Disclaimer: I do not own anything mentioned in this fanfiction.
The man's breath came in short gasps as he bent over to rest. He could feel the stares of the city people as they went about their business, but he didn't give a damn. They could stare all they wanted: he was having too much fun to care. Straightening up again he continued his mad dash through the London streets, his prize package tucked securely under his arm.
To say Harry was very excited would be a vast understatement. It was his first trip outside of Surrey and every fiber of his six year old body was full of immeasurable joy. His Aunt and Uncle had been forced to take him to London with his cousin; his sitter – Mrs. Figg – had come down with a highly contagious bout of the flu. The Dursleys would have happily left Harry if it hadn't been for the fear of their precious Duddykins getting sick.
Now, a few things must be explained about the Dursleys in order to understand just why Harry was so happy. Petunia and Vernon Dursley prided themselves on being the most normal pair of people you could ever hope to meet; their son Dudley had never wanted for anything – and it showed. They abhorred anything that didn't conform to their lifestyle – and that included Harry.
Harry was a Freak. From the moment he could walk and talk that was all that he had known. His name was 'Freak', anything that went wrong was blamed on the Freak, and then he was punished. The worst of the punishments had been no food for a week: today though, it was going to be different. Harry had promised to not do anything 'freakish' while he tagged along with his family.
The Dursleys pulled into a parking lot outside the largest toy store that Harry had ever seen. It was the only toy store he had seen, but Harry knew it had to be the biggest. As soon as the Dursleys exited the car, Harry bounded out with a large smile on his face. Before he could get too far a large meaty hand clamped down on his shoulder.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Harry stilled, not daring to answer his Uncle Vernon. If he did he would be in for a terrible beating as soon as they returned to Privet Drive.
"You're not coming in with us! You can stay by the rubbish where you belong and stay out of site." His hand still gripping Harry like a vice, Vernon guided him over to the side of the store and threw him behind a collection of trash bins and refuse. "You better be here when we come to get you, or you'll be locked in the cupboard for a week without food!" He stormed away, not even bothering to see if Harry had followed his orders.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Harry settled down in between two empty boxes and looked out of the alleyway onto the main street. He had a limited view of the busy sidewalk that ran in front of the toy store and decided to entertain himself by counting the number of people in blue shirts that passed by the alley's opening.
Not even thirty minutes later Harry was interrupted by a man skidding into the alley. A man whose hair was only matched by the wild look in his eye. He spotted Harry and dashed over to drop a heavy package in one of the empty boxes, taking the other. "It's yours now. Good luck!" The man continued his mad dash down the alleyway and into oncoming traffic.
Curious, Harry grabbed the package that the stranger had dropped. Before he could look at it closely the sound of hooves startled him and forced him to scurry behind the trash bins. He didn't question why someone would be riding a horse in the middle of London, the urged to question beaten out of him at an early age. As soon as he heard the noise fade away, Harry cautiously eased his way out of hiding. The coast clear, he was able to open and inspect the package. It was an old and tattered book with the words 'Rincewind the Wizzard' emblazoned across the front cover. While Harry held it he noticed a strange noise emanating from the book, as if the book was still being written.
Before Harry could investigate any further, he heard Vernon shouting for him. Hiding the book underneath his oversize hand-me-down shirt, Harry ran to his Uncle's side to avoid a beating or anything unpleasant.
ROBERT REGINALD, I HAVE COME FOR THEE.
Robert turned away from his broken body on the asphalt that was surrounded by a crowd of people and one car. A smile graced his face as he saw the tall figure standing next to a large white horse. "You really say that?"
IT IS EXPECTED, IS IT NOT, the figure replied. The figure was male, if gender could be applied to an eight foot skeleton dressed in black robes and holding a scythe.
"I suppose so." Robert glanced back down at his body before looking back into the bright blue points of light that represented the skeleton's eyes. "This is it then, huh?"
"Can't run from Death, yeah?"
Death nodded sagely. NOT FOREVER.
The two stood staring at each other for a few awkward moments – only on Robert's part of course. Death couldn't feel emotion, only pretend, which he did then for the mortal's sake.
Death cleared his throat. It was a sound only comparable to two tombstones grating against each other. IF YOU COULD RETURN WHAT YOU STOLE BEFORE YOU MOVE ON? I WOULD BE MUCH OBLIGED.
"Oh right!" Robert held up the package that he had inexplicably still had in his incorporeal state and handed it to Death.
He nodded his thanks and grabbed the box with his long fingers. I BELIEVE IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO GO.
Laughing hysterically, Robert Reginald began to fade from this world. "I did it! I tricked Death himself! Wait till my friends hear about this!"
Death stared curiously at the spot where the spirit had resided, then gave a shrug well suited to a skeleton. He turned his back on the now panic laced scene of death, pulling himself up onto his noble steed. TIME TO GO HOME, BINKY.
Binky whinnied and trotted up into the air as if gravity were merely a spoiled child trying to keep it's grip on it's toys. Death unwrapped the box at that moment and his eyes dimmed with worry. OH BUGGER…