Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Harry Potter or Bleach; nor do I own this song. They belong to their respective authors. I however own this story and its quirks.

Shout out: The story is slowly nearing its conclusion. I have some trouble with epilogue, so it won't be out so fast, but I hope that it would be worth the wait.

Warnings: Already done, SLASH, killing scenes (Yay...?) and sometimes confusing POV – s. Be warned, I don't explicitly state whose POV is whose, because I write it along as the story goes. So please, no complaining on that theme!

PS: I want to ask you, guys: some of you have questions, and I would like to know if you want to have answers written to you privately, or should I explain things in the Shout Out section? Thanks, and onward on reading!

Who wants to live forever?

Who wants to live forever?

Forever is ours today

Who waits forever anyway?

Time is a strange thing. When you want it to last forever, it's short, and when you want it to be short, it stretches into uncomfortable infinity. Those tense months of Harry's recovery had been swinging between uncomfortably forever and now. The therapy was a bitch to get through, even more so, because they were forced to conduit it without magic most of the time. Harry was still fighting his inner demons in the shape of his ex-friends and one particular werewolf and headmaster.

Muramasa was helping him as much as he could, but even he had his limits. It didn't help that Harry was feeling guilty for forgiving him, and not forgiving his friends. Sometimes, Harry felt justified in denying them what they so desperately begged from him, but sometimes, he felt lower than a scum. It was a confusing mess of feelings and memories, and it didn't help that Harry had, for all practical purposes, lived through two lifetimes– if anything, it made it harder to understand and solve.

Most of the time, Harry was alone in his room, staring blankly at the wall, while he was in his inner world, talking with Muramasa, and training his reiatsu, trying to get as proficient as he had been before Muramasa –

Well, it was all in the past, now. But Harry still couldn't forget that he was old – older than his ex-friends, and older than the headmaster. It didn't matter he had been only a young man, when he had died the first time, he was still older and adult at that, with all the privileges and duties his status had marked him with. On one side, he could understand their motives, or at least, Kouga could understand. But his other side, his Harry side, was hurt and betrayed, angry at their lack of faith and overwhelming fear of him. Those two sides were unanimous in one thing – even if they repaired their relationship, even if he were once again friends with them, there would still be a deep chasm between them, no matter the bridges they would have tried to build across. Harry was simply too old, too experienced, and too adult, to constantly lower himself on their level of understanding and thinking.

They were still children, no matter their experiences, Harry surmised. And when he'd concluded that, he felt as if a great weight fell off his chest. He owed them nothing. Where he was, where he went, and to where he would go, they wouldn't – couldn't follow. He would leave them to their lives, and he would continue his own life.

And then, other adults. He had straightened out Snape's perceptions of him, and even found the man could be a decent company, if given a chance. They understood each other, even if sometimes, the Potions Master looked at him suspiciously, wondering just what had changed Harry from immature, spoiled brat to the responsible and … dare he say, adult person he was now.

Headmaster was… the hardest one. Harry had trusted him, but his trust had been broken so many times, he was wary to believe the old man on his word alone. The old man was feeling guilty, that was for sure, but Harry wasn't certain if that wasn't another one of his harebrained ploys for the greater good. He understood that Dumbledore was human, like everyone else was, but that still didn't erase the feeling of hurt at the memories of the same man deeming him guilty. Maybe he was spiteful, but Harry thought headmaster knew him better than to assume him to be a homicidal murderer. He had been naïve once, but now, thanks to that infernal cell, he was anything but naïve.

Finally, there was Remus. Harry was frustrated for a long time on that front. Remus was his only connection with his deceased friends, however thin it was. If he hadn't gotten back his memories of his previous life as Kouga, he would most likely accept the scruffy werewolf back into the fold. But now, his life as Kouga, his connection with Muramasa, changed his perceptive enough to keep Lupin at the arm's length, no matter the man's efforts of worming back into his circle. The werewolf was… persistent, but Harry stood firm on that issue. Remus had no clue what he wanted to be part of, and even less, that this part was exclusive of him.

Sighting deeply, Harry stretched out. "So this is how it feels – the last day of my life," he muttered out. From the Order's buzzing, he found out that this was the day of final confrontation. He caught Muramasa's jade eyes watching him briefly, as he stood up, already searching for clothes to wear.

Muramasa watched Harry's … ritual. It couldn't be described as anything else. For Kuchiki Kouga, dressing up was the part of… getting into the appropriate mental state. When he was dressing up, Kouga was vanishing, bit by bit, under the official clothes of Captain Shinigami, and when he finished with the last piece – the kenseikan which was carefully stuck on his head between the unruly locks of hair – he became Kuchiki Kouga, the head of the Kuchiki Clan and Captain of the sixth division. It always irked the Zanpakuto, even in Kouga's – Harry's first life, the one in Seireitei. And, baffling enough, it also relieved him, as no one would know his wielder more than he did.

But now, this ritual called a small smile on his lips. He placed his hands on the slender shoulders, clad in black shikaisho and red scarf, the garment distantly reminiscent of Kouga's old uniform. Once again, they would be together – in life and death. Green eyes looked into his jade ones and Harry smiled at him. "Ready to go, partner?" He asked, and Muramasa had a sudden case of déjà vu, and for one small moment, it was as if nothing happened – Kouga was still here, with his cocky smirk and self-assured attitude, ready to take on thousands of Hollows, with Muramasa faithfully by his side.

And yet, now it was different, it was... more mature, as if all those scenes before, were only preparing them for this one last stand, the last grand scene, before forever. He looked at the slender youth, those emerald eyes, and he felt a gentle smile pulling at his mouth. "Are you nervous?" He asked, jade eyes glittering mischievously.

Harry snorted disdainfully. "Nervous? Me? Never." Green eyes looked up at him. "Not when I have you beside me." He retorted silently. Muramasa sobered at the last sentence, feeling intense warmth permeating his chest. "You have me." He agreed silently. "Forever."

The shielded eyes looked up at him, a warmth flashing through them for a moment, before they closed off once again. "I know, Muramasa. Me too." And then, he strode to the door, a familiar sword materializing itself in his hand.

This was it. The last battle.

Hermione was nervous. In her mind, she repeated, again and again, all those spells, maneuvers, attacks, counter-attacks, and desperately, she wished she wouldn't have to do that. She wouldn't have to get out and fight against them. For one moment, she wished she would be an ordinary Muggle girl, finishing her high school, getting GCSE's highest scores and preparing to get into Oxford, studying to be a lawyer, or maybe a doctor. But here she was, shaking in her coarse brown coat, her hair in messy braid and counting minutes until the final showdown. Her eyes looked at her right, to Ron. The gangly redhead was messing with his wand – manticore's sting and redwood – mumbling something incomprehensible under his breath. His hair was dirty and greasy, and freckled face faintly green with fear. He would be handicapped, what with the loss of his left hand, but Hermione still hoped he would be alright.

Ginny was biting her lips, not caring about the taste of blood in her mouth. This was it, and they would be alone. Even if she had done such things – missions – before, every time she was waiting to jump into action, her stomach rebelled, and her lips were bitten until they bleed. She was clothed in dark trousers and drab pullover along with dark grey, scruffy cloak which smelled of dust and stale air. And right now, she felt exceptionally alone. Every time, she had done that, came back, she wondered, just how on Earth could Harry bear with this tension, this uncertainty and fight or flight impulses. Every time, when she came back – with scruffs, broken bones or blood on her clothes – sometimes her own, sometimes of her friends and enemies - every time, when she was laying curled up in her bed, she wondered, how he could do that, alone, and without help, one against many, against overwhelming odds. Every time, she felt so weak, no matter how strong she became – in comparison with Harry, she felt downright pathetic. She looked at Tonks, at Remus, at the twins and Charlie and then Bill with his pretty wife – not so pretty anymore, the war washed away her beauty, leaving only tired, scared and haggard shell of a buxom blonde Fleur had been before. Ginny wanted to be vindictive, truly she did, to remark something about the blonde witch with capital B not being Miss Perfect anymore, but she was too tired to spit out the acidic barb. Besides, it wouldn't matter. In a matter of hours, they would fight for their lives.

Luna's eyes were clear for once, clear and haunted, and her radish earrings tinkled mockingly in the small breeze. Her long flaxen blonde hair had been cut to her ears in a pageboy fashion, making her face look older than it was. She was absently polishing her wand, muttering something to Blaise – the Italian Slytherin, who was nodding at her words, occasionally adding his two sickles in. They were, surprisingly enough, a pair, and if they survived, they intended to wed. Luna was also pregnant, two weeks right now.

Cho was silent. Despite of her wailing at Cedric's death at the end of Triwizard tournament, she was now calm and collected; too calm and collected, in fact. She was clothed in the armor her ancestress wore in numerous battles, earning her family honor and respect among the people of ancient China. Even if the armor was scratched, a little bit broken and battered, it was polished, the black plates glinting dully in the small light. She stood alone, her lips moving noiselessly, as she prayed for the spirits of the fallen, and her beloved Cedric, to protect her, to allow them to win.

Terry Boot was hunched in some corner, his hands calmly assembling the small Sig Sauer, after making sure that the enchantments would hold until the end of the battle. The pistol was charmed to have a never ending supply of the bullets and the bullets themselves were silver for werewolves and sharp wooden shards from wood for vampires. His face was scarred terribly, because last month, he had been caught by some werewolf, which thought it would be funny to play with its prey, and raked its' claws over Terry's face, shredding the delicate muscles and nerves irreparably. Since then, Terry had a burning hatred against werewolves – Professor Lupin, he barely tolerated, and even then, there had to be someone present in the room, just in case.

Oliver Wood, who had returned to be an assistant coach for Quidditch, was grimly staring into the wall, numb. He had lost his entire family to Death Eaters two years prior, and he had become a shell of that lively Quidditch fanatic he had been before. He also became the nightmare for every vampire that crossed his path – his family had been taken, tortured and drained by vampires. Since then, Oliver had been on holy mission to exterminate the vile species from the face of Earth, no matter what it took.

Trelawney had been a casualty, along with Sprout. The badgers had taken the loss of their Head of House quite badly, almost causing a revolt, when Dumbledore suggested that Slughorn take over the Hufflepuff House. Instead, they elected Professor Sinistra Vector – tough, but fair woman, who taught Ancient Runes. And even then, they relied more on inter – house structure than anyone outside their little circle, to help them. Their leader was, surprisingly, Susan Bones. The previously chubby strawberry blonde had lost most of her 'love handles', so to speak, and now reminisced on her Aunt Amelia with her manners. She reined Hufflepuffs in sternly, but always with fair hand.

Marcus Flint was a surprising choice for the leader of Slytherins, but since that poncy Malfoy junior had slinked off to become Death Eater, the silent brute had taken the leadership and made a surprising step of reconciling with the other three Houses. At first, the things were uneasy – more like downright tense, and everyone expected the situation to explode at any given moment, but it wasn't so. Whoever had entertained such foolish ideas, was immediately and cruelly dealt with by the Ice Queen of Slytherin and Marcus' right hand herself, Daphne Greengrass. Surprisingly enough, the Slytherin leaders weren't a couple – Daphne was dating once shy Gryffindor klutz and terror of Potions' class, Neville Longbottom, and Marcus was on and off with Susan Bones. Or so the people whispered; but no one knew for sure. Nor did they want to find out – both of the leaders of their respective Houses were quite terrifying when angered.

The Gryffindors were the ones who had been feeling out of their depths the most, when the news, that Harry Potter was innocent, trickled into the public. Guilt and confusion was overwhelming, and with the former friends of the Boy-Who-Lived being in their House, the things were bordering on lynching for quite some time. The only thing that held the foolish lions back was that they were also guilty of the same crime as they were. The House was led by Neville Longbottom, assisted with Hermione and Ron on occasion – otherwise, Neville's true right hand was surprisingly, Seamus Finnegan. The Irishman was one of the few that believed in Harry's innocence, even going so far as to deck one Ronald Weasley in the main hall for badmouthing Harry. Ron would have been a mince meat, if Neville hadn't had interfered, and along with Dean Thomas, pulled furious Seamus off from the dumbass. It didn't help that Ron just had to open his big gob and mock Seamus' relationship with Dean. Seamus had called him some unflattering nicknames in his native language right back, which had Professor McGonagall pale a starkly white, before she became red with apoplexy, and then she dragged off the foolish youth to the worst detention in history of Hogwarts. Gryffindor had also lost the record number of points, and for the first time, since Harry had been sorted into the Gryffindor, the House of lions found itself on the bottom of the admittedly short list for the House Cup. On the other hand, Slytherins hadn't had such entertainment in ages, though.

But right now, they were waiting. In the great hall, there was heard only breathing, and occasional murmur.

Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore looked over the people gathered in the Hall. It pained him, that they were so young – they should be concerned with homework and lessons, and the next Hogsmeade weekend – except, he knew, for certain, that for some people there wouldn't be next Hogsmeade anymore. All the classes from the third year up were here, to fight, to kill, and maybe, to survive the oncoming storm. The old man regretted many things – but he never regretted not fighting for the young man more. He should have gone against Winzegamot, against the world, but the old fool he was, he didn't do nothing. He should have done more for the young Harry, but he hadn't; and now, they all were doomed.

He smiled a bitter smile, blue eyes dimming with regrets and sadness.

When he had seen the young man for the first time, since Harry was dragged off to Azkaban, he had been appalled. Harry had been emaciated – even worse than the survivors of Nazi concentration camps – and that was saying something. He was all dirt and angles, thin face with deathly pale skin and purple, almost inky eye bags that were silent witnesses to the youth's insomnia.

But the most terrible was the look in those green eyes. It reminded the old headmaster of the look in weary horse's eyes - which was tired to the bone, wishing for death to absolve it from his miserable existence in this world. And yet, there was also that terrible look of a survivor – dark, wary and so much older than Dumbledore himself was.

And that scared him. Dumbledore was cowed in very rarely, but this young man made him wary and terrified. Even as a Muggle – not a Squib, because that would mean Harry still had latent reserves of magic, albeit too small to properly channel – as a Muggle, a person without magic – it was like looking at something grotesque, or unnatural. The wizards functioned on magic, worked with it, and they couldn't imagine having to live without it. The unfortunate ones, usually Squibs, were disregarded, because they were seen as… unnatural and twisted, a Nature's mistake, second worst only to Muggles.

And yet, the youth had persisted, through the decimation of his magical core, and he was still sane, which was a feat that was unheard of. But those dark eyes were even darker, and harsher, like cold diamonds, and filled with knowledge of something Dumbledore feared to reveal, because that would mean admitting his greatest and most damning failure.

Right now, he thought absently, Harry was in Grimmauld Place, left to the mercy of the old screechy portrait and fanatic house elf. He had wanted to have Harry in Hogwarts, but Harry was a Muggle now – it was surprising, that he could see the Grimmauld Place, despite the anti – Muggle wards having been placed on the old house. Right now, Dumbledore would give anything – everything, to get back in time and stop himself from committing the greatest mistake he had ever done.

But it was too late.

Harry growled. This was stupid! He glared at the demented house elf, trying to ignore muffled chuckling of his partner. "Let. Me. Go." He tugged at his cloak, his eyebrow twitching as Kreacher stubbornly clutched at the fabric. "No! Kreacher won't let go his Master. No, Kreacher won't, won't won't…" The old elf mumbled his eyes wide with sheen of craziness in them.

Harry fought the urge to twitch. "Kreacher – "He growled warningly. Big, watery eyes looked at him. "Why does young Master want to leave Kreacher all alone? Had Kreacher done something wrong?" A small clawed hand grabbed further into the fabric. Harry sighed. "Kreacher, I am not your master. I do not belong here. So I have to go – and I would greatly appreciate if you let me leave."

This pitched Kreacher into a whole new fit.

"No. No, no, NO! Young Master belongs here, Kreacher knows it! Why is young Master so stubborn?" He shrieked, making Harry wince a little.

The Shinigami sighed. "You must have mistaken me for someone else, Kreacher. I am not Regulus!" He said sharply. He didn't have time for those things – there was a battle out there and he was needed, damn it!

Kreacher paused. Large eyes looked at the imposing form, so much like his deceased young Master, and yet so powerful, more powerful than Regulus had ever been…

And this Master, his beautiful Master was denying he was Kreacher's Master - ! Sharp green eyes stared at Kreacher, oh so sharp, and so beautifully cold and cruel – the eyes of the Black, the eyes of his Mistress, and oh, how he missed his Mistress, her beautiful voice, her commands and Kreacher was alone, alone, alone; and those filthy Muggle lovers dared to sully the ancestral house of Blacks with their filthy paws, loud, uncultured voices and complaints and sickening purity, sickening white magic and Kreacher couldn't take it anymore – if there wasn't Mistress' portrait in the house, Kreacher would already killed himself, yes, he would, he would, would, would, like a good house elf, he was the best house elf of the Ancient House of Black, and he had been serving so well, even little Master Regulus said so, he was even trusted with that deliciously dark locket and –

- And then, the filthy Muggle lovers had brought Him, his Master and Kreacher was so overjoyed, and he waited for the Master to call upon him, to evict the Mudblood lovers out of the house and being his dark reign, but the young Master was being stubborn and sometimes, Kreacher had seen the other man talking with his Master, and he was jealous and afraid – the Master's man had long, cold silver claws and could stop Kreacher from moving from doing anything, when Kreacher only wanted to put a glass of water on his Master's bed table, but the evil man had shattered the glass, sliced it in tiny white and silver ribbons, like snowflakes, and the man's jade eyes promised pain, pain, pain and more painpain, if Kreacher dared to serve his Master again, and this Master's man never slept, he was sleepless – Kreacher was afraid of the man, yes, he was, oh yes, yes, yes, the man was dangerous, and wasn't his Master wonderful, for having such dangerous man under his command?

His Master moved forward, and Kreacher jumped, to clutch at his Master's ankles, to beg him to stay, to not leave poor Kreacher alone and Kreacher saw Master's beautiful smile, this was the last thing he remembered, such a cruelly beautiful smile, and Kreacher froze and then, he remembered nothing.

Harry sighed as he looked away from the body of miserable elf. He didn't want to, but he had killed the poor thing – but it seems it was for the better, because Kreacher's chain was dangerously near to disappearing, and speaking for himself, Harry really didn't want to find out what would be Kreacher's Hollow form.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he exhaled a sigh, his thoughts fleeting to those distant memories, when he was Kouga, Kuchiki Kouga, one of the most promising Shinigami in Seireitei, and the pride of Kuchiki clan. For a moment, he remembered Ginrei's teachings, the old man's expectations and cold silence, and his feelings of being out of the loop – even if he was a Kuchiki, he wasn't a real Kuchiki – but all that passed away, like shadows, passed and vanished, merging with those dark memories that Harry had kept under lock and key somehow – and somehow, it didn't matter anymore. He was Harry and Kouga, and that was enough.

Opening his eyes, the calm, dark eyes looked ahead, as he purposefully strode forward.

Walburga Black, also called the old hag, banshee and other unflattering nicknames by the Order, was pissed. Those – those Mudblood lovers had been desecrating the ancient property of Blacks long enough and she head to suffer through all of their shenanigans. Of course, being the intelligent and witty woman she was, she got her payback in the shape of ordering Kreacher to cause a mayhem whenever possible and in reporting their plans to Malfoys – at least she had, until that bushy-haired bitch somehow blocked the portrait magic, thus trapping Walburga in her wrinkly, old portrait, unable to do anything worse than screech and aggravate the residents of Grimmauld Place.

She had taken particular pleasure in goading the Mudblood lovers, even more so, when their greatest folly had been revealed. She had been so pleased, that day, when she heard about the innocence of that Potter urchin – she was ecstatic. The Light would be finally broken, and by their erstwhile leader at that – this fact was such a delicious irony it left Lady Black in tears of mirth for days to come.

And when they brought the brat himself, Walburga had watched and sneered at the weak little savior – the boy was broken, there was no doubt about that. And this – this was to be the final nail in the coffin of the so-called Light witches and wizards. She ignored the niggling feeling in the back of her skull, that something was not right – something was wrong, and on monumental scale, at that. She had felt that their little savior had no magic, and she hoped, vindictively, that he also lost his mind in Azkaban – it would be an ultimate irony and justice, but the brat just had to go and prove her wrong.

She watched, how the little martyr rejected all attempts of the fools to reconcile with him, and she found herself thinking that maybe the little brat wasn't bad at all, even if it was just about the entertainment value he brought to the dark and dank house. But Kreacher -

The fool elf thought the little Potter was his new Master, and Walburga couldn't do anything to dissuade the idiotic creature from its' thinking. True, Kreacher attempted to explain it to her, but Walburga just couldn't see it. Potters were always light-sided family – why would be the little wannabe savior any different? The foolish child had recuperated slowly, he had no magic to speak about, and he was at least partially insane, talking with someone nobody could see. Kreacher tried to tell her about his Master's man, the one with scary silver nails, who was ever – vigilant at the brat's bed, but Walburga dismissed such words as the tales of fantasy –

But maybe, just maybe, they weren't. She had heard the foolish elf screeching at the brat, begging him to be Kreacher's master – Walburga sneered, resolving to kill the miserable creature somehow, when there was a silence – the kind of silence that was… different.

It was the kind silence that came only with approach of the death.

She blinked. As far as she was aware, the only persons in the house were the Potter brat and Kreacher… apparently, there was only Potter brat now, but how…? He had lost his magic, hadn't he?

And then, she heard the footsteps. They were faint, and their cadence made her wary. The sound reminded her of her father, Octavian Flint – the man had been huge power in his prime, a true political leader of the Dark wizards of his time. When he strode around, his footsteps were calm and measured, like nothing could stop him –

And the steps approached, and she craned her head, like a curious old bird, dark eyes glittering in the feeble light. She opened her mouth, to sneer out a scathing diatribe, when she saw him.

He was stepping down the stairs, as if that drab, dingy house was a palace, and he was its' owner.

It made her angry and curious at the same time, but she held her tongue, no matter how much she wanted to verbally flay him over his failures.

Even she, as bitter and closed off old woman, stuck to the old customs, still had enough self-preservation instincts to not aggravate this man.

Powerful green eyes flicked at the portrait uncaringly, dismissing Walburga's gasp of shock as inconsequential.

Walburga could only stare. If she hadn't known that he was a Muggle now, she would think him being a Pureblood wizard.

That wasn't the shell of the emaciated body they had brought here five months previous; this young man before her portrait was a living, breathing embodiment of power. His spine was straight, head held up proudly, the slender body lithe and limber under that strange robe garment with long red silk sash being draped artfully around his shoulders and body. In his right hand, he held a sword – thin, slender – not rapier, of course, but, if Walburga remembered correctly – it was a kata – something. Kataka – no, katana! Yes, it was a katana, one of those strange Eastern swords her husband was so fond of collecting. However, this sword was not one of Cyrus' collection – even if Walburga despised everything that wasn't British and didn't have that aristocratic accent, she knew Cyrus' things as if they were her own.

His hair was longer, and somewhat tamer-looking, and on the right side of his head, there glinted some ornament, enhancing the rich fuchsia colored stripe of hair in which the ornament was glistening occasionally with the wet glint of polished metal.

"Where are you going?" the old woman croaked out. Harry halted his steps. Green eyes looked at the portrait, making the old witch flinch with the straightforward gaze.

"Out." He responded calmly. The sword's blade glinted with bluish shadows as he moved it slightly. "I have to teach a certain Dark Lord some manners," he muttered dryly.

Walburga chuckled, and soon, her little chuckles descended into mad laughter.

"You, teaching the powerful Dark Lord Voldemort a lesson in manners?" The old hag shrieked, all wariness forgotten. "You are nothing more than a small, weak Muggle brat!" Her cawing laughter echoed through the corridor.

Harry shook his head. Green eyes looked at the madly giggling witch calmly. "Curse your own immaturity from preventing you from recognizing your overconfidence." He told her, his voice silent.

He turned to go, but she stopped him. "And how would you, a filthy Muggle, know where to go? This house is sealed, and no one could get in, and no one could get out. Only a Black could open the house again, and dear Bellatrix is the last living one," She sneered hatefully at the youth.

Harry sighed. "Hard is it, then," he muttered. His lips quirked into a cruel smirk. "The last battle is being fought near Hogwarts, old hag. And I have yet to repay you for Sirius." His body was being illuminated by the faint violet aura. He lifted his left arm, pointing at her portrait.

Her eyes widened with apprehension at the violet aura and slight shifting of the winds around the youth's body. It felt like... death, any yet, it didn't.

"Disintegrate, black dog of Rondanini. Look upon your burning soul and sever your throat." The man intoned calmly, the red orb forming at the tip of his pointer finger. "Geki."

She barely had a time for one last, horror-struck screech, before she was obliterated forever.

Harry smirked as he looked upon the burned remains of the wretched portrait. It wouldn't bring Sirius back, but it was very satisfying, to demolish something other than inanimate objects that hadn't done anything to deserve his ire.

"And now, for the foolish idiots," he muttered, as he furrowed his eyebrows. Now, he only had one problem – how to get to the battlefield as quickly as possible?


"Master Harry called?" Big, bulbous eyes looked up at him expectantly.

Harry's eyebrow twitched.

He clearly felt the amusement radiating from Muramasa, which managed to irk him some more. "Oh, shut up," he grumbled to the Zanpakuto mentally, although his lips did try to twitch upward into a tiny smirk.

It was ironic, that Dobby should be the one to lead him to the battlefield. But somewhat very fitting... if this would work, of course. Harry was a Muggle now, but there was his Shinigami part to consider into the equation; an unknown variable that could burst into their faces at the most inopportune moment.

"Well, here goes nothing," Harry sighed, resigned to his fate. He felt Muramasa's clawed fingers gently squeeze his shoulder. 'I'm with you.' Muramasa said his voice devoid of the mirth it had permeated just a few moments ago.

The small, scraggly elf flinched at seeing those long, elegant, deadly silver claws. Green eyes looked at the creature sternly. "Don't mind him, Dobby," the ex-wizard said kindly. "He's just doing his best to protect me. Now, shall we go?"

A pop later, and the dark hallway was empty of all occupants. The only moving thing was the black smoke, still winding to the ceiling in a search of an exit.

Harry felt definitely sick. And Muramasa's groan audibly stated the same. 'Are all means of wizarding transportation devised to be torture devices?' the Zanpakuto snapped out, peeved. Harry chuffed out a snort. "I think they all are closeted masochists," he commented drolly, while he tried to settle his stomach. Taking a deep breath, he listened to Dobby popping away. He looked at the apparition of Zanpakuto – Muramasa did look somewhat green around the edges, which was a wonder for usually pale, almost colourless man. Harry was tempted to be amused, but he knew he probably looked the same, if not even worse.

Dobby had transported them in the Forest – near enough the battlegrounds, and far enough so that they were not spotted outright.

Harry snorted at the thought.

Voldemort couldn't help but grin in triumph. He was in front of his life-long dreams – only one small step and he would be Master of the wizarding world. He looked around.

His inner circle was quiet, but confident, pale masks looking back at him expressionlessly. He easily recognized both of the Malfoys – the elder by his long mane of straight blonde hair, and the youngest by his hair colour. Lucius was standing beside Bellatrix, who was giggling insanely at the time, already working herself up for the bloodshed. She was licking her dagger obscenely, her mask at the side of her face, crazy violet eyes shining with zeal and pleasure on the withered face.

Once, she was a beautiful woman – the one whom would he gladly took as a consort. But the years in Azkaban had dismantled her sanity into fragments, leaving behind shattered remains of who she had been before.

The Lestrange twins were quiet as ever, Rudolphus hovering protectively over Rabastan, and Voldemort had a sneaky suspicion that the two men were a lot closer that they seemed to be. But he dismissed those thoughts for the latter. Briefly, he felt a flare of envy at their closeness, and he resolved to punish them later with a good dose of Cruciatus.

Fenrir was as uncouth as ever, leering and salivating, caught in his half-man, half-beast form, with the help of Severus' potion. His fur was matted with the dark splotches of blood, and his muzzle was bloody with the fresh red, metallic – scented liquid. It was stretched in a parody of a grin, as the half-canine uncaringly scratched at his privates, not used to wearing clothes in his half-beast form. And if Voldemort wasn't mistaken, the mangy cur was aroused at the thought of causing bloodshed and turning the brats into pups.

Inwardly, he grimaced at the thought. The Giants were already dispatched to their positions, along with vampires, Dementors and other creatures the Dark Lord managed to... convince to join him in his cause.

Red eyes closed for the moment, as he thought of the boy.

The Potter brat. Of course, Voldemort was wary of Dumbledore – but again, he had a good reason to be wary of the old coot, but the whelp had more than earned his respect, too. In a way, he acknowledged the boy to be his opponent, and he had been seriously disgruntled at the fickleness of the wizarding world, them having the galls to turn on their own. But on the other side, he was happy that the biggest obstacle was out of his way, and so ironically deliciously at that. He chuckled out a small, dark sound, underlined with a hiss, making his followers shudder at the sound.

"Rest in Hell, brat," he chuckled out darkly, before he opened his eyes, crimson orbs searching through the assembled ranks in front of him. "Let's begin."

/To be continued/