Spread your wings.
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 aNecromancer. It's time to get ready for the war with Voldemort.
Spoilers for: Books 1 to 5. (HBP never happened. Really.)
Angels of Death
His Master was in a good mood.
This alone was extraordinary enough to make Wormtail worry. People tended to suffer in more creative ways when his Master was in agood mood.
Lord Voldemort was calmly drawing symbols on the dungeon floor. He was using his wand to trace burning lines on the stone, but on some places he switched to using his own blood.
Which worried Wormtail even more. In all his years of service to the Dark Lord, he'd never seen him doing this. Usually someone else's blood was used, with or without their cooperation.
The other thing what made Wormtail uneasy was the fact that he was alone with his Master. The drawings on the floor could be part of aritual to summon demons. Demons tended to demand sacrifices.
His Master seemed to be finished: he righted his back, and surveyed the symbols with proud red eyes. "What do you think, Wormtail?" he hissed.
Wormtail shuddered. His Master never truly asked his opinion - what should he say? "It- it is impressive, My Lord."
Lord Voldemort laughed coldly at this. "It is, though of course a fool like you would never recognize its significance." He gestured to his creation. "This, Wormtail, is what will enable me to harness the powers of Necromancy. Do you know, rat, what made the ancient Necromancers so terrifying to ordinary wizards?"
Wormtail shook his head. "N-no, My Lord."
A lazy smile spread on Voldemort's pale face. "I didn't think you would. They were feared, Wormtail, because they couldn't be killed. It was in their ability to make a deal with Death, so they could return and live forever. They are Death's favored."
Then why weren't there any Necromancers around any more, except for the Potter boy? Wormtail wondered. If they were immortal, were had they gone?
Lord Voldemort hissed, displeased. "Do you doubt my words? Do not forget I read your mind, Wormtail. Your pitiful defences are useless against me. Crucio."
When Wormtail stopped screaming, Voldemort seemed to be in a calmer mood. "They gave up immortality because they were weak. Like you, Wormtail. They had all this power, and gave it up for the sake of their loved ones." He spat those words out, as if they burned his tongue. "But I shall not be weak."
He went to stand in the middle of the symbols, and spread his arms. "Bring me the potion, Wormtail."
As Wormtail obeyed, his Master laughed again. "It is most amusing the key to Immortality should lie in the blood of my enemy, Harry Potter. Blood I have taken from him, now flowing in my veins. The blood of aNecromancer." A short pause. "It was simply meant to be."
"Would you stop pestering me? No, I'm not dead. Just because I don't breathe and have no pulse doesn't mean I'm dead. Besides, why are you so interested? Are you discriminating against zombies?"
The Fat Friar quickly excused himself and floathed away, eager to escape Harry's annoyed look. Harry had a reason to be annoyed. It weren't only the ghosts who kept bothering him. He'd recieved a lot of mail in the past few days, most of them expressing how glad they were about him still being alive. If they only knew exactly how 'alive' he was... And the other students had been avoiding him too. He couldn't really blame them: he knew he was a creepy sight, with his soul moving before he did. But it still would have been nice if everybody understood that he wasn't dead, and he wasn't undead either. Just... in-between.
"I'm glad you're accompanying me, sir," he said to Headmaster Dumbledore, who was walking beside him. "Perhaps you'll keep the reporters away for a little while."
His plan was easy: go to the Ministry, convince them to give up the Veil, bring the Veil to Azkaban, and let the Dementors go. See?Easy.
If only it could be as easy in reality.
He just knewthe Ministry wouldn't want to give up the Veil. And of course there would be reporters, as soon as he left the sanctuary of Hogwarts. Reporters who would follow his every move, who'd remark on his odd appearance, who'd speculate on his motivation for coming to the Ministry. And there would be at least one who would think he was there to bring down the Ministry and become the next Dark Lord. There always was.
As it turned out, Dumbledore's presence didn't keep the reporters away. Harry's own freakishness did that. When they entered the Atrium, it had been filled with reporters: after a few angry glances from Harry, they had disappeared faster than you could say 'Quidditch'.
Scrimgeour, who had been elected after Fudge got de-souled, was already expecting them: this was obvious from the amount of Aurors guarding them the moment they'd entered the Ministry. There were six of them, all muscled and with their wands and eyes trained on Harry.
"Oh my, are you Mr Cyclopine? I nearly didn't recognize you! Congratulations on making it as an Auror. You had a nice number of OWL's in your sixth year, if I'm not mistaken," Dumbledore pleasantly greeted one of them. The Auror blushed a bit, and nodded. "Ten, sir."
Dumbledore and Harry reached the Minister's office. Three Aurors squeezed into the doorway before the other three let Harry and Dumbledore go inside, after which they too followed.
Scrimgeour wasn't happy to see them. "Why this pleasant surprise?" he greeted them, his voice dry. "Dumbledore," he shook the Headmaster's hand. "Mr. Potter." Scrimgeour didn't even hesistate before also shaking Harry's hand. "Take a seat."
They did so. Harry would have taken a deep breath, but since he didn't beathe anymore, he started without it: "Minister, I need the Veil."
"You don't beat around the bushes," Scrimgeour remarked. "The Veil is a dangerous, ancient artifact. Why should I give it to you?"
"Because I know who it belongs to."
Scrimgeour raised a brow. "And who would that be?"
Harry ignored that question. "You use it to control the Dementors, don't you?"
"This information is not open to the regular public, but yes, we do. What of it?"
"I am the only one here who understands the true nature of the Veil. It was stolen from the Dementors, and is forever linked to them. They must get it back."
Scrimgeour snorted. "What a foolish idea! We wouldn't be able to control them anymore! Why would it be good to unleash those monsters? They'd Kiss everyone they saw. Not everyone knows the Patronus Charm. Do you want so many deaths on your conscience, Mr Potter?"
Dumbledore cleared his throat. He'd been following the discussion closely, but thought it better to let Harry work it out for himself. However, now was time to act. "We are not sure how the Dementors wil react," he reminded Scrimgeour. "If they prove to be harmful, we can take the Veil back, Ibelieve. The question is, how many death's will surely happen if Voldemort wins?"
"That has nothing to do with -"
"Yes, it does. It has all to do with this. Minister, you know Harry died. Of course there would be a price for his return. If you don't give the Veil to the Dementors, Death shall take him again. That would leave us without anyone to oppose Voldemort."
"There are plenty of people who oppose him -"
"And only Harry fits the Prophecy."
Harry couldn't help a short laugh. "Neither can live while the other survives. It has become quite literal, don't you think?"
Scrimgeour was not amused. "So what you're saying, Dumbledore, is that I get to choose between giving up the Veil, possibly allowing the Dementors to make many victims, or letting Voldemort win."
"True. It's your choice."
Scrimgeour sneered. "You meddling old man. I will need to speak to the Department Heads about this."
Three days later, the Veil was delivered to Hogwarts. The stone archway had been carefully transported from its place in the Departement of Mysteries, and now it stood on Hogwarts' lawn, with several Unspeakables, professors and curious students staring at it.
"How do you propose we bring this to Azkaban, Harry?"Dumbledore asked, with an uneasy glance at the fluttering cloth.
Harry closed his eyes. The voices from behind the Veil called for him, but that wasn't the only thing he noticed...
"We won't have to. They're coming."
Dumbledore nodded slowly, and ordered the faculty members present to take the students inside. He gripped his wand.
Harry noticed. "Don't use the Patronus. Please, Professor. Trust me."
Dumbledore paused for a moment, then nodded again. "I do, Harry. I truly believe I do."
The light of the sun seemed to become weaker, more diffused, until Hogwarts' grounds appeared grey. A horrifying coldness was nearing, mist in its wake.
The Unspeakables huddled together, each brandishing their wands. Dumbledore spoke to them.
Harry couldn't pay attention to them. He was solely focused on the approaching grey shapes. His magic responded to theirs, making it difficult to keep his head clear.
The Dementors slowed in front of Harry. The weak sunlight enhanced their ugliness, the rotten flesh, the eyeless faces. There were so many of them... Harry hadn't realized so many existed.
The tallest one stepped towards the young Necromancer.
One of the Unspeakables lost his nerve. "Expecto-"Before he could finish the spell, a curse had left Harry's lips and the man fell in a Full Body-Bind.
Harry put away his wand, and bowed for the first Dementor. "By dust and shadow I greet you, Your Majesty."
To his surprise, the Dementor bowed back. Childe Necromancer, a Childe no more. We greet you, He-Who-Walks-In-Death.
Harry swallowed at the title. Well, technically it was true. He was dead, and he walked around. Yet the way the Dementor said it gave it another meaning, something... else.
Also, it reminded him a bit of silly titles like'You-Know-Who', and 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named'.
"I swore by ash and wave to return the Veil to you,"he spoke. "And this I do now, without requiring anything else from you."
The Queen of the Dementors paused. Why? It asked. Why now, when you could force us into aiding your battle against the Red Serpent?
"I would never have forced your cooperation. I believe in free will. But yes, Your Majesty, I would have waited until after the battle, for this is a busy time for warriors." Harry smiled faintly. "This is the doing of the Master of us all. He wishes for you to return to his side."
There was a movement in the ranks of the Dementors, aripple of something - excitement? Was that even possible?
The Master wished for us? You speak the truth. It sounded almost surprised. Then we are free at last.
Harry gestured towards the Veil. "It is yours."
The Dementor Queen turned to one of its brethen. Go, it urged. Some are born in this foul prison, unaware of our former glory. Now this glory can be reattained. Go, all of you, and be released.
For a moment, nothing happened. The world held its breath.
One of the Dementors floathed towards the Veil, and went through it.
What emerged at the other side of the archway wasn't the deformed, disgusting thing that had entered: no, it was something faint and airy, a beautiful creature of light and dust and shadow, with slender, transparant wings that beat in the same wind that made the cloth of the Veil flutter. It glowed and sparkled in the air, showering the world with a feeling of peace and calm. Then it took off into the sky. For a moment it was visible as a ray of sunlight; then it winked out of existence.
Harry felt wetness on his face, and realized he was crying.
The Dementors made a line in front of the Veil, and each of the foul creatures was transformed into their true, original form, the one they'd had before wizardkind bound them with the Veil. They became angels, the Angels of Death, whose job it was to guide the restless souls to their proper place in afterlife. If wizards had never bound them, no ghosts would exist, no poltergeists.
After what seemed like an eternity, and still was too soon for something so beautiful to end, all the Dementors had passed the Veil. Well, almost all.
The Queen of the Dementors turned to Harry. You could join us, Master Necromancer.
Harry looked at the Veil. He smiled sadly. "I know."
The last Dementor inclined its head - then it, too, stepped through the Veil, and became wind and light.
"Well, that was it then." Harry said softly, turning to the amazed Unspeakables, the solemn Dumbledore. "They're free again."
As if those words were a cue, the Veil started to crumple. In moments it was nothing more than dust.