The Bell Tolls for Thee . . . . . or not?
*DISCLAIMER* I don't own Harry Potter. If I did I would be rich. This is not going to be a crossover, just AU and OOC. This is in response to a challenge by Reptilia28. The second AU I describe in the story is the story "Quantum Leap" by Seel'vor.
He heard screams in the background, but they were fading away. He knew they were important but at the moment he couldn't figure out why. As he lay on the floor he stared blinkingly up at the bright white ceiling and started to wonder where he was at. As he lay there he heard his name being called.
"Harry James Potter, please report to the service desk, NOW!" A gruff male voice said near shouting over the paging system.
Harry slowly raised himself up to sitting as the memory of what happened moments ago hit him. He was killed by Voldemort in a duel while attempting to rescue Hermione from her torture under Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry and Hermione had been taken to Riddle Manor shortly after they were betrayed by Ron. RON! How could he have done that to us?! We're best mates. Harry thought to himself shortly before he looked around the room to try and figure out where he was. It was a large room painted all white, with a desk back in the left corner. It was a stylish black desk that one would see in upscale businesses. The counter on the front would hide all but the shoulders and up on whoever sat there. A blonde woman who didn't look to be more than twenty-five sat behind it in front of, as least that's what he guessed, a computer. As she looked up and saw Harry she nervously looked back down quickly right before the voice came across the paging system that Harry couldn't see anywhere.
"Harry, get up and go talk to the girl at the desk, I don't have all day." The voice said, sounding tired and frustrated.
Harry slowly stood up and stretched, groaning with pleasure as he heard his back pop several times, and proceeded to walk over to the desk. As he got closer he could see it was made of polished black marble and looked indestructible but at the same time looked as if a light touch would break it. He looked over and noticed the blonde wearing a nametag that read "Kim" and underneath that said "Death Receptionist." Harry wondered why anyone would want to be a death receptionist since it had to be such a morbid job.
"No it's not morbid; it's actually nice helping people go to the right ending place." Kim said without even looking up at Harry seeming to read his thoughts. Seeing the confused look on Harry's face, she explained. "There are a multitude of beliefs and religions in the world and universe. So much so that just the fact that they believe has created all of this. Well not really all of this as many of what you would call demons and angels existed before then, although it wasn't in a place like this. It's complicated to the point I barely understand it. All you really need to know is because so many people believe this place to be real, it is. Anyways, you're death angel Sorer Fenrir can explain more, his door is to the right of my desk. Be careful, he's not in the best mood. Good luck."
She smiled as Harry just shook his head, and looked to the right where a door materialized up from the floor. As he walked to the door, it slide up and to let him through. Once he was on the other side it slid down and disappeared, leaving Harry in a hallway that had walls of a deep crimson but did not seem painted. Rather the walls themselves were made up of light colored that way. Harry marveled at them while walking and could faintly hear music. As he was walking down the hallway towards a large oak door in front of him the music slowly grew louder and louder. When he reached the door the song changed and could hear bells before a loud drum beat kicked in and bass and guitars playing heavy metal was heard. The door opened and a man who appeared to be in his late 20's early 30's opened it. He had the look of someone who has witnessed death many times in person. He was wearing loose fitting brown and tan robes. His eyes were a pale blue. His hair was brown and was kept barely above his eyes.
"Harry James Potter," He said as he looked at Harry almost mournfully. Harry immediately recognized the voice as the one he heard over the intercom. "Welcome back to my office. Get in and sit down."
As Harry had sat down what the man had said sank in. "Back? What do you mean back? I've never been here before. I don't know who you are or why you seem to think you know me."
The man looked at him as he slowly walked around to the other side of his desk and sat in the large, over-stuffed office chair. His desk was covered in papers in all different languages, many of which Harry didn't even recognize. The man leaned over so he was resting his arm on the desk and his head in his hand.
"Alright, let's play this game. Although I do admit it's tiring. I'm Sorer Fenrir, your death angel. This is where people come once they've died, usually. However, I'm not the only death angel. If I was, could you imagine how busy I would be? Oh and not just anyone gets death angels. Not everyone needs one because not everyone is destined for great things and needs to be watched over. They usually are appointed by the Creator, Jim. Yes, Jim. Don't even start on that. We talked about how a creator named Jim sounded crazy, what was it, oh yes, the fourth time you died. This however, is not the fifth or sixth time, oh no, it's the thirteenth time you have died. If you die one more time, I get fired and then I get to spend eternity as an inanimate object such as the receptionist's desk out there. Thirteen times, do you hate me? I mean the first time I can understand. No one should have to face Voldemort, even as a spirit, at eleven. The second time was the start of your second year because you foolishly challenged Draco Malfoy to a duel because he called your soul mate, some Granger girl, a mudblood. In third year you had to rescue your Dogfather, which again, I understand, but did you honestly have to face so many dementors? You got kissed by one and got that Granger girl kissed as well. What was her name," Sorer said as he shuffled through papers on his desk before apparently finding the one he was looking for. "Here is it, Hermione. You're a foolish Gryffindor. Always rushing in where angels fear to tread. At least she was able to slow you down once in a while. The fourth through ninth times was an overdose of Amortentia by one Ginny Weasley. The tenth time was during the tri-wizard tournament when a house elf named dobby gave you too little Gillyweed and you didn't bother to check to see how much you would need for the hour. You drowned. Everyone was sad, especially Ginny, who wanted your money and you since you were dead, she couldn't have it. The eleventh time was when you were possessed by Voldemort at the department of Mysteries. He was subtle about it and ended up making you kill yourself by using Avada Kedavra on yourself. The twelfth time was sixth year when Draco used the Cruciatus on you until you went insane and then cast a severing charm on you and cut off your head. The final time at least you remember, since it just happened. Ron had turned you over to Voldemort and Bellatrix, betraying you and Hermione all because of his jealousy and insecurities. Hermione was then repeatedly tortured while you were bound and had to watch and then the same repeated as she was forced to watch you get tortured. Then while you were recuperating and for some reason they placed you in a side room alone, you somehow got into that Gryffindor head of yours that you could take both Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort and managed to get your wand and charge off to save Hermione. I commend your bravery but I have to ask, when does it become too much? You're supposed to live to be at least 194 and married to Hermione with tons of grandchildren but no that stupid Gryffindor bravery has to over-ride everything. Jim forbid you would have requested the hat to put you in Ravenclaw where you would have at least learned to think things through before that Gryffindor bravery kicked in and you went rushing in."
"Wait, Hermione is my soul mate? But she loves Ron, the scheming prat who betrayed us to Voldemort. I don't know how he could do that but he did and what about Ginny using love potions. I thought that was illegal to do? If I have died all these times, why don't I remember them?" Harry asked, almost demanding to know but at the same time partially scared of the answers he would receive. He didn't want to know why Ron betrayed them. It was sad to think that his best mate would turn them over to Voldemort.
Sorer sighed and shook his head and just sat for a minute staring at his desk hearing the last few lyrics to the song that was playing. It was Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." "Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be. Now they will see what will be, blinded eyes to see." He had just discovered the song and band and thought it fitting for a death angel's office. "Yes Harry, one Hermione Jean Granger is your soul mate. You should have been through your toys stage and noticed girls by the end of third year, realized how much you had in common by your fourth, and asked her to the Yule ball. From that point on, you two would have been a force to reckon with. However, starting in the summer before your third year Ginny Weasley and her mother Molly started to dose you with Amortentia. Ginny wanted the fame and fortune that came with being married to the BWL and Molly figured that you would be in a loving family and even if you didn't love Ginny you would care about her and would stay married to her. She didn't think that you had free will and wanted you and Ginny and Ron and Hermione together to have her one big happy Weasley family. Molly genuinely cares for you but since she and Arthur ended up together via love potion she didn't think that it was wrong. After all, their marriage turned out fine. Ginny however didn't love you. She loved the boy-who-lived. That was evident when she told you that she knew you would only be happy hunting Voldemort. I mean I know that stupid Gryffindor bravery is always there but you would have to be insane to only be happy hunting Voldemort. I digress. She only loves Ron because she doesn't think she's good enough to be the girlfriend of the 'boy-who-lived' and settles to be the friend of 'just Harry'. You, BWDTM, being the ignorant Gryffindor you are, never realized she had feelings for you. Although I do believe the Amortentia may have had something to do with it."
"What do you mean BWDTM?" Harry asked, his mind blurring with all the other things Sorer had said. Ginny never cared about me, Hermione liked me, Molly just wanted me to be loved and cared for and thought love potions would solve that since she and Arthur got together that way. It made sense for the most part.
"Yes BWDTM, boy-who-dies-too-much, it's your nickname around here with all the other death angels. Now I'm going to answer the rest of the questions you asked and some you haven't yet so I don't have to deal with them later. Ron is jealous of you. Always has been and always will be. There are many different universes than this one Harry. I suppose you could call them alternate universes. In one, Ron is jealous but realizes shortly after meeting you what he has in his family and you two end up best mates for the rest of your lives. You're married to Hermione, he's married to Lavender and you both live, rather cliché as it is, happily ever after once you've defeated Voldemort. In another, you and Hermione realize your feelings for each other in sixth year after you realize Ginny has been dosing you with love potions. Hermione knew but didn't know how to tell you. You two fall madly in love but Voldemort kills her in the final battle when both of you are in your 20's. You decimate Voldemort after that and then are in misery the rest of your life. You end up funding a project that will allow you to go back into time, recreating yourself from your eleven year old body and change things. There are others where you, Voldemort, and all of magical society do not exist. Like the universe I came from. You might know it; a muggle film in the 70's and 80's is remarkably like it. It's called Star Wars. No, and I can say this from experience, nothing in the movie actually happened, however the force exists there and there are Jedi and Sith. However when Jim appoints a Death Angel, he usually puts them in charge of a universe they didn't come from and one that is vastly different from their old one. It allows us some semblance of not growing attached to the people we watch over but we still do. It just keeps us from interfering as much as we would if we watched over our own. But that is neither here nor there."
Sorer sighs as he gets up and looks out a window that appears in the wall out of nothingness. Harry can see grass and sunlight and hear kids laughing but can't see what's going on outside. The room suddenly shifts and they are floating above the Earth. Harry quickly moves his feet up onto his chair as Sorer just laughs. "I love your reaction every time I do that. It never ceases to amuse me. You don't remember this because every other time we have sent you back, we've had to wipe your mind of everything after the time we've sent you back. You aren't allowed to know of this place. We can't leave the information in your head for anyone else to pick out. It would also be very unusual for you to know spells and a lot of information from your future years at Hogwarts. Voldemort had already figured out Horcruxes so that if he was killed he wouldn't be truly dead. However that only serves that purpose. A horcrux will not make you immortal except in the sense that you can be brought back. A whole person's soul ages whether it's split into pieces and separated or not. So even if he manages to take everything over and achieving his so called pure blood supremacy, stupid half-blood hypocrite, eventually he will die. At least that would be what would have happened if he hadn't been helped out by others." He looked down shook his head and Harry heard him mutter something about light and dark. Good and evil. Jim and Bob?
"Excuse me, who is Bob? I know Jim is the creator so basically God to some religions, so would that make Bob the devil?" Harry asks finally able to get a word in and have a question that wasn't answered already.
Sorer ran his hand through his hair before sitting back into his desk. Once they did they were back into his office. "Bob is what you would call the devil yes. Let's just suppose for a minute that Jim and Bob a long time ago wanted to see what people would do on their own, no direct interference from one or the other, just influence. Are you following me?" Sorer asked and upon seeing Harry think for a second before nodding, continued "Good, you're not as dense as you seem you dumb Gryffindor. Anyways so this influence was to see who ended up getting the most people to follow them. However it is only Jim and Bob who cannot interfere. There are others, what you people call angels and demons. They are the ones who are at least partially aware of our existence. They see more than most and can do more than most. These people can directly interfere. Now it isn't straight good or straight evil. Most are just trying to better something for themselves or others. Much like say Hermione badgered you and Ron to do homework. She wanted you to better yourself. So these people not only can influence but directly interfere. Now both sides want to win in the end however the good want to just win through as little interference through the angels as possible while the evil side wants to win no matter the cost. Because of this Voldemort was influenced by and then later confronted by one of the demons. In exchange for true immortality for his soul fragments, he had to help Bob win. Life is always about balance. Good and evil, light and dark, life and death, Jim and Bob, in the cases that the balance has been tipped to favor one, something will inevitably be done by one side or the other to bring things back into balance. Therefore, we are going to send you back to the summer before your fourth year, unless you really want to be sent back to right before you died like we usually do?" Sorer asked, laughing when Harry shook his head no.
"Sir, are you just going to wipe my memories again and leave me to my own devices this time or what's going to happen?" Harry asked suddenly worried about what would happen to everyone if he died this time. Hermione would be killed, the world would be enslaved or killed depending on their beliefs and the parentage, and to top it off he probably would not be going to that next great adventure either. Something far worse was most likely in his future if he died again.
"Since just being sent back has not been enough, no we aren't going to just wipe your memories this time and send you back. However you will need to sign a contract that while you are able to retain your memories, you will not share them with anyone but people you trust and that know occlumency. We cannot allow anyone to find out that you know about here or that this place exists. Furthermore, you aren't being sent back immediately after signing this contract. You will spend a little time here in this realm learning occlumency from some people here along with a few other things you'll need to know." Sorer looked at him as he laid a parchment and quill on the desk, smirking knowing the next inevitable question.
"And if I refuse to sign this?" Harry asked, leery of any kind of contract. Fourth year had made things difficult for him considering the Goblet of Fire and the TriWizard Tournament. The Goblet of Fire was an impartial judge true, but it didn't know who had put someone's name into it. Given that the contract was magical and binding, he had to compete no matter the circumstances.
"You get your memory wiped, sent back, and will most likely die, again. You won't be sent back to before your fourth year however. You'll be sent back to Riddle Manor. The time you will be sent back to will be right before you got it in that silly Gryffindor head of yours to rush off to save Hermione. You will almost certainly die again. I will lose my job. You will go to the void where you will feel nothing, and only be aware of the slow crawl of time. Hermione will die. Voldemort will win. Life will suck in the world. So really if you want a shot at happiness kid, you better sign." He sighed thinking that this time if Harry got sent back at least he was going to be prepared. Then if the kid died again, it wouldn't be because he hadn't tried to keep the boy from getting into a stupid situation. He couldn't be everywhere at once and Harry wasn't his only charge to be watching over. If he could just get the kid trained a little bit before sending him back, things would be looking pretty good for at least a little while. A smile spread across his face as Harry signed the parchment. As soon as it was signed it disappeared and Harry looked up at Sorer with a look on his face of now what? A door appeared in the right wall of the office.
"Now you go through that door and sleep until 'tomorrow'. Really the room will change to what appears night time but since time doesn't really exist here try not to think about it. You'll get about eight hours of sleep and then I'll come wake you up. Until I do wake you up, I have to talk to a few other death angels to get my other cases watched on while I'm training you. Now go!" He told Harry in a tone that said not to argue with him. He chuckled as Harry went into the room and the door disappeared. This might actually turn into a very good time.
As he stalked through the halls of the various deaths' offices, Sorer Fenrir was trying to think of the appropriate magical mentor for Harry to learn spells form. I can teach him to calm his mind and thus be able to work on his occlumency but magic is going to be way beyond me and this universe doesn't have the force so I can't teach him much more than that. Merlin doesn't want to teach anyone anymore. I don't think he wanted to teach anyone in the first place. Nicholas Flamel just recently got here and while he probably has forgotten more than anyone knows, he probably wants to spend time away from the living. So who can I find that is cunning enough to teach Harry to plan and stay in the shadows, powerful enough to teach him the spells Hogwarts should have been teaching for years and who can teach him to research a lot more than just rush in without any knowledge? They'll need experience, lots of it but they can't be arrogant. I wonder. . . . . I've got it. Grigori would be perfect.