I do not own Harry Potter, I don't even own this challenge- it's reptilia28's fault
Harry is killed at 17 during a fight with Voldemort. He's sent to his Death's office (explained later) and finds out that this isn't the first time that this has happened.
*Harry's Death (who can have a human name) is mad at his arrival. Apparently, people dying before their time is a black mark on the various Deaths' records, and Harry is getting perilously close to getting this particular one fired.
*When Harry asks what was supposed to have happened, Death goes off on a rant saying how he was supposed to have killed Voldemort, found his soul mate ("Some Granger girl...") and lived to be a centennial age. But since Harry keeps getting into life-threatening situations for one reason or another, he keeps dying before that happens. Harry is surprised about the soul mate part.
*Death gives Harry a paper to sign that allows him to retain his memories (the previous times, he wasn't given this option for some reason). Harry is deposited to a previous time of the writer's choosing.
*Eventually, Harry gets it right. He kills Voldemort, gets the girl, and lives to a ripe old age of whatever. And Death doesn't get fired
*Harry had to have died at least three times before this one.
*The memory keeping contract must be included.
*Death must refer to Hermione as "some Granger girl" when Harry's soul mate turns up in his rant.
Harry blinked as he looked at his surroundings. He was standing in a waiting room, probably the nicest waiting room that he had ever been in; not that he had many to compare it to.
It was an average sized room with one wall completely covered in bookshelves that were stuffed with various books, potted plants and little trinkets, mostly statuettes. The other three walls were baby blue with multi colored polka dots. The wall opposite the bookshelf had numerous pictures which didn't move, something Harry found slightly unsettling since he wasn't certain how to explain to a muggle about how he got in the room. The floor was covered in a soft, thick green carpet and there were two plump looking dark green chairs with red cushions. But the strange and very unnerving thing about the room was that it had no doors. The young wizard felt like it was a room that Luna would like quite a lot. Harry half heartedly attempted to apparate but as he had suspected he would, he merely bounced back. He was stuck. He frowned and tried to figure out what happened.
"Okay, we found out that Mundungus had stolen the real locket and pawned it in Knockturn." Harry muttered to himself as he began to pace, his expression growing sour as he thought of Mundungus. He shook his head to rid himself of the thought of the thief,
"We got the locket and then we were leaving when the Lestranges showed up and they looked around." He stood straight as he realized something, "They weren't just looking for something." His eyes became narrowed, "They were looking for us!" Harry punched one of the walls,
"How did they know we were going to be there?" His mind began to whirl as he tried to figure out how the death eaters had known he and his friends would be there.
"Hello there," began a cheery voice and Harry whirled around and pointed his wand at the person who had entered the room.
The person was a petite girl who looked about his age. She had brown hair pulled up in a messy ponytail though a few locks fell and framed her oval face which was a little too long for her to be considered a beauty. Pleasant would probably be the most she could reach for. She wore long black robes that looked too big for her small frame and she had pushed back the sleeves to reveal wiry, pale arms covered in silver bracelets of a variety of styles decorated by black opals. In her hands she held a clip board and a muggle glitter pen. She looked up at him with large hazel eyes that were made larger by the thick glasses resting on her slightly long nose. As soon as she looked at him her eyes bugged out in an almost comical fashion and she dropped her clipboard.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" she shrieked. Her pale face became even paler until her skin looked like milk with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Harry thought she looked like she was going to be sick.
"Miss, are you okay?" he asked hesitantly. The girl blinked a few times and let out a wordless shriek before she pushed him onto one of the chairs.
"HOW DARE YOU ASK ME HOW I AM!" the girl screeched, "YOU IRRESPONSIBLE, IDIOTIC, RECKLESS, DIMWITTED, WHINING LITTLE GRYFFINDOR!" she spat the name out as if it was a curse and at this Harry became angry.
"Look, I don't know where I am or who you are but you have no right to yell at me!" Harry growled back as he stood and looked down at the girl, using his best menacing stare. It had no effect,
"Oh I have no right huh?" the girl growled and she pushed him back into his chair.
"DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME WHAT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO HARRY JAMES POTTER!" Harry winced as he covered his ears. The girl was shriller than Mrs. Weasley.
"Everything about this is your own fault!" The girl went on now ignoring the young wizard. "You keep being an idiotic Gryffindor! First it was that stupid pig of a cousin, you just had to taunt him. You just had to let him push you down the stairs!" Harry frowned as he remembered that incident. Dudley had taken a teddy bear, one he had previously discarded and probably should have been thrown out, from him and he had been mad. Dudley had ended up pushing him down the stairs and he had broken his arm and locked in the cupboard until his arm healed while Dudley got a new teddy bear.
"Then it was that thrice cursed quidditch match! I could just kill your headmaster!" Harry felt sadness and anger course through him and he glared at the girl but she ignored it.
"And then that stupid dragon! Do you know how hard it is to piece together a partially digested body? Huh? Do you?" she demanded and Harry shook his head.
"Of course you don't! Well let me tell you, not only is it only of the most disgusting things I have ever done, IT IS HARD!" she screamed, her face becoming red from her anger, "And I do NOT appreciate that you keep trying to make me loose my job you Gryffindor!" she growled and then turned away from him again as she began to pace and talk, more to herself than to Harry.
"It's not that I don't get it. I can understand the whole starvation thing, that wasn't your fault. I can even understand this time since, according to my notes, you and your friends were kidnapped by the Lestranges and then tortured to death and all by Voldemort. BUT WHEN YOU GO OFF AND JUMP INTO THAT STUPID VEIL YOU'RE PUSHING IT!" she screamed and Harry jumped and tried to shrink away from her angry eyes as he wondered when he had jumped through the veil.
"You, you Gryffindor," she spat the word out as if it was a vile curse as she poked her finger into his chest, "You are not supposed to die until you are well past 200 years old." She turned away from him, "I mean, it's bad enough that you have Cupid bugging me every day, telling me that I'm supposed to make sure that you get some Granger girl or whatever the heck her name is since she's your soul mate and then, get this, now he's griping that some stupid red head used a love potion on you. Then, Cupid's apparently not enough, oh no, you, you have to have Fate whining to me about your stupid destiny. Now, I think that under normal circumstances I could deal with this. But when it's you and you alone are the one to give me SIX FREAKING MARKS, I think I have a bit of right to be a little more than ticked off, don't you?" Harry had enough now.
"Look, I have no clue what's going on and what do you mean when you said that Hermione's my soul mate?" The girl blinked and Harry could see the rage draining from her eyes.
"You really have no idea?" she asked, her voice hushed. Harry shook his head and her mouth dropped open.
"I could have sworn," she muttered and then scowled, "I don't care how cute he is, Dr. Jackson is getting such a talking to when he comes back." She sighed and sat down in the opposite chair and waved her hand. Two mugs appeared in front of them and she took the mug with a dragon on it leaving one with sickeningly cute kittens on it for him. After a sip she sighed and sat back before focusing back on Harry.
"Go ahead, it's just cider, it's not going to kill you. I keep a stash of this stuff for whenever you come back here. I'm Mina, though you would know me as Death I suppose." Harry starred at her and quickly put his mug down. Mina pouted,
"I said it's not going to kill you. You always do this; every time I introduce myself you never ever eat anything I give you." She sipped her drink again.
"Every time?" Harry asked as shock began to settle in. Mina nodded and put her own mug down.
"All right, I'll give you the explanation, again. Harry, this is currently the sixth time you've died before you were supposed to." She waited for a moment while the information caught up with Harry's already confused mind,
"I-I've died? Six times?" he stuttered. Mina nodded,
"Yes and its going to cost me my job if you don't stop it." She rolled her eyes when Harry's face became confused.
"I refuse to pull that stupid chart out again so I'm going to spell it out for you." Mina declared as she stood up once again and pushed back her sleeves. Harry watched her carefully and began to wonder if this was really just a crazy dream or a hallucination.
"Now, when a human is born he or she is assigned what you would call a guardian angel. This guardian angel is responsible for the human's soul." Harry opened his mouth to speak but Mina cut him off,
"A guardian is not responsible in any way, shape or form for their charge's mental or physical well being unless it interferes with their life span as dictated by Fate, who, by the way, is a pain in the rear." She smiled slightly as Harry nodded in agreement with a scowl on his face.
"Anyway, when a charge dies then it's the guardian's duty to collect their soul and take them to the head honcho so they can be sorted and sent to where they belong. Those rare humans who can see us noticed what we do and talked about it. Eventually we became more commonly known as grim reapers or Death." She giggled, "Personally, I rather enjoy being known as an angel of death." When she realized that Harry wasn't laughing, she pouted for a moment and then returned to her story,
"But there are always those humans who gum up the works, usually by dying before they're supposed to." She gave him a pointed look and continued in a hard voice, "When someone dies before they're supposed to then it looks really, really bad on the guardian's record." She glared at him now, "You, Harry, have given me six black marks on my file." Her glare melted as tears came to her eyes, "If I get anymore then I'll be fired!" Harry frowned,
"I don't see how that's my fault! You said it yourself, guardians are supposed to interfere if their charge's lifespan is in danger!" he snapped. More tears came to Mina's eyes but now anger burned in her eyes,
"You don't think I know that?" she hissed, "You don't think that I did everything I possibly could? I was there when Voldemort first tried to kill you, I was there when Petunia would have left you screaming in the cupboard the first day you came to the Dursleys, I was there almost every time that nitwit of a cousin would have murdered you, I was there at all but one of your quidditch matches, I was there when you saved the philosopher's stone, when you killed the basilisk, when you drove off the dementors! I was even there when you and that stupid friend of yours went off and drove that blasted car instead of doing the sensible thing and owling for help. I was there when you parents died, when Cedric died, when Sirius died, and when Dumbledore died. I was there every single cursed time Harry James Potter! But you are not my only charge and if I want to keep this stupid job then I have to keep an eye on the others as well!" Now she burst into tears and Harry felt guilt settle into him and he wondered if perhaps it was this room that made their emotions change far too quickly for his taste.
"Um, it's okay." He said awkwardly and she looked up from her hands, tears coursing down her pale cheeks,
"NO IT'S NOT YOU GRYFFINDOR!" He half heartedly glared at her and then asked,
"Why do you keep calling me a Gryffindor like it's an insult?" She hiccupped and attempted to wipe away her tears with her large sleeves.
"My mentor was Gryffindor's guardian and he said it so many times that those of us who worked with him do consider it an insult. You have no idea how disappointed I was when you and your soul mate weren't sorted into Ravenclaw or Slytherin where you'd learn to at least plan before you do something stupid. If you were in either of those houses then at least you'd have some brains, besides your soul mate's, on your side when you go off to save whatever it was Fate declared you're supposed to save."
"I'm supposed to save the wizarding world. What about hufflepuff?" Harry asked, slightly amused despite the odd situation. Mina shivered,
"Hufflepuffs are scary." She saw Harry's disbelieving look and frowned, "If it wasn't for the fact that I'd be fired if you died again then I'd let you deal with them next time they get mad and unite." She let out a sigh and looked at him,
"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with you. This will be your seventh try going through your life and as much as I enjoy watching over you, I have other charges who, while not as death prone as you, do need watching." She put her fingers to the sides of her head and flopped back onto her chair.
"Why don't I remember any of this?" Harry asked once he finally decided to just go along with everything. It wasn't as if it was outside of the realm of possibility for him to be dead. He had been expecting his death for awhile now anyway. Though Mina had said that he wasn't supposed to die until he was 200 or so but then again, Mina was also the one who implied that Hermione, of all people, was his soul mate and that Ginny had used a love potion. She glared up at him before she returned to rubbing her temples and then she answered,
"Because it's against the rules if you remember any of this while you're alive. You're supposed to remember when you're dead, everyone else does, but I think you just enjoy making things harder. It's either that or Fate is still mad because I accidentally reminded him that most people still think he's a girl." She frowned. Harry felt his mouth twitch slightly as he fought back a grin.
"Anyway, you should remember this and how you died this time but since you don't I suppose it doesn't matter quite as much. What matters is what I have to do about this." She got out of her chair and began to pace. Then, suddenly, the pair heard a loud BOOM and both jumped and turned to the wall where there was now a large and elaborate looking door. Slowly it opened and in came an imposing looking man dressed in the same black robes that Mina wore, though his were not only a better fit, they were of much better quality as well. Mina stood up in a flash, her posture stiff and her face guarded.
Harry narrowed his eyes as he studied the new comer. He was tall, at least a head taller than Harry and he had sandy blonde hair neck and clear hazel eyes. He looked very fit and from the way Mina was blushing Harry guessed that he could be considered handsome. If anything, the man reminded Harry slightly of Cedric but with broader shoulders but there was something about him that just irritated the young wizard. In one hand the man had a spool of thread that he was toying with and around the other wrist he had an elaborate gold bracelet decorated with three jewels, a ruby, a sapphire and a diamond.
"What are you doing here?" Mina demanded, her cheeks now bright pink. The man glared at her and answered,
"When my tapestry is being tampered with, it's my duty to check on the problem. You are more than aware of the rules Wilhelmina. It is strictly forbidden for anyone to recall their past attempts, no matter how many times they've died." Harry watched as Mina's eyes widened.
"You mean I could do that?" The man scowled darkly,
"Wilhelmina, I just told you, it's forbidden!" Mina smiled sweetly,
"Fate, I don't think you've ever managed to meet Harry." She turned to Harry, "Harry, this is Fate, the weaver of the tapestry of life. Fate, this is Harry James Potter." Harry almost stepped back when the man he now knew was Fate suddenly turned on him, a furious expression on his face. Then the introduction that Mina gave completely entered his mind.
"YOU!" the man growled, his hands twitching as if he wanted to wrap them around someone's neck. Harry felt himself grow angry at this person who had caused so much trouble in his life.
"THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!" both men shouted at the same time as Mina watched on with a curious look on her face.
"If it wasn't for you and that stupid prophecy then they would still be alive!" Harry yelled as he reached for his wand. He was furious to discover that it wasn't there so instead he curled his hands into fists, more than prepared to take the first swing.
"You're the one that keeps messing up! Do you have any idea how hard it is to weave that stupid tapestry in the first place?" Fate shouted back.
"Okay boys, that's more than enough. Fate, you see my problem. If I leave for an instant then the kid tends to die and then you have to re-weave the tapestry. Harry, yes it's true that Fate is the sadistic son of a biscuit eater who wove the death of your friends and family, but honestly, there was no other choice." Harry felt a familiar cold rage encase him as he listened to Mina's words while Fate frowned sourly at Mina.
"No other choice?" he whispered in a tone of disbelief as he stared at Fate accusingly, "You had no other choice then to let my godfather die? You had no choice except to let Cedric die? You had no other choice then to let Dumbledore die?" Fate scowled,
"Black wasn't supposed to be standing there. It was supposed to be that Bella girl who stood there. But someone had to die to die or the whole lot of you would have been killed. That would mean that every important leader for the next three centuries would be dead in just a few seconds."
"And Cedric, Dumbledore? They were supposed to die?" Harry snarled. Fate tensed, his eyes narrowed in anger,
"Whether you believe it or not, I can't control every thread on the tapestry, most of it weaves itself. Cedric wasn't even supposed to have entered the blasted tournament, much less have been a champion. As for Dumbledore, there were three outcomes and Dumbledore made the choice himself and honestly I would have thought that you would have preferred to have that manipulating geezer out of your way."
"Manipulating geezer? Dumbledore was one of the greatest men who ever lived." Fate put his hand to his forehead and muttered something under his breath before he looked at Harry,
"You really don't know?"
"Know what?" Harry snapped, still angry at the man who stood before him. Mina cut in,
"That Dumbledore, while he did care for you like the great-grandson he never had, was getting to be a little absent minded as he got older. For example, the blood wards that he placed so much faith in had next to no effect if the family inside wasn't loving so while you were at the Dursleys you were actually at your most vulnerable. If the wards had been working properly then those dementors wouldn't have been able to get within three miles of Privet Drive." Harry blinked and Mina went on,
"Then of course there's the matter of your teachers, specifically potions and defense against the dark arts. I mean, he let Voldemort of all people teach you. True he was stuck on the back of Quirrel's head but still. And Moody was a good friend of his yet he couldn't see through Crouch jr.'s disguise. Honestly I don't know what was wrong with him. I'm not even going to start on Snape." Harry felt shocked,
"But, I thought," Here Fate cut him off,
"No you didn't think, you were a Gryffindor. You took people for granted unless you didn't like them. You would have trusted Malfoy if he hadn't condemned himself the moment he opened his mouth." All sorts of feelings began to overwhelm Harry and he fell back onto his own chair. Fate looked at Mina who was now smiling sweetly, a brow raised in expectation.
"I can't make this decision myself." Fate told her and Mina just continued to look at him expectantly and Fate scowled,
"Go get him." He growled and Mina squealed and flung her arms around Fate's neck.
"Thank you!" Mina squeaked and then she let him go and ran off through the elaborate doors that had appeared when Fate arrived. Harry looked up at Fate who was staring after Mina with a bemused look on his face.
"So what is it that Mina wants to do?" Fate looked at him as if he had forgotten that Harry was there before he answered,
"She wants to change your future." Fate replied, an enigmatic smile on his face. He began to play with the thread in his hand once more and smiled again as the string began to glow. Then Mina came tumbling back into the room, her hair falling around her face, the edges of her robes singed, revealing rainbow stocking clad feet, and a large stack of papers clutched in her arms.
"Got them!" she chirped and held them out to Harry who stared at her, unsure of what she was up to. Suddenly another figure walked up behind her and grabbed the small woman by her waist and putting a knife against her pale throat. She let out a squeak and held incredibly still.
Harry stood up and searched for anything he could do to help Mina get away from the imposing man that held the knife to her throat.
"Now, don't move a muscle." The man said, his voice hoarse, as if he had not used it in awhile.