A/N:I thought this one-shot fic as something dark and angsty... funny how 'Grim & Evil' was my inspiration... anyway, the title comes from the HIM song '(Don't Fear) The Reaper.' Enjoy.
Title: Don't Fear The Reaper
Author: Gloomy Bumblebee
Genre: Horror/Angst. Slash.
Summary: Harry is tired of being The Boy Who Lived. He wants something different; he wants people to realise he's not all good... It is at that exact moment when a power, stronger than anything he ever knew, comes in his search.
Warnings: Death; lots of it. This fic is dark and twisted. Read at your own risk.
Disclaimer: I don't, nor will I ever, own Harry Potter; that's all JK's.
Don't Fear The Reaper.
Harry was sauntering through the never-ending halls of Hogwarts on his own. Lately, he'd been spending most of his time in solitude since he finally defeated the Dark Lord.
You may be wondering, shouldn't he celebrate everyday with his friends?
Let me tell you something: Harry is not a normal kid. His life had been different from any other kid's from the very beginning; he's experienced things none of us could even begin to understand, therefore, don't expect him to act the normal way.
But this, this was beyond anything he's ever experienced; this time he didn't know what to do with himself.
Since the defeat of the Dark Lord, people have lost interest in him. Not that he ever enjoyed the attention, no, but this left him unsettled and depressed. Had he been right all of this time? Was he right when he thought people only cared for him because he was their only chance of survival?
Deep down inside, he always knew he was right, but to finally confirm his suspicion left him feeling empty... and resentful.
Not once in all of his seventeen years had he felt this way; so miserable. He almost regretted ever duelling Voldemort. At least when he was alive he had a reason to live; or something to die for. But now he was left alone with a hollow feeling and a bitter aftertaste.
And he didn't like it one bit.
But still people didn't understand him.
From time to time, someone would congratulate him on a well-done job and then turn his/her back and leave. But what good did it do, a shallow pat on the shoulder and a stupid word? This hadn't been no silly Quidditch game! This was the last battle with Voldemort! He'd freed the entire world from its dangerous reign and all he was worthy of was a pat on the shoulder?!
Now Harry was enraged.
Stomping through the halls, a loud thump with each step, Harry went to the only place in which he could feel comfortable: the Astronomy Tower.
* * *
If only he had someone who truly understood him... If only he had someone who wouldn't see him as The Boy Who Lived Again... If only...
If only he could muster enough courage as to leap out of the window and have a fast and painless death...
Harry shook his head. Sure, he had seriously considered killing himself, after all, no one needed him anymore, but that would go against everything he stands for; everything he represents. He's all about courage and strength, not an ordinary teenager in disarray. He couldn't afford dwelling on something as trivial as death; he was about greatness.
Fuck all that, not even himself would believe such blatant lies...
But still there he was, sighing against the wind, staring out the window of the tallest height of the Astronomy Tower, reconsidering suicide.
And he felt sad, he pitied himself.
He felt the salty taste of tears tainting the corner of his lips and he let them fall, unashamed. He had lost his pride long ago, just as he'd lost his friends... or those who he considered friends.
Sobbing and curled on the floor, his knees to his chest and his arms embracing them, was how Draco Malfoy found him that day.
But Draco merely let one tear run down his pale, flawless cheek before leaving once again to the privacy of his Slytherin chambers.
If only he knew...
If only they knew...
* * *
It was already three A.M. when Harry's eyes snapped open. He twist and turned in his bed clothes, entangling himself between them. He realised he wouldn't be going back to sleep when his head had started aching and his vision had cleared. Well, as clear as it is possible without his glasses, that is.
He gathered some clothes and got dressed in the darkness of the room. He slowly opened the door to the dorm, but before he went out, he took a glance in his mates direction. It was then, at the late hours of the night, when he hated him.
Harry Potter loathed his once friends and the world he lived in.
Harry Potter loathed.
* * *
The lakeshore was quiet, not even the ghosts were awake. It was Harry and his solitude, sitting by the shore, reflecting on the water's surface.
He looked at his scar. The one thing he loathed the most about the entire world was that thing. That stupid piece of dry flesh, always reminding him of the pain he had to endure and all the pain he still bears. Reminding him of everything he'd lost and the cross he'd carried since the day he was born.
Reminding him of the person he once was and the person he was now.
Reminding him how an innocent, unloved but loving child turned to a cold-hearted, hateful murderer.
Because Harry Potter was a murderer.
Anyone who ends another one's life is a murderer; it doesn't matter whose life you put a stop to, the act itself is what matters. And Harry's fate had been to murder Lord Voldemort, for the sake of all humanity.
He was no longer the sacred little boy who ought to be sanctified; he was now a murderer. He was just as bad as Voldemort had once been and that only thought made him feel dirty.
...and sometimes... even proud.
He often felt proud of what he has done, but not because he became a hero (he never believed in heroes), but because he finally showed everybody his true self.
He'd shown that little dark that lies within his soul and no one yet seemed to acknowledge.
But Harry knew for sure he'd been honest with himself and that was all he cared about.
But right now... right now he was feeling regretful. He regretted having killed Voldemort. But not because of his turning to a murderer, as some would think, but because of his own suffering; his past suffering.
He always knew, well, always since Dumbledore enlightened him, that both Voldemort and himself were equals. Hell, some would even call them soulmates, in Harry's opinion.
So many things they had in common, yet they never had the chance to talk to the other and let everything out. He would have loved to meet Tom Riddle in the past because he knew for a fact that the boy had been nothing but a victim.
Just like him.
Both were orphans, both were mistreated, both were misunderstood...
Both just wanted to survive.
But none of them succeeded.
But one thing led to another... Tom Riddle ended up greedy for power and blinded by its own hate, while Harry's softness had traumatised him, making him insecure and making him feel the need of always having to improve himself.
And then again, he felt proud of being a murderer.
He was proud of, once again, having improved himself; having shown his dark side. That side he'd relegated to the back of his self, burying it under a promise of salvation...
But salvation never came.
Instead, he went to Hell, only to be reminded of its physical non-existence.
But not even Hell accepted him.
He was too pure for it. But he was also too tainted for Heaven and the Purgatory was nothing but a joke.
That was another reason to prevent him from killing himself.
That, and a dream.
The dream of finding love and understanding and being able to give the same in return.
A little voice at the back of his head often told him he was already in love, but it was only ridiculous. Plus, one cannot see sense in a distant voice; that's beyond oddities. That is a clinical case.
And what is most similar to love?
And Harry Potter felt hate, as I've already told you.
Someone who forgets how to love, or even care about the others or his own self, can hardly go back to the start and feel whole again.
The only way out to a lost soul is always death. And even though he didn't want to find it for himself, no one could blame him for praying for it.
Enraged; enraptured with hate and his own desperation, he yelled at the top of his lungs, completely forgetting about the world outside:
"I'm not asking for much! I never did! All I ask for is peace of mind. All I ask is for you to come and find me, then why don't you do it?!
"Death, I open my arms waiting for you. Take me into your world of shadows and embrace me as your son; your willing slave for eternity..."
The ground started shaking under his feet and it soon split in two. A crack so wide was visible and a tall, dark silhouette emerged from its depths.
The slim, muscular form of a man stood before his tired eyes. Harry could barely believe what he saw was real. He rubbed frantically at his eyes, but the illusion was still there. A man so beautiful... tanned skin, hair as dark as the night, soft features, full lips... Harry had never seen anyone so beautiful, so perfect...
But who was this mysterious man?
Had someone finally listened to his prayers? Would he be free at last?
"Harry Potter..." the man said, a voice as soft as feathers and deep as the ocean itself. "You are powerful and faithful, beautiful, almost perfect. You excel above all mortals, you deserve much more...
"I understand your pain; how it feels to be underestimated and ignored. I understand the darkness in your heart and love it; I crave for it.
"I, Death, embrace you as a son. Bare your soul to me and learn to love me and I'll devote myself to you. I'll give you everything you've ever needed and all you've ever dreamed of. Just take my hand and you'll never suffer again.
"Take my hand, Harry, and be mine."
And Harry, with tears coursing down his cheeks, took the offered hand and faded away in a cloud of tainted smoke that smelled suspiciously of roses...
...and the one he once thought he loved cried himself to unconsciousness, lying on a foetal position, dreaming of all he'd just lost.
* * *
Harry's vision cleared. He soon realised he didn't need his glasses anymore and threw them away. He looked at his face on a shining silvery surface and gaped.
His scar was gone.
All that bonded him with his past was gone. He was now free... but what price should he have to pay?
He averted his gaze at the one man he considered his saviour. That one who was now sitting on a throne made of cold silver and dark velvet, pouring whine into two glasses. Locking his eyes to Harry's, he commanded the boy to step closer.
Harry was slowly being pulled into the beauty of those dark red orbs, shining with desire and love, beckoning to join him in a sacred ritual.
The man who called himself Death offered one of the glasses to Harry who took it without flinching. Somehow, he was feeling comfortable with the man in front of him; slowly, almost painfully, he was starting to fill himself with desire as well. Heat was rising within him and he was forced to take a sip out of that cold beverage.
Strong and sweet, purifying his blood only to pollute it again, the whine coursed through his insides. The man smiled and let his glass rest on the tray by his side. He reached out a hand and took Harry's glass from him, to let it rest with his own and then took hold of the boy's hand to drag him closer to him.
Tilting the boy's chin up to make eye-contact, he lowered his lips to those of the boy and kissed him deeply, softly, lovingly... like nothing Harry had ever experienced before.
It was then that Death branded him as its property.
* * *
Years it seemed had passed since that one time in which Harry had bared his soul as promised, but in reality, only a few hours had been through. But that didn't matter there, for his life was eternal and time was an illusion.
But every favour made had its price and Harry would have to work to afford this peace of mind he'd always dreamed of.
"My beloved Harry, slave of darkness, now that I claimed you mine, I have to ask you a favour in return for everything I've given you."
Harry nodded and lowered his head, giving himself once again, accepting whatever odds are to be imposed in his way. It all would be worth it in the end.
"I, Death, have many servants around the Earth. I only choose the most powerful and faithful people; humans that put their kind to shame. People like you, vulnerable but strong. I offer them eternity, I make their dreams come true and they give themselves to me. Just like you did.
"Your duty will consist on hunting souls; you'll be one of my many Grim Reapers. What do you say, Harry? Will you show that beautiful darkness that lies within you?"
Harry tilted his head up and nodded. The one thing he never thought he'd be proud of was the one that gave him his dreams.
Being a murderer was no longer a sin, but his duty in life. Death had become his life, since he was no longer alive; he was a ghost with a body. A soul hunter.
The Grim Reaper; representing Death itself on Earth. He was once and for all the powerful force he deserved to be.
And since he'd never found love, he would finally forget about it. He'd turn it to hate and use it in his benefit. He would find comfort in the one he'd been favoured by; Death.
* * *
His first task as a Grim Reaper was to take the souls and end the suffering of those who'd lost a war in the Middle East. An easy job; easier than many of you would think. All he had to do was lower his sickle and touch the victim's forehead, locking his/her soul in it to bring it to his master, Death, and let him decide its destination.
Harry had soon discovered a morbid pleasure in stealing the life from a body. The power he had in his hands, the silent screams as those souls are trapped inside the cold steel of his sickle, the fear he induced... all of it was wonderful.
Ironically enough, he never felt so alive.
But not only he had everything he knew he deserved but never dared dreaming of; he was also being taken care of. He was loved in a sadistic way he couldn't quite understand why, but he liked it. He had understanding. He had freedom. He had oblivion...
He had everything he needed.
* * *
Time went by and far off from that land of darkness, secluded in the gloom of a medieval castle, a boy wept over his lost love. He had been dwelling for what seemed like eternity on the sudden disappearance of the one he cared about the most, the only one who would have been able to understand him and would have accepted his tears as a precious gift. That one so full of life who had never been given a chance to live.
Draco called out his name like a mantra. Soft and slowly; feeling each letter piercing through his throat, choking him. It was a pain so deep that burned him; a fire that wouldn't die until his love was returned.
But one should know better before speaking, for there are forces stronger than any of us that see everything and hear everything and have the power to make us forget everything. Forces that rule our fates and have the power to change them whenever they please.
Draco's heart ached. He blamed his love for it, but the reason for his pain was beyond anything imaginable. He felt as if a fist were squeezing his heart so tight it would break. But it was already broken so he didn't really mind.
Smiling, thinking that, perhaps, he would meet his love in the afterlife, he shut his eyes and gave in to the overwhelming pain shooting through his nerves.
One should never take Death for granted.
* * *
Harry was placidly resting on an enormous pile of cushions, staring into the beautiful eyes of his saviour. Someone who was just as misunderstood as he'd been; someone he was slowly learning to love.
He wasn't sure why, but he could swear seeing the slightest ghost of a sneer in his usually serene, delicate features. He could see him staring intently at his reflection on the mirror...
* * *
But Death, as Harry very well thought, is also misunderstood. Everyone thinks of him as someone heartless. A meaningless spectre of night, stealing the souls of those who are ready to die. But what no one understands, is that Death also has feelings.
Why else would he care whether people live or die? It's not like their souls do anything for him, as some would be likely to believe. No, the pleasure of his work is helping others. Taking those poor, suffering souls out of their misery is a merit in itself. But no one sees that side of the coin. To them, Death is something evil.
But today, Death was feeling very evil, indeed.
Because Death has feelings, and once he gets obsessed about something, he won't let anything stand in its way. And he had just discovered something that upset him to no end. Something that caused him pain as he haven't felt in decades.
Death was in love, but someone was threatening to steal that love from him.
"Harry," he called. His silky voice carefully measuring its repressed anger, avoiding to scare the boy. Anything for his beloved.
"Yes, master?" the boy replied, still as devoted and respectful as the first day. Anything for his saviour.
"I have a very special task for you. It'll be a test of your loyalty; it'll allow me to see how much you love me."
"I'll do anything you request, master."
The reply would have been enough in any other circumstance, but this time the situation was beyond his control. This time he wouldn't be taken for granted.
"Come over here," he indicated to the boy who walked to where he was standing, the mirror tightly gripped in his hand.
"Look into it and you shall see your next victim."
Harry, curious as he'd always been, did as commanded. He had momentarily stopped breathing when he saw Draco lying comatose on one of the hospital beds at Hogwarts' infirmary. No one, besides the school nurse, was there to support him or to even care. He was alone.
Just as Harry had once felt.
"Do you know where to go?" Harry nodded, almost painfully. "Do you know what to do?" He nodded again. "Then go now, my dearest Grim Reaper."
The man closed his lips on Harry's and the boy departed, sickle in hand, covered from head to toes in his black robes.
* * *
Draco's lids were shut, he couldn't hear either. All he could do was breath. It was bizarre; he felt conscious, he just couldn't open his mouth to speak, but he was capable of forming words and sentences as any other day of his life. And he could still think...
A sharp pain pierced through his veins at that exact moment.
Just when he thought his time had come, he felt a familiar, yet strange presence by his side. Something warm and wet brushed his cheek and he woke up as the sleeping beauty of the fairy tale...
Harry was there, by his side. He was dressed in a heavy black robe and was carrying a sickle, its steely blade shining menacingly.
The minutes seemed to stretch like hours, but neither seemed to care. The clock of the infirmary, however, had stopped ticking. The only sounds in the room were those of the boys' breaths.
Their gazes were locked and no matter how hard they tried, they couldn't tear their eyes from the other's. Draco had so many things to ask, but he had no idea of how to do it. There was, however, one thing, one word he needed to let out.
But it seemed, it was no time to ask questions.
Harry averted his gaze to the side and lowered his head. Little by little his sickle lowered. Almost touching the boy's forehead... he pulled back.
Harry couldn't kill Draco. At least not before he had an explanation.
And Harry told the boy everything he needed to know. From the final battle with the Dark Lord and his own point of view of the situation to the kisses shared with Death itself and how he offered his soul in exchange for freedom, understanding and someone who cared for him.
He then sighed and apologised before lowering his sickle once again.
And if seeing Draco give in to Death, losing all hope without even struggling, was devastating, imagine his reaction when the blond of the tear-stained cheeks voiced a prayer.
"Please, come back."
The blade stopped only millimetres from his skin, only to be pulled back again.
Harry liked his job, he enjoyed freeing others' souls and letting his darkness slip away in the process. He needed it to purge his own soul out. Then why, no matter how much he needed that morbid pleasure, couldn't he take Draco's soul?
Truth is, he knew at first he wouldn't be able to perform the requested task, but he had to find a way to do so. He owed it to his saviour. After all he'd given to him...
But then again...
"If you ever wanted to find freedom, understanding and someone who cared for you," the blond spoke up, still staring at the ground. "Why didn't you come to me?"
Harry's head snapped upwards. That's all he ever hoped for; how come he never thought of opening up to his love? Why had he been so keen on turning his love into hate to serve Death when he could have lived and find all of that he ever wished for in his enemy; someone who would turn his hate into love?
Why had been so coward, taking the easiest way out? Why hadn't he faced all of his fears and embraced love and all of its uncertainties?
Why hadn't he let Draco love him just as he did for him?
The blade resonated on the cold, marble floor. The touch of skin to skin, as their fingers brushed and intertwined, it was divine and sacred. Something even stronger than what he'd felt with Death, because this time it was for real.
This time the feelings were shared and the love grew stronger.
This time... Death cried.
* * *
A kiss of regret and the ground shook. Time had stopped and the man Harry dreaded to see, made himself visible.
Looking as hard as stone and cold as ice, the prince of darkness contorted his perfect lips into a sneer and the delicate skin of the corner of his eyes wrinkled as he narrowed his eyes.
A lone tear, as red as whine, dry over his tanned skin.
"You disobeyed. Once we go back to our world, I'll make you pay. Don't forget you gave yourself to me. Your soul is mine, Harry. You are MY Grim Reaper."
Draco need not ask further. He now understood everything; from Harry's mysterious departure to his sudden appearance as a Grim Reaper. He also understood the reason for his heart to ache so dangerously and the reason for falling into a coma. He also understood why he woke up to Harry's tears...
He understood. And Harry knew it.
"I'm sorry, master," the boy said. "If I can do anything to mend my mistakes, I will do it. I only request one more favour from you."
Death listened. Death had feelings; he was as human as Harry, after all.
"I want my soul back. I can't live a lie and everything you've given to me is a lie. You used me just as much as I used you and I want my life back. I will do anything you want, I'll give you anything you want if you will give me back my soul and let me live my life with Draco."
But Death didn't like to negotiate. Specially when he was going to lose his one companion; the one he loved. He shook his head. Death need no words to make others understand.
But Harry just took hold of the blond boy's hand and squeezed it. He wasn't willing to lose that one thing he always wished for when now it was real. He dared kiss him in front of his once saviour.
That had been enough.
The man's eyes turned from red to a shining silver as bright as the moon as dangerous as a dagger. With only a flick of his wrist, he tore Harry's sickle to pieces. A blue aura emerged from the remnants of steel and wood scattered on the floor and flew to his hand.
He was old enough to know when he had lost a battle, therefore he only had to negotiate with his beloved. He wouldn't return such a precious soul so easily.
"I'll return this soul to its rightful owner, with only two conditions. One to each of the parts involved."
The boys looked at each other. Harry was waiting for Draco's unspoken agreement and it came in the form of a nod. Harry would willingly accept whatever condition is required for him to get his soul back and enjoy the rest of his life with the one he truly loved but never thought would love him back.
Then Death spoke up once again.
"You have to let go of all your magic powers, Harry. I know you are a wizard, but the price for your soul cannot be small. Are you willing to give your powers to me?"
Harry nodded without hesitation.
Draco's eyes filled with tears as the man reached his hand to Harry's forehead and stole every bit of magic in his being. The procedure had left Harry tired and weak, but a faint smile could be seen on his thin lips.
Death breathed in Harry's magic, swirling like a miniature tornado in his palm, until it vanished from sight. He truly wished he'd had no need to act so cruelly, but Harry had left him no choice.
And though no one ever had betrayed Death and lived, it was true that a love as great he had never met and he hadn't the strength nor the heart to murder the boy.
"I love you, Harry. I gave you all you wanted, made your dreams come true. Gave myself to you just as you had given yourself to me in the beginning of it all. I favoured you over my most loyal Reapers, just because of the love I feel for you. Something as pure as this I have never found and now I have to let it go.
"You're breaking me to pieces and I can't even kill you. A feeling so pure had never tainted my soul in such indescribable way. You make me cry only with your beauty. That is why I can't let him enjoy your features. You will still belong to me in a certain way and I won't let go of that right I earned.
"I'll permanently blind this boy, so he can never look into your eyes ever again."
Draco stood still, frozen in shock. How would he survive without his sight? It was stupid to dwell on that; with Harry by his side he'd never have to worry and besides, Harry had already given up a lot for him, it was the least he could do, even though he'd never rejoice in Harry's pools of deep green ever again.
He nodded and stepped forward.
* * *
A few months have passed since that day.
Harry and Draco had escaped the Wizarding World to live in muggle London. They were living together in a small apartment as any other muggle would. No one would ever understand or even believe their story if they ever retold it, anyway.
It seemed surreal to be living as normal human beings, when they had faced Death itself. It seemed ever stranger that all of this mess had started for just a misunderstanding and Death falling in love.
Who would believe in something as well-worn as this story?
Harry often pinched himself in the arm to make sure it was real. And even though he knew the truth, he couldn't bring himself to accept it.
But they were still happy. After all they went through for their love it seemed only fair they should have that little bit of happiness. And it was really important for that happiness to be real that they left the location where all the problems had taken place. That's why they escaped to muggle London.
No one needed them, but if they did, no one would go looking for them there. But it was silly to even worry, after all, no one even knew they were together, anyway.
Except one person. Someone split between a human and a god. Someone who was so powerful as to let go of love itself.
At least let go of its object.
A few months had been since the day he let him go and a few months had been since he first cried. And it was now, months after that day, that Death had finally learned his lesson.
One should never take Love for granted.
"Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear we couldn't go on"
HIM - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
E/N: Wow. I told you it was twisted. I don't know, I just liked it a lot. This had taken the first place from "The Walk" to become my favourite fic. And though the ending is rather screwy, I don't really care since all of my endings are shit.
Now, I won't ask for much, I just want you to review and tell me what you thought of this. I will appreciate any kind of criticism as long as it's not a flame.
Gloomy j Bumblebee