Author: Tuesday Next
Pairing: mention of past H/G (she's dead), and maybe H/Luna
Summary: Five centuries have passed since the evens of DH (AU after King's Cross), and the world is a very different place. Voldemort conquered—and then lost—the world. Muggles were enslaved by wizards, then found a way to fight back and wrought vengeance. But Harry Potter and Voldemort still live, Britain is a land of wild magic unknown to muggles, and the story is far from over.
Angel City, New America, 2567
The man who had once been known as Lord Voldemort, commander of the infamous Death Eaters, ruler of all the world, sat in a dirty, darkened alleyway in what had once been called Los Angeles.
He looked around wildly, eyes focusing on things that no one else could see. He muttered to himself words that had no meaning to anyone save him, and names that were in history textbooks. "Stand aside, girl…"
His dark hair was long and matted, and his eyes glowed an unnatural red. Those that saw him called him mutant freak, an obvious discard from some illegal genetic experiment. He was shielded from the elements by a flimsy plasboard box he had stolen just before it was incinerated in a garbage dump.
Every person driving by in their cars had heard of him, but none would recognize him now. They spoke of the time when he had ruled the way that people spoke of the Holocaust, as something that everyone agreed had been horrible, a tragedy, but didn't seem quite real, all these years later. They spoke his name now, no longer so afraid that they had to whisper. They all thought he was dead, of course- after all, it had been over a century since his fall from power.
If they knew—if they knew that he still lived, that he was here, that he was immortal, truly immortal, they would flee in fear! They would run!
But no. No, because he had no power anymore.
He had nothing, nothing without his power, no more than a muggle—
One of them.
Less, even. But he had forever. He had eternity. He was immortal, and he would rise again. He would show them that he was Lord Voldemort, that no one could defeat them. He would make them fear to speak his name again.
And then, maybe, when he had punished them all for daring to challenge him, he would learn to die.
The world had spent that time rebuilding, reinventing shattered technology. It had not been easy, at first, for Muggles to learn to live with wizards, and the other way around. There were much fewer people, to be sure- the Muggle population had been halved, and the wizarding population was a mere one-tenth what it had been.
Pureblood prejudices disappeared as magic folk realized that they could become extent, especially since Muggles were so hostile to them- understandable, considering their first experience with magic folk, and one that had lasted for three centuries, had been horrifying.
They responded with anger, and then with violence. Their strange machines—the same ones they had used on him, the filthy muggles--
But time went on, and children were born, and the reality their parents had lived became less real, and slowly people began to forget.
Dark Fortress, London, Great Britain, September 10, 2004
The muggles had been easy to defeat. After he'd killed Potter all Resistance had seemed to melt away, and he had quickly consolidated his power over the magical government of Britain, then easily took control of the muggle governments of Britain and Ireland. It was almost too easy—and Imperious here, some Polyjuice there, and the country was his.
There was a somewhat tentative knock at his door, as if the person behind it was trying to make themselves heard without making any actual noise.
"Come in, Rookwood," The Dark Lord said evenly. He sat at an elegant mahogany desk in an opulent office, going over paperwork. In the years since he'd killed Harry Potter, he'd learned that ruling a country was quite a bit more complicated than conquering one. Luckily, several of his servants were very good at logistics and planning.
He also rather enjoyed deciding fates with a simple stroke of his quill. Here it was on paper—his complete control over the muggles. He had only to send word to a subordinate, and he could raze a city to the ground, send Dementors to menace a school, or simply have seceral key American politicians, including their President, assassinated.
That he'd done yesterday.
He imagined this was how a god might feel.
Voldemort looked up at Rookwood, who had entered the room and was now standing patiently before the desk. His face betrayed none of the fear the Dark Lord could tell he felt. He wore a simple black muggle suit with a high-quality, tough plain, robe over it.
"Report," Voldemort said. His voice was level enough, but carried the threat of retribution if the answers were not to his liking.
"My lord," Rookwood began, "the American project has so far been very successful. Our plans to take over the other governments in the Americas were completely successful."
Unfortunately their tried-and-true formula for taking over muggle governments, involving either controlling or replacing the main leaders, would be ineffective in the United States due to countermeasures that government took against magical subversion. They had discovered this when a simple Imperius curse on the American ambassador to Britain was somehow detected when the man returned to the Embassy. Apparently he'd been confined until the curse wore off. So, they'd had to develop an alternate plan which Rookwood wad detailing now.
"Our people in the Chinese government," the former Unspeakable continued, "are initiating plans for a nuclear strike as we speak. The Americans will wake up tomorrow to find their country devastated. With their major cities gone, they will be easy to defeat."
"Thank you, Rookwood," The Dark Lord said, cutting him off. "Do send me a full report tomorrow and let me know if anything…unanticipated develops." It went without saying that the Dark Lord would be less than pleased should that happen. "Don't let me detain you," he added, turning back to his work.
Rookwood bowed. "My lord." Just as he was aobut to close the door behind him, the Dark Lord spoke again.
"Do send Severus in, Augustus." Rookwood couldn't help but shiver. How does he do that? It was probably just some sort of surveillance charm, but the Dark Lord always seemed to know who was outside his door. Not unlike Dumbledore, though you'd have to be mad to say such a thing aloud. Although the Dark Lord seemed a bit saner now that his plans were actually working, he was still as cruel as always.
Snape had heard the Dark Lord's summons, and rose from his seat in one of the uncomfortable black chairs that marked the Voldemort's outer office.
Rookwood had no idea what business Snape had with the Dark Lord, as he was not involved with the ongoing campaign to conquer the world. Whatever he was working on was probably some obscure, secret project, and Rookwood had no desire to speculate. He left the room without a backward glance, intending to return to his work and put Severus Snape out of his mind.
Severus held a small glass vial, once six centimeters tall but bearing some of the strongest protective charms he knew. He strode to the Dark Lord's desk with nothing more than a nod and murmured, "my lord," and set it down.
The Dark Lord reached out one pale hand and picked up the vial. It appeared to hold not a potion, but pure white light. It was bright enough that, had he extinguished the other lights in the room, he still would have been able to see quite well. It cast shadows, though, shadows that were unnaturally dark given that there were other sources of light in the room, shadows that seemed to writhe and strain and the edges.
"It is finished, my Lord," Snape said, his voice low and silky. "This potion will grant you true immortality. You will not age or die. You cannot be struck down my any means magical or muggle. Your body cannot be destroyed. You will never die my lord, even," and here he faltered for a moment, but Severus Snape was always one to speak his mind, "even if you should wish it."
Voldemort had been staring at the elixir, enraptured, but now his head shot up, his red eyes fixing Snape with a piercing glare. "Why should I wish such a thing?"
Now Snape backpedaled, quickly saying, "of course not, my Lord. I was merely—"
"I know what you were doing, Severus," Voldemort said, close to anger. Then he looked again at the simple vial. That such a small thing could have such power—but then, that was magic for you.
"You have done well, Severus," he said. "You will be rewarded."
Hogwarts Castle, Scotland, the same day
Harry Potter, or the man who'd been Harry Potter when he was alive, floated in the Library, reading. It had been several years since he'd died, and in that time he'd not spoken to a single living being. It seemed he was neither alive nor dead, but rather a spirit of the sort that Voldemort had been for thirteen years.
He remembered speaking to Dumbledore at King's Cross Station, and returning, but he had not returned to life. He was still pissed off at Dumbledore about that, actually.
Instead, he was stuck in spirit form, unable even to interact with the living as ghosts could. It had taken him over a year to learn simply to manipulate objects, such as the pages of the book he was reading, and despite several tries, he'd never been able to possess any animals.
At first he had been unable to believe he was stick like this, watching as his friends were defeated by Death Eaters. Those that didn't manage to flee were all dead. Harry had no idea what had happened since then, as Hogwarts seemed to have become deserted and he was unable to leave. He guessed it had something to do with either the Resurrection stone, which was somewhere in the forest on the edge of the grounds, or his body, which Voldemort had thrown into the lake.
No one had repaired the damage done during the battle, although the bodies were gone. After it became apparent that he wasn't going to spontaneously resurrect, Harry had began trying to communicate. He'd finally learned to make himself visible to ghosts after several months, though by then there were no living people around he could try to talk to. Then he'd taught himself, though it was painfully slow, to manipulate physical objects.
He'd begun by searching the Library for texts on immortality and resurrection. While he could hardly perform a ritual in his current state, any information he could find was at least a step in the right direction. In the years since then, he'd continued reading, learning more than he'd ever wanted to know about souls and Horcruxes.
Nothing helped. There was nothing about his situation, as Voldemort wasn't a real Horcrux, and besides the books on Horcruxes dealt more with theory than practice.
He'd eventually started reading anything that caught his eye, from history to books of spells. As he couldn't practice magic in his current state, he gravitated more towards books of theory and history than the practical, a marked break from his previous study habits.
He held out hope that he would find a way out of the current situation, but with every passing day that hope grew more strained.
He was fading. Harry could feel the power, the life, draining out of him slowly. He didn't have a real Horcrux, after all, and Tom could only sustain him for so long. As much as it pissed him off, the fact was, Harry wasn't becoming any more alive. He was dying.
He was currently reading a rather fanciful tale about Atlantis, refusing to think about what fate might await him, when he felt it.
It was like magic, singing in his veins, yet it was not magic; at least, it was not the sort of magic Harry was accustomed to. It flowed down the link that still connected him to the Dark Lord, through the blood Voldemort had taken all those years ago. Because of the connection, the link remained even after the soul fragment in Harry's scar was destroyed.
What Harry felt was life, pure and simple, flowing into him, and it gave him new strength and power. He felt like he could almost hold his wand again.
He was not alive, but he was stronger, and for once, tings were looking up.
Harry was contemplating this unexpected, but wholly welcome turn of events when a voice startled him out of his thoughts.
"I see you have finally overcome the Nargles that were plaguing you, Harry."
Harry finally found the source of the voice. It was Luna, of course, and she stood in the doorway, dressed incongruously in a white-and-pink checkered sundress and a heavy black traveling cloak. What's more, she was looking straight at him.