*A thank you to sydni for betaing this for me*
With a huge yawn, Harry made his way to his bed, and collapsed. After spending all day helping with the repairs at Hogwarts after the battle, Harry greatly missed his bed. After placing his wand under the pillow so that it was easily accessible to him, Harry fell asleep.
Feeling the softness of his mattress disappear, Harry's eyes snapped opened. After a moment, Harry realized that he was no longer staring at the ceiling of Sirius's room in Grimmauld Place. Sitting up quickly, Harry took in the place he was in. Light was streaming in from the multiple windows, and all around him were tables covered in crisp white linen, with cutlery and a small vase with flowers already set up on the tables. Looking around, Harry was finally spotted a sign saying that he was in St. John's restaurant in London. Even more concerned, Harry got off the floor, and looked around to see if anyone else was in here. Harry paused when something caught the corner of his eye. Almost hidden in a corner, a rather thin, sickly, middle-aged man was sitting at a table, eating whatever was in front of him. Slowly approaching him, Harry made to pull out his wand before remembering that it was under his pillow. Maybe it was time for him to invest in an arm holster for his wand.
Now that he was closer, Harry could see that on the table was an assortment of food that comprised of sausages, a steak and kidney pie, some treacle tart, some cauldron cakes, some more scones, and tea. Even more confused than he already was, Harry continued to approach the man. It was only when he was almost next to the table that he saw them. All three of the Deathly Hallows were in the middle of the table, with the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone placed on top of the neatly folded Invisibility Cloak. Freezing, Harry stared between the Hallows and the man.
"Harry, please stop gawking and take a seat," the man said gesturing to the seat across from him. Getting over the shock of the man knowing his name, Harry slowly moved towards the chair and settled into it. At once, the man pushed a plate of treacle tart towards him. "I believe that this is your favorite, am I correct?" the man said, finally making eye contact with him. Silently gulping, Harry slowly nodded.
"Um, yes, thank you." Every instinct Harry had was warning him that the person in front of him was very dangerous. With a short look from him, Harry grabbed a fork and took a bite. While it was very good, there was no way for Harry to enjoy the tart with the person sitting across from him. Taking another bite, Harry's eyes caught the Hallows, and he paused. The Stone should have still been in the forest where he had dropped it; the Wand also should have been in the coffin with Dumbledore, and his cloak had been placed into his Gringotts vault. Summoning up his Gryffindor courage, Harry asked, "Why are the Hallows here?" The man paused in his eating.
"I have something to discuss with you about them," he said simply before going back to his food. Harry felt his eye twitch.
"Who are you anyway?" The man placed down his fork, and carefully wiped his mouth with a napkin.
"Are all youngsters these days becoming more and more rude?" he muttered. Harry tried to calm down his rising nerves, but to no avail. "Harry, I am Death." Harry stared at him. Death? As in the skeleton that goes around with a scythe?
"The very same, though, as you can see, I am not currently a skeleton." Harry's eyes widened.
"Did you just─"
"Did I just read your mind? No. Your expression was enough to know what you were thinking." As surreal and incredulous as it sounded, something in the way the man held himself as well as the aura that surrounded him led to believe that this man could actually be Death. (It was also better for his pride as being nervous around Death sounds a lot better than being nervous around an intimidating man.)
This now leads to the reason why Death wanted to speak to Harry in the first place. Harry looked down at the Hallows. Since at one point, all three Hallows had been in his possession, did that mean he was the Master of Death? Was that why Death wanted to speak to him? He was angry about having a master?
"Are you here to take the Hallows?" Harry asked cautiously.
"No, Harry. It is not in my place to take them after they have found a master," Death said, taking a sip of the tea.
"So are you going to kill me then?" Harry asked, clenching his hand to stop its slight trembling. Death raised an eyebrow.
"Now why exactly would I do that?" Death said, sounding both bemused and mirthful.
"Uh, it could either be that I avoided you and came back from the dead or that the Hallows were mine at one point, which would make me your master, and I am very much sure that you despise the idea of being controlled in anyway," Harry rattled off. Death lips quirked up.
"Indeed, you are right," he said, sounding amused. "I do hate the idea of being controlled, and yes, while I do find the idea of you coming back to life somewhat irritating, your case, compared to a few others, is rather insignificant. Besides, Tom Riddle was becoming an annoyance and an abomination to me, so I'll take it into account for your case that you were the one to get rid of him." Harry bit back his retort. He didn't think Death would appreciate it if Harry demanded to know why he didn't take care of it himself if Voldemort was such an annoyance to him. Even if Harry wasn't a Slytherin, he still has some sense of self-preservation.
"If you don't want to kill me, then what do you want from me?" Harry asked. He honestly had no idea if he should be relieved or not that Death didn't want him dead. On one hand, he was still alive. On the other hand, he was probably needed for something, and if it was coming from Death, then Harry knew it had to be something important. Death looked at him straight in the eyes.
"I want you to accept the Hallows and do your job," he said simply. Harry gaped at him.
"I thought you said you hated the idea of having a master?" he blurted out. Death raised an eyebrow.
"Child, did you actually think that you could be my master?" Harry could actually hear the patronizing tone of his voice even though Death had said that evenly.
"That's what the title is, isn't? And I'm not a child," Harry mumbled.
"You're right, amoeba," he corrected. "While you would have a higher rank than the normal reapers, you still would be reporting directly to me."
"Reapers? There's more than one?" Death gave him a deadpanned look.
"There are 7 billion people on this planet alone, Harry, never mind the countless dimensions in existence." Harry's eyes widened at the last part, but kept his mouth shut. "Even for someone like me, it is an immense amount of work for one being."
"If I serve you, then why is it called the Master of Death?" Death looked amused again.
"If it was named otherwise, no idiot would want to aspire to look for them, and to be honest, I needed someone to assist me with a few things that the reapers themselves cannot do."
"So I'm essentially your glorified servant?" Harry asked, trying to keep his irritation out of his voice.
"If thinking of it that way makes it easier for you, then by all means, go ahead."
"And what would happen if I said no?" Harry asked, crossing his arms.
"Use your imagination, Harry," Death said, finishing his tea, and pouring out a new cup. Harry assumed that he meant that Death would probably kill him or something.
"So what exactly do I have to do?" Harry asked, trying to forget about his last thought.
"For now, nothing, but when I do call, I expect you to do everything in your power to respond and join me promptly." Harry snorted, thinking about Voldemort's expectations for the Death Eaters. He gave Death an apologetic expression when he raised an eyebrow. "Also," Death continued, "you are not to tell anyone about our arrangement." Harry shrugged. He expected that.
"Anything else?" Death finished his cup of tea, and wiped his mouth again. Placing his napkin on an empty plate, he stood up.
"When I summon you, be sure to bring a bottle of Butterbeer," he said, gazing down at Harry.
"I am quite fond of them, and I haven't had one in awhile." Harry nodded slowly in disbelief. Glancing at his watch, Death looked at Harry. "Until next time." With a snap of his fingers, Harry found himself staring at the ceiling of Sirius's room. Harry sat up, and gazed around the room. Not seeing anything, he collapsed back on the bed. Feeling something, he sat back up, and looked under his pillow. Along with his wand were the three Hallows and a small folded up paper. Picking up the paper, he saw that it was a note from Death.
Be sure to always keep the Hallows on your person. It will make contacting you much easier.
Letting out a deep sigh, Harry collapsed back on the bed.
"Alas poor peaceful life. I knew you well." Crushing the note in his hand, Harry attempted to go back to sleep.