Chapter One: Death's Reprieve
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or affiliated characters, places, and things. They all belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliated companies. This particular plot is mine however. And to make it seem more cohesive to the original stories I am using some of the lines from them, but they are not my material. They came for the excellent mind of their owner. There are lines from Goblet of Fire in here. I will not treat them any different than a normal line of text. If you find this taboo: I'm sorry.
A/N: Okay I know this is like the sixth story that I've got up, but this challenge is bugging me! This is both in response to a Challenge offered to me by Valdiusmacto, and inspired by a story I was working on with NashaylaPaige. This starts in Goblet of Fire. Tell me if it is a good start or not. If anyone wants to use this they can. Reviews feed my soul, so feed me readers.
Harry Potter's arms were trembling. His wand was barely staying in his hands. He felt as if he had run five miles up a mountain nonstop. He could see the shadows of Bertha Jorkins, the old man, and Cedric walking around the battlefield yelling profanities at the Death Eaters outside the dome. What the young man could not see was the cloaked figure floating above the battle field. She could tell the boy was exhausted, frightened, and in severe pain.
Death was not used to feeling sympathy towards anyone, but she definitely felt it towards this boy. Fate had set him up with a damn near impossible task. He was to kill the man with whom he was now in a heated battle with, but the way things were going that wouldn't be for years to come. In all the boy's trials, hell throughout all his life, he had been beaten down. First by the man whose wand was locked with his own in an epic struggle for dominance, then his relatives, and then the headmaster's constant bungling of things he should be on top of. The boy should now be living with his godfather safe and sound. Learning what it meant to be a noble, but was he? No. Instead he was still living with people who hated him for things he had no control over, and could care less if he died. True his cousin was just a boy only a month older than him, but that didn't make him any less guilty than his parents for the abuse the young man suffered.
Death watched as Harry's mother slipped out of Voldemort's wand. The woman floated over to her son, and whispered in his ear. He looked happier than Death had ever seen him. As his father emerged from Voldemort's wand Death could feel the hope and happiness flow off the boy. She wanted to help him, but she knew if she did then others would die, but was that so bad? She had done worse that was for sure, but this was altering the Weave to such a degree that it might cause major problems.
No, that was a onetime thing, and that idiot was planning such horrors from the secret society. This was different. This was foreigner to her. This was saving a life. Well more than one if she did what she was thinking, but that was truly for the 'Greater Good'. And who knows maybe Magic would give her a treat when this was all over.
Once she saw the boy's father join him and his wife Death decided to act.
"Your father's coming…" she said quietly. "Hold on for your father… it will be all right… hold on…"
And he came… first his head, then his body… tall and untidy-hair like Harry, the smoky, shadowy form of James Potter blossomed from the end of Voldemort's wand, fell to the ground, and straightened like his wife. He walked close to Harry, looking down at him, and he spoke in the same distant, echoing voice as the others, but quietly, so Voldemort, his face now livid with fear as his victims now prowled around him, could not hear…
"When the connection is broken we will linger for only a moment…"
His father was interrupted by a soft feminine voice. "You will linger for a lot longer than a moment James Charles Potter." Harry and his father started looking around. Finally Harry noticed a dark cloud descending from the roof of the golden dome. The smoke formed into a cloaked figure with very frail looking hands. When he looked back to his father Harry's jaw fell open. His father was no longer ethereal in nature, he looked solid, and quiet healthy. Harry looked over to his mother. She too looked to be in a similar condition. The woman's voice grabbed Harry's attention again. "Cedric Diggory I, Death, reject you."
With those simple words Cedric's 'shadow' shot back into his body. Gold and violet sparks shot out of his body the moment the 'shadow' made contact with it. Harry was finding it harder now to keep the magic flowing off his wand from receding back into it. He knew this would allow Voldemort the victory he so craved, but even with all of this happening around him Harry seemed to be able to force the beads of light into Voldemort's wand.
"I am going to keep the two of you." The woman said as she gestured to Bertha Jorkins and the old man. Both of whom nodded in understanding. The woman then walked up to his parents. "Lilly Evans Potter I, Death, reject you."
If Harry was expecting his mother to shoot off to where ever she was buried he was horribly mistaken. She fell to her knees and screamed in agony as sparks of energy flew off her body. Harry for the briefest of moments caught a glimpse of another woman waving her hand over his mother's body. He could now feel the magic coursing off her body. It was causing the air around her to ripple as if it were a body of water and his mother a stone that had been thrown in it.
Harry looked at his father as Death spoke once more. "James Charles Potter I, Death, reject you."
As his father fell to the ground Harry felt a warm gentle hand touch his. Looking to his left he saw a pair of emerald green eyes like his own staring back at him. His mother was smiling, and Harry could feel the love she had for him radiate off of her. Within a few moments her hands were joined by a calloused one, more than like due to the games of quidditch his father played in his youth. The man mad Harry feel tiny, but just the same the smile he was giving him made him feel welcome.
"If you wish to stay alive I would recommend leaving now." Harry looked back at the woman in the long dark cloak. "There are enough souls here to buy you enough time to Accio the cup to your hand Harry while the others hold on to you. This should take you right back to Hogwarts. And before you do anything reckless James, Lily I did not restore you to life for you to throw it away."
The three of them just nodded at this. With one mighty tug Harry broke the connection with Voldemort's wand. The resounding snap seemed to startle the few Death Eaters that had arrived. As Harry and his parents ran for the Triwizard Cup he saw Cedric stand back up, and as if he knew what was going on ran to meet them at the Cup. Once the screaming of the shadows died down. Cedric, his Mum, and Dad grabbed Harry as he summoned the Cup into his hand.
Albus was pacing in front of the winners platform wondering what was taking Cedric and Harry so long to arrive outside of the maze. Surely they both didn't grab the Cup? He looked over once more at the spot where Karkaroff once stood. Victor Krum looked upset that his headmaster had just taken off without a word leaving his students to fend for themselves.
The sound of bounding feet caught his attentions. Looking to his left he saw a few Unspeakables running towards the Minister with panic stricken faces. As they began to speak Fudge's face got whiter and whiter. Hoping this was about Harry he walked over to the group.
"Is something the matter Minister?" Albus asked gently.
"I-I-I don't know Albus… Jonson, tell Professor Dumbledore what you've told me." Cornelius said a bit breathlessly.
The young man looked at Albus with fear in his eyes. "We were near Vail of Death when we heard this voice reject three people from the dead."
"Did you recognize the voice?" Albus asked.
"No sir, and that's not the important part. The important part is who was rejected." A woman only a few years older than the missing students said with a small smile.
"And who would that be?"
No sooner had Albus asked the question then the answer was provided for him as the Triwizard Cup returned to Hogwarts. Attached to it was Harry, Cedric, and through some miracle, James and Lily Potter.
Harry felt his feet slam into the ground with his parents and Cedric landing beside him. He could hear gasps coming from all around him. He assumed it was because of his parents being there, but once his father helped him to his feet he was made painfully aware that Death had followed them back to Hogwarts. All thoughts that Death was going to take his parents again were wiped from his mind when she touched a finger to his scar.
The night air was split by a soul wrenching scream. Harry could feel a burning sensation throughout his entire being. This was worse, if that was possible, then the Cruciatus Curse. When it was over a small black sickly orb was floating in the woman's hand. "I am leaving now don't squander the second chance I am giving you three." Death then pointed at his mum, dad, and Cedric.
"Oh we won't." His father whispered, wrapping an arm around his mother.
"You don't have to tell me twice." Cedric said.
"Tom this isn't funny," came Professor Dumbledore's voice. When a spell hit Death reality itself seemed to shake. "What have you done Tom?"
"Ignoring for a moment that I am woman, Albus I am Death and my true name is none of your damn business." Death held out her hand that contained the black mass. "This is Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, aka Living Corpse, but my personal favorite is Brain Dead Moron. Just so you know there were fourteen ways you, Albus, could have removed this from him without taking his life." And with that Death left the same way she arrived: in a cloud of dark black smoke.
"Was that really Death?" asked the Minister.
"I believe so sir. That smoke was the same stuff that floats within the Veil of Death." said a woman who looked to only be few years older than Cedric. The look on the Ministers face was one of abject horror.
"Then… how did James and Lily return to life?" asked Professor Dumbledore.
"Through Priori Incantatem, Harry's wand core and Voldemort's come from the same Phoenix." His mother said. "As we left Voldemort's wand we learned a lot of things, and it was then that Death quite literally rejected us."
"This is all well and good but Harry needs to get to the Medical Wing while I discuss with James and Lily about the placement of Harry…" Professor Dumbledore was interrupted by his father.
"If you think we are sending him back to the Dursleys you are mistaken Albus." The anger in his father's voice was almost palpable. "I never thought you would leave a child in an abusive home."
His mother was helping support him. "Language James and Petunia never liked me Headmaster, so why would she care about Harry?"
"She didn't kick him out…"
Now it was his mother's turn to get angry. "No she didn't, but she let her husband beat my only child senseless, and let him starve half the time while she shoved food down the throat of her own son!"
Everyone in the crowed was now glaring at Professor Dumbledore. "Mum this isn't necessary."
"He needs to lie down." His father looked over his shoulder, and nodded curtly.
Harry was led back towards the castle. After a while he realized it was Mad-Eye Moody. Moody said something about taking him to his office first to ask Harry a few questions, and then they would go to the Hospital Wing. Once in Moody's office Harry noticed a distinct change in the man's attitude. He was asking a lot of questions about what happened after he and Cedric took the Triwizard Cup. After a while Harry started to wonder who this man was. Mad-Eye Moody was supposed to be against Dark Wizards and Witches, but this man sounded just like one.
"What I was not expecting was for your Mum and Dad to return Potter, but it doesn't matter. The Dark Lord will reward me for killing you, and then killing your parents… again."
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked.
And from there Moody went on to say how he had entered Harry into the Tournament, how he had given Neville that book to help him, but then had to slip the information about Gillyweed to Dobby, and how he had Imperioused Krum to slow down Diggory, and how he had bewitched the Triwizard Cup to send Harry to the graveyard where Voldemort had been resurrected.
"… He is back, Harry Potter, you did not conquer him- and now- I conquer you!"
Had the man paid attention during his diatribe he would have noticed the shapes in his foe glass becoming clearer, and clear.
James was standing there torn between laughing his arse off at the way Lily was tearing into Albus and Fudge, and joining her. At the moment he was looking at very familiar black dog whose tail was wagging nonstop. James looked over at his wife, and poked her in the ribs. She jumped and glared at him. He just pointed at the dog and wagged his finger. The dog let out a barking type laugh, and in that moment James knew that Sirius was watching over his son.
Just thinking about Harry made something click. He looked over at Albus and then his wife. Both of them seemed to come to the same conclusion at the exact same time. Alastor Moody would not have taken their son away from them and Dumbledore. As if on cue they all took off towards the castle.
James could hear a host of people calling out his name. Looking behind him he saw Cornelius Fudge running behind them followed by a couple of Ministry dingbats. He chose to ignore them, and proceeded into the prestigious school. If memory served him right it really didn't matter how many Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers there were the classroom never changed.
As they ran through the castle James was surprised that the old Headmaster could keep up with him, and whether out of political grandstanding or out of abject horror of seeing Death itself, Cornelius Fudge was right behind them. Once at the DADA classroom Dumbledore let loose with a Stupefy the door was blasted inwards. 'Alastor Moody' was now lying flat on his back, and his son was seated in a chair with a look of terror on his face. Harry looked like he was about to draw his wand at that moment. Words were exchanged between Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore about whether Harry should go to the Medical Wing, and James happened to agree with Dumbledore Harry need to see who this man was for he was surely not Moody.
James turned to his wife to see if she was okay with this and found her standing in front of Minister Fudge who wanted to get a Dementor for his personal protection. It was at this point that James snapped.
"Cornelius do you honestly think that a disarmed, and unconscious man poses you any danger?" James yelled. This stopped all conversation.
"Lord Potter this man is out to overthrow…"
"No he is NOT! He was trying to kill my son, and I don't think anyone of us mattered to him." Cornelius looked like he wanted to say more, but James cut him off. "Cornelius if he wanted to kill you he could have done when Death itself was distracting us all."
"That woman was really Death?" Cornelius went ten shades paler than he already was.
"Yes." James and Lily responded.
James just shook his head, and turned back to the man impersonating Alastor Moody. There lying on the ground was a man he thought would be the last person to be a Death Eater: Barty Crouch Jr. He stood there in stunned silence as they restrained the man, and revived the Minister. The fool wanted still wanted to go get a Dementor, but given the fact that other Ministry officials were there he was talked out of it.
Once Snivellus administered the Veritaserum the questioning began. As the story unfolded James' blood began to boil. How had no one checked on Bertha's mental health? All someone needed to do was send Bertha to St. Mungo's the moment she seemed a little abnormal for her. He remembered the younger version of the girl: noisy, troublesome, but good natured. How could Crouch Sr. damn someone to a life of misery like that? The man now seemed as bad as some of the dark witches and wizards he had thrown in Azkaban.
At the mere thought of that horrid place he decided to clear his friend right now.
"Mr. Crouch was Sirius Black ever a Death Eater?" the Headmaster looked at him with worry and dread in his eyes.
"No he wasn't, you should know who betrayed you." Barty spat back.
"Of course I do, but I want to know if he was Imperioused." A smile threatened to crawl across his face.
"Peter Pettigrew is a willing Death Eater, and he was the one who murdered those filthy muggles too. Pity I wasn't there to help him." The smile on the man's face was sickening.
All eyes at that moment turned to the Minister, and Cornelius looked as if he had just shite himself. "But your father-"
"Is dead," while the others in the room shivered Bartemius laughed manically.
"Take him to Azkaban." A stern voice from behind James sounded off.
James turned around to see Amelia Bones staring at the Death Eater as if his very presence made her ill. "Amelia it's good to see you again."
"It is good to see you… well James." Amelia said this with a half smile.
"Don't you mean 'alive' Ami?" James couldn't help but laugh at the look his old housemate was giving him. "I'll behave I swear."
"James we need to get Harry to the Medical Wing," chided Lily.
"All right, all right," James looked over at the black 'dog', "come on pooch."
"His name is Snuffles dad." Harry was laughing the entire way as 'Snuffles' growled lightly at him.
A/N: This is both a challenge and a story that I am writing. Anyone may use portions of this chapter, but three things must happen: death release James, Lily, and Cedric from its realm, and takes the Horcrux in Harry in exchange, and Hermione and Daphne must be either a friend or love interest for Harry, but both must be in his circle of friends. Other than that you are free to do as you see fit.