AN: Repost of the old story. It's mostly the same, with a few edits. The rest of the story, however, will be pretty much new. I decided to go back to the original version of the draft rather than stick with the one posted here. :/

So as a recap: I don't own the Harry Potter Universe, just those characters I made up. The Greek gods own themselves or are public domain. They've certainly been around long enough to qualify for it. R&R if you wish, I live for feedback. Hope you enjoy :).


British Embassy, Egypt 1978

The Ministry representative leaned over his desk, a handkerchief held nervously in his hand. He dabbed at he forehead and stared intently at the man and woman seated opposite him. They were dressed in canvas work cloths, dust covered and still wet with sweat. Both were nut brown from long hours of excavation. The man was fidgeting impatiently in his seat, waiting for the representative to speak.

"I take it you've found something of interest... Daniel Winter, was it?" he said at last. The man, Daniel, setting a stone tablet down wordlessly on the desk. The Ministry man leaned forward, searching the stone with greedy eyes. It had taken an obscene amount of gold to put this expedition together, most of it from his own pocket. On top of it all the Ministry had ordered him to surrender all of the artifacts found at the excavation site, not at all what he had originally intended. This expedition was suppose to make him a good deal of money; rumors of ancient treasures had been circulating this area for decades and many were all too willing to smuggle goods out the the country. Now that the endeavor had borne fruit he was damned if he'd let anything valuable slip through his fingers. Especially when the opportunity was, as of yet, undocumented. His nose was mere inches from the tablet's surface before he realized he couldn't understand the symbols carved on the stone. His face fell in almost comic disappointment.

"It's all nonsense. Have either of you managed to translate this?"

Daniel chuckled, a sound barely audible above the noise the electric fan was making.

"I believe Sarah can tell you what the tablet means."

Sarah tugged on her braid as she pulled a well folded scrap of paper from her pocket. She smoothed it out and laid it on the table.

"This section here is a fragment from a medical text," Sarah said pointing at a column of hieroglyphs. "But it goes on to talk about the soul, the Ba and Ka." She pointed to a odd looking bird with a man's head carved on the tablet. "The portion about the soul is remarkable well preserved. As you can see here it goes on the describe a spell used to fuse the Ba and Ka back together in the body of the recently deceased." Sarah looked up to see if the Ministry representative was still following along, hiding a smile as she saw the glazed look in his eyes.

"I assume that means you found what you were looking for?" he asked, wiping his forehead again.

"Indeed it does. We were told to come to you if we need something taken out of the country quietly. Is that right?" Daniel said, leaning forward in his chair. He pulled a small pouch out of his pocket and set it on the table. It made a satisfying clinking sound. The Ministry worker snatched it up. glancing around the room before saying in hushed tones,

"You were told correctly. This little treasure will be aboard the next steamer to London, I guarantee. There is one thing I have to ask though."

Sarah and Daniel looked expectantly at the man while he fussed with his handkerchief.

"Was there any trouble in getting this? I've heard the Egyptian wizards task all kinds of things with guarding their tombs."

Daniel glanced quickly at Sarah, an unreadable expression on his face. Sarah merely smiled and said,

"Nothing whatsoever, unless you count the donkey that overturned during the dig."

If the laughter that followed seemed a little forced the Ministry representative couldn't sense it. Such subtlety was lost on him.


Deep in the Red Land something stirred. It had no heart, no feeling but hatred. For years uncounted it had subsisted on hatred alone. It had been awakened for the first time in so long, only to find that hatred was no longer enough. It was hungry.


Thessaloniki, Greece

The bar was more crowded than usual, regulars mixed with newcomers, all come to mourn those lost in the earthquake. They were huddled together at the counter, sharing a drink in the victims' honor. There was an air of solemn silence about the place.

Three people sat apart from the group, talking in hushed tones. The two men looked like twins, they had the same aquiline noses and black hair. It was the little things that set them apart. One of them had a sword at his waist. The other had deep circles under his eyes. Their companion was roguish looking woman dressed in ragged, travel stained clothing. A battered green felt had sat on the table beside her, along with an oddly shaped clay pipe. She seemed oddly cheerful given the gloomy atmosphere of the bar.

"So why exactly did you two call me here?" the woman asked, taking a sip of her drink. "None of this really fits with your spheres of influence."
"The Council denied our petition," the twin with the sword said. His brother snorted.

"And who's fault was that? You could have at least tried to sugar-coat the problem."

"Hypnos, there was no time. Our original plan required the approval of the Council. We couldn't move without it."

"Can we just answer my question," the woman said, cutting across Hypnos. "It's not like I have much time to waste here. I've got places to be. We've all got places we need to be."

Hypnos sighed, scrubbing a hand through his hair.

"We need a favor. A big one," he said after a short pause.

"Those are just the words I want to hear. What might this favor be pray tell?" There was a barely disguised note of eagerness in the woman's voice.

"There's a child living outside of London that needs to be watched," Hypnos' brother said.

"You want be to babysit some kid? Have you finally gone round the bend Thanatos? You haven't been sleeping with Pasithia have you?"

"No! Why does everyone think I've gone mad?" Thanatos said exasperatedly. Hypnos covered his smile by taking a drink of ouzo.
"You'll have to excuse him, he's a little on edge after the Council session. You know, the usual 'are you really still fit for duty as god of death after all these years, 'cause we've heard that job can be rather stressful' kind of thing. Doesn't really help that he destroyed our creditability by calling Zeus and idiot in front of most of Olympus," Hypnos said, looking pointed at Thanatos.

The woman smiled and shook her head, wondering how these two had been relegated to minor god-hood. They were better than late night television.

"The session was about all the escaped ghost problem, right?" she asked, watching the two carefully. Thanatos expression darkened. Hypnos merely nodded.

"Pretty much. Someone's been raising spirits from Asphodel, something I didn't even think could happen. Anyway, on top of that Ikelus started having nightmares about the Old Ones rising out of Tartarus and retaking their thrones."

Shock passed over the woman's face, her grip on her glass tightened convulsively.

"The Old Ones? Are you sure? Ikelus always did have a flair for the dramatic. Remember Stevenson?"

"Positive," Thanatos said. "I even consulted the Oracle to make sure."

"And what did she say?"

Thanatos shifted uncomfortably in his seat. His fingers twisted around the edge of his sleeves.

"That if we want to stop the Old Ones we need to find two twice broken souls."

"What was the exact wording?" the woman asked curiously.

"When the Gates of Death stand open

and the Vanquished rise once more

find you the Souls twice broken

as they stand before death's door," Thanatos said quietly. The woman nodded thoughtfully.

"So have you got a plan for finding these guys?"

The god of death shifted in his seat, glancing at his brother before speaking.

"We have thought of something. We've already found one broken soul..." he paused, unsure exactly how to continue.

"He's going to break a soul of his own," Hypnos said flatly. Thanatos cringed at his twin's tone.

"The fate of the world is hanging in the balance. One soul can be sacrificed if it means saving others from needless, violent deaths." His voice sounded hollow, as if he'd made this same argument before. The lady leaned back in her chair, her face unreadable.

"I think it's a good idea," she said after a short pause. "I mean, how many broken souls can there be?"
"Too many," Hypnos said gloomily. "And we shouldn't be making more." He frowned at his brother.
"Look-" Thanatos began hotly but the woman cut him off.

"Boys, we haven't got time to sit around and squabble. You look after what needs looking after and I'll babysit the kid. 'Kay?"

The twins nodded grudgingly.

"Honestly, you two can be worse then a pair of old washer women."

Thanatos stood, drained his glass then turned and left without so much as a backwards glance. Hypnos sighed, scrubbing a hand through his hair.

"I suppose you're right. We've all got our jobs to do, except me apparently." He scowled down at the table.

"I'm sure you'll have a job before all this is done. Maybe you can take care of soul number two. That way your brother would have time to actually hunt down the thing that's raising the dead."

Hypnos nodded thoughtfully.

"You know, that actually sounds like a good idea."

"I have them occasionally," the woman said with a smile. "Now you go grab your brother and make nice. I know how stressful trying to deal with Zeus."

Hypnos nodded, a preoccupied expression on his face as he hurried after his brother. The woman leaned back in her seat, snapping her fingers over the pipe. It glowed briefly and the scent of pine needles filled the air. She put the stem between her teeth with obvious relish, pulling out a cheap looking fob watch. She grinned around the pipe in her mouth.

"One big favor. Oh this is going to be good."


England

"So this is the house?" Hypnos asked, looking up at the small faded building sitting on a hill up the lane.

"Yes."

Hypnos sighed, wishing his twin was a little more articulate while on the job. Thanatos always developed tunnel vision when he was collecting souls. Not that the death god was particularly chatty anyway. Maybe back before Sisyphus had escaped but Hypnos wasn't sure.

A chill wind brought him back to reality. He shivered and pulled his cloak around him, hoping it would keep out the cold. Frost was already gathering on the red and gold leaves of the trees, reminding Hypnos of the Persephone's present location. Sometimes he wished Demeter would punish them with unseasonable warm weather. It would be a welcome break from all this cold.

"What exactly are we waiting for?" he asked, unwilling to stay out in the cold for much longer.

"For fate to take its course."

Hypnos gaped at his brother.

"You got the Fates involved in this?"

Thanatos shook his head, a look of regret on his face.

"Nothing but cryptic advice from them. No, the family that lives in this house was due to die anyway. I'm just offering one of them a deal. Their knowledge should prove to be invaluable. They're the researchers I was telling you about."

"The ones who found that old tablet talking about resurrecting ghosts?" Hypnos asked, trying and failing to blow warmth into his hands. Thanatos nodded.

"They might now something about the recent resurrections."

"Okay then. So what kind of sig-"

A loud snipping sound rent the air and Hypnos stopped mid-sentence.

"It's starting," Thanatos said flatly, drawing his sword and ghosting through the gate leaving his brother to clamber over the fence. As they

reached to door there was a startled yell, a flash of light, and a cracking sound. Someone screamed and then stopped suddenly. The house

shuddered, bits of wall and shingle fell to the ground. Then, with the sound of splintering wood, the house began to collapse. This didn't

bother Thanatos. Hypnos hesitated before going in, afraid of what he would see inside. They stepped through the ruined doorway, looking

around at what remained of the living room. There were two people, lying at strange angles on the floor, like the abandoned playthings of a

giant. They looked middle-aged and wore twin expressions of shock and fear.

Thanatos paused before the bodies, considering which one would be more useful. Hypnos flinched as another crash rent the silence, this one

followed by a high-pitched squeal. The ceiling's support beam had fallen, bringing down most of the upper story with it. Hypnos grabbed his

brother's arm.

"Look." He pointed towards a fallen beam. Trapped beneath it was a young girl. She was struggling weakly, arms pushing feebly at the broken

wood. He turned away, not wanting to watch. He looked like he was going to be ill.

"That's a child," he said flatly. Thanatos merely nodded.

"She doesn't matter, we need to choose one of the parents. They'll know the most about the spirit text stolen from Osiris' tomb," he said

matter-of-factly. "That text held valuable information on souls and spirits, if it fell into the wrong hands-"

"What in the name of Nyx- Have you turned completely heartless? She's dying! Her spine's been- been crushed. We have to do something,"

Hypnos shouted, still not looking at the dark haired child. She couldn't have been more than six years old.

"What would you have me do? We have to stop the person behind this necromancy! That child won't be able to help us. She knows nothing

about ancient texts and Egyptian relics." There was a pleading note in Thanatos' voice. Hypnos shook his head stubbornly.

"They lived their lives. I refuse to let an innocent girl die because you think her parents are better qualified for the job. No. No, you can spout

off all you want about how you have to sacrifice a soul to save the lives of millions, but you can't let this girl die. I'll give her a new body myself,

if I have too."

"Brother-"

Thanatos was interrupted by another whimper from girl. He closed his eyes for a second, a sorrowful expression on his face. It never seemed

to get any easier. He'd been on this job for centuries, had seen empires rise and be burned to nothing, and it always hurt to see someone like

this. It was one reason he'd been so glad to accept the role of Peaceful Death when the Greeks rethought their afterlife.

"Fine," he said turning back to his brother. "Take her pain so we can move that beam. And if any of this comes back to haunt me..."

"We'll still have the parents' notes, won't we? They must have written something down about their expedition," Hypnos said, kneeling beside

the girl before his twin had finished speaking. He placed his hands on either side of her head and for a moment the air smelled like a poppy

field. The girl's eye lids fluttered then shut. He took his hands away and began tugging at the beam.

"Help me get this off her will you."

Thanatos obliged, lifting the beam off the girl. She didn't stir as Hypnos pulled her out from under the it.

"Will she be alright?" he asked apprehensively. "I mean, the damage isn't too bad, is it?"

"She'll be mostly fine. I'll put her soul in a new body. One of the clay forms they made Pandora out of. I'll have to adjust the size of course,"

Thanatos said, frowning at his brother. Hypnos ignored him.

"And I'm going to be the one watching out for her. Putting souls into different bodies makes people strange," Hypnos said, lifting the girl off

the ground

"Of course Hypnos." Thanatos smiled suddenly "I hope you know this means not sleeping for a good long while. At least until we deal with the

resurrection problem."

The god of sleep froze, eyes going wide.

"But that could take ages. I can't go that long without sleep. It'll be worse than that novel writing month the Americans came up with!"

"Just remember you're doing it for a noble cause," Thanatos said. Hypnos nodded, glancing down at the child in his arms, as if to make sure

she was still there.

"Down once more then," Thanatos said to his brother. There was a faint popping sound and the three of them vanished leaving one black butterfly circling the destroyed living room.