino stopped in front of the teachers. He would, he realized. But at the same time, he felt strength from them too. Strength and utter joy. There was no real way to describe it, really.
"Harry…" Dumbledore's voice broke through to him.
Kino hadn't even thought he was talking to him at first, becoming even more aware just how disassociated from his birthname he had become over the past few minutes…or years. Huh, time really was relative.
"Yes, headmaster?" Kino shook himself from the sudden shock his wish had caused.
Dumbledore noticed his bewilderment, but asked anyways, looking over his half-mooned glasses,
"I need you to answer honestly, Harry. Did you put your name in the goblet of fire?"
Kino shook his head,
"No, sir." He said, "I did not."
"Did you ask any other student to do it for you?"
"No sir." Kino said again, "I didn't ask anyone." He felt something try to slip into his head. Legilimency? Kino wondered, then directed it towards his innocence, making his thought process as human as possible. And wasn't that strange? Thinking like something that wasn't human, but rather something that could perceive everything in time, in his domain, happening all at once. To hear a billion orphans crying out, to hear the love that all families feel for their children and parents and siblings, yet none of it being too much for him at all.
He knew his thoughts had probably appeared rather jumbled to the headmaster, but thankfully, Dumbledore appeared to simply pass it all off as the shock of winding up as the fourth champion.
"Please go wait in the hallway with the other champions, Harry." The headmaster told him gently, "We'll be right there."
"Um, alright." Kino decided he might as well go along with it, all the while knowing that the goblet would never be capable of taking his magic, as such contracts could only ever work on wizards…and Harry Potter was not his true name anymore.
The whole hall watched him as he walked down towards the doors then out of the room where the three champions were.
They all turned to him.
"Do they need us back?" Cedric asked.
Kino shook his head, but said nothing. He knew what their reactions would be, and it would make no difference whether he spoke or not in the grand scheme of things. He'd stay quiet and wait…wait until the moment was right.
Moments later, the three headmaster, Bagman and Crouch came in, looking furious. Barty Crouch Junior disguised as Alastor Moody came limping in after them.
"Zees ees madness, Albus! I want zees leettle boy disqualified!" Madam Maxime raged.
"Disqualified?" Cedric repeated, confused.
Dumbledore noticed that Kino must not have explained anything yet,
"I'm afraid we seem to have a fourth champion." He said gravely, "Mister Potter's name came out of the goblet of fire shortly after the three of you left."
"What!?" the protests broke out.
Kino closed his eyes, taking a slow breath through his nose,
"Why did you create magical contracts anyways?" His question gave them pause.
"Well…it's tradition…" Bagman trailed off.
"So is an absurdly high death toll." Kino said dryly, "Are you saying that if one of the three champions were injured and unable to compete that they'd lose their magic?"
They all paled at this, and Kino knew he had hit a touchy subject. Or they're just morons, he thought to himself.
"Well," Bagman blustered, "I mean…it's not that…the thing is…"
"So they would, then." Kino summed up simply, "What is the contract? What qualifies as participation? Do I just have to show up and be there, or do I have to do everything within my power to win?"
"I…" Bagman paused, and realized he had no idea.
Kino looked at Dumbledore, the headmaster's eyes were sparkling,
"You would make a remarkable lawyer, my boy." He commented, "I'm afraid that the contract stipulates that the competitors must do everything within their power to win."
"And does it matter that I did not willingly enter the contract?" Kino wanted to know, "If I were to change my name, or if I stopped thinking of myself as 'Harry Potter' would that nullify the agreement?"
"You don't want to compete?" Cedric blinked in confusion.
"Of course not!" Kino frowned, "Why on earth would I want to compete in the Triwizard tournament against people that have a clear advantage over me in terms of magical knowledge and experience? Glory? Honour? Attention? I get far too much of that for my liking. Money? I have enough, and even if I didn't, anyone who knows me would know that I could care less about material gain." He looked back up at Dumbledore defiantly, "Well?"
The headmaster raised an eyebrow at the strange behaviour, he'd never seen Harry act like this before…
"I'm afraid I don't know." He admitted, "It's possible, I suppose…But you must understand that it's never been done before."
Kino nodded, he knew that the contract didn't affect him, but they didn't know that,
"Alright…the contract says I have to compete to win, but not that I have to win, is that right?"
The headmaster nodded.
"Then I'll compete to win." Kino nodded, "But I won't compete for the trophy."
Dumbledore gave him an odd look,
"I'm afraid you have me at a bit of a loss."
"Come up with a separate prize." Kino said, "It doesn't need to be worth anything. Like a stone or a stick of celery or something. If I make it to the end of each task alive, then that will be my 'win,' my reward. The other three can compete for the cup." He paused, "In the muggle world, before the main band plays, they'll sometimes have some unknown singer or lesser known band play first, like the soup or salad before the main course. It seems reasonable enough, if everyone agrees, to set something like that up. It doesn't explicitly say that I have to compete for the trophy, right?"
"That's very true." The headmaster agreed, eyes sparkling. He appeared to be rather fond of the idea, "Does anyone else have any protests?"
It seemed that no one did and Kino noted that no one seemed to believe that he had put his name in the goblet anymore. He'd count that as a win.
"Now that that's established," Crouch junior grunted, "Shouldn't we be figuring out who put the lad's name in the Goblet."
"It was him." Kino said bluntly, pointing at 'Moody' who looked surprised, but quickly hid it. Dumbledore gave Kino an odd look,
"And why do you think that, Harry?"
Kino gave him a strange look,
"I thought that was obvious. Every Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor has tried to kill me, every year since I got here. I don't see why it should be any different now. First year the teacher was possessed and tried to strangle me to death. Second year Lockheart tried to obliviate me and throw me into the Chamber of Secrets with a Basilisk, third year…well, it wasn't really Professor Lupin's fault, he just…forgot to take his wolfsbane potion."
Maxime and Karkaroff looked horrified at this.
"I'm just saying," Kino rolled his eyes, "Once is an accident, twice is coincidence, and thrice is a pattern."
"I'd say ee vas paranoid, but dat iz suspicious." Karkaroff agreed.
"Harry," Dumbledore said gently, "Alastor is one of the most revered aurors…"
"And it's impossible for him to be compromised?" Kino raised a skeptical eyebrow, "Well, whatever. When I'm proved right, I swear I will laugh in your face…you know, if I come out of this alive."
Crouch junior disguised as Moody barked with laughter, causing them all to jump,
"I like you, kid." He said, looking at Kino, a mad gleam in his eye, "I know some trainee aurors who could take a lesson from you. Constant vigilance!" he shouted, causing them all to jump.
In the end, Kino thought, almost anyone could impersonate Mad-Eye by pretending to be super paranoid and shouting 'Constant Vigilance' every now and then.
As things wound down, they all went back into the great hall.
Kino let out a heavy sigh as he sat down between Hermione and Ron.
"So," Ron began, "How'd you do it?"
Kino frowned, then looked at him, he'd nearly forgotten about Ron's not believing him about not putting his name in the goblet.
"I didn't." He said bluntly, "And I won't be participating, well, I will, but I convinced them to have be compete separately. I have no shot at getting the cup, but if I survive this, I was promised a box of cream puffs."
"Cream puffs?" Hermione raised an eyebrow at that.
"I like cream puffs." Kino shrugged, "But this isn't my thing, it's theirs. The contract says I only have to compete to win, it never said what I had to compete for, or what it was I won. I originally told them they could offer me a rock or celery as a prize…but then I figured, if I'm risking my life, I might as well be getting something this time."
The whole bit of reasoning was so out of character for him at that age that Hermione and Ron couldn't help but look at him oddly.
"Er, are you alright, mate?" Ron asked him slowly.
"I just found out that I was signed up for a death tournament and that someone's trying to kill me again. I'm walking on bloody angel dust. And you," He looked at Ron with an angry frown, "I thought you knew me well enough to know I don't put my life in danger for stupid reasons. Hell, if I could, I wouldn't risk my life at all." He took a breath and got up from his seat, "I need some air, just…leave alone for a bit, alright?"
He wasn't all that hungry anyway. Gods didn't necessarily need to eat, and he thought that perhaps it was time to contact Death. He had some questions and he needed answers.
Blowing up at Ron seemed like a good excuse to get away.
As he walked along, he completely vanished, flickering into existence on the roof of the Ravenclaw tower. He let out a breath, looking up into the sky and laying back down on the roof. There was something relaxing about looking up at the clouds…
"You summoned me, Master?" Death was sitting down beside him. Kino didn't have to look over, knowing exactly where he was.
"The horcruxes…the one in my scar is gone, right?" Kino asked him hoping it was.
"It was destroyed by your mere presence." Death confirmed.
"I wasn't sure." Kino admitted, "Why…why do you call me 'master'?"
"Because you are my master. I fall under your domain and command."
"Until you take me in the end." Kino smiled slightly at this, "Can't we just be friends instead?"
"Friends?" Death repeated, finding the word to be rather peculiar.
Kino felt a mischievous smile make its way onto his lips,
"You know, I've never really been one for pranks…but do you want to have a bit of fun?"
Had death had an eyebrow to lift, or a face to reveal any sort of expression, his features might have been twisted into something akin to intrigue.