Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter and all the direct quotes in this, but I own the story idea.

AN: This one-shot is mainly made of direct quotes from the books which are in italics. The rest are my own additions. The scenes are in chronological order and all are cited at the bottom.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ALL 7 BOOKS!

Summary: This story follows Harry through his 7 years in Hogwarts, his many narrow escapes from Death, and the subsequent unique relationship he develops with Death.


A Rushing Sound

Harry was crying; he had seen the not-man's face under the hood, and it wasn't daddy or mommy, and the red eyes were unnatural even to his young and inexperienced mind. A stick like the ones that mommy and daddy used to make pretty colors was pointed in his face, and then a green light was washing over him with a rushing sound, and he screamed and thrashed and bawled in pain unknown to him before; it felt as though his head was splitting open. Death had been blocked by another force, and it had only managed to scrabble feebly along his forehead. At the same time he felt his pain mirrored and increased in another being, another presence within him, like another mind that he could only feel but not explore, and then the feeling was gone and he was left with the sensation of being overstuffed.

Eventually, Harry fell into a dreamless sleep, tears still slipping down his chubby baby cheeks, ignorant of the to-be famous lightning bolt scar branded on his forehead, of the small piece of Tom Riddle's soul lodged next to his own whole soul, of the large man on a flying motorcycle making his way to Godric's Hollow at that very moment.

On that eventful night a unique connection was forged, chaining one year old Harry Potter irreversibly to that primordial entity, event, and inevitability: Death. (1)

...

Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid: He took a great running jump and managed to fasten his arms around the troll's neck from behind…any second, the troll was going to rip him off or catch him a terrible blow with the club…The troll swayed on the spot and then fell flat on its face, with a thud that made the whole room tremble.

Harry got to his feet. He was shaking and out of breath. He did not stop the think how he had survived a crash from the height of the troll's fall, or managed to avoid being crushed by its pudgy body. He did not notice, amidst the flailing of the troll, the rush of air that had passed over him…he was only thankful that he was standing on his own two feet, alive and well, and that Hermione and Ron were also unharmed.

…"Is it—dead?"

"I don't think so," said Harry, "I think it's just been knocked out."

Not one of the three eleven year olds, not even the brilliant Hermione, thought more deeply on Harry's assertion. Not one noticed the strangeness of Harry being the only one able to tell whether the troll was dead or alive. (2)

...

Harry jumped to his feet, caught Quirrell by the arm, and hung on as tight as he could. Quirrell screamed and tried to throw Harry off—the pain in Harry's head was building—he couldn't see—he could only hear Quirrell's terrible shrieks and Voldemort's yells of, "KILL HIM! KILL HIM!" and other voices, maybe in Harry's own head, crying, "Harry! Harry!"

He felt Quirrell's arm wrenched from his grasp, knew all was lost, and fell into blackness, down…down…down…

The smiling face of Albus Dumbledore swam into view above him…He realized he must be in the hospital wing…

"—the effort involved nearly killed you. For one terrible moment there, I was afraid it had…"

Harry did not remember the rushing sound, the almost tangibility of the shifting air, amidst the struggle with Quirrell and Voldemort… (3)

...

"WATCH OUT FOR THAT TREE!" Harry bellowed, lunging for the steering wheel, but too late—

CRUNCH.

With an earsplitting bang of metal on wood, they hit the thick tree trunk and dropped to the ground with a heavy jolt… a golfball-size lump was throbbing on Harry's head where he had hit the windshield…Amidst all the wind aboard the flying car, he hadn't felt or heard the rushing that swept over his body, but something flickered on the corner of his awareness as Hedwig shrieked fearfully…then he was distracted when he noticed Ron's wand, broken clean in two, and he forgot the brief feeling, forgot to think about his miraculous survival of such a severe aerial-to-ground crash with no seat-belt and only a bump on the head to show for it… (4)

...

"All right there, Scarhead?" yelled Malfoy, shooting underneath him as though to show off the speed of his broom.

Harry had no time to reply. At that very moment, a heavy black Bludger came pelting toward him; he avoided it so narrowly that he felt it ruffle his hair as it passed. The rushing sound that came with it was natural, completely expected, but the feel of the air currents through his hair were slightly odd, almost like fingers stroking through his wild hair… (5)

...

Something huge hit the stone floor of the Chamber. Harry felt it shudder—he knew what was happening, he could sense it, could almost see the giant serpent uncoiling itself from Slytherin's mouth, see Death approaching him…

The snake's tail thrashed, narrowly missing Harry…

He could see the vast, bloody eye sockets, see the mouth stretching wide, wide enough to swallow him whole, lined with fangs long as his sword, thin, glittering, venomous—

The basilisk lunged again, and this time its aim was true—Harry threw his whole weight behind the sword and drove it to the hilt into the roof of the serpent's mouth—

But as warm blood drenched Harry's arms, he felt a searing pain just above his elbow. One long, poisonous fang was sinking deeper and deeper into his arm and it splintered as the basilisk keeled over sideways and fell, twitching, to the floor…

White-hot pain was spreading slowly and steadily from the wound…his vision went foggy. The Chamber was dissolving in a whirl of dull color.

A patch of scarlet swam past with an almost familiar rushing sound, and Harry heard a soft clatter of claws besides him…If this is dying, thought Harry, it's not so bad. The cold air that had been annoyingly persistent in brushing over his face had subsided…Even the pain was leaving him… (6)

...

"Come on!" he growled at his Nimbus as the rain whipped his face. "Faster!"

But something odd was happening. An eerie silence was falling across the stadium…And then a horribly familiar wave of cold swept over him, inside him, just as he became aware of something moving on the field below…

At least a hundred dementors, their hidden faces pointing up at him, were standing beneath him. It was as though freezing water were rising in his chest, cutting at his insides. And then he heard it again…Someone was screaming, screaming inside his head…He was so distracted that he did not stop to think about why the dementors, in the midst of such a large crowd, were so focused on him, him exclusively, though he was much farther away and bearing considerably less happy memories than most…

"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"

"Stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…"

"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead—"

Numbing, swirling white mist was filling Harry's brain…What was he doing? Why was he flying? He needed to help her…She was going to die…She was going to be murdered…

He was falling, falling through the icy mist. Inexplicably, he heard a rushing sound through the numbing silence…

"Not Harry! Please…have mercy…have mercy…"

A shrill voice was laughing, the woman was screaming, the rushing air—was it air?—was brushing his hair away from his forehead, and Harry knew no more. (7)

...

WHOOSH.

One of the Bludgers came streaking past Harry's right ear, hit by the gigantic Slytherin Beater, Derrick. Then again—

WHOOSH.

The second Bludger grazed Harry's elbow. The other Beater, Bole, was closing in.

Harry had a fleeting glimpse of Bole and Derrick zooming toward him, clubs raised, and in the heat of the game he did not realize that he had not turned his eyes to this sight, that it was more of a knowing, a feeling, like the feel of the wind rushing through his hair and over his scar—but that was quite normal when zooming through the air on a broom, he reasoned—

Ignoring the feeling, he turned the Firebolt upward at the last second, and Bole and Derrick collided with a sickening crunch… (8)

...

A pair of strong, clammy hands suddenly attached themselves around Harry's neck. They were forcing his face upward…It was going to get rid of him first…He could feel its putrid breath…His mother was screaming in his ears…She was going to be the last thing he ever heard—but no, there was also a rushing sound, the feeling inexplicably sweeping over his body through the dementors' ice

And then, through the fog that was drowning him, he thought he saw a silvery light growing brighter and brighter…The screaming had stopped, the cold was ebbing away and so was the rushing(9)

...

"Wormtail, come turn my chair around."

And then the chair was facing Frank, and he saw what was sitting in it…He opened his mouth and let out a scream…There was a flash of green light, a rushing sound, and Frank Bryce crumpled. He was dead before he hit the floor.

Two hundred miles away, the boy called Harry Potter woke with a start…Harry tried to recall what he had been dreaming…but it was like trying to keep water in his cupped hands; the details were now trickling away as fast as he tried to hold on to them… (10)

...

"It's the Dark Mark, Harry!" Hermione moaned…"You-Know-Who's sign!"

...a series of popping noises announced the arrival of twenty wizards, appearing from thin air, surrounding them.

Harry whirled around, and in an instant, he registered one fact: Each of these wizards had his wand out, and every wand was pointing right at himself, Ron, and Hermione…

"DUCK!"

"STUPEFY!" roared twenty voices—there was a blinding series of flashes and Harry felt the hair on his head ripple as though a powerful wind had swept the clearing, the air rushing ecstatically over his forehead…jets of red light flew over them, but Harry was distracted by the rushing sound in his ears…it was familiar, he was sure he had heard it somewhere before, once upon a dream…but then—

"Stop!"yelled a voice he recognized. "STOP! That's my son!"

Harry's hair stopped blowing about and the rushing sound left with it. This was the first time he would remember the oddly familiar rushing, and he pondered on it later…but surely, he had had spells cast at him as near-misses before...Yes, he decided, that must be the familiarity he felt in the rushing air currents… (11)

...

"Ah,"said Moody, another slight smile twisting his lopsided mouth. "Yes, the last and worst. Avada Kedavra…the Killing Curse."

He put his hand into the glass jar, and almost as though it knew what was coming, the third spider scuttled frantically around the bottom of the jar, trying to evade Moody's fingers, but he trapped it, and placed it upon the desktop. It started to scuttle frantically across the wooden surface.

Moody raised his wand, and Harry felt a sudden thrill of foreboding.

"Avada Kedavra!" Moody roared.

There was a flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound, as though a vast, invisible something was soaring through the air—Harry looked around, trying to see the presence he could tangibly feel in the air. But no one else was looking around, and he quickly turned back to the spider; the feeling in his scar must be the usual tingling he'd felt all year—instantaneously, the spider rolled over onto its back, unmarked, but unmistakably dead…

So that was how his parents had died…exactly like that spider. Had they been unblemished and unmarked too? Had they simply seen the flash of green light and heard the rushing of speeding death, before life was wiped from their bodies?

Harry did not stop to think about how he knew that the rushing sound was impending death, did not dwell on the invisible something in the air or the soothing of his scar as though by fingers…he simply pulled himself back to the present and listened to what Moody was saying. (12)

...

He and Cedric both grasped a handle…

…"Did anyone tell you the cup was a Portkey?" Cedric asked…

And then, without warning, Harry's scar exploded with pain…

"Avada Kedavra!"

A blast of green light blazed through Harry's eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him. It impacted with a dull thud, and the slight wind it had produced rushed over his scar, but he did not notice; the pain in his scar reached such a pitch that he retched, and then it diminished, but the rushing was gone and he had missed its exultant dance around him as it overcame its first life in his presence… (13)

...

Harry threw himself around the headstone, facing Voldemort.

As Harry shouted, "Expelliarmus!" Voldemort cried, "Avada Kedavra!"

And as Death sped toward him from Voldemort's wand, his own spell hit it, and they combined into a brilliant golden thread, Death once again thwarted in its attempt to finally reach him… (14)

...

"Expecto Patronum!"

His voice sounded dim and distant…he couldn't work the spell…He could smell the dementor's putrid, death-cold breath, filling his own lungs, drowning him…there was no happiness in him…the dementor's icy fingers were closing around his throat—the high-pitched laughter was growing louder and louder, and a rushing sound was flittering around him, swaying his hair almost lovingly, smoothing over his scar. A voice spoke inside his head—"Bow to death, Harry….It might even be painless….I would not know….I have never died…."

He was never going to see Ron and Hermione again—

And their faces burst clearly into his mind as he fought for breath—

"EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

An enormous silver stag erupted from the tip of Harry's wand…the dementor swooped away, batlike and defeated, taking with it the familiar rushing over his scar.

Harry had no time to dwell on it. Wheeling around, he sprinted down the alleyway, holding the lit wand aloft. "DUDLEY?" (15)

...

WEASLEY IS OUR KING…

He went into a dive and started circling the pitch again, staring around, trying to ignore the chorus…

Harry pulled his broom upward, holding the struggling ball in his hand and the Gryffindor spectators screamed their approval…

WHAM!

A Bludger hit Harry squarely in the small of the back and he flew forward off his broom as a soothing rush ran over his scar. He was only five or six feet above the ground, but he was winded all the same as he landed flat on his back on the frozen pitch. Fingers of some invisible force stroked through his hair one last time before retreating, and he almost felt disappointment…but why should he be disappointed? He had won the game, he wasn't seriously injured from the fall, it did not matter that Ron had let in those goals, nobody would remember as long as Gryffindor had won—

"Are you all right?"

"'Course I am," said Harry grimly, putting the disturbing matter from his mind. Now was a time for celebrations; he turned away to meet the rest of the team who were now landing one by one, yelling and punching the air in triumph. If anyone thought it was odd that Harry was uninjured even after a heavy blow to the spine, they did not say so aloud.(16)

...

The dream changed…At first glance, the corridor was empty…but no…a man was sitting on the floor ahead, his chin drooping onto his chest, his outline gleaming in the dark…

Harry put out his tongue… He tasted the man's scent on the air… He was alive but drowsing… sitting in front of a door at the end of the corridor…

He reared high from the floor and struck once, twice, three times, plunging his fangs deeply into the man's flesh, feeling his ribs splinter beneath his jaws, feeling the warm gush of blood…

The man was yelling in pain…then he fell silent…

"He's really ill…I'm going for help."

"Harry, mate, you…you were just dreaming…"

"No!"said Harry furiously; it was crucial that Ron understand this, though Harry did not know how he was certain himself. He just knew that Ron's dad was in terrible danger, that even at this very moment, hundreds of miles away, Death was closing in on him like the swift jaws of the snake he, Harry, had just been… (17)

...

there was a raised stone dais in the center of the lowered floor, and upon this dais stood a stone archway that looked so ancient, cracked, and crumbling that Harry was amazed the thing was still standing. Unsupported by any surrounding wall, the archway was hung with a tattered black curtain or veil which, despite the complete stillness of the cold surrounding air, was fluttering very slightly as though it had just been touched. Old thoughts, thoughts that Harry had pushed to the very back of his mind, flooded to the forefront. The air currents with no actual air moving…it was so familiar, he had experienced it, more than once, he realized with a jolt. Was this another area of the magical world that Harry had yet to learn about?

He had the strangest feeling that there was someone standing right behind the veil on the other side of the archway...Harry thought the archway had a kind of beauty about it, old though it was. The gently rippling veil intrigued him; he felt a very strong inclination to climb up the dais and walk through it.

"Harry, let's go, okay?"

"Okay," he said, but he did not move. He had just heard something. There were faint whispering, murmuring voices coming from the other side of the veil…the whispering and murmuring was becoming louder; without really meaning to put it there, he found his foot was on the dais…

"Harry, we are supposed to be here for Sirius!"

And then something slid back into place in his brain: Sirius, captured, bound, and tortured, and he was staring at this archway….

He took several paces back from the dais and wrenched his eyes from the veil. This time, he recognized the palpable disappointment in the air as not his own, a recognition he had once failed to achieve at a Quidditch game. While he and the others walked back into the dark circular room, Harry's mind raced with possibilities. The presence in the archway had been terribly familiar, but he couldn't place it…

"What d'you reckon that arch was?"

"I don't know, but whatever it was, it was dangerous."

the wall spun and became still again, and Harry put the thoughts back into the far reaches of his mind, focusing once again on the task at hand: rescuing Sirius. He would ponder on the veil and the familiar presence later, perhaps… (18)

...

It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall. His body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backward through the ragged veil hanging from the arch…

And Harry saw the look of mingled fear and surprise on his godfather's wasted, once-handsome face as he fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil, which fluttered for a moment as though in a high wind and then fell back into place. Out of everyone in the entire room, Harry's hair alone swayed gently in an invisible breeze.

And Harry knew, somewhere deep inside, that it was over, that Death had come for Sirius as surely as it would come for everyone, in time. But he did not want to believe it…he, Harry, would pull him back out again…he would pull Sirius from Death before it left…

The rushing of air fingers through his hair was waning, and he knew he had little time...But as he reached the ground and sprinted toward the dais, Lupin grabbed Harry around the chest, holding him back.

"There's nothing you can do, Harry—"

"Get him, save him, he's only just gone through!"

"It's too late, Harry—"

"We can still reach him—"

"There's nothing you can do, Harry…nothing…He's gone."

And Harry knew it was true, because the rushing through his hair and along his scar was gone. Death had left, and it had taken Sirius, its second victim in Harry's presence, with it.

"SIRIUS!" (19)

...

"So you smashed my prophecy? ...I have nothing more to say to you, Potter…AVADA KEDAVRA!"

Harry had not even opened his mouth to resist. His mind was blank, his wand pointing uselessly at the floor. He did not care that the vast, invisible something was rushing toward him eagerly. He only remembered Sirius, and that Death had already taken his godfather, and that he, Harry, would not care if it took him too.

But the headless golden statue of the wizard in the fountain had sprung alive, leaping from its plinth, and landed on the floor with a crash between Harry and Voldemort. The spell merely glanced off its chest as the statue flung out its arms, protecting Harry from Death once again… (20)

...

Leanne made to grab hold of the package Katie was holding; Katie tugged it back and the package fell to the ground.

At once, Katie rose into the air, not as Ron had done, suspended comically by the ankle, but gracefully, her arms outstretched, as though she was about to fly. Yet there was something wrong, something eerie…Her hair was whipped around her by the fierce wind, but her eyes were closed and her face was quite empty of expression. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Leanne had all halted in their tracks, watching. And Harry suddenly recognized the familiar, disturbing presence, the rushing air that raced around Katie and brushed outward, pushing his hair out of the way and running over his scar in a soothing manner…

Six feet above the ground, Katie let out a terrible scream. Her eyes flew open but whatever she could see, or whatever she was feeling, was clearly causing her terrible anguish. Harry's heart pounded as the feeling of air sliding through his hair became stronger, as though Death were trying to reach him instead, leaving Katie behind…In a sudden rush of inspiration, he darted forward to help, to pull Death's attention away from Katie long enough to spare her life, and Ron and Hermione followed. Even as they grabbed Katie's legs, she fell on top of them; Harry and Ron managed to catch her but she was writhing so much they could hardly hold her. Instead they lowered her to the ground where she thrashed and screamed, apparently unable to recognize any of them.

The vast, invisible something towered over them, and Harry alone felt it waiting to strike. The rushing wind pulled wildly at his hair, caressed his scar…but it had divided itself too much, and Death left without a prize that day. Harry felt it leaving, as the unnatural rushing was replaced by worldly wind currents.

Harry looked around; the landscape seemed deserted. (21)

...

"Pick-me-up, that's what he needs," Slughorn continued, now bustling over to a table loaded with drinks. "I've got one last bottle of this oak-matured mead…hm…meant to give that to Dumbledore for Christmas…ah, well…Why don't we open it now and celebrate Mr. Weasley's birthday?"

…"Ron—" whispered Harry.

But Ron had already thrown the mead into his mouth and swallowed it.

There was one second, hardly more than a heartbeat, in which Harry knew there was something terribly wrong and Slughorn, it seemed, did not.

"Ron!"

Ron had dropped the glass; he half-rose from his chair and then crumpled, his extremities jerking uncontrollably. Foam was dribbling from his mouth, and his eyes were bulging from their sockets.

"Professor!" Harry bellowed. "Do something!"

Harry leapt over a low table and sprinted toward Slughorn's open potion kit, pulling out jars and pouches, while the terrible sound of Ron's gargling breath filled the room and the familiar rushing of Death swept invisibly around them, heading swiftly toward Ron, only pausing to ruffle Harry's hair.

Then he found it—the shriveled kidneylike stone Slughorn had taken from him in Potions.

He hurtled back to Ron's side, racing death, wrenched open his jaw, and thrust the bezoar into his mouth. Ron gave a great shudder, a rattling gasp, and his body became limp and still. But Harry knew that Death had not succeeded, and it parted from him once again, leaving a mournful tinge in the air. (22)

...

"SECTUMSEMPRA!" bellowed Harry from the floor, waving his wand wildly.

Blood spurted from Malfoy's face and chest as though he had been slashed with an invisible sword. He staggered backward and collapsed onto the waterlogged floor with a great splash, his wand falling from his limp right hand.

"No—" gasped Harry as the rushing flew through the room. He had caused this. HE had caused this.

Slipping and staggering, Harry got to his feet and plunged toward Malfoy, whose face was now shining scarlet, his white hands scrabbling at his blood-soaked chest.

"No—I didn't—"

Harry did not know what he was saying; he fell to his knees beside Malfoy, who was shaking uncontrollably in a pool of his own blood. Moaning Myrtle let out a deafening scream: "MURDER! MURDER IN THE BATHROOM! MURDER!"

And Harry knew she would be right any moment, as the rushing grew louder, the fingers in his hair, over his scar, fighting to get to Malfoy—

The door banged open behind Harry and he looked up, terrified: Snape had burst into the room, his face livid. Pushing Harry roughly aside, he knelt over Malfoy, drew his wand, and traced it over the deep wounds Harry's curse had made, muttering an incantation that sounded almost like song. The flow of blood seemed to ease; Snape wiped the residue from Malfoy's face and repeated his spell. Now the wounds seemed to be knitting.

Harry was still watching, horrified by what he had done, barely aware that he too was soaked in blood and water, but at least the rushing was leaving, at least he knew Death had failed, that he had not set Death on someone else… (23)

...

Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore.

"Avada Kedavra!"

A jet of green light shot from the end of Snape's wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Harry's scream of horror never left him; silent and unmoving, he was forced to watch as Dumbledore was blasted in the air. A rushing sound swept through the area, and this time nothing stayed the hand of Death. For a split second, he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, and then he fell slowly backward, like a great rag doll, over the battlements and out of sight…

He had known there was no hope from the moment that the full Body-Bind Curse Dumbledore had placed upon him had lifted, from the moment exultation rang through the air, as Death overcame its third life in his presence… (24)

...

Hagrid kicked the motorbike into life: It roared like a dragon, and the sidecar began to vibrate.

"Good luck, everyone," shouted Moody…

Screams, a blaze of green light on every side: Hagrid gave a yell and the motorbike rolled over. Harry lost any sense of where they were: Streetlights above him, yells around him, a vast, invisible something swooping around, trying to claim anything it could…

Then another burst of green light. Excitement filled the rushing air as the owl screeched and fell to the floor of the cage.

"No—NO!"

But yes; Death had struck, taken the insignificant owl's life, but it was not insignificant, it was Hegwig, his, Harry's, familiar...

As he looked back again two jets of green light flew past his left ear…More Killing Curses flew past Harry's head from the two remaining Death Eaters' wands…Harry was almost used to the constant tugs on his hair as Death tried and failed to reach him so many times, his ever-constant companion on this roller-coaster ride from hell…

…"Hagrid, do the dragon-fire thing again, let's get out of here!"…

Harry felt the bike drop a little, though the lights down on the ground still seemed remote as stars.

Then the scar on his forehead burned like fire; as a Death Eater appeared on either side of the bike, two Killing Curses missed Harry by millimeters, cast from behind. The air fingers brushed through his hair as he felt the vast invisible presence rushing by him—

Voldemort was flying like smoke on the wind…

He was going to crash and there was nothing he could do about it…

He felt Voldemort before he saw him, felt him at the same time as he felt the anticipatory wind soothing over his scar…

And then Voldemort and the wind vanished. Harry looked down and saw Hagrid spread-eagled on the ground below him. He pulled hard at the handlebars to avoid hitting him, groped for the brake, but knew from the rushing in his ears what was going to happen, and with an earsplitting, ground-trembling crash, he smashed into a muddy pond…

Harry struggled to raise himself out of the debris of metal and leather that surrounded him; he didn't care to ponder why Death had missed him so many times. It was disturbing enough that he was almost disappointed to lose the soothing fingers in his hair, over his scar; he had never been in Death's presence for such a prolonged amount of time… (25)

...

Panic made him turn and horror paralyzed him as he saw the old body collapsing and the great snake pouring from the place where her neck had been…

"Accio….Accio Wand…."

But nothing happened and he needed his hands to try to force the snake from him as it coiled itself around his torso, squeezing the air from him, pressing the Horcrux hard into his chest, a circle of ice that throbbed with life, inches from his own frantic heart, and his brain was flooding with cold, white light, Death swooping down on him, caressing his scar lovingly, believing itself triumphant at last, and then all thought obliterated, his own breath drowned, distant footsteps, everything going…

He was abruptly awake in the sour-smelling darkness; Nagini had released him. Death left with a mindless roar of rage that echoed in Harry's ears as a rushing sound…

He could still smell Bathilda's house on him: It made the whole thing horribly vivid, and he wondered bitterly why he could not recognize the smell of death when he could certainly recognize the feel— (26)

...

The sword of Gryffindor was lying at the bottom of the forest pool…

Harry put off the moment of total submersion from second to second, gasping and shaking, until he told himself that, despite the distant rushing sound closing in on him, it must be done—he had escaped death so many times before, what was one more?—and he gathered all his courage, and dived.

The cold was agony: It attacked him like fire. His brain itself seemed to have frozen as he pushed through the dark water to the bottom and reached out, groping for the sword. His fingers closed around the hilt; he pulled it upward.

Then something closed tight around his neck. He thought of water weeds, though nothing but the now closer rushing air had brushed him as he dived, and raised his empty hand to free himself as he felt the vast presence approaching him quicker and quicker. It was not weed: The chain of the Horcrux had tightened and was slowly constricting his windpipe.

Harry kicked out wildly, trying to push himself back to the surface, but merely propelled himself into the rocky side of the pool. Thrashing, suffocating, he scrabbled at the strangling chain, his frozen fingers unable to loosen it, and now little lights were popping inside his head, and he was going to drown, there was nothing left, nothing he could do, and the arms that closed around his chest were surely Death's…

Choking and retching, soaking and colder than he had ever been in his life, he came to facedown in the snow. The arms had released him with a last, mournful rush over his scar… (27)

...

Ron seized Wormtail's wand arm and forced it upward; Harry slapped a hand to his mouth, muffling his voice. Silently they struggled: Wormtail's wand emitted sparks; his silver hand closed around Harry's throat...

...Harry could barely breathe.

"You're going to kill me?" Harry choked, attempting to prise off the metal fingers. "After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!"

The silver fingers slackened...His own silver fingers were moving inexorably toward his own throat. Harry felt the hair over his scar shift, and knew what was coming.

"No—"

Without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it...Pettigrew was being strangled before their eyes...

"No!" Harry said as he and Ron tried to pull the crushing metal fingers from around Wormtail's throat, but it was no use. Pettigrew was turning blue.

Harry could feel the fingers floating over his skin, over his scar, and there was a buzz of anticipation in the air.

Pettigrew dropped to his knees...his eyes rolled upward in his purple face; he gave a last twitch, and was still.

The air was bright with elation for a moment as Death swallowed Pettigrew whole, taking its fourth life in Harry's presence. But Hermione's dreadful screams from above urged them on. Harry and Ron looked at each other, then leaving Wormtail's body on the floor behind them, ran up the stairs...

..."Dobby, no, don't die, don't die—"

The elf's eyes found him, and his lips trembled with the effort to form words.

"Harry…Potter…"

Death careened over Harry's shoulder, ruffling his hair affectionately as it went, and then with a little shudder the elf became quite still, and his eyes were nothing more than great glassy orbs, sprinkled with light from the stars they could not see. Death had overcome its fifth life in Harry's presence. (28)

...

"You actually are joking, Perce…I don't think I've heard you joke since you were—"

The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and Percy…Harry felt himself flying through the air, and all he could do was hold as tightly as possible to that thin stick of wood that was his one and only weapon, and shield his head in his arms: He heard the screams and yells of his companions without a hope of knowing what had happened to them. But a sense of foreboding ran over him as a rush of air ruffled his hair…

Then he heard a terrible cry that pulled at his insides, that expressed agony of a kind neither flame nor curse could cause. A laugh of excitement whispered in his ear and he stood up, swaying, more frightened than he had been that day, more frightened, perhaps, than he had been in his life…

"No! Fred! No!"

And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred's eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face. Harry's mind was in free fall, spinning out of control, unable to grasp the impossibility as his hair lifted with the retreating fingers. Death had overcome its sixth life in his presence, but Fred Weasley could not be dead, the evidence of all his senses must be lying— (29)

...

Snape looked as though there was no blood left in him…

"Look…at…me…" he whispered.

The green eyes found the black, but after a second in which Harry felt Death speeding passed him, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more. Seven times had Death now overcome a life in Harry's presence: seven, the most magically powerful number known to wizardkind. As it trailed away from his hair, Harry thought he felt something like chains tightening around him, and his scar gave a peculiar tingling when the last brush of retreating air swept over it… (30)

...

"Harry Potter," he said very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. "The Boy Who Lived."

Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear—

He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and Death rushed over him, triumphant, and everything was gone. (31)

...

They heard uproar from the distant boundary of the school as what sounded like hundreds of people came swarming over the out-of-sight walls and pelted toward the castle, uttering loud war cries…Grawp came lumbering around the side of the castle…

With a single stroke Neville sliced off the great snake's head, which spun high into the air, gleaming in the light flooding from the entrance hall, and Voldemort's mouth was open in a scream of fury that nobody could hear, and the snake's body thudded to the ground at his feet very near Harry, who felt the whoosh of Death giddily rushing through the chaotic atmosphere, claiming the snake and passing over Harry's tingling scar in a warm gust…

But it was not over yet: Harry sped between duelers, past struggling prisoners, and into the Great Hall.

Voldemort was in the center of the battle, and he was striking and smiting all within reach…

Voldemort was now dueling McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley all at once…

Bellatrix was still fighting too, fifty yards away from Voldemort, and like her master she dueled three at once: Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, all battling their hardest, but Bellatrix was equal to them, and Harry's attention was diverted, his body seeming to warm and ring with an unknown force, his scar tingling almost pleasantly, as a Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch—

"OUT OF MY WAY!" shouted Mrs. Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel…

Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did.

Molly's curse soared beneath Bellatrix's outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. (32)

...

Voldemort's hand was trembling on the Elder Wand, and Harry gripped Draco's very tightly. The moment, he knew, was seconds away…

Voldemort's chest rose and fell rapidly, and Harry could feel the curse coming, feel Death building inside the wand pointed at his face…

"So it all comes down to this, doesn't it?" whispered Harry. "Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does…I am the true master of the Elder Wand."

The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort's was suddenly a flaming blur, and Harry felt warmth fill him that had nothing to do with the rising sun.

"Avada Kedavra!"

"Expelliarmus!"

The bang was like a cannon blast, and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead center of the circle they had been treading, marked the point where the spells collided…Harry saw Voldemort's green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high…and Harry caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed…Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse, and Harry stood with two wands in his hand, staring down at his enemy's shell, his scar still tingling in the presence of Death.

And in the one shivering second of silence that followed, Harry realized that the rushing sound was not retreating, but rather settling around him like an extra cloak. Harry's heart nearly stopped in sudden terrible, blazing realization. And then the tumult broke around Harry as the screams and the cheers and the roars of the watchers rent the air, but he was numb to it all in the face of such a powerful, terrifying epiphany.

Death had come, and Death was here to stay. (33)


In the American Harry Potter series:

(1) Adapted from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 17, pg. 345.

(2) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, ch. 10, pg. 176.

(3) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, ch. 17, pg. 295-296.

(4) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ch. 5, pg. 74.

(5) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ch. 10, pg. 168.

(6) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, ch. 17, pg. 318-321.

(7) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ch. 9, pg. 178-179.

(8) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ch. 15, pg. 308.

(9) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ch. 20, pg. 384-385.

(10) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ch. 1-2, pg. 15-17.

(11) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ch. 9, pg. 129-130.

(12) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ch. 14, pg. 215-217.

(13) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ch. 31-32, pg. 635-638.

(14) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ch. 34, pg. 663.

(15) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 1, pg. 18.

(16) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 19, pg. 408-412.

(17) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 21, pg. 462-464.

(18) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 34, pg. 773-775.

(19) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 35-36, pg. 806-807.

(20) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ch. 36, pg. 812-813.

(21) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ch. 12, pg. 248-249.

(22) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ch. 18, pg. 396-398.

(23) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ch. 24, pg. 522-523.

(24) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ch. 27-28, pg. 596, 608.

(25) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 4-5, pg. 55-63.

(26) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 17, pg. 340-341, 347.

(27) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 19, pg. 367-370.

(28) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 23, pgs. 470-471, 476.

(29) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 31-32, pg. 636-638.

(30) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 32, pg. 658.

(31) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 34, pg. 704.

(32) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 36, pg. 732-736.

(33) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ch. 36, pg. 742-744.

AN: Well, this was a random idea I had a few weeks (or months) ago. The reason I distinguished between the actual book quotes and my additions is because I wanted to show how easily this could be canon. Everything is already there; I just added a few manipulations.

This would probably be better as a full story, but I can't think of an actual plot, so I'll leave what happens next up to your, the readers', imaginations.

Enjoy your musings.

-Itallia