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Harry Potter and Death's Incarnate
"The Weave is a natural phenomenon that allows mortals to accomplish great deeds of remarkable ingenuity or of startling brutality. Some liken the Weave to 'fate' or something as such that dictates a mortal's path. While this may be true or false it would be hard to prove, at least, that was the opinion around two hundred years ago. Now, we have perfected the art of creating portals into the netherworlds beneath us as well as observing our parallels in other planes. Magic has indeed come a long way but most are disappointed with our efforts. All we have managed to do is explain the reasons behind events, explain the rules of the universe, but now we are being asked to change those rules. That would mean changing the very Weave itself. Most have left, convinced that it was either impossible or idiotic. Mankind may be able to come to brilliant solutions but they are not always the best ones. Indeed it seemed impossible to change the Weave, for if the attempt to change it was successful, it meant that that success was woven into the pattern in the first place. It would need someone who wasn't included in that pattern to change it. And indeed, I was right. Do not grieve for me, rotting away in this prison. I did what I thought I should do, drove myself to do, and now I realise the futility of it all. I had created a being that could change the Weave. I had managed to drag my honour, reputation, morals into the dust and even the great Incarnates themselves into my foolishness." - Thaddeus Burwright, Unspeakable Traitor 1933
As a force of nature, Death was eternally tied to the Weave and through it, knew everything. It was literally impossible for Thanatos, Death's current Incarnation, to be surprised, startled, disturbed, wary, confused or disappointed. There was no such thing as the unexpected for Death, or at least, there had been.
Contrary to popular belief, Death was not at all involved in the ways of the mortal world. All she had to do was exist and the rest took care of itself. Any fatal injury fell under the jurisdiction of War. Famine had the cases of neglect, starvation and dehydration, while Plague had everything else including death by old age. A liberal dose of the Killing Curse, developed by a past Incarnation, sent the soul straight to the River of Mortality under Death's watchful eye. It was a system that had worked flawlessly since the beginning of time.
But now, there was a very noticeable chink.
"I know you," Death stated softly atop her throne, voice dusty from neglect. "Lily Marie Evans, or is it Potter now?" The anomaly didn't seem to hear her, but then again, Death didn't expect it to. It was female, transparent and vaguely colourless save for the soft green glow that indicated cause of death. The Killing Curse. She was already within the grasp of the River but there was a desperation to her...to her frantic movements against the current that gave Thanatos, and Death inside her, pause.
She knows that her time has come. A void whispered with one thousand voices. It cannot be denial.
Shall we see? Without waiting for a response, what Thanatos wanted Death wanted, the Incarnate wandered over to the riverbank and watched the strange soul carefully. Impossibly, the woman's will was enabling her to inch back against the tide. It would take millenia for her to get anywhere significant but Death was amused by the effort.
"No, not Harry, please not Harry. Take me -please!- instead, not my son! Have...mercy..." the soul of Lily babbled almost incoherently. Absentmindedly, Death reached out to the Weave searching for a "Harry Potter" and blinked again when she was abruptly shut out. That had never happened before.
"I agree it hasn't." Looking over her shoulder, she spotted the Weaver standing there holding a delicate, gossamer loom in her hands. "But it will happen should you attempt that again. That mortal's future is off limits."
The Weaver would deny us a mortal? Thanatos smiled in order to convey the interest Death was feeling. If we cannot observe from a distance... She turned back to the struggling soul with an odd sense of anticipation welling in her chest. Perhaps she had left the mortal realm alone for too long.
"Lily Marie Potter nee Evans, would you have me Wait for your son, Harold James Potter?" She felt, rather than heard, the Weaver's gasp and the desperate gaze of a mother focused.
The smile widened. "So mote it be."
Number 12 Godric's Hollow was a scene of tragedy. A young couple had bright visions of a future where their baby boy could have a happy childhood. Where they no longer had to spent every waking moment in hiding. Where the war was over.
Somewhere along the line, a coward grew a twisted backbone and with two flashes of acid green light, that bright future shattered. The air was crackling with barely restrained energy as the Dark Lord Voldemort aimed his wand at a barely awake Harry Potter. The wards were malfunctioning, the heavy residue of the Killing Curse was swirling and the powerful love a mother had for her child was threatening to shake the very earth.
"Avada Kedavra!" The green lashed out again and in the seconds that it took to leap the distance to the target, Fate paused and withdrew her hand from the infant boy. The Killing Curse impacted, forcing the young Potter's soul out of his body-
And then it snapped back like a rubber band, the force of it reintegrating itself reversing the curse. There was a horrific scream of pain...and then sudden silence.
Little Harry sniffled, his breath coming in short puffs of frozen air, before glancing up. On moment there had been absolutely nothing there and the next...Standing there was a strange woman; there was long snow-white hair, sickly pale skin and the most peculiar golden eyes with sickle pupils.
She tutted to him. "All of this, for you?" Death didn't find the babe very impressive, for he was so very weak. It could be said that she regarded him as something lower than dung. Hardly fit to exist.
"Come now, Thana." The Weaver was behind her and Thanatos could imagine the mysterious smile on her face. "I'm sure he'll turn out to be at least somewhat entertaining."
The Incarnate turned to gaze at her coldly. "He had better." A large man burst into the room, wild eyed and bushy bearded, yelling something incomprehensible. "He had better."
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