(Author's Note) Well everyone has tried it, and I've read a lot of them, liked most of them, and wondered what spin I could put on it, to make it different and interesting. That said, I offer for your perusal my take on Reptilia's "Don't Fear The Reaper" challenge. As usual, Harry dies a lot, gets sent up, meets his angel of death, gets told he has one chance left, don't blow it, so he can kill off Voldiesnorts, settle down with his soul mate, "some Granger girl", have a bunch of kids, and die at a ripe old age, nice and peaceful like. This first chapter is just an introduction to a key player, one many of you might not know, There should be a full-blown chapter of some size by this time next week. Also, I want to give author Tom Robbins credit for the blatant rip off of his book "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" for the title of this work. It's a good book, I recommend it.
I'm using a historical (and legendary in the cowboy world- boys and girls are still named after him, almost 60 years after his last world championship) figure for his Angel of Death, and I'm hoping that between culture clashes, twists in the plot, some flat out AU, and general "where did THAT idea come from?"ness, you readers will find this to be a tale worth reading… Because it would suck if I ended up writing this just for myself. I have a couple tweaks I want to apply to the basic plotline, we'll see how well they go, and if anyone wants to review with accolades, huzzahs, or constructive criticism, I look forward to it. If you just want to be rude, well… it's your karma, do what you want to it.
Finally, as if this needed saying, I do not own Harry Potter, I am merely scratching in the catbox that is fanfiction, and hoping I don't leave a turd…
Early spring in the Badlands of South Dakota is generally unpleasant, at best. Snow will slice your skin to ribbons, it takes longer to melt up there, and when it does, it leaves behind a virtually intractable mud, dried out only by the cold north wind that comes howling out of Canada. Men, horses and cattle all try to seek any shelter they can from the fury of spring, because in South Dakota, March never comes in like a lamb.
So it was on March 5th, 1929, in a homesteader's log cabin 50 miles from town, when Florence Tibbs was giving birth to her son. Casey was born in a time and place where the weak fall prey to the elements or the strong, and nature does not concern itself with the desires of mere humans. Young Casey was birthed in a land where you endure or perish, yet he took a different path.
Casey Tibbs chose glory.
He had to ride one of the ranch horses to get to his one room school house 5 miles away, and from the beginning, his father put Casey atop whatever horse he caught first, training and temperament notwithstanding. Casey learned to either ride or walk, and before long, it didn't matter how much the horse he was on would try to throw him, Casey was riding to school. He developed a talent for riding them all, and before much more time had passed, Casey was not only riding the toughest horses in the Badlands, he was making it look effortless. By the time he was 15, Casey was riding bucking horses for a living, and at 19, he won the first of his six consecutive World Championships, records for youth and endurance that endure into the next century.
He was larger than life, in all he did. In a time when "conservative" was the standard for dress and lifestyle, Casey would arrive at the fairgrounds in his purple Cadillac convertible, ride the toughest horses they could find, and look like he was sitting in a rocking chair while he did it, then after the rodeo find himself in the local watering hole, where he played the raconteur to perfection; telling stories, playing pranks, and dealing with the local toughs who wanted to take the champ down a notch by staring them down as he ate the glass that his whiskey had come in. Nobody wanted to fight after that, strangely enough. He accomplished all that was available for his sport at the time, helped create more opportunities for cowboys that would come after him, then took his magazine cover good looks to Hollywood, where he spent the next 40 years in movies and television, while writing newspaper articles, and generally enjoying life as a legend. He lived to see a statue of himself on the legendary horse "Necktie" being unveiled in front the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Hall of Fame,as always, larger than life, and when he passed away peacefully on January 28, 1990 at his home in California, Casey Tibbs was revered for being the greatest saddle bronc rider that ever lived, a man who had overcome the most humble and difficult of circumstances to achieve enduring greatness. His name was spoken amongst those in his world as one who would live on in memory forever, and as word spread of his passing, many glasses of whiskey were raised in his honor, with gratitude that he got that rarest of opportunities: To pass away peacefully… although he did have to wait until he got to the next great adventure to find out how that Super Bowl he was watching at the time turned out.
Casey made it to that next great adventure relatively peacefully, although he did have to tell those in charge that he would not be talking to anyone until the game was over (The Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers in the last 2 minutes), and had it been anyone else, that might have been the end of the story. However, this was Casey Tibbs, who never did anything by halves, and though he didn't know it at the time, just three months earlier in a small English village, an infant boy had been orphaned into a world of harshness that only someone from the Badlands could understand. Neither he nor that orphaned infant knew it yet, but Casey Tibbs would ultimately have more work ahead of him, because simply changing his small part of the planet would not be enough.
Casey Tibbs, cowboy, innovator, screen idol, hero to generations, and soon-to-be-appointed Angel of Death, would one day have to help Harry Potter try to save the whole damned world.