Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, I'm just using the characters for my own fun.

Summary: Thinking about what happens after you die is something people tend to do, but I don't think that they would believe this to be the truth. And yet...

Another new story, one that I've only worked on the first chapter for, though I know somewhat of what I want to do with the next chapter. This idea came to mind after reading a fic where Ginny ends up going to Hell when she dies. It got me wondering about what some of the other characters reactions would be like to discover why then end up where they do. Now, because I know that everyone has a different religion, I'm not going to have this story make the afterlife be solely one religion. There is no way that I will do that. Instead, well, you'll see when you read this chapter.

Now, if I get good feedback on the story, then I will be doing my best to continue it, though I want it known now that the chapter after this one will be short, as the reasoning is because all the chapters pretty much start out in the same way, and, therefore, don't need to be repeated over and over again.

I will be doing canon to a point - my interpretations of certain canon events will probably be a bit different to others, and, in certain cases, some of the characters only have limited knowledge about themselves, so a lot of artistic license will be used concerning them. All characters will mostly be how they are represented in the actual canon series to the best of my abilities, and all situations will be canon. Dates of birth and death will be subjective in certain cases - mostly, those where the information is not given outside of Pottermore, which I do not want to go on to search.

All chapters will focus on one person - the one whose death is being followed - and will be done in the order they died in canon (or, rather, actually passed on, as Dumbledore did hang around for a while after his death). Of course, I will also being doing chapters for some of the characters that are still alive in the Crapilogue, which will be one of the few things I'll have license to decide the order of; I already have ideas on how certain characters die, as well as the order in which they do.

Anyway, I think that's it for notes that might be needed to be known, so here's the first chapter.

Merope Gaunt

Merope Gaunt blinked as she looked around herself. Where am I she wondered, taking in what she could see. It was some sort of grey scaled area, with several other people around. She thought about asking one of them what was going on, but didn't, having the feeling that it wouldn't be a good idea. Instead, as she took in everything. She started walking forward. Suddenly, she came to a stop. Three buildings had appeared. All were huge, one a green color, another other purple, and the third blue and pink. Signs hung over the doors, signs that had several languages on it, including, to her surprise, some sort of snake that was hissing out the same word over and over again, though the word was different for each building. The green building had the snake hissing out for men to go to, the blue and pink having the word children, while the purple building had the word women being said.

Realization struck her as she realized what the buildings were meant to be. She knew that she had died – she hadn't, after all, woken up around the staff of the orphanage she'd gone to, to deliver her baby. However, she hadn't known what it would be like – the after life, that is. It appeared that she was learning about it, though. She headed to the building that called for women, other female's following her. Opening the door, she paused when she saw what it looked like.

On the inside, the walls were a soft crème color. There were also a line of women, twisting this way an that way, and moving forward as they heard someone shout out "Next." Confusion ran through her. What was all this about?

Words floated above one end of the line, and, upon reading them, Merope slunk off to stand behind the last person standing in the line. Too her surprise, the line seemed to move fairly quickly, a constant stream of "Next. Next. Next." in the air, several different tones of voice. Soon, she was ushered in front of a counter, where another woman sat behind it. Unlike those in the line with her, this woman was extremely pale, almost toned blue from the paleness. Her hair was dark black, with blue highlights throughout it and styled in a professional bun, bangs swept fashionably to the side. Show wore a loose purple blouse with ruffles around the neckline and wrists, which also led down the front as well. A purple pencil skirt and heels finished the look.

Merope, however, was stunned when the woman looked at at her. Her make-up, for the most part, was modest, save for her eyes, which were outlined in metalic blue eyeliner. It did it's purpose, bringing out the vivid purple orbs even more, despite the lack of need for it, for the orbs were purple all the way, no other color besides that.

"Name?" the woman asked her in a bone chilling voice, ignoring how she gaped at her. Merope's mouth flapped for a few moments, before what the woman wanted filtered through her head

"Um, Riddle. Merope Riddle," she said. The woman, looked down, her bone like fingers making clacking noise as they hit some sort of board in front of her. She frowned.

"Is Riddle your maiden name?" the woman asked.

"N..no. My maiden name is Guant," Merope said.

"That explains it, then," the woman muttered. More clacking noise followed this, before the woman opened something on her left and pulled out a strange paper, which she placed right in front of her. She looked at the strange paper while grabbing a long, kind of thin black object.

"Merope Riddle, neé Guant, born October 15th, 1904, correct?" the woman said. Merope nodded.

"Died December 31st, 1926," the woman muttered. "Which makes you..." She stopped talking, making the motion of writing on the strange paper with the black object – Merope was surprised to see ink appearing as she wrote – before opening something on her right, placing the paper within it. She closed the drawer before looking back at Merope.

"Head to the right, through the second door labeled with a 'Two'," the woman said, pointing in the direction that Merope had noticed everyone seemed to go towards. "Oh, and, just so you know, when asked for your name, you always tell them what your maiden name is. You're married name is not really needed."

"Thank you," Merope said, rather eager to be away from the woman's blue stare. She followed several others as the woman she's talk to called out "Next," from behind her. Entering a thin hallway, she saw doors lining only one of the walls, the other sporting some strange pictures. Looking at the first door, she saw hat it sported a 1. Going down to the next one, the one she wanted, she saw that it had a 2 on it, just as the woman had said it would.

Opening and going through it, she wasn't too surprised to see another long line in front of her, and took in the room as she waited for her turn. The walls of this room were of a slightly darker crème color, and held pictures of paired items all over. In fact, everything in this room was separated by the fact that it was set in pairs. "Next, next, next," rang through the room as Merope finished her looking around. Now, she thought about what it was that the woman had said. Not the information about how to say her name, but what she said after asking about her date of birth.

Just as Merope had figured, she had indeed died. Still, that didn't explain anything about where she was right now. She would have thought that she'd be sent to the afterlife, not some strange building place.

"Next," came another woman's voice, startling her out of her thoughts. Merope was slightly startled to see that it was her turn again already – whoever these people were, they sure worked fast. Her feet took her to where she needed to go, almost as though she had been paying attention. She saw that this woman almost looked like the other one, though her hair was red rather than blue-black. She did have same the creepy purple orbs for eyes that the other one had had as well.

"Name," the woman said.

"Merope Guant," Merope stated, remembering what the other woman had said. This one nodded her head, standing up and heading to a set of strange drawers that covered almost all of the wall behind the counters. She watched at the woman bend, opening on of the drawers to show off more of that strange paper, which she then shuffled through – while waiting, she noticed that the other women who manned the counters were doing the same thing. It didn't seem to take the woman long to find what she was looking for, and Merope saw her walk back over to her after closing the strange drawers. She was carry one of the strange papers in her hands.

"To the left, through the third door," the woman stated, pointing in the direction needed as her other hand opened a drawer to her left, placing the paper in it before closing it. Merope found it puzzling over how she was dismissed, but didn't think anymore on it as she headed in the direction need. She was slightly surprised when she saw that the door she was to go thorugh, the third one, had a 2 on it again, but didn't think much on it.

The line within, while still long, was also kind of short compared to the previous to lines, and she made it through it much more quickly than before. She wasn't so surprised to see another purple orb-eyed female at the counter when she was called up.

Merope told this woman her name, just as she had the other ones.

"Twelfth door to the right, reads DEC on it," the woman said, once she had the strange paper – which Merope was beginning to suspect was the very same one that he first two women had had – in her hands. Merope moved out of the way as the woman called for the next person in the line, heading to the hallway on the right. This walk to the next door was quite a bit longer, as it was not only further down, but these doors were spaced further from each other than others. However, she finally made it to the twelve – and final, apparently – door.

The room she walked into was different, much more different than the other ones. For one, it was small, much smaller than any of the other ones – there wasn't enough room for more than six people, tops. Secondly, it was pretty empty, save for one woman, and only had one door from what she could see. The door was strange as well – it was blank, with a small window near the top, a window that some strange sound was coming from.

"You're Merope Guant, right?" the woman said. She nodded her head, and heard the strange sound increase for a moment before it stopped. Merope was amazed to see that the small window now sported a number, 31, in it.

"Through the door, please," the woman stated, and Merope automatically did as direction, appearing back in a room that, while still smaller than before, was bigger than the one she'd just left and colored much like the first three rooms had been. The line here was short, as well, but it took a few minutes for Merope to reach the single counter in the room.

"To the left," the woman sitting there said, after learning of her name. Merope did as she was told, noting that the strange paper was placed in a drawer to the person's left before she called the next person forward.

Merope was surprised when she entered this room. It, unlike the previous one, looked much like a a living area of a wealthy person's home. It had cozy seats all over, with tables of reading material dotted here and there. The only thing that marked the fact that it wasn't a living area was the counter at the end, which had some sort of covering to it. A large door stood next to it. Merope walked over to the counter, just knowing that it was what she was supposed to do, and saw the strange covering slide to the side.

"Name?" the woman asked who had just been revealed asked.

"Merope Guant," she stated. Clacking noise were made by her fingers and she moved them on the same strange board that the first woman Merope had met had also had. She watched as this woman stared at a strange box before grabbing the sheet of paper that had followed Merope up to this point – albeit in a slightly different manner – and used another thin, black object to write some things down on it. Then, she grabbed a small rectangular piece of blank strange paper, and held it up to a strange machine that flashed red for a moment.

The woman then handed the rectangular piece of paper to Merope.

"Keep a hold of this. When the number on it is called, you may go through the door. Until then, please have a seat," the woman said, closing the covering once she was finished.

Merope did as instructed, looking down at the paper to see a large three and five on it. She looked around the room, seeing quite a few people there, though not so many as to explain the number on her paper. Still, she shrugged, finding a slightly secluded empty seat, and grabbed one of the books on the table, reading as people came and went. It was once she'd hit about halfway through the book she was reading that her number was called. Standing, she walked through the door, which easily opened for her.

There was a desk next to the door, another of those strange boxes and boards on it.

"Number Thirty-five," the woman sitting there asked, holding her hand out. Merope handed her the paper, which seemed to be what she wanted, as she gave an affirmative sound.

"You want the door labeled seven. Worker's name is Yuna," the woman said, pointing down the hall, which was dotted with indents on both sides of the hall. Taking a deep breath, Merope walked down the hall, her eyes flicking from side to side, noticing that the doors had numbers as some sort of tag with words on it in the middle. Finding door seven, she realized that the tag bore the words B. Yuna on it, realizing that there had been a reason why the 'worker's' – as the strange woman had called them – name had been told to her.

She was unsure if she should knock or not, but eventually did, not wanting to be rude.

"Enter," came a voice from within, and she opened the door to spot a woman that was much like the previous ones. There was a different, though – whereas the others held their vivid purple orb eyes, she did not. Her eyes held other color over just purple, and looked very much like a human eye. They, however, still discerning, for, instead of an iris of color being surrounded by white, they were an iris of white being surrounded by purple.. It didn't help that the pupil – which was normally black – was also purple.

"Merope Riddle, nee Gaunt?" the woman asked, and Merope nodded. "Please sit."

Merope took a seat, while the woman grabbed one of those strange folded things from her desk, opening it up to show that it was filled with papers.

"You were born August fifth, correct?" the woman asked.

"Yes," Merope answered. The woman, who Merope figured to be Yuna, continued asking her questions, many of them slight repeats of those previously asked to her. Once they were done, the woman flipped through the strange pieces of paper in the folder, eventually finding what she was looking as she pulled it out and set it up top. Her eyes scanned the paper for a moment, and then she whistled.

"I take it you didn't bother to think about what the effects of using a love potion on your husband would have," Yuna stated, her eyes wide as she read the report. Merope started, having not expected that, but, before she could say anything, Yuna continued.

"It seems that, in your decision to use love potions and then stop, you've caused a lasting effect, one that's not a good thing, especially based on this report."

"Why?" Merope asked.

"Your charming son," Yuna answered. "Apparently, with the fact that you've chosen to die instead of stay, and not use a longer lasting potion on your husband meant that your son's life was left without any good influences, which could have helped him. As it is, he will chose to go down a path that will, quite frankly, ruin the lives of millions of people.

"Due to the fact that you bore him, as well as your use of love potions, you are being assigned to level seven, one of the lower levels," Yuna continued, standing up. And pointing to another door that was behind Merope, which she hadn't noticed before. Her eyes furrowed – it was just an inch away from the other one, but there hadn't been any signs of it from the outside.

"Just go through that door, then head through the door on the right, and inform the baliff there what level you need. She'll escort you where you need to go," Yuna finished, knowing why Merope was surprised but not saying anything. Merope stood up herself, turning to go through the door when a question that had begin to nag her when she heard what her son would do just begged to be asked, and she turned.

"What is it that my son does that ruins so many lives?" she asked.

"He becomes the worse dark lord in Britain," Yuna answered, knowing that there was no harm in doing so. It wasn't like Merope could do anything about it, plus Yuna had the feeling that Merope wouldn't be all that bothered by his actions, at least, not until she learned what he did to her husband. Merope might love her son to the point of not caring whom he hurt, but there was one whom Merope loved even more than him – the reason why she had died, in fact, was because the one she really loved had left her.

"He kills millions of people, tries to enslave most of the magical community, hates you because you were weak and died (his words, in a nutshell), and...oh, yeah, frames others for several murders he himself actually commits, these murders being an older witch he visited often, the proprietor of the orphanage he lived at, and...his father and grandparents, once he discovered who they were."

Merope gasped at hearing the last bit, just as Yuna had known she would. The idea of the man she loved being killing by her son hurt her, and she shook her head.

"No," Merope said. "No, you can't be telling the truth. You're lying."

"We can't lie here," Yuna told her coldly. "Besides, why should we. Truth hurts more than lies do, and, for birthing that monster and being a worthless weakling that you couldn't even attempt to live longer than giving him a name, you deserve all the hurt you can get. Now, get out of my office, and enjoy your new accommodations."

A powerful wind seemed to blow Merope out through the door, causing her to land on her arse as it shut right in front of her. She slowly stood up, stomach queasy.

"What level were you told to go to?" came a monotonic voice to her right. She looked to see a hooded being standing right next to her, shadows completely obscuring it's face from her, while the voice hid any identity of being male or female from her. Merope swallowed, feeling thoroughly intimidated by this being. It took her a few minutes to both comprehend the question being asked, as well as remember what the woman in the previous room had said concerning that. It wasn't easy, though, for her mind couldn't get over the fact that her son had apparently killed her husband. Not that she believed it, no matter what she was told.

"Level seven," Merope said, once she could remember.

"Ah, a lower level entry," the hooded being said,walking forward. It grabbed her arm, puling her along behind it until it reached an opening further down the hallway. Merope shivered, feeling nothing but cold air coming from the opening. She did not want to go there, but was given no choice as she was pushed through it, her feet carrying her down the long, cold and dank passageway, until it rounded out into an open area, with many people in the room.

She wondered around the room, when something seemed to catch her attention. It looked almost like a portrait, but behind glass, and not painted like portraits were. She could see that it was moving. Captivated by whatever it was, she walked closer, her eyes widening as she saw who it was within. Her husband, Tom, was who she saw. He was sitting down to dinner, discussing something with his parents.

She watched, eyes never leaving her husband's, when he suddenly heard something, standing up just as his mother, who's mouth was moving as if she was yelling, a scowl forming on her face when nothing seemed to happen. The woman finally looked over to Tom, made a motion with her hand that had Tom sneering but walking towards the front of the house, to the door. She could be bothered to stifle the gasp that left her when she saw an almost carbon copy of her husband standing at the door. She smiled, taking in her sight of her son. Just as she had wished, he looked a lot like his father, though there was a few features of herself within him, along with her father.

She watched, hungrily, as they talked. Unable to see her husband's face, but able to see her son's, she could tell that the woman from before was wrong. They were obviously getting along well together. At least, that's what she thought until her son pulled a wand at her husband, and shot out a spell at him. She watched with horror as her son led her husband and is family into another room, where he use several spells that obviously had the three screaming in pain. She was disgusted over some of the things he did, right up until he used a special curse that had a green light shoot out from the wand he had in his hands, a curse he used three times. Ending the lives of all three as he did so.

The minute she saw that happen, she turned away, a sob breaking free from her throat. Somehow, she knew that what she'd seen wasn't fake – it was something that had actually happened, maybe not right that moment, but it would happen, later in life – based on how he looked, her son had to at least be fifteen, sixteen at most. She understood that her husband had less than two decades to live before he was killed.

And it was all her fault, not for potioning him up as she had, but for not taking it off until the recommended five years had passed, which was when the potion would become self-sustaining.

"Oh, you're new," came a voice to the right of her, where another woman stood. This one looked more human than the ones before, though with a worn look about her. She was stick thin all the way around, her cloths much like a cloth bag on her bony frame. Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes showed a haunting look about her, and, when she glanced towards the strange portrait in which Merope just saw her husband killed in, she flinched before looking quickly away.

"I'm Amy," the woman said. "I'll help you get used to what it's like being down here."

"What is this place down here? And why..." Merope started to ask.

"I liken this to one of the levels of Hell so spoken about in the Mundane world," Amy said. "Truthfully, though, this is just one of the two levels that those who use love potions on someone else to become their significant other come to. This one is where the results of such acts tend to have unintended consequences, whether we're aware of them, there when it happens, or not aware at all, and not even there when it happens. The other level is slightly higher above us, though still probably not a nice place, since I doubt that messing with the free will of people is considered to be a good thing. From what I know of the other level, it's only difference from this one is that those on that level don't have all that bad of unintended consequences as we do here."

Amy then went on to explain how the portraits – or mirrors, as she called them – worked, and explained that the best way to ignore them was not to look at them as she led Merope to further into her new home.

All right, there you go. Did you like it?

Yes, as you can see, the beginning of the after life is basically waiting in lines to be directed to a social worker, whose main job is to inform you of what level you're to go to. And, before it's asked, this does not refer to Hell all the way there - the levels represent both heaven and hell, each level being for different people, with the further you go down being the worse they get, as well as the less privileges you are given. This will become clearer if the story progresses.

Did you like my portrayal of Merope Gaunt? I decided to make her a bit more obsessed with Riddle senior, to the point that a part of her reasoning for dying is because of him, as well as her only caring about him to the point that she could care less about her son in any way, shape, or form. The only thing she sees wrong with what her son does is him killing his father. Nothing else he does rings as wrong to her.

As for her age and the year she dies, well, that's mostly from what little bit of information given about Tom Riddle is - it's mentioned in the sixth book, when Dumbledore first goes to inform Riddle about what he is, that his mother gave birth to him on New Years Eve and died not long after naming him, only the year is missing, so I used some of the hints of when Tom Riddle was at school given in Chamber of Secrets to help me decide on the year Merope died - in that book, it's mentioned that the chapter was opened around fifty years before, while it's also mentioned that Riddle is in his fifth year when he first opens it, so those were my points to figuring out the year of her death.

And, for the year of her birth, well, I got the feeling, when reading the sixth book, that she was older than most fanfics have her be when she gets marries Riddle, and that the only reason why she's still at home is because her father refused to let her leave when she came of age. So, in my story, she dies, while still a bit young, not as young as others tend to have her die at.

Anyway, I really hope that you enjoyed the chapter.

Please, please, please review if you did, or if you have a question, or if you think I really should continue the story.

Strange Hearts