Harry Potter and the Four Horsemen: A Harry Potter Fanfiction
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its associated characters; all copyright belongs to JK Rowling; I do own any OC spells explained at the end of a chapter.
Plot: Response to ADVPhoenix's Challenge: Abandoned by his family, Harry was half-prepared for a life of misery and solitude, until fate dealt him a hand that turns him into Death, first of a new breed and a new generation of Horsemen. Needless to say that Dumbledore and Voldemort won't be expecting THIS Harry.
Author's Note: Before any of my faithful readers have a go about me starting ANOTHER new story, I should say that this is all ADVPhoenix's fault; that brilliant-minded author posted a challenge on my forum and, after reading it, I HAD to respond ASAHP – As Soon As Humanly Possible – so don't worry about my focus or my continuity. I do the best I can with what I've got;
Dedication: I would like to dedicate this story to ADVPhoenix for creating the challenge and to everyone that stays with me throughout everything I do. My recommended read for this story is Midnight Sun and it's sequel Darkest Night, Shadowed Dawn by Herald-MageAnduli, which is an amazing pair of stories featuring the topic of this story: Wrong BWL.
Chapter 1: The Riders Are Chosen
Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world;
Great Britain's communities were split down the middle as half of the people of Britain were going about their normal lives while the other half were doing something that, while it seemed normal, was far from it. For they were celebrating: the half of the British Community locked in celebration were under the assumptions and reasons that the Dark Lord Voldemort had finally met his end, thus bringing about the end of a reign of terror and fear that had left this side of the community divided for years.
There were whispers and rumours about what had finally killed him, but the key element to the story was always the same: that the now-late Dark Lord had gone to Godric's Hollow, to the home of Lily and James Potter and, as was his normal motive, he had incapacitated them and then turned his wand on the Potter's two siblings, Harry and Jason Potter. After that, he had cast a Killing Curse and, in the aftermath that followed, there had been a powerful magical explosion and the Dark Lord had been vanquished, leaving two crying boys, one of whom – little Jason Godric Potter – had been scarred with a bolt of lightning on his forehead while Harry James Potter had been left unscarred.
It had been Albus Dumbledore that had announced it: Jason Potter was the Boy-Who-Lived!
And, while the world had celebrated and Albus Dumbledore, a friend of the family and headmaster of Hogwarts had seen to the now-hailed hero, he had no idea how his declaration would affect the future and how one mistake would move to bring about a state that the world had avoided for many hundreds of years.
Albus Dumbledore's choosing of the wrong Boy-Who-Lived would, one day, bring the Wizarding World to its knees…at the hands of the Lords and Ladies of the Apocalypse.
However, none of them, not Lily, James, Harry or Jason knew that such an outcome would happen:
Instead, their minds and lives were turned around by another little announcement five years following that fated night…
"Are you sure that there's no alternative?"
"I'm afraid not, Lily," Albus Dumbledore answered, his voice calm despite the joy he was feeling at how easy this was being, "Now that both boys are approaching their seventh year of age, their magic should be coming out and you've seen it. Jason holds great potential while Harry doesn't play well with others and has shown no sign of such magical potential. He chooses to lock himself in his room and doesn't even speak to Sirius or Remus when they see him."
"But…to abandon him?" asked Lily, her voice filled with shock as she looked out of the window of Potter Manor to the grounds; her sons, both of whom seemed to contrast one another perfectly, were apparently enjoying the brief springtime sunshine. "What…what would James say?"
"I've already spoken to James," Albus answered, knowing that his loyal Order general would stand with him without question. "And he agrees that it is for the greater good: he says that Harry also shows signs of conversing with…with Slytherins and, as a Gryffindor-proud family, you know how dangerous that is. If…if Voldemort should ever come back, Harry's…affiliations would leave Jason in great danger; he agrees that an orphanage is the best option. Either that, Lily, or sending Harry to the one place that you yourself have said you wouldn't wish on either boy: Petunia and her family."
"No!" Lily gasped, knowing how her sister would treat a magical sibling, "We haven't had a meeting with Petunia in years, Albus: no matter what, we swore that neither boy would see her or her husband."
"Then," Dumbledore sighed, feigning defeat and showing what could be described as compassion, "You know what you must do, Lily: for Jason's sake."
Lily did know…but she didn't have to like it…
It took a maximum of twenty seconds to deal with Harry;
First, during dinner, Lily slipped her son a sleeping potion and sent him to his room where, at precisely seven-o-clock, she and James Apparated with Harry to an orphanage recommended by Dumbledore for dealing with magical children. Conjuring a blanket to keep her son warm, Lily kissed his forehead and, standing up, she faced her husband as she told him, "I don't like this, Jay-Jay."
"It's for Jason's sake, Lily-flower," James told her, a part of him not all that concerned with leaving the raven-haired, emerald-eyed boy with people that, hopefully, would teach him what it meant to be part of the family. Spending all his time with James' hated enemy and asking Sirius about his family had told James enough: Harry was a Slytherin, born and bred and it wouldn't surprise James to discover that the brooding brat wasn't even his son.
Besides, he wasn't as strong or as sociably-available as Jason and that was bad news for James: his career as an Auror took up most of his time, but, also, as Lord Potter, he had an image to protect both as a Ministry member and the Father of the Boy-Who-Lived. So, in James' mind, he'd be forgiven for not shedding tears or showing any real emotions in the case of abandoning the younger of the twins: this was for the best and, besides, they didn't even act like brothers.
Jason was all that mattered; Harry…Harry was nothing.
And, with a few little hints and a couple of changes in his treatment to Lily, James knew that he could make her see that, just like Albus had said, it was all for the Greater Good.
Taking his wife's hand, James Apparated away from the orphanage, neither him nor Lily taking note of the name of the place that Albus had apparently recommended:
"Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…happy birthday dear Harry…happy birthday to me…"
So sang a now-nine-year-old Harry as he sat on the bed in the room where he'd lived and breathed the same air as other children for over a year, his hands wringing at the thought of what torments lay ahead for him. Ever since he'd been abandoned by his family – and it had taken him all of two days to accept that fact – and brought into Wool's with the other children, Harry had become a target for his apparent freakishness and differences.
Unlike the other children, Harry was tall for his age and his raven-black hair, which he preferred to have spiked and messy in contrast to finely-brushed and well-kept, was always a topic for target by others. As well as that, Harry didn't let the other children get to know him nor did he allow himself to be paraded on Adoption Days like some kind of showman's pet. Instead, when such days came around, Harry locked himself in his room, relying on the one key thing that made him different to help him out.
Yes, Harry knew that he had magic and he also knew that he had been raised and abandoned by Lily and James Potter: he knew that he had a brother named Jason and that his parents had chosen to ignore him for Jason's apparent fame and prestige. Not to mention the fact that Harry, who was more studious and self-contained than Jason, also held what his former Father had called Slytherin qualities just because Harry had no desire to play Quidditch or show himself off like Jason had done every time he'd learned a new spell or demonstrated some sort of warm affection for his talents.
Even more annoying, if such a thing had been possible, was when his own former brother and former Father had referred to Harry as though he wasn't there when he clearly was sitting in the room with them. These had been the moments where they'd referred to him as Squib and Unworthy and those words had left a cold, dark hole deep within Harry's heart, a hole that had hardened his emotions and left them only on display for those that Harry could trust.
People like his godfather, Severus Snape – whom had been chosen for Harry by Lily without James knowing – or his honorary uncle and – in Harry's opinion – father figure in Jason's godfather, Sirius Black. Though Sirius was Jason's godfather, he'd only been around the kid when James had insisted it and, in the moments where Harry was with Sirius, they'd spoken about things that James and Jason didn't like: the Black Family, for one as well as the use of more powerful magic to get the job done.
Harry wasn't a Marauder: he'd let that rule be known to Sirius in the first real meeting that the two had shared; he wasn't Prongslet or Bambi or whatever stupid name they'd come up with for him. He was Harry: the raven-haired outcast and proverbial Black Sheep of the family because he was just different, which, personally, was just stupid: his difference made him strong, which made him a real wizard and a true warrior, just like the Potter bloodline had always produced.
But no: his warrior spirit and strong sense of will and justice weren't good enough for James Rowan Potter: no, he wanted a son that he could spoil and parade around the grounds like a horse in the dressage. He wanted a family that was, in every sense of the word, perfect and as un-dark-spirited as you could get.
For that, Harry had known by the time his eighth birthday had come around: he hated James Potter; he hated Jason Potter and, right at the top of that list, Harry knew: he hated, despised and wouldn't be happy until he had the head of Albus Dumbledore in his hands…just so he could kick it through the window of Potter Manor and give James and Jason something to really scream about.
However, through his anger and his wishes for revenge, Harry knew that there was one person that he couldn't hate and that was his Mother, Lily.
No, he couldn't hate her: she'd wanted him safe and she'd wanted to keep him at home where he was loved by her and by Sirius and Remus. For that reason alone, Harry knew that, if he ever did find a way to retrieve his revenge on that closed-minded freak James and his Barbie-doll of a son, then he would spare Lily.
Unless she chose James, of course…
"Congratulations, Potters," he whispered as he lay back on his bed, his eyes, a bright shade of emerald-green that matched the eyes of his Mother, staring at the ceiling as he spoke his self-inflicted vow, "You want a Slytherin for an ex-son: by Mordred, I swear that I will give you what you wish…one way or another…"
Harry didn't know why, but, as he finished his promise, he suddenly found himself getting very tired…
The soft voice woke Harry almost as quickly as he had closed his eyes; yet, when he opened his eyes, he found that he was no longer lying on his bed within the Orphanage. Now, he was lying on a cold, black-stone floor with a single shaft of blood-red light shining through an opening just in front of him.
Getting to his feet, Harry looked around warily: he didn't recognise where he was standing, but there was something eerily…perfect about the place; what that was, Harry didn't know, but he did know that, somehow, he was meant to be here.
'Come to me…collect me…become me…'
The voice returned and, as he looked around, Harry's left eyebrow raised in curiosity as he recognised that the voice was coming from the shaft of red light; narrowing his eyes, Harry approached the light, his mouth finally able to find his voice as he asked, "Who's there?"
'One that can give you your desire, little master,' the voice answered, 'Only if you come to me…if you collect me and if you become me…'
"Become you?" asked Harry, surprising himself as he found his feet moving him closer to the red shaft of light, the shaft now turning into a door-sized wall of red light that seemed to creak open as Harry approached, "What do you mean? Who are you?"
'I am…the one who walks in shadow…and yet commands the fires of light…' the voice answered, something about the words striking a chord within Harry as he stepped through the red door, only to find himself standing on a narrow stone pathway, the walls around him appearing to glow and, for a second, Harry thought that they moved. Listening for the voice, Harry wasn't disappointed as it told him, 'Come to me…little master…come and claim me…and the power to claim…your revenge…shall be yours.'
"And what do you get out of this?" asked Harry, remaining on the stone platform where he stood as he looked around, "What price will I have to pay to become you?"
'None more than the eventual price that all men pay,' the voice answered, Harry, who had heard many riddles and many different explanations before, knew what the voice was referring to with that one. The price that all men pay was a reference to the entity and state of life otherwise known as Death: so he would one day die when this…this thing decided that he had outlived his usefulness?
When would that be?
When his revenge was complete?
"I ask you again," Harry muttered, his voice carrying through the darkness, "Who are you?"
'I have no name…little master…' the voice told him, its words making the hairs on Harry's neck stand on end, 'I am simply the essence of all who have come before you…and summoned my aid…and my power. I am the weapon that you bear…and the power that you wield…once you have become me. What's the matter…little master? Do you not desire their deaths? The head of your enemy in your hands? The blood of your betrayers flowing around you? Their souls at your mercy? Do you not desire…revenge?'
'I do desire revenge,' Harry thought, his body once again surprising him as he stepped out onto the pathway before him, his eyes now fixed on a point ahead of him, the moving walls around him appearing to shift and move towards him. 'But how does this…this being know about that? Just what sort of…of creature am I dealing with here?'
His answer was soon revealed as Harry approached the other side of the pathway, his body jumping with a start as a plume of black flames suddenly lit up in front of him, the flames remaining in place only for a moment and, when they fell, Harry's curious expression returned as he saw a jet-black altar now standing in front of him, a display case of sorts placed on the top of the altar and, inside the case, Harry had to look again as he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
It looked like a scythe: a long, full-body-length ebony-black handle that seemed to shine in the glow of the room, a clasp of purest silver at the head of the scythe shaped like a dragon's skull and, protruding from the jaw-bones of the skull was a pure-white blade that curved to a tip like the fang of some giant beast. Other than the rather intricate design of the clasp where the scythe-blade was held, Harry saw no real signs of magical craftsmanship and yet, as he looked at the scythe, he couldn't help but put his hand to his heart as he felt a strange warmth rising inside him, the beat of his heart now being matched by an ominous black aura that seemed to beat and pulse around the scythe.
'You…are…worthy,' the voice told him, the beat of the aura now matching Harry's heartbeat perfectly as the display case seemed to crack and splinter, the glass falling to the ground while the scythe remained intact. 'Now…little master; take me…claim me…become me…become the Rider…become the Avenger…become…the Horseman!'
'Horseman?' asked Harry mentally, his eyes wide as he knew of the legend of the beings that had supposedly held the mantle: but it was just a story, wasn't it? A tale used to frighten people? 'How can this…legend help me achieve my revenge?'
'On your own,' the voice told him, 'You will be…powerful…but…when combined with…your Brother and Sister…and your…Chosen One…you will be…immortal! If you desire your vengeance as much as you say, little master, then take me: become me; become the Horseman…the First…become the debt that all men pay.'
'Death,' Harry thought, his eyes now narrowed as he moved towards the scythe, his heartbeat now increasing as did the beat and pulse of the aura around the scythe. 'I'm to become…Death? A Horseman with a Brother and Sister and a Chosen One? Could that be the others?'
His body just seemed content to surprise him as he lifted his hand, a mysterious black rune now being decorated on the back of his hand; glancing to the rune, Harry saw that it was a heptagon, silver in colour, a seven-sided shape with lines that seemed to run from each point on the heptagon to the centre of the shape. Each of the lines was made up of one of three colours: midnight-blue, emerald-green and, finally, blood-red, the topmost line coloured in jet-black.
In the centre of the heptagon, a strange crucifix-like shape was now being engraved into his hand. It looked like a T-bar with an x-shaped cross overlapping the vertical bar on the T-bar: to complete the image, an archaic text was wrapped around the heptagon, the text sealing itself in a jet-black circle so that, to Harry, the strange tattoo now resembled a pentagram of sorts.
What was even more unusual was that, as Harry placed his hand on the handle of the scythe, the text seemed to shimmer until, to Harry, it appeared to be as clear as plain English:
I AM DEATH; THE FIRST RIDER; MASTER OF RAGNAROK; OBEY ME AND FEAR ME FOR YOUR SOULS NOW BELONG TO ME
Harry's hand wrapped around the handle, his eyes now burning with cold, dark fury that seemed intent on giving him what he wished, a part of him noticing that the seal seemed to move upwards until it left his heart and printed itself onto his back, both the seal and the mark within it enlarging in size until it covered the entire area of his spinal regions, the top of the seal just below the nape of his neck while the tip of the crucifix touched the base of his spine, just above his waistline.
Nevertheless, Harry's mind felt clearer than it had been in over a year: yes, this scythe, these new powers, the mysterious Ragnarok, each of these things would give him the means to achieve his revenge and, when he found and bound the other three to his power and his leadership, Harry knew what he would do.
He would show them what true darkness looked like…
At the same time that Harry held the scythe of Death in his hand, his sole decision unknowingly activated a chain reaction that spread across the world, beginning with a mansion located within the realm of Snowdonia where one Neville Longbottom, the son of a family that had once been friends with House Potter, slammed his bedroom door and sagged onto his bed. His reason: he despised the attention and the way that Jason Godric Potter could be so flaming perfect all the time; he could never do wrong, he could never be wrong and, even worse, there were apparently talks that House Longbottom was to become a Guardian House to the brotherhood that had existed between them.
This meant that Neville would become Jason's vassal and have to follow him around making sure that Jason's glowing reputation was kept intact and that there was always a reason if the Golden Boy ever did do anything wrong.
The thought alone just made him sick to his stomach…
Then, without warning, Neville suddenly shot upright, his body heaving as he doubled over, before he released a stream of actual sickness all over his floor, the pool of vomit laced with blood that, for a second, had the boy a little unnerved. Or it would have done had it not been for the way that the blood seemed to mix with the sickness and, in its wake, a strange silvery essence suddenly lifted from within the pool.
At the same time, Neville suddenly cried out as he felt a powerful, searing pain shoot through his stomach, a feeling like he was being branded covering his abdomen. Thinking quickly, which was something that Jackass Jason always said he couldn't do, Neville ripped his shirt off and, staring at a mirror on his wall, his eyes widened as he saw a black seal being formed around the spot where his heart was located. Within the seal, an emerald-green-coloured seven-pointed star touched seven points of the seal and, though he didn't know it himself, Neville then saw the centre of the seal occupied by the same crucifix-like symbol that Harry had held in the centre of his hand, the same text, though worded differently, now wrapping around the seal.
As Neville looked from the seal to the silvery essence that now floated by his head, he reached out with his left hand and, like Harry, the text shimmered until Neville found himself able to read what it said:
I AM PESTILENCE; THE SECOND RIDER: MASTER OF ALUCARD; FLEE FROM THE SICKNESS THAT I BRAND UPON YOUR SOULS
Unlike Harry, though again, Neville didn't know of the First Rider's choosing, Neville glanced to the item in his hand, his eyes widening as he recognised it as an Invisibility Cloak, before he glanced once more to the seven-pointed star, his voice coming back to him as he asked one question:
Luna Lovegood, known to those that chose to put her down for her own difference as Loony, was different to Harry and Neville as she didn't scream or seem curious when the burning touched her on the edge of her left shoulder blade, her symbol being shown within a midnight-blue seven-level spiral. Instead, a smile seemed to cross her face as she whispered, "So Mummy was right; I've finally been chosen…and I see Death has already risen. Wait for me, my Lords and Masters, I shall come."
Her own branding was completed when a black plume of flames lit up her room and, reaching into the flames, Luna gasped once as she felt her body suddenly grow, her mental, physical and magical senses giving her an addition of one year's worth of experience and understanding. It seemed that she was being given an equal standing with her Others, a fact that made her smile as she whispered, "Soon, we will ride out together and you, my Lord Death, will have your revenge."
From within the flames, Luna saw that she held what looked like a black wand that, when measured, came out as thirteen inches; something about the wand held true power and, as she held it, Luna actually felt a ravenous hunger to use this power against those who had shunned her. Namely that psycho-bitch-wannabe known as Ginevra Weasley and her brother, Mr 'I'm-The-Boy-Who-Lived's-Best-Mate' Ronald Weasley: she would leave the so-called Boy-Who-Lived for the fury of the debt that all men pay.
In the meantime, Luna observed her own branded moniker as she read the text within the seal;
I AM FAMINE: THE THIRD RIDER; MISTRESS OF DELILAH; FEED ME YOUR SINS SO I MAY SMITE YOU FOR YOUR GREED
Still smiling, Luna tucked her new wand away and, turning on her heel, she skipped down through her house, her mind already making plans to help her new Lord…
Even if she wasn't meant to know who he was…
Hermione Granger appeared to be just like any other regular girl…but she knew that she wasn't; at nearly ten years old, Hermione knew that she was different, not only in study and appearance to those who taunted her about said traits, but she also knew that she had something others didn't. She had a gift for magical things happening whenever she was angry or scared and, more often than not, Hermione wound up using those gifts on those who called her things like beaver, buck-tooth and a know-it-all.
However, Hermione also knew that she needed to learn more about these gifts so that, in the end, she could do one thing: make everyone who had insulted her or upset her sorry that they'd ever heard the name Hermione Jane Granger. On the other hand, she understood that it was impossible: that no-one would or could help her since there weren't any magically-gifted people near her seemingly-average home in Crawley, but Hermione wasn't one to give up hope.
She understood that, if she had these gifts, then there had to be others in England and maybe in the rest of Britain that did.
This was probably why she only briefly cried out when she felt a painful magic press itself onto her stomach: thankfully, she was alone – her parents were dentists and therefore gave Hermione a key from the moment she turned nine – so, thinking quickly, Hermione ran into her bathroom and, lifting her t-shirt, she revealed her pale stomach, an unusual symbol now appearing on her flesh.
It looked like a targeting range similar to what you would see on an archery range, but this range-like design had seven circles wrapped within an eighth circle that, unlike the blood-red of the seven circles, was as black as night. Finally, within the smallest circle, Hermione saw a crucifix symbol fill the spot that covered her belly button while the black circle, which looked more like a ring in appearance, was filled with a text that Hermione couldn't read.
Or at least until she looked to the shelf in front of her and saw what looked like a silver chain holding a keepsake casing that held the same crucifix symbol that was in the centre of the seven blood-red circles. Like those before her – though she didn't know it yet – Hermione reached out with her hand and picked up the chain, the keepsake falling open to reveal a black, diamond-shaped stone about the size of her largest finger. As the stone fell onto her hand, Hermione gasped as one of the points on the black diamond pricked her flesh, a single drop of blood now falling onto the stone where, like before, the text on the seal changed so Hermione could read it:
I AM WAR: THE FOURTH HORSEMAN; MISTRESS OF DAMIEN: MY HORDES ARE READY FOR THE HUNT FOR YOUR SOULS
Hermione didn't know why, but she suddenly felt very happy and, as she placed the stone back into the keepsake and slipped the chain around her neck, a part of her couldn't help but feel hollow and empty inside.
Almost as though there was a small part of her soul, her essence and her magic that was not yet whole…
Well, there we have it: Chapter 1 of my newest story and, once again, I'd like to thank ADVPhoenix for forcing my inspiration to rear its head – whether or not I'm being sarcastic is up to you ;-)
Anyway, the Horsemen are chosen and the gifts given: what will happen when four become one at Hogwarts?
Also, will Harry be able to restrain himself from bringing Hell itself onto the family that left him alone at a very familiar orphanage?
Keep Reading to Find Out…
Next Chapter: Ragnarok, Alucard, Delilah and Damien are revealed and the Horsemen acknowledge each other's presence; plus, Hogwarts, a Sorting and a Family Reunion that doesn't last very long;
Please Read and Review
AN: I should point out – though it will be explained – that the 'Seals' are only noticeable by the Horsemen and the Powers that they invoke: to everyone else, they're invisible: