Half Alive, Half Dead
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine.
Author's note: I was planning on convincing my muse to write another chapter for one of my many unfinished stories but this popped up instead. I figured, what the hell, write it, post it and make sure it's short and finished. So here it is.
A nine year old Harry Potter stood on a chair desperately reaching to put the glass on the shelf, then, as if in slow motion, he felt the chair tip, the legs loose balance, his weight shift and then he was falling backwards. The back of Harry's head smashed against the sharp corner of the kitchen table and excruciating pain split through his head before the world faded to darkness.
"You're not dead." An astonished raspy voice echoed around the kitchen.
Harry blinked and sat up, he was sprawled on the kitchen floor but the pain in his head was gone. He looked around the room and his eyes fell on an impossibly tall cloaked figure. It's face was completely covered by a massive hood, and it's blacker than black cloak was fluttering slightly in a breeze that didn't exist. "Huh?"
"You're not dead. You're supposed to be dead."
Now that Harry was a bit more focused, he could tell that it was a man speaking. He shook his head and tried to make sense of what the man had said. "Dead?" He asked.
"Yeah, dead. Why aren't you dead?"
"Um..." Harry really didn't have an answer for that. Then he remembered that his aunt was in the other room, when he swiveled his head to look through the doorway, he saw that she was frozen in place, a blank expression on her face. "What happened to Aunt Petunia?"
"What? Oh, I put the world on hold for a bit, don't worry, I do it all the time. What I really want to know is why you're not dead."
A skeletal hand reached from under the man's cloak which made Harry's eyes go wide, but before he could say anything, a massive black book appeared on the kitchen table. A second bony hand appeared and they started flipping through the pages. The man, whose head Harry still couldn't see, whipped around and 'looked' at Harry, "What's your name?"
"Full name." The man said irritably.
"Harry Potter." Harry said, trying to figure out if this was a result of his fall, maybe he was hallucinating. He turned around and was shocked to see that there was a huge pool of blood where his head had been laying just a few minutes ago.
What? Why is there so much blood? Harry touched the back of his head and felt a blood-covered crack. Well, that explains the blood. But before he had time to decided whether to faint or freak out, the man read started reading from his book.
"Okay, here we go:
Harry James Potter.
Parents: James and Lily.
Date of birth: July 31, 1980.
Date of death: October 31, 1981.
Date of death: March 12, 1990.
"What? Two deaths? And you're still not dead?" The man flipped through some more pages, "I'm confused. I'm never confused."
Harry stood up easily and sat in a chair, he frowned at the black cloaked figure, "Who are you?" He asked.
"Me? I want to know who you are. No one gets two death dates. Well, I've got one other guy, but he's a bloody bastard. Hold on, where I put Causes?" The skeleton hands seemed to search the many pockets in the man's cloak before emerging with a much bigger book, he opened it somewhere near the back. "Got it, 'Harry James Potter: October 31, 1981, murder, killing curse'. Okay, simple enough."
Then he flipped to the very last page, "'Harry James Potter: March 12, 1990, accident, traumatic brain injury.' Well, that's a lame way to go. Still, you should be dead".
"Who are you, why do you keep saying I should be dead and what's a killing curse?" Harry asked, giving the man as good a glare as a nine year old can. But he was ignored again.
What would have been the next ten minutes if the man hadn't stopped time, was spent with the man tapping his bony fingers on the table and Harry scowling at him. Then the man pulled a whole stack of books out of his pockets, which Harry was beginning to suspect were bigger than they looked.
The man started muttering to himself and sifting through the books, "Let's see, it was an accident right? Okay, where's Accidents? Ah, here we go, 'Harry James Potter: March 12th 1990. 4 Privit Drive, Surrey, England. Traumatic brain injury, kitchen, back of the head to table. Unconscious, bled out in one minute twenty-four seconds. No chance of rescue or treatment.'
"Well, that's normal, now, Murders. 'Harry James Potter: October 31st 1981. 12 Godric's Hollow, West County, England. Killing curse to the forehead. Murderer: Tom Marvolo Riddle. Instant Death. No chance of rescue or treatment.' That's normal too, despite the fact that Tom has been a pain in my ass for quite a while now. Jeeze kid, why aren't you dead?
"Hold on, let's check Special Circumstances. Nothing for today's death, that's not reassuring at all cause you're obviously not dead. Okay, here we are, 'Harry James Potter: October 31st 1981. Killing Curse. Prophesy Child, tied to killer. Extenuating circumstances.'" The bone fingers went back to tapping.
"I hate prophesies, still, they shouldn't interfere with my job. The books take care of it naturally. Tied to killer obviously refers to the prophesy. But 'extenuating circumstances'? This is the special circumstances book for crying out loud!"
Harry frowned at the cloaked man who was becoming increasingly annoyed, the temperature in the kitchen was fluctuating between very cold and extremely warm and a strong wind was blowing around him, making his cloak billow. Harry was starting to get scared of him, well, more scared than when he was just a tall creepy man with skeleton hands, he had a few guesses as to who this might be, but he wanted to be sure. "Who are you?" Harry asked.
The man frowned and waved his hand, causing all the books to rush back into his pockets. "Oh, I apologize for my terrible manners. I'm- " But the man didn't finish that statement because three objects flew into the room and landed in Harry's lap.
Harry yelled in shock when three things fell on him, there was a small rock, a light colored stick and a silvery pile of cloth. Then the cloth disappeared along with his legs, then they came back, then disappeared again. "What?" Harry asked with wide eyes.
Unfortunately, the man seemed to be just as confused as Harry, "What?"
"Hey, you're the adult here, you're supposed to know what's going on!"
A cold wind whipped through the kitchen and the bony fingers reached towards the silvery material draped across Harry's currently invisible lap, they passed right through the cloth as if it wasn't there at all. Then the skeletal hand reached towards the stick which it also couldn't touch, the same happened with the stone.
"I recognize these." The man said in awe, "It's been a long time since I've seen them."
"Well, what are they?" Harry asked, but the man was ignoring him, again.
"But I can't touch them..." He said in wonder. "Why can't I touch them? And how did you get them?"
Harry huffed, "I don't know!"
All the air in the room seemed to rush out, "Peverell." The man whispered.
"You're a Peverell."
"I have no idea what you're talking about. And you haven't answered my question from before; who are you?"
Again, the man ignored Harry, instead he stared intently at Harry. "Let's see, you can't be descended from Antioch, he never even had a lover, Cadmus got all depressed and offed himself before he had kids, so you must be descended from Ignotus. I never did find out what he did with his life.
"And now you've got all of them. It certainly explains the 'extenuating circumstances' but still, that shouldn't make that much of a difference, the others didn't give me any troubles. And it doesn't explain how you got the Hallows together, you're nine!"
"You aren't making any sense." Harry was annoyed, not only because the man was confusing him but also because he still didn't know who he was.
"How did you get the stone, wand and cloak? Did you summon them?" The man asked, pointing a skeletal finger at Harry.
"If you mean the rock, stick and the cloth that can't seem to decide if it wants to be visible or not, then I don't know any more than you. They just flew in here."
The finger tapping resumed. Harry's annoyance grew.
"Who are you?" Harry asked for the fifth time.
Finally, the man answered. "I'm Death."
Harry choked on the air, "What?"
Death sighed, "I'm Death, you know, the person who deals with dead things."
"Oh." Harry swallowed, "So when you say I should be dead, you really mean I should be dead."
"Yeah, supposedly you've died twice, once today and once when you were one. But you're still here." Death explained. "And I want to know why."
"Okay, so what's with the stick, rock and cloth? And what's Peverell?" Harry asked, deciding to ignore his supposed 'deceased' status since he was obviously still alive.
"Those three items you're holding are the three Deathly Hallows, I made them for three brothers who requested them. The story people tell is that they escaped me by using magic to make a bridge across a deadly river, but that's just a story. The actuality is that we started telling riddles and I lost, it was quite stupid of me, especially seeing as there was three of them and one of me but that's not what you wanted to know.
"The first Hallow is the Elder Wand, it belonged to Antioch Peverell, it is the most powerful wand in the world, it has a thestral hair core and is made from the wood of my personal Elder tree. It can only be wielded by someone who accepts me, Death. It has many names but the common ones are the Wand of Destiny and the Deathstick.
"The second Hallow is the Resurrection Stone, it belonged to Cadmus Peverell, the second of three brothers. It can bring back a shadow of someone who has already died. And the third is my personal Cloak of Invisibility, I gave it to Ignotus Peverell, the final brother who was also your ancestor, if I am correct. It is the one true invisibility cloak, I have since created another, but that was the first.
"The rumor is that the one who possesses all three of the Deathly Hallows can become the Master of death, that's not quite true, you have to have claim to all three, you have to deserve them, and you have to be powerful enough to wield them. If you can do all that, as well as find them all, you are the Master of death, but not of me.
"The difference is that I am Death, the person, I am my own master. The holder of the Hallows is the master of death, the thing. Think of it as if you were writing it, I am Death with a capital D, the other is master of normal death."
Harry frowned. "That still doesn't explain why I haven't died and why I'm holding them if I didn't collect them."
Death tapped his fingers again. "I know. Let me think. Hold on, you've been marked, haven't you?"
"What do you mean?"
"That lightning bolt on your forehead, you're halfway. I wonder why I haven't noticed before." Death mused.
"What do you mean I'm 'halfway'?"
"I mean you should have died when you were hit with the killing cures, but you didn't." One skeletal finger traced Harry's scar, "Now you have a crack, you're split down the middle."
Harry frowned, "But people say it looks like a lightning bolt."
Death nodded, "Yes, it does, there are a few things a lightning bolt can represent; power, storms, great magic, shock, or division. But one of the things a lightning bolt does is split things. Have you ever seen a tree get hit by lightning?"
"Well, it splits down the middle. That's what you are, you're split. Half of you is already dead but the other half is still hanging around here for some reason. I think that's why my Hallows came to you spontaneously, you are not only descended from one of the original owners but you are also living death."
"That sounds like fun, 'living death'." Harry snorted.
"Hey, if you've got one foot on either side, you can decide if you want to stick around or not."
"And what exactly does that mean?"
Death folded his long, boney fingers, "If you die, or, well, get closer to dieing, you will have to make the conscious decision to die, it won't be a given."
"You're telling me that I can just keep coming back to life as many times as I want?" Harry asked.
Harry grinned. "Cool."
Harry sat up and groaned, he was in the chamber with the mirror of Erised, across from him was Quirrell's dead, burned body, and it felt like someone had split his head open before pouring acid on his brain.
"DAMN IT!" A voice rasped from behind him.
Harry turned and saw a familiar figure. "Death?"
"Oh, hello, Harry."
"Did I die again?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, but it's not you I was coming for, I was after the bastard who just won't stay dead!"
Harry shrugged as he got to his feet, "You do realise that I'm the one who can't really die, right?"
Death scowled, "No, you're living death, this guy just won't stay dead."
"Voldemort?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. He drives me crazy because I can't figure out how he's still alive!"
"Why don't you just check your Special Circumstances book?"
"That's the thing, all it says is that he "took preventative measures". It doesn't make sense!" Death complained as he kicked Quirrell's body. "According to the books, there should have been three deaths here today, yours, Tom's, and this guy's. For obvious reasons, you're still here, and this guy actually managed to die properly, but Tom is gone, again!"
"Well that sucks."
"I don't suppose you're ready to move on, are you?" Death asked hopefully.
"Why would I do that?"
"Wishful thinking." Death sighed, "Oh well, I'll see you next time you die."
Harry laughed, "Good to hear."
"Now that's interesting!"
Harry looked up from where he was lying in a pool of black ink, "Oh hi, Death. What's interesting?"
Death lifted the diary with a skeletal hand, "This diary, it had a tiny piece of life in it that just died. It was like a partial death."
"Hey, at least you're not here for me this time." Harry said with a grin.
"Oh, you're dead again too, this diary is just more interesting than you." Death said offhandedly.
"Thanks, that makes me feel so good. But wait, I thought Fawkes' tears saved me."
"Nah, basilisk venom is one of the only things that phoenix tears don't work on. But what is really important is the fact that this diary just died, like a person would die."
"It's a book." Harry stated flatly.
"I can see that, thank you. Tell me, Harry, is there anything special about this?"
"Well, it possessed that girl there and then a spirit/ghost thing came out of it." Harry said. "It was kinda sentient, but no more so than some other enchanted objects."
Death gasped, "You said a spirit came out of it?"
"Horcrux." Death breathed.
Harry frowned, "What?"
"A horcrux is an object that a person has put a piece of their soul into, they're abominations! I haven't seen one of these in hundreds of years."
"You mean that diary, that Ginny has been writing in all year long, actually had a piece of Voldemort's soul in it?"
Death nodded slowly, "Yeah. It explains why he won't die, horcruxes anchor a person's soul on this plane of existence."
"Does that mean he's actually dead now?" Harry asked hopefully.
"No. The spirit that was in that other guy, Quirrell, it was a separate piece of soul. So there must be more of these out there..."
Harry gulped. "How many?"
Death groaned, "I have no idea."
"You're Death, you must be able to find out!"
"Hey, I'm just Death, it doesn't mean I am omnipotent about everything concerning death and dieing."
Harry laughed, "You do know how ridiculous that sounds, right?"
"Shut up, half-dead boy." Death growled.
"Fine. Can I do anything to help figure out how many and where they are?" Harry offered.
"No, but I'll be taking the diary, maybe Lucy can help."
"Lucifer. You know him better as the devil." Death explained.
"You call the devil 'Lucy'?" Harry asked with a grin.
Death shrugged, "I'm Death, I can call him whatever I want."
Harry laughed. "True."
"Well, I'd best be off, I have a date to set with the devil. See you at your next death!" Death said before fading away.
"He's so morbid." Harry muttered.
"Kill the spare." A cold, high voice said.
"Avada Kedavra." Pettigrew screeched.
Cedric was lying awkwardly on the ground when he heard those two deadly words and knew that his end had come, there was no question that he was the spare. After all, there wasn't anything special about Cedric Diggory except his status as a Triwizard Champion, Harry was...well, he was Harry Potter.
"NO!" Harry jumped and covered Cedric's body with his own and the curse hit him in the back.
"HARRY!" Cedric screamed as Harry's dead weight landed on his chest, knocking the breath out of him.
"Fool, can you not even-" The cold voice was cut off and silence fell over the graveyard, it was so quite it was almost suffocating.
But Cedric didn't notice, he was pushing Harry's body off him and rolling him onto the ground. "Harry! Wake up! You can't die, you're Harry Potter!" He whispered, hoping to avoid the notice of the newcomer.
Death frowned when he arrived in the graveyard. "Wait a minute, this isn't right." He said before pulling out his main death book.
Cedric's head whipped up and he froze when he saw the tall imposing figure standing on the other side of Harry's body flipping through a massive book.
"Fuck, that hurt!" Harry exclaimed as he sat up, he didn't even notice that Cedric wasn't stopped in time like people usually were when Harry came back from one of his deaths.
"Harry, what are you doing here?" Death asked with a scowl.
"Death! I thought that was obvious, I died. If you didn't come for that, what are you doing here?"
"As you know, I've been tracking horcruxes, well, I asked the keeper of the Book of Life to keep an eye out for things. She sent me here, someone was skipping steps in life creation, which is against the rules. Oh, I also have some kid's soul to pick up."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "Keeper of the Book of Life?"
"Pretty self explanatory, she keeps and eye on the book that tracks birth and living and other happy shit. I don't usually talk with her, she has no sense of humour."
"Whatever, you said something about the horcruxes?" Harry prompted.
"Oh yeah, there should be one around here somewhere. Hang on a minute, you died again."
Harry shrugged, "He was going to kill that kid, I hadn't died in a while and he really didn't do anything to deserve it, so I got in the way."
Death shook his head. "What am I going to do with you?"
Harry grinned, "No idea. But there's not much you can do."
"True. What number death is this for you, anyway?" Death asked.
"Um..." Harry counted on his fingers. "It's my fifth."
Cedric, who had been frozen in shock and ignored up until now, blinked, "What?" He squeaked.
"AH!" Harry yelled, jumping away from Cedric. "Death, why wasn't he stopped with the rest of the world?" He asked accusingly.
"I must have missed him, he was right next to you after all." Death groaned, "Well, this is embarrassing."
"Harry...is that really Death?" Cedric asked nervously.
"What? Oh, yeah. Cedric, meet Death, Death, meet Cedric." Harry said absently.
Death waved a bony hand at the boy on the ground, "Hi, oh, wait, are you Cedric Diggory?"
Cedric gulped. "Yeah..."
"Hmm." Death looked back at his book. "Harry!"
"You're meddling, he was the kid whose soul I was supposed to pick up. He just got crossed off the list. No one gets crossed off!"
Harry shrugged, "Just because it's never happened before doesn't mean it can't."
"No, I'm a unique improbability, wrapped in confusion, garnished with inconsistency, covered in unpredictability, served with a side of anomalies."
"You're annoying, is what you are. Avoiding death yourself is one thing but getting in the way of other people's is just rude, Cedric was supposed to die tonight, not you."
Cedric gaped, "But Harry saved me, doesn't that mean I get to live? You're not going to take me anyway, are you?"
Harry patted Cedric on the shoulder, "He can't take you, you were crossed off the list." The Harry turned to Death, "Weren't you here for a horcrux?"
"Yeah, any ideas where it might be?"
"You might want to try over by the cauldron." Harry suggested. "Or in the bundle of cloth."
Death moved some of the fabric out of the way with a skeletal finger, "Oh, now that's just wrong."
Harry walked over with Cedric trailing behind. "What? Ew, that's disgusting!" Harry said with a grimace."
Cedric gagged, "What is it?"
Death grinned, not that anyone could see it under his hood, "That, is something only partly alive, which is actually partly dead, which means I get to take it!"
"But wouldn't that mean you could take me too?" Harry asked.
"Nah, you're exactly fifty-fifty, this is slightly more than half dead, and it's MINE!" With that, Death touched the thing's forehead and sighed happily. "It is so satisfying to be one step closer to getting rid of this infernal bastard once and for all."
Cedric frowned, "What do you mean Harry is fifty-fifty?"
Death waved dismissively, "Harry will tell you."
"WHAT?" Harry yelped, "I don't want to explain."
"They're your deaths, you tell him."
"Fine. I'll tell you later, Cedric." Harry turned back to Death. "So, was that the horcrux? I thought they were objects."
"They are." Death looked around some more until he found a frozen Nagini, "This is the horcrux?"
Harry poked the still reptile, "Why would he use a snake? Doesn't he know that they can, I don't know, DIE?"
Cedric really wanted to ask what a horcrux was but figured it was probably best to let Death and Harry keep doing what they were doing. Wow, that just sounds weird...HOLY SHIT, I JUST MET DEATH! Cedric propped himself up against a statue as that reality set in. And I was supposed to die today...but Harry saved me...he jumped in front of the killing curse and didn't die. Again. Cedric did his best not to pass out.
Death stared at the snake/horcrux. "It's not dead."
Harry rolled his eyes, "Yes, I can see that."
"I can't take it if it's still alive."
"Oh. Then why don't you just kill it?" Harry asked.
"I'm Death, I can't kill things." Death said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever."
"I just deal with the dead things, I'm not the one who actually kills them."
Harry shrugged, "Still doesn't make sense. So, you can't kill it, what are you going to do now?"
Death looked at Harry disbelievingly, "You're an idiot. I'm not going to do anything, you are going to kill it."
"I can't kill it!"
"You killed Quirrell." Death pointed out.
"Hey, that was an accident!"
"You killed the basilisk."
"It tried to kill me first."
"Semantics. Just kill the damn snake."
Harry sighed. "Fine. How exactly do you expect me to do it?"
"There's that lovely thing called a killing curse, best way to die in my opinion. Quick and easy, no mess, no fuss." Death said blandly.
"It's illegal." Harry retorted.
"Not on snakes." Death fired back.
"I don't know how to cast it." Harry protested.
"No time to learn like the present. It's simple, point, wish it dead, and say the incantation. Instant, painless death and one less horcrux."
"You're not going to leave until I do this, are you?"
"Fine. Avada Kedavra." Harry said, concentration on how much he wanted the snake dead, green light flashed through the graveyard. Even though the world was still on hold, Harry could see the life leave Nagini's eyes and was shocked that he had actually used the unforgivable. "Happy?" He asked, when he got his mouth moving again.
Death walked over and touched the snake's head with the tip of a skeletal finger. "Yes. Thanks."
"Okay, see you next time you die." Death said cheerfully as he faded away. "By the way, you've got ten minutes before time starts again." He added just before he was completely gone.
Harry grumbled something about forced explanations before sitting on the ground and relaxing against a tombstone. He looked over at Cedric who was leaning against the statue of an angel.
"How are you doing?" Harry asked.
Cedric paused, was he alright? "Okay, I guess. You?"
Harry shrugged, "Not too bad, considering the circumstances."
"I can't believe Death taught you the killing curse..."
"I can't believe I actually used it. I never thought I'd use it, I mean, it killed me once."
"Yeah...about that... Five deaths?" Cedric asked.
"We've still got a while until time starts again." Cedric pointed out, surprised that he wasn't bothered more about the fact that Death could stop time.
"Okay. Well, when I first survived the killing curse – I still don't know how that happened by the way – half of me ended up dead, and the other half alive. Because I'm tied to both worlds, or planes of existence as Death likes to call them, I get to choose which one I stay in when I 'die'.
"As you know, my first death was when I was one, Voldemort tried to kill me and the curse rebounded. Number two was when I was nine, I fell off a chair in the kitchen and cracked my head open on the corner of a table, very mundane. Three was in first year when I went up against Voldemort who was possessing Quirrell, not sure how that worked but whatever. Number four was in second year, I got bit by the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets when I went to rescue Ginny Weasley. And you just saw my fifth death."
Cedric shook his head, "Wow. Does anyone else know?"
"No, and I'd like to keep it that way."
"I can see why. It would be a bit hard to explain it all and more than a little awkward."
Harry smiled grimly, "Yeah, so I hope I don't have to say that this stays between us and Death."
Cedric nodded. "Of course. And thanks for saving me, it's unsettling to know that I was on Death's list for tonight."
"Don't mention it. No really, don't." Harry said seriously.
"Thanks. Now, I think we have a tournament to get back to."
"Um...What exactly are we supposed to tell them?"
Harry watched in horror as Sirius fell into the Veil, surprise still etched on his face.
"NO!" Harry screamed, he struggled against Remus who was holding him back. Then he remembered that this was the Death Chamber, and that was the Veil of Death.
"DEATH!" Harry called in desperation. "DEATH!"
Time stopped and Death faded into existence, "Harry, you do realise that I'm not accustomed to coming when called, and neither am I obliged to, right?"
Tears streamed down Harry's face. "Death, you have to help him!"
"Sirius! He fell through the veil!
"I'm just Death, what do you expect me to do?"
"It's the Veil of Death, you're Death!
"Bring him back!"
"You're the Master of death, you do it."
"I don't know how!"
"Just go get him."
"I'll keep the world on pause till you get back."
"Thanks." Harry said, then he jumped through the veil.
Sirius was wandering around in a grey nothingness, "Death is so overrated." He muttered as he tried to make out any shapes, which he couldn't.
An eternity later (or was it a second?), Sirius heard someone calling his name, it sounded remarkably like Harry. "Merlin, I hope it's not Harry."
"Sirius Orion Black, I know you're in here somewhere! Harry yelled as he pushed grey stuff out of his way. Then he saw a shape approaching.
"Harry?" Sirius said quietly, "What are you doing here?"
"Saving your sorry arse, now lets go, Death's waiting." Harry said, grabbing onto Sirius' arm.
"Death? Wait, what?" But Sirius didn't get to ask any more questions because Harry was dragging him towards a bright light. "Wait, Harry, even I know going towards to the light is a bad idea!"
Harry peeked one eye open, "Death? What are you doing here? It's three in the morning and I know for a fact that I'm not dead, I'm actually trying to sleep. Unless someone poisoned me...but that's highly unlikely."
"I found the rest of them!" Death said excitedly.
"And what is 'them'?" Harry asked, tiredly rubbing sleep out of his eyes.
Death pulled a cup, a crown, a necklace and a ring out of one of his many pockets. "The horcruxes, I collected them and I need you to kill them so I can finally take them!"
"You want me to cast the killing curse again?"
Death nodded. "Four times. But that's it, then we're done, I promise."
Harry sighed, "Don't make promises you can't keep. Anyway, I'm actually glad you came, we need to have a chat."
"Can you kill these things first, please?"
"No, because I have to make a deal with you and I've heard, from you, about what happens to people who make deals with Death."
Death perched on Harry's desk. "A deal?" He asked excitedly.
Harry sighed, "See, this is exactly what I mean."
Death pouted, "Okay fine. What do you want?"
"I took a peek at one of Dumbledore's notebooks, he thinks I'm a horcrux."
"He thinks that Voldemort made a mistake that night and left a bit of soul behind." Harry explained.
Death scowled, "If that's true..."
"Then I need to actually die, but I've been thinking."
"Here we go."
"I'm half life and half death, so if I stepped over into death, for just a second, you could take the horcrux but I could still come back."
Death frowned as he thought it through, "It makes sense. As you are now, I can't touch you, but if you moved just a fraction closer to death...I could take you."
"And that's where the deal comes in. If I take that step, I want you to leave me alone, you can only have the horcrux."
"I see. Well, loath as I am to admit it, I wouldn't be able to take you anyway. Remember the Hallows? Because you still have them, you have just as much control over death as I do. Sure, I could try to take you, but as the Master of death you could just come right back.
"This, coupled with the fact that you're perpetually half-dead, means you get to decide how much death flows through you. Right now you are subconsciously keeping it balanced with life, you have the power to move that around as much as you want. Think of it as sliding up and down the life-death spectrum, you just can't go past the halfway point towards life."
"In that case, lets do this." Harry said with a grin. Death lined up the horcruxes and Harry killed them one by one. "Okay...um...how exactly do I do this?"
Death laughed, "I'll guide you." Death showed Harry how to make himself more dead than alive and quickly took the very last piece of Tom Riddle's soul. He then helped Harry back.
"So, do you finally have all of him?" Harry asked.
"Yes. That bastard is finally where he belongs, the deepest pit of hell."
"There's more than one?"
"Yup. Nine actually."
"You should visit sometime, you can you know, all you have to do is move mostly into death. I'm sure Lucy would love to give you a tour."
"I'll think about it."