Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter, Naruto Uzumaki, nor Bleach.
Author's Note: This is a rewrite of the first chapter of the Hallowed. I liked the concepts, but I don't like how I developed any of it, at all.
Summary: Harry's the Master of Death now. But what does that really mean? Follow the adventures of the Boy-Who-Lived, thrown through space and Time to prepare him for a confrontation a spirit of Life who hasn't been doing a good job.
Another Note: Harry/Retsu. Naruto/OneNightStandswithDeathGods
Final Note: The Voices of the Veil is directly quoted from Exit by U2, from the Joshua Tree album. This isn't a songfic. I just needed a sufficiently powerful poem that would illustrate the events, and I can't write poems to save my life.
It was hopeless.
They were of greater number and greater power.
The only being that could have truly turned the tide was the Spirit of Nature that she'd met on a vacation to Sweden. She had been so disappointed that she hadn't found any Nargles when he had appeared. Beautiful blue eyes, unruly blond hair, and entirely immaterial. She'd tried to touch him several times.
There was something different about the Spirit's right eye, but she didn't pry when he ignored her question. He had promised that he'd help her once.
She had been a Third Year, and didn't know much about promises, but she didn't think that the promise was either magical or binding, even at the time.
He seemed powerful though.
But now, disaster had struck.
Only Neville Longbottom had possessed the courage to challenge Lord Voldemort.
It didn't do him much good. He was currently standing in the no man's land between the two armies, and even in the face of death, his face was stoic, noble.
The Sorting Hat was now on his head, burning. It wasn't a normal Magical fire either - it was the Fire of Consumption, designed to destroy anything that a magical object had touched recently. Neville.
A tear dripped out of the corner of her eye.
She took out the spirit's gift, a strange three-pronged knife of some sort with a small piece of paper attached to it, which cheesily told her to "Write your wish here!"
She conjured a muggle pencil - it was faster than a quill, after all, and quickly wrote "Help Neville defeat Lord Voldemort."
The magic on the paper, surprisingly, absorbed the words, and she felt her intent, thoughts of Neville, Lord Voldemort enter the paper Legilimenically. She blanched. It was almost like the diary that Ginny had written in during her First Year.
The words finally vanished, and other words appeared. "Your wish has been received, Luna. Throw me towards Neville, please."
Luna flicked her wand, and the dagger, knife, utensil flew from her grasp, and landed next to Neville.
Nothing happened for a moment, and then the battle was joined again.
The Sorting Hat was still burning.
And then the Spirit came.
He was invisible to most of the combatants - only those with true talent - Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange, Walden MacNair, Hermione, Professor Flitwick, saw the spirit.
Yet Neville commanded everyone's attention, even as the snake, Nagini, flew at him.
The Spirit whispered several words into Neville's ears, and was gone.
One moment, he was sure he would burn to death, then a spirit of some sort had appeared, made a strange shape with his hands, and the fire was gone. A small piece of paper faintly glowed, as if it had absorbed the fire.
The spirit, a blond man that looked no older than twenty five, had bent down (he was floating), and whispered in Neville's ear.
"Draw upon your spirit, young one."
A snake flew at Neville. Neville snatched the Sorting Hat off of his head, and thought of Harry's story at the end of Second Year.
Can I draw the... Crimson Ruby?
Crimson Ruby. He didn't know where the name had come from, but the instant he thought of it, it felt as if something fundamental within him had disappeared. If he weren't in battle, he would have clutched his chest. It was almost empty, painful.
Then he knew. He knew that, by acknowledging the Crimson Ruby, he had lost something of his own. Perhaps I have a sword waiting for me to forge too?
His hand shot into the Hat, and words, once jumbled in the back of his mind, came together in a flawless tapestry of majesty and power.
"Never cut twice, Crimson Ruby!"
He drew Gryffindor's Sword out of the hat, and clove the Snake in two.
Shocked silence followed for a moment before the battle was joined again.
He was glad that Neville had finally found his courage. What he didn't expect was that the burst of something that Neville had let out when he drew Gryffindor's Sword had reacted with him.
It was sort of like Magic, but it was more light, fluffy, and morbid. Neville seemed to possess more of it than Magic. He wondered if the spirit that he was sure Luna had summoned with some sort of rune stone, metal engraving, something that he couldn't see clearly, had anything to do with it.
The Resurrection Stone had appeared on his right ring finger. The Elder Wand, which had been in Voldemort's grasp, was now in his. The Invisibility Cloak, once covering him, had draped itself around him normally.
A flash lit up in his vision. He looked around. No one else had seen it. The flash occurred again. It was of the same make as Neville's new power.
The Veil appeared in front of him, and the battlefield melted away.
The Veil spoke to him, and he understood it.
It began speaking in a trio of voices that Harry had thought he'd forgotten.
"You know he got the cure, you know he went astray. He used to stay awake to drive the dreams he had away. He wanted to believe in the hands of love."
Harry saw a fleeting glimpse of Voldemort, and the voice of Albus Dumbledore whispered in his mind again. The Power he Knows Not. His heart nearly broke as he recognized his mother's voice. The Deathly Hallows, the Elder Wand, the Stone, the Cloak, they began to glow a milky white.
The Cloak flashed around him, and flowed around him, and his connection to the Veil grew.
"His head, it felt heavy, as he cut across the land. A dog started crying like a broken hearted man. At the howling wind, at the howling wind."
The Resurrection Stone began to pulse in his hand as he heard the voice of Sirius Black. It glowed grey as the wave of white met the deep midnight of his magic.
"He went deeper into black, deeper into white, could see the stars shining like nails in the night. He felt the healing, healing, healing, healing hands of love like the stars shining, shining from above."
The Elder Wand hummed slightly, and he felt the same wave of power that Neville held grow in him, eclipsing his magic, then eclipsing Neville's power. Magic flooded his veins to maintain balance with the new power. Harry knew for sure that Neville had no such luxury.
"Hand in the pocket, finger on the steel. The pistol weighed heavy, his heart he could feel... was beating, beating, beating, beating. Oh my love, oh my love, oh my love, oh my love. My love... He saw the hands that build can also pull down."
The Veil spun, and wrapped itself around an object that Harry hadn't noticed before - he wasn't sure when it had appeared.
"Speak my name, Master."
The Battlefield, now in the entrance hall of Hogwarts, was suddenly visible again.
Harry and Voldemort spoke for a while. Voldemort was using his old wand again, and Harry was gleefully explaining the circumstances as to how he came into possession of the Elder Wand.
"Shall we end it, Tom?"
Voldemort snarled, and a single beam of sunlight as the sun rose ripped through a destroyed window, illuminating the pair of them, as Voldemort prepared the most powerful Killing Curse he'd used since an October night seventeen years ago.
"Light in the Heart of Man, Lance of Blood and Water. I summon the Spear of Longinus!"
The milky white spiritual power turned green, as green as the Killing Curse, and Harry pushed his way straight through the Avada Kedavra the Dark Lord threw, and plunged the Spear into Voldemort's chest, piercing through the hundreds of physical enchantments and killing him.
Harry turned his back to Voldemort, and the Veil, which had been wrapped around his spear and strapped, by magic or something else, to his Invisibility Cloak, rewrapped itself, and stuck itself back onto the Cloak.
The world melted away again, and the Veil unfurled before him, and a figure stepped out of it.
"Greetings, Harry Potter. You have fulfilled my mission." A woman who seemed to be wrapped in the Veil from whence she came had appeared before him. Harry gaped at her beauty.
"Your mission?" Harry frowned.
"I am Fate."
Harry frowned again. "Should I bend over and let you bugger me again?"
She gave a mysterious smile. "If that is your wish."
Harry sputtered for a moment, then regained his composure.
"Those who fulfill prophecies are given a single wish, as long as it is within my power to fulfill. In addition, I will answer any questions you have."
Harry thought back on the final battle that he'd been in only seconds ago.
"Who was the Spirit that spoke to Neville?"
"He is... out of my jurisdiction, closer to me than any being, immortal or not. He is the Maelstrom, a spirit of Wind and Water, and the Guardian of Life itself on the planet."
"Fat lot of good he's done. How long as he been around?" Harry grumbled.
"Nearly a thousand years."
"Is he going to resign any time soon, because he's doing a terrible job. Voldemort should have never existed if he were vigilant. Grindelwald wouldn't have massacred his opposition-" Harry was getting more and more worked up. Maybe if the Spirit had done more, I would never have been necessary.
"I do not presume to tell him how to do his job, Harry. I once ruled him as I did you, and when he fulfilled his Prophecy, he told me to, quoting him, 'leave me alone'. I can not strike him down, or tell him to do better."
"Would he listen if I asked him to try harder?" Harry frowned, staring down Fate herself.
"If you surpass him, he might consider your words", Fate replied, knowing his question already.
"No. He is beyond you, even if you are the Master of Death. He is the Lord of Life itself, and as long as here exists living beings in this world, he will possess his power. And no matter your improvement, he is constantly getting more powerful."
"Then, I will use my wish... to gain more power than him."
"That is impossible. I cannot imbue power within you, and if I could, I doubt even I could defeat him on this plane."
"Is there anyone stronger than him?"
"That can manifest on this plane? No. The Gods of Old are resting, much in the same way the Spirit is."
"Is there any way you can give me the power to convince him to end his passivity?"
Fate stared at Harry for a moment. He was noble indeed. "Yes."
"As you wish, Harry Potter."
Another blinding flash lit up in his vision, and he was no longer in Hogwarts.
"What?" he wondered aloud, as the landscape faded into view.
"I have left you in the seventy-third district of East Rukongai, Harry. Before your magic leaves you entirely, you might want to cast a Permanent Translation charm. I have taken you a thousand years into the past, give or take a century, and to a different plane."
Harry's hand seized the Elder Wand in his wand holster, and he quickly pressed it to his throat, and cast the charm which Fate whispered in his ear.
"I take my leave, Harry Potter. Good night, and good luck."
Harry stared at the surrounding area as the last of his magic drained away.