The Sacrifices We Made
The smell of blood and ashes reached her as the breathed harshly through her bleeding nose, and looked around her. A pained grimace decorated her mauled face, and even the small action caused her an incredible amount of pain.
But none of that mattered, not anymore.
Everything within sight was destroyed, and everyone dead. There was no sight of life within miles with the exception of her.
It wasn't supposed to end like this.
Hariel Rose Potter flinched back at the sight presented in front of her. Hogwarts, her home, was falling down into pieces. The young Gryffindor could recognize the place where her dormitories used to be, and the Great Hall that used to be inside the castle, protected by the walls was now visible.
The Potter heiress wondered when exactly things went so horribly wrong. They were winning. The Light side had been winning this incredibly useless war, and people from her side falling up dead left and right like she had sometimes forced herself to picture, there was always that possible outcome. Instead, Death Eaters and blood purists were being pushed back.
Falling to her knees while ignoring the pain from her leg, which she suspected was broken, Hariel rested her head in her hands and finally let out her repressed sobs. This war took her family, her friends and her future. What did she have left now that everyone was gone? To her, the world was dead. There were no owls flitting from tree to tree in search of prey like she remembered them doing, or centaurs galloping through the Forbidden Forest. There was a deafening silence that was only broken by her cries.
"Are you happy now!?" Hariel glared up at the sky and screamed in a fit of rage knowing that no one would respond. "I'm done! I did my best!" She then let out a burst of hysterical laughter when no one answered her and once again started to cry and wail in pain and sadness. She was alone again for what seemed the millionth time in her life.
She had lost her parents as a baby, her godfather because a mistake she made, her wise mentor when she failed to end war sooner, and her friends were all killed trying to protect their lives and their loved ones. Hariel had become used to this pain, the crushing feeling that accompanied loneliness. But she would never get use to and forget the feeling of guilt she felt. She couldn't.
A part of Hariel wondered if it was actually her fault that everything went wrong. If maybe she hadn't faked her death for those couple of minutes, maybe things would had gone differently, maybe her people wouldn't had lost hope and given up. Or maybe she shouldn't have left Hogwarts in the first place in order to hunt the Horcruxes and later the Hallows.
In the end, nothing about that really mattered, if she was truthful to herself. What was done was done, and there was nothing she could do to change things...
Hariel knew it was impossible to go back in time for more than a few hours, otherwise there was the danger of creating a paradox and destroying the timeline completely, and while she had nothing to lose, she couldn't go and simply destroy the world as she knew it simply because of her own selfishness, no matter how much she wanted it.
But still, what if-
The young witch then jerked back when she hear the movement of rocks behind her, a familiar sound of scales sliding through the floor. After the event on the Chamber of Secrets, Hariel didn't believe it possible for her to forget that sound.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" She asked tentatively. Another sudden movement made her jump and yelp in surprise, and her eyes widened in shock at what she saw. It was Nagini, Voldemort's snake. The same snake who Hariel had killed not too long ago. Or at least had thought she did.
"What isss going onnn?" The snake hissed, dare she say it, disoriented. "Where ammm I?" Nagini questioned looking from side to side with big unblinking yellow eyes, and Hariel furrowed her brows in confusion as she started to crawl awkwardly towards the confused reptile.
"Are you looking fffor your massster?" She asked with narrowed eyes assessing the snake in front of her with her eyes.
"Massster? I havvve no massster!" She hissed angrily, obviously offended by the witch's comment, and Hariel frowned confused. The only way for Nagini not to know what was actually going on would be for her to had been under Voldemort's control. Had Voldemort actually put Nagini under the Imperio? Had he been so desperate to prove himself Slytherin's heir that he had gone as far as to cast an Imperio on the reptile?
Hariel was still unsure of her own theory, but after casting a spell on the snake she proved her suspicions correct and then proceeded to explain quickly everything and Nagini agreed to follow her, they were probably the last magical beings in miles. Nagini followed Hariel silently with the exception of the sound of her body sliding through the floor and after what seemed like an eternity they reached the castle and not much later Dumbledore's office where they found Fawkes waiting for them. Hariel wanted nothing more than to floo to Andromeda's and make sure she and Teddy were safe and sound.
"I see you have won." A voice she remembered all too well, and had learned to hate the last few months said calmly from behind her, and she turned her head.
"Professor." Hariel greeted icily the portrait of her former teacher. He didn't look very happy to see her but she dismissed the thought quickly, he had probably hoped for her to die in the battle. Why? That was something she would never know.
"My dear." He started, his face morphing into a concerned one. "I'm sorry, telling you the truth from the beginning was a risk I couldn't take." The man apologized yet again, but his apologies meant little to the young teen, she had heard them once, and now that she heard them a second time she couldn't help but notice the non-existent remorse on his voice.
He wasn't sorry at all.
"I'm leaving." She said suddenly, not even bothering to look at him.
"Where? America? Someone would find you eventually." He said with a knowing look, the same look she hated with passion. But she felt smug when she realized he was wrong.
"No." Hariel denied strongly "I'm going back. I'm going to change things." She declared. Right on that moment she made her decision, and the face of horror the old man did made her grin widen.
"No! You can't! You mustn't!" He pleaded. "Think about all the thing you would change! Little Teddy! And Fleur's and Bill's daughter Victoire! There is the possibility that they won't get to be born if you go back and change things! You would be completely destroying their existence" He tried to guilt-trip her, but it wasn't working. She had made her decision although she wondered briefly how she knew about Victoire, she had been born after he had died after all, but didn't let her thought linger on that, there were more important things to be thinking about.
"I-I just want peace." Hariel finally admitted tiredly, and her shoulders slumped in defeat. She looked at the floor sadly, she was tired of this. "Not only for me, but for everyone else."
"And I'm willing to help you find it." Another voice said, and Hariel's head whipped to the side so fast she almost feared she gave herself a neck injury. Nagini from her place around the girl's waist hissed dangerous at the mysterious figure that most likely represented a threat to her new human. "Fear not child, for I come in peace." The unknown entity said in a soothing voice.
"Who are you? What do you want?" Hariel asked, her voice showing her tiredness. But also her resolve to defend herself if necessary.
"I am called by many names dear child, but you shall call me with the one you will recognize the most." The entity said with a small nod of their covered face "I am called 'Death" by humans, feel free to call me such." The entity, Death, encouraged lightly.
Hariel's eyes widened and she took a step back shielding her body with her bare arms as if the mere presence of the figure burned her. "W-what do you want?" She asked afraid of the figure in front of her.
"I have watched you all of your life and long ago decided to make you my champion, Hariel Lilac Potter. I didn't manifested before you before because of the evilness that was residing in your body." Death explained patiently, extended a white hand towards her and caressed her cheek lovingly, like a mother would do to her child.
"Voldemort's soul right?" Hariel asked, gaining a nod from Death.
"Correct, of course I didn't expected for my Hollows to claim you as their new Mistress, and therefore my own, but that's something I can deal with. They will be useful in your journey." Hariel's eyes suddenly widened at that.
"Death's Mistress? I think you have the wrong person, I'm no one's Mistress" Hariel denied strongly shaking her head.
"But you are, you possess the Deathly Hollows and they had accepted you as their new, true and only Mistress." Death said pointing at the invisible cloak that was poking out of the bottomless bag resting on her hip.
"I only have the cloak." The girl insisted. "I snapped the Elder Wand and dropped the Resurrection Stone in the Forbidden Forest. I don't have either of them with me anymore."
"Yes, you did." Death agreed calmly with her claims, "but they have followed you here, you are their Mistress." She pointed at something behind the teen's back. The Elder Wand and Resurrection Stone rested innocently in the wooden desk and next to Fawkes who was thrilling in sadness.
"You can't get rid of them. Not until they choose another Master or Mistress" Death said sadly, her tone haunting to Hariel.
"What...?" She gasped quietly, her hand flying to her mouth. "What... What does this mean for me?" Hariel asked shakily taking in her hand the Elder Wand. She already knew, but she wished with all her heart that it was a lie.
"It means that you are a part of Death on earth." The entity started. "It means that... You can't die."
Hariel stood stunned in the middle of the room, she couldn't die. She couldn't die. She will never be able to reunite with her dear ones in the afterlife because... Because she would never have and afterlife, not until the Deathly Hollows found another Master...
"I came here offer you another possibility." Death interrupted her thoughts. "And to give this to you." The being said giving her a small locket.
"What is this?" Hariel asked with a dead voice. The locket looked familiar, and felt too in her hands.
"That was the last gift your father gave you mother." Death said and Hariel's head snapped in the entity's direction. The raven-haired teen then opened the locket and discovered a small photo on the inside. A photo of her parents and her when she still was a baby.
"Where did you found this?" She asked, tears already forming on the corner of her emerald eyes, but unable to fall.
"It was the only thing I was able to save after most of your parents' things were destroyed by Albus Dumbledore." Hariel's eyes widened and looked at the portrait in the room that looked aghast. Never before had she wanted to kill someone so much, not even Voldemort himself.
"My girl, it was for the greater go-" But she couldn't hear the rest.
"Stop it, Albus! After all you have done, you can't keep telling her that it was for the bloody greater good!" The voice of the former Potions teacher all but snarled at the old man. "It was your own stupidity! Accept it!"
"Severus, my boy..." Both Hogwarts' former headmasters started arguing with each other while Hariel looked at the locket in her hands sadly.
"Enough!" Death interrupted the portraits of the older men, and returned her attention to Hariel "Hariel, you can change everything." The entity said, and Hariel to notice how Death's body had started to disappear.
"Change everything? Change what?" The teen asked frantically.
"Everything." The older woman answered "Go back, make the right decisions. But above all, save everyone you love." Death said putting a key on the teenager's hands. "Go to Gringotts, the Goblins will help you. Trust no one else."
"But wait! How will I know I am making the right decisions?" Hariel asked hurriedly.
"You just will." And with that, Death was gone.
"My dear-" Dumbledore started one again.
"Potter!" Called the potions master sharply. "You heard the creature! Go back and change things. The decision is yours and yours alone, don't let old coots like this one interfere with what you think its right!" The teacher said with a sharp voice, before a soft smile graced his features, one she had never seen before and never even thought seeing in his face, and she nodded.
"Come on, Nagini. Let's go." She took the last of the Deathly Hollows and shove the three of them inside her bag. After that she left the room and castle.
Never looking back.