Disclaimer: don't own HP or Rise of the Guardians
He walked to the lake and looked into the icy depths, frowning. He had been drawn to the lake by a death and yet he could sense the power in the air…all coming from the moonlight as it shone on the frozen water. How dare he? He looked up at the moon, knowing he could not be seen, and scowled. This was not his domain! The Man in the Moon had severely overstepped in attempting what he was, but the process was far enough along that to interrupt could cause damage to the soul he had come for.
For now, he would wait after all, Death was nothing if not patient. He left to attend to duties elsewhere, knowing the soul was safe under the frozen ice.
The next night was the full moon, the light shining even brighter and he watched as the ice began to crack, a body rising from the water to land on the surfaces as the cracks sealed. The newborn Spirit stared up at the Moon in awe and then clouds rolled in, covering it. Perfect. He pushed back the hood of his robe and stepped forward even as the Spirit picked up a staff, watching as frost spread. He purposely stepped on a twig, the snap causing the Spirit to turn in his direction, brilliant blue eyes wide.
He was Jack Frost? He wanted to ask, to know more, but clouds covered the Moon and the comforting feeling of his light went away. He took a step, toe nudging a stick, and he watched in awe as it frosted over. He picked it up and laughed as frost formed on the ice. He turned at the sound of something snapping, staring wide eyed as a cloaked figure stepped from the trees.
"Hello Jack," the young man greeted with a gentle smile.
"You know me?" Had the Man in the Moon sent him to help him? Jack found himself walking towards the other, unable to stop himself, drawn to him. A hand came up to gently rest against his cheek and Jack leant into the warm touch, trembling.
"Oh Jack, I'm so sorry. He shouldn't have done this to you," he whispered.
"I don't understand."
"I know. Come, it's time to go home now," a hand was held out to him and Jack took it, seeing how white his skin was compared to the soft tan of the others hand.
"Who are you?" Jack asked nervously as he was gently pulled closer to the cloaked body.
"My name is Harry."
And then his world went black.
Harry stared sadly at the young Spirit laying on the bed. He was trapped between life and death, with one foot in each realm. Manny had really made a mess of things this time. He had tied the still living Soul to the dead body, making him unique even among Spirits. Harry could separate them, send the Soul on to the rest it had earned, but in doing so he could cause damage thanks to the magic saturating his body.
He had checked the records, Jackson Overland had drowned/frozen to death in the lake after saving his little sister from that fate. The transformation had vastly altered his looks, his skin as white as snow, his hair a soft silver/white, and his eyes an inhuman brilliant shade of blue. Fitting for a Winter spirit but very different to the human he had been. Until he woke again, there was no telling the damage his death had caused, though he had spoken and understood Harry which was good, and his motor skills appeared unaffected.
Winter Spirits were hated and despised by the others, but he would keep Jack from that as much as he could. He would have a home here in the realm of the Dead with Harry. He would teach him to wield whatever powers he had safely before allowing him to travel between the realms. And if he had any talent in Death then perhaps Harry would finally have someone to help him in his duties.
He could have created helpers at any time, altered the souls of the dead or something, but it had never felt right. Harry had been doing the job alone since the very beginning even if technically he had been born in 1980, centuries from now. It was a good thing time was fluid when it came to Death.
He looked down as Jack began to stir, slowly opening his eyes to look around without any fear. Good, he shouldn't be afraid here. Harry gently brushed Jack's hair back off his face, curious eyes watching him, so he smiled, and Jack smiled back shyly. "Welcome to your new home Jack, this is your room."
"My room?" Jack sat up slowly, looking around at the massive room. Harry had furnished it simply, with things from the current time, so as not to overwhelm him. He could introduce him to television later. "I…I don't…"
"Shh, it's alright Jack," Harry soothed, offering a hug and Jack leant into him. "What did Manny tell you?" he asked.
"He told me my name's Jack Frost," Jack murmured, and Harry frowned.
"That's all?" he asked, and Jack nodded against his chest. Was that because of the cloud cover, because he had used too much power to make Jack, or for some other reason? It better be one of the first two otherwise he would make his existence a living hell. "What do you remember before that?"
"Before?" Jack sounded utterly lost and Harry sighed, so his death had caused damage. "It…it was cold and dark."
"You died," Harry told him, and Jack tensed in his arms but didn't pull away. "Manny brought you back as a Winter Spirit but because you died it has damaged your memory."
"I…I was someone before?"
"Your human name is Jackson Overland, Jack for short. He kept that much the same at least. Though, you look very different now than you did before."
"I don't know why he brought you back, only he can answer that. What he did took a lot of power though so it may be a long time before he can answer," kinder than to tell Jack he might simply be refusing to answer. "The change in name is normal for those who become Spirits, though they still know the name they were born with. Names have power Jack, so you need to be very careful about who knows your human one. As to your change in appearance, becoming a Winter Spirit did that, thankfully you still look and act human."
"Will I ever remember? Did I have a family?"
"You could remember and there are methods to help with memory restoration. There is even a Spirit of Childhood Memory who may be able to help. You had a family; a Mother and a younger sister."
"Can...can I see them?"
Harry hugged him tighter at the stuttered question. "If you truly wish it, I will take you but Jack…they won't be able to see or hear you. Only the dead and other Spirits can. For a human to see you, they have to believe in you, Jack Frost."
Jack was quiet, obviously thinking about it, before he sat up and Harry let go. The younger male wiped his eyes, revealing frozen tears. "Please?"
"Alright. First let's get you cleaned up; it'll help you feel better." Harry stood and motioned for Jack to follow him, showing him the attached bathing room.
The dead had no need of such things technically, but a nice bath or hot shower was always relaxing. He showed Jack how everything worked and left him to it, going to track down the Overland family home. If seeing his family could help him than Harry would do it. He would also keep a firm block on Jack's own powers while they were there, no need to scare his family or worse.
He wasn't at all surprised by Jack's reaction to him, the dead were naturally drawn to him so that he could help them peacefully move on. Jack was just unique because he wouldn't be moving on. Vampires were technically undead, but it was very different to Jack as well. Harry would give him the physical comfort and assurance the teen needed but he would be careful as well. It would be far too easy to see more in it than there was, to get too close, and end up hurting Jack or breaking what was left of his own heart.
Jack held onto Harry's arm as everything shifted around them and then they were standing in a small wooden house. He looked around curiously and then he saw them, a woman and girl seated before the fire, crying. He glanced at Harry who nodded so he walked closer, kneeling to get a better look. There was nothing, no familiarity, just…sadness at their grief. The little girl kept sobbing that it was her fault and he just knew it wasn't. Whatever had happened to kill him, he didn't blame her.
"Her name is Emma and she is eight years old," Harry told him, and Jack slowly reached out, hand hovering over hers. Harry had said he would pass right through her and he didn't want to do that.
"It's not her fault."
"Guilt's a funny thing but with time, she'll accept that it was your choice."
"What did I do?" he looked up at Harry who was leaning against the wall.
"She was on thin ice and you saved her but in doing so, you ended up on that section in her place."
"I saved her," he whispered, and Harry nodded. He then looked at his Mother, seeing her grief.
"Her name is Sarah. Your Father, James, died five years ago. His soul has long since fully passed beyond or else I would take you to see him since he would have been able to see you."
Jack nodded, though he wasn't entirely sure what Harry meant. "Will they be alright?"
"Your Mother is smart and resourceful and the blacksmith, Edward, has been courting her for the last six months. He is a good man and will look after them."
Jack rested his hand over both of theirs and then backed away. He looked around the small house, but nothing was familiar. He walked back to Harry, there was nothing for him in the house, not anymore. "Thank you," he whispered and then took Harry's arm again, not looking back.
Harry watched as Jack played with Fluffy, the massive Cerberus acting like a puppy as he chased the teen around, tail wagging. Jack spotted him and ran over, grinning happily. It was good to see him so happy and playful rather than shy and withdrawn. "Having fun with Fluffy?"
"Fluffy?" Jack looked back at the three-headed hound in disbelief.
"A good man once had the mortal version of a Cerberus and called him Fluffy, so this Fluffy was named in his memory. Couldn't help it," Harry shrugged, and Jack laughed. "Want to know his favourite game?" Harry offered and Jack grinned.
It was nice, relaxing and playing for the sake of having fun.
Jack rolled out of bed and stretched, walking through to the bathroom and turning on the tab to the tub. He stripped off his nightwear and got in once there was enough water, sighing happily as he soaked in the warm water. When he was done he dried off and headed for the closet full of clothes in more styles than he could have ever imagined. He dressed in loose black pants and a blue shirt before leaving to find Harry.
Harry was working in the garden, Fluffy snoozing nearby, and Jack settled down next to Harry, watching him work.
"Yes Jack?" Harry glanced over at him and then set aside his tools as Jack fidgeted with his staff.
"Why am I here? I mean, why did he make me a Spirit? Am I…meant to be doing something?"
"I was wondering when you'd start asking," Harry smiled at him. "I don't know why he chose you, there would have been many easier options for him to pick from. You are a Winter Spirit Jack, so there are duties you can take on if you choose to. There is…also the possibility you can take on duties linked to Death."
"Because I died?" Jack asked and Harry nodded. "How will I know?"
"We train and see what powers emerge as you learn."
Jack nodded, he guessed that made sense. "When do I start?"
"Now," Harry stood, and Jack followed him back inside.
Jack thought he could live here a million years and still be finding new nooks and crannies. There wasn't really a 'house' or an 'outside', but it was easiest for him to think of in those terms. Harry had said that it was how his mind and very being interpreted the realm or something. So the big empty room Harry took him to, wasn't an actual big empty room. "What now?" he asked, and Harry smirked.