Title: Bare Grace Misery
Author: Chronos Mephistopheles aka x_number_six_x aka cloudsgrl
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and its characters, that would be J.K. Rowling and others. I do not own The World Ends With You or its respective characters. I technically don't even own the plot, I've just changed it up for the sake of this crossover.
Author's Notes: The opening section is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows taken word for word from the book, and it plays a great role in this fic. I hope you enjoy it. The titles of each chapter shall be lines from the song 'Bare Grace Misery' (thus the title of the fic) by Nightwish, however to mess with you all I plan on having the titles spelt out in IPA… for something different; hopefully the symbols will all show! This story will have spoilers for WEWY & Harry Potter. Don't read if you are going to flame, cause I'll just ignore you.
Bare Grace Misery
swit bɔɪ kʌm ɪn, aɪ æm ði dɑrk saɪd ʌv yu
'There were once three brothers who were traveling down along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure.
'And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travelers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic, and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him.
'So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks on the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother.
'The then second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him the stone would have the power to bring back the dead.
'And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.
'Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way, and they did so, talking with wonder of the adventure they had had, and admitting Death's gifts.
'In due course the brothers separated, each for his own destination.
'The first brother traveled on for a week or more, and reaching a distant village, sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel. Naturally, with the Elder Wand as his weapon, he could not fail to win the duel that followed. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible.
'That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed. The theif took the wand and, for good measure, slit the oldest brother's throat.
'And so Death took the first brother for his own.
'Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him.
'Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her.
'And so Death took the second brother for his own.
'But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, as equals, they departed this life.' ((From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35))
Harry Potter stared at the drawn symbol for the Deathly Hallows, the symbol Grindlewald adopted as his own in his attempt to take over the world. The symbol that was found on Hermione's copy of Tales of Beetle the Bard, and Harry's old copy of Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, Harry swore he'd never seen the symbol before, however it was marked by an entry so small and insignificant in the book that Harry could have easily glanced over it while in class.
The symbol sat next to an entry for what the Asiatic sorcerers called "Composers", masters of death in certain largely populated magical areas that remained unseen and unknown until one died. Knowledge of these human-like creatures only came from their assistants, "Conductors" and "Game Masters". Any other knowledge was guessed at by European wizards and the Asiatic counterparts refused to share.
However, written along the margin, in a handwriting that none of the trio recognized was 'Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan'. A possible location for a Composer? Or the central bank of knowledge of Composers and Conductors? Whatever it was, Harry had half the mind to ask Hermione to write a letter to one of these 'Masters of Death' and ask for their assistance. The issue at this point was finding an owl willing to deliver all the way to Japan, no easy task. Also, there was the issue of the reply; how would the owl find them, or how would any assistance be able to find them?
Harry stood, carrying the book in question and joined Hermione sitting outside. "Mione?"
The girl turned, offering Harry a tired smile. "What is it Harry?"
He showed her the mark again and the script in the margin. "Do you think we can try and contact them? Maybe one will be able to assist us?"
"Harry, just because the book claims these 'Composers' are masters of death, doesn't mean they actually have any control over it. In fact, the entire entry in the book could be false, seeing as there isn't any more information known by British wizards." Hermione drew in a deep breath, appearing for all intents and purposes to continue onto a long lecture. Harry quickly cut her off.
"I know, I know, I just…" Harry slammed the book shut and sighed. "I just need to make sure we aren't ignoring something that could seriously help us."
Hermione managed a nod, sighing. "Understandable. I'll have the letter sent off after the next time we switch locations. I'm sure we can find an owl willing to help us somewhere."
Harry hugged her tightly, closing his eyes in a small amount of euphoria. Like Hermione said, it could just be another dead end, but at least Harry wouldn't be constantly wondering 'what if' the whole time.
Neku stood behind the counter of the WildKat, reluctantly polishing glasses and checking the coffee constantly to make sure he didn't inadvertently burn it; Mr. H would kill him. Neku really didn't care much for the caffeinated beverage, however Mr. H was the only guy in Shibuya who'd hire Neku and Neku didn't fear being molested every so many seconds. The only issue he had with it was Joshua's favorite pastime:
Phones Fondling (as Mr. H aptly called it).
The Composer was an asshole, constantly appearing behind Neku, leaning over his shoulder and whispering directly into his ear with a breathy "boo". A few times, Joshua would even burst into the WildKat, arms flapping wildly and shrieking something at a hideously high pitch, but after Neku chucked a full coffee pot at his head (just barely missing) Joshua desisted.
After finishing up the last of the glasses, the once-dead teenager glanced at the store's window, head tilting slightly at the sight of an owl, resting on the slight perch offered on the edge of the window. Neku bit his bottom lip almost nervously, feeling the urge to open the door and see if the owl would fly inside. The owl was less than a foot tall in height, mostly a pale white that almost appeared to be plastered onto his feathers, and tufts of feathers about its head that almost appeared like ears. It's eyes were a bright orange, and when Neku made eye-contact, he heard a small "goog gook" come from the bird.
"It's a Collared Scops Owl," Joshua's voice had Neku jumping once again. The boy turned to the Composer, clutching his chest.
"An owl." Joshua managed a grin, taking off a cloak that Neku never noticed before and placing it on the counter behind him. "It's the typical way of delivering post in Europe for witches and wizards. The magical community in Japan outgrew those centuries ago."
Neku paused in returning to back behind the counter. "Witches? Wizards?"
Joshua waved him off, striding over to the door with his long legs and opened it wide enough for the owl to land on Joshua's shoulder. The owl gave another one of those "goog gook" noises before holding out one of its legs, where Neku spotted something it clutched in its talons that he hadn't noticed before. Joshua held out a hand and the owl dropped the clutched paper into it. "Neku, grab some of that pastry I had earlier today, and give it to Marudachi please."
Neku paused in holding out the pastry for the owl to take. 'Streaker', really? The boy shrugged when the owl left Joshua's shoulder, landing on the counter with a little bounce before pecking at the scone. It did sound like a name Joshua would use for a pet.
The Composer joined the owl and Neku at the counter, reading the scribbled note with narrowed eyes and a scowl across his face. He glanced at his cell phone, the bright orange thing that Neku thought looked similar to his hair color. Joshua hummed to himself before grabbing a hold of the oddly shimmering cloak sitting on the counter.
"I have a mission for you Neku."
Neku was still new to his job of Conductor, of helping polish souls for reincarnation, however there was no question that Joshua seemed to trust the former Proxy (no question to anyone but Neku). "What do you need?"
Joshua's lips spread into a smile, his inhuman lilac eyes glinting in the light of the café. "I need you to go to Britain for me, and follow up on a job I was given long ago."
"It is one thing to prepare for greatness. It is another entirely to have it thrust upon you."