The Master of Death
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
-Raven- Edgar Allen Poe
'Twas not the first time that Ryuuk ventured to the human world out of boredom. He stopped in the middle of a forest, perching upon the top of a fir. In the distance, a raven cawed loudly. A beautiful night, he supposed- the Lady Moon shone brightly. Oops, he grinned, and "accidentally" released the latch that held his death note.
Now that He rose to be the Shinigami King –the shinigami should have expected it, but it was surprising nonetheless-, Ryuuk knew that He would merely roll His eyes at the errant C-class shinigami and toss him a new Death Note. Briefly, Ryuuk paused in contemplation. It is suiting, he mused, that with His endless ambition (coupled with shrewd intelligence), He would accept no less than kingship. Truly, Ryuuk thought, He is –or was- a very, very interesting human. What he couldn't do in life, he tried to do in death.
Ryuuk looked down from his vantage point on the pine tree just in time to see a human pick up his – or what used to be his- Death Note. On first glance, the human did not look special at all. Black unruly hair –so much like another interesting human that he once knew-, short, and pale. The new human paused for a second –like so many others- after picking up the Note. The man promptly turned and walked back out of the forest, a bag of something in one hand and the Death note in the other.
Soundlessly, Ryuuk drifted lazily after him, allowing the night's shadows to wrap around him leisurely.
Now drifting closely behind the human, Ryuuk thought quietly, the grin never leaving his face. From afar, the human looks average. Now up close, Ryuuk was forced to adjust his earlier judgment. The human was anything but normal. Perhaps it was his gait, soundless and graceful. Perhaps it was his skin, paler than snow, ashen as death. Perhaps it was his eyes, greener than the brightest leaf in spring. Either way, there was something off with this human- something abnormal, something dangerous.
Ryuuk grinned silently. Interesting indeed.
Soon the duo arrived in front of a mansion- beautiful in a haunting way. The human laid one pale hand on the black gothic gates and pushed them open. Ryuuk followed as a shadow would- across a darkly lit hall, up twisting stairs, through never ending hallways and rows of locked doors. Strangely, no paintings of any sort hung on the walls. Alas, the human stood in front of a pair of great oak doors. With a slight push, the doors creaked open to reveal a spacious room lit by a heartily burning fire.
"Do close the doors behind you. Should you wish to sit, there are seats available. Fruits are available on the counter. " The human addressed Ryuuk without turning around. In hindsight, Ryuuk did not know why he obeyed- shock, perhaps-, but he did as he was told.
The human walked to the armchairs in front of the table and promptly sat down on one, stretching languidly. Duly, Ryuuk did the same.
"Welcome to the ancestral home of Ancient and Noble House of Potter and Black. I am Lord Harry James Potter-Black. You are?" The human – Harry- addressed Ryuuk directly, not scared or shocked in the slightest.
Though he would never admit it, Ryuuk was... slightly unnerved by this new human. He's never had a non-reaction from a human before; he's been shrieked at, cried at, fainted at, yelled at... heck, there was that one old guy who suffered from a heart attack from seeing him. But no reaction at all? No signs of fear, no increased heartbeat, not hyperventilation? That was new- new and very unnatural.
"Ryuuk. Aren't you even the slightest bit curious?" He replied, pointing one spindly finger at the black notebook held within the young man's grasp. "No questions?"
"Ah. Pleasure to meet you. No. The name of the notebook is self explanatory- it is a notebook that causes death. I need to know nothing else." The human reached over for an apple. Happily, Ryuuk did the same.
How odd, Ryuuk thought, that this Harry did not question the authenticity of the note. It was almost if he already knew.
As if reading his mind, Harry said in his soft whispery voice "The objects that are touched Lady Death have a unique feel that is obvious to those who know Her".
Ryuuk's mind grinded to a halt. Wait- what? How would this human even know Death, let alone the objects that she have touched? Ryuuk's teeth paused an inch from the apple- he looked up into Harry's eyes. What he saw there made him take a mental step back. Deep in those bright emerald eyes were something that he never thought that he would see- a flash of Death.
Death is many things. A process, a God, a feeling, a beast. In Harry's eyes, Ryuuk could see- this human has experienced death before, has known death, and has conquered it.
Honestly, when the old King told him of the time Death met three brothers who walked all over him, Ryuuk hadn't paid the slightest attention. Now that he is sitting in front of the Master of Death, he thought that maybe Karma really did hate him after all.
Meanwhile, the human continued to nibble on his apple.
After a rather prolonged silence, Ryuuk asked "So what are you going to do the Death Note? It's yours."
Harry paused in his eating "Nothing. I will do nothing".
Ryuuk fought the urge to raise an eyebrow.
Elaborating on his earlier statement, Harry continued "I have no use for a notebook that causes death. While the actions of this notebook cannot be traced, the actions of the user can. Undoubtedly, the notebook can cause great misery in the right –or should I saw wrong- hands, but I have no need for it. My greatest archenemy was defeated by his own arrogance and foolhardiness. My friends have long since abandoned me to my solitude- I care not. Those who know of me know better than to cross me or my will."
Well that's a new one, Ryuuk thought. This guy really is something else. But then again, to be the Master of Death, he kind of has to be.
"As for my enemies..." Pale lips drew into a smirk, bright green eyes darkened into a forest green. The fire next to the duo threw shadows to the farthest reaches of the room.
"They do not deserve the mercy of death. Death is too kind of a relief for them. I want them politically ruined, financially crippled. I want them suffering slowly, begging for an end. I want them in agony, crying for mercy. I want them to live."
For a second, Ryuuk thought he saw the youth in front of him transform. Wild black hair replaced by meticulously combed brown, sharp green eyes replaced with equally sharp black ones. He blinked, and then it was gone. Silently, Ryuuk ruminated about the frightening human in front of him. Surely, he was interesting- in a way that inexplicably made the experienced shinigami wary.
Those hauntingly green eyes held within them a shrewd monster, restrained and refined. Harry's alabaster skin contrasted sharply against the deep black shadows as they gather around him, pooling at his feet- as if Lady Death herself was lovingly embracing him. Petite and elegant like a painted porcelain doll, he was almost an angel. However, Ryuuk knew that he was anything but.
"A blind and deluded old fool once told me that death was the next great adventure. I cannot partake in such adventure, even if I tried. Thus, my enemies shall not either. I have no use for the note. Even if another was the possess it, it will be useless against me. Death cannot harm me. Death cannot touch me. I will simply be." Harry smirked "However, I could use some company..."
Before Ryuuk could react, the fire went out. Slowly, the shadows began to move, crawling near him, moving closer and closer. Immobile. For the first time in his immortal half-life, Ryuuk felt a spark of something- was it fear? Before the darkness filled his eyes forever, he heard only one last voice- the voice of a man long dead-drifting past him like the wind.
"I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you, Mr. Potter. Terrible! But great".
Silently, the uneaten red apple dropped to the ground.
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
-Raven- Edgar Allen Poe