Long live Zombieboy! Oh, wait...
Disclaimer: I own nothing. JK Rowling owns all. Don't we all wish we were her?
Summary: The summer after 'Order of the Phoenix', Harry is depressed and angry. And he starts thinking. Is death really irreversible?
After disappearing for a year, Harry has returned, wearing the pins that identify him as a Necromancer. It's time to get ready for the war with Voldemort.
Spoilers for: Books 1 to 5. (HBP never happened. Really.)
Life or Death?
Imagine a place made of shadows and cold. An entire world frozen in time, where stone forests grow and a silver river curls around the lifeless trees. Its water sparkles, yet it is clear enough to see the round stones at its stream bed. Stones, all oddly resembling eachother in shape, with small holes... The water calls to the travellers, urging them to drink and forget. To drink and continue their travels in eternity, or perhaps to be reborn...
Imagine the source of this stream, a silent pool of silver magic. A window to the past and future of the world, of any world.
Now, imagine a person standing in the water, calling ripples into being.
And someone else, saying: "Aw, com'on! You can't be serious!"
The being in the pool turns around, grinning. Not like it has any choice in this, though. "You had your chance. You knew what would happen when you faced your nemesis."
"It's not fair. Fate said I would be protected for one more Killing Curse! I shouldn't be here."
"That one Killing Curse you're referring to was the one you recieved before you first came here. The second one of your existence."
"That's not the way I understood it."
"Then you understood wrong."
The young man sighs. "Please. I can't just let Voldemort take over. There's got to be something I can do to fix this."
"Are you sure?" The young man blushes a bit, embarrassed. "Sorry. I don't mean to sound so accusing. But please, my Lord Death, I cannot abandon my friends like this. They need me."
"That is true."
"Then why can't you let me return to life? Just for awhile, to set things right?"
Death seems to consider his words. "If I do this for you, My Necromancer, other souls would demand the same. Thus I cannot let you leave."
"I thought you favored your Servants?"
"I do. You have returned to life two times."
"As a baby and then a year ago, I know. Would it be such a problem to make it three times?" He is grasping at straws and he knows it. But how can he give up?
The water is calling him too, whispering of reincarnation, or eternal peace. To be reunited with his family... The silver ripples promise this, and more...
And leave his otherfamily to die in Voldemort's hands.
"Can't we make some kind of deal?"
That catches Death's attention. "What kind of deal do you propose?"
"I have already promised to free the Dementors. Send me back, and I'll fulfill my vow." He clasps his hands tightly, hoping, praying...
The silence seems to go on forever, even here, where time does not exist.
Hogsmeade was in ruins. The Death Eaters had left at dawn, taking their crows and other monsters with them. The streets that should be filled with happy children on a shopping trip were instead full of bodies. Most of the casualties were on the villager's side, but Hogwarts had some losses too.
Professor Sinistra had taken a nasty curse to the chest, dying of heart failure.
Filch had died, though no one knew why he hadn't just remained at Hogwarts, since he'd been a Squib. He hadn't died in vain, though: his attack with cleaning products had blinded many a Death eater, and their awful chemical smells had chased away a lot of the crows.
There was Emmeline Vance, who had fought bravely to protect the house of one of the villagers.
And Harry Potter. Their young Necromancer, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One.
They'd found him buried beneath the corpses of Death Eaters and crows, as dead as they were. No one had wanted to believe it, yet everyone knew it to be true. His zombies had fallen at the moment of his decease, after all. Without Harry's power as an anchor, the ghosts they housed couldn't remain any longer.
The bodies would have to be buried soon. Already the Thestrals of the Forbidden Forest were attracted by the smell - wards had to be put up to avoid the flying horses from ripping apart the dead.
Many wizards Apparated In, to pick up fallen family members and give them a decent burial. But there were always those who didn't have anyone to bury them.
Filch got a short, quiet funeral, attended by Dumbledore and - suprisingly - the entire staff, and most of the student body of Hogwarts. Nobody had liked Filch when he'd been alive. Now the rumour of his bravery had gone around, and many wanted to say goodbye.
Now they were planning Harry's funeral. The Ministry insisted there'd be reporters present, and officials, and the rewarding of an posthumously Order of Merlin, Second Class. Everyone who'd known Harry protested against this: they knew he would have wanted a quiet, private service. Even without Fudge, the Ministry could be a real pain in the nether regions.
Scrimgour said a public funeral would benefit the people, giving them the opportunity to mourn their fallen hero. Sirius asked where these people had been when they were battling - they hadn't done anything to help Harry, had they!? Their quarreling was loud enough to raise the dead.
In this case, litterally. Both men stopped yelling at eachother when the subject of their fight sat up in his coffin, yawning.
"Good morning everyone. Hm. I didn't know Hogwarts had a chapel?"
"Urk...You're suffocating me, Sirius!"
"Sorry." His Godfather apologized, but didn't let go of him. Harry was a bit embarrassed to find Sirius was sobbing on his shoulder. He ackwardly patted the man. "I'm fine, Sirius. Honestly. A bit thirsty maybe, but that's all."
Sirius reacted immediatly. "I'll get you some water,"he said.
Harry waited a moment, but Sirius didn't let go. "Er, Sirius? I won't disappear, you know."
Scrimgeour came to stand next to Harry's coffin. Now the shock had worn off for him, he was frowning, apparently displeased.
"You should worry about how the public will react to this," he murmured. "Dark Arts and Necromancy was bad enough, but actually becoming alive again... There was enough trouble when you brought back the Weasley boys."
Sirius was too caught up in his feelings to hear the new Minister's remark. Harry did hear it, and he couldn't care less about it."Frankly, sir, I don't care about the public opinion. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a job to do."
He managed to worm his way out of Sirius' embrace, and stepped out of his coffin. While he did so, Minister Scrimgeour's brows shot up in surprise. "Mr Potter, what have you done?What kind of nefarious Immortality rituals could have an effect like this?"
Harry looked at him, wondering why the man was so unsettled. The movement brought the answer: his soul was still a millisecond faster than his mortal body. To the human eye it looked quite uncanny.
"Nothing more than a deal with Death," he answered honestly. "I have to go now. Don't forget to cancel the burial."
The people in the hallway who saw Harry were more than a bit spooked, but no more so than his friends, who gave him a tearful welcome.
Madame Pomphrey insisted on a complete physical examination, which Harry grudgingly submitted to. She came soon to a disquieting conclusion.
"Mr Potter... How do you feel?"
He pondered the question for a moment. "Excellent, actually. Energized."
"Not tired at all?"
"No, more the reverse, actually. Why? Is there something wrong?"
The nurse was quiet. Finally: "Everything is. Get no readings on your vital sings, like pulse, breathing, brain activity... Anything. For all medical purposes, you are dead." She took a deep breath. "And et you don't have the same magical residue as a corpse. You appear to be frozen, for lack of a better word, in an in-between state, which your magic is maintaining."
Harry groaned. "Great. Just bloody wonderful. There goes my last chance at a normal life when this is over. Before you know it, the Daily Prophet will be calling me 'Zombie-Boy' in their headlines."
"I'm glad I'm not you, mate," Ron sympathized.
"Gee, Ron, thanks."
A/N: Arather short and boring chapter, but I didn't want to leave you with that cliffhanger for the next three weeks, because I'm slow with updating. Next chapter: Angels of Death.