AN:So this. Yep. I don't own either Harry Potter or Pushing Daisies, which admittedly, I've only seen the first episode of.
It was five years, six months, three weeks, a day, four hours and 30 seconds since Ned had revived his childhood friend Chuck. Now, Emerson had gone to see his daughter who had found him and Olive had opened a restaurant of her own. Chuck still lived in one of the rooms next to his and Ned still baked and created pies. So, he occasionally still did reawaken people to see who murdered them and collected the reward.
But that's not the point. The point was, that at this point in time, both Olive and Ned were standing behind the partition that separated the kitchen from the tables. They had both noticed the peculiar customer that had come in this Friday afternoon and had requested apple pie.
However, that was not the strangest thing about the customer. The man was wearing a black robe, like the wizards in books. The man was also occasionally glancing over at the window that peaked into the kitchen. The customer also had a British accent so he wasn't from around here.
Olive had noticed that the customer had zeroed in on Ned the instant he had walked into the restaurant. She exchanged a glance with her... She didn't know what to call him. Friend? Best Friend Forever? Companion? Partner in Crime? Co-Piemaker?
He had the same bewildered expression that she did, or thought she did. The guy was obviously enjoying the pie and both Ned and Olive had never seen him before. But obviously the man was curious about the piemaker.
Harry had just stumbled upon this little restaurant in the middle of a small city in the States. Something had called to him here but he hadn't known that it would be a person. He had just felt something akin to what Death felt like to him whenever the spirit had come to talk to him. And now, he was sneaking glances at the piemaker, trying not to seem obvious.
But judging by the more frequent glances that the woman and the man were throwing his way, he was not succeeding. And he still had no idea what the aura of Death was doing over a plain, mundane Muggle. Or at least, he thought the piemaker was plain.
Harry sighed and took the last bite of the slice of apple pie that he had ordered. It had been a very good apple pie, with just the right touch of cinnamon. He slid out his cellphone and speed-dialed Death and yes, Death had a cellphone. It was all very weird when Harry had become master of Death and had realized that Death had a phone number.
He waited until the phone beeped for a message then just left a message.
"Hey, you want to get your ass over here to my location, right now? I have a bone to pick with you."
Harry ended the call and just as he glanced at the other side of the booth he was in, Death appeared at the entrance to the restaurant. He was wearing just jeans and a t-shirt as the guy took great precaution when it came to blending in. And luckily, it was apparently the less busy time of the day as Harry was the only customer in the establishment. Which meant that Death looked to be around Harry's age, roughly 25. Roughly, meaning, Harry was quite immortal now so age didn't matter.
Harry watched as the woman who was standing next to the piemaker made a beeline to seat Death and ask for his order. Death came and sat down across from Harry and grinned at him then requested a chocolate pecan pie. The woman nodded at both of them, gazing at Harry for a few seconds then headed back into the kitchen.
Harry raised an eyebrow at the deity and watched him chuckle.
"What? I have a sweet tooth. Especially, for," Death glanced up at the menu, "dark chocolate."
Harry sighed deeply and got straight to the point. "You have any idea what that's about?"
He jerked a thumb in the direction of the kitchen, trying to be subtle about it.
Death followed his thumb and narrowed his deep blue eyes. The man and woman behind the kitchen counter stared at them both, not even trying to hide it. "Ah, that. I seem to recall being ordered to make that young man, or boy at that time, into a wraith."
Harry blinked. "Wraith? Did I hear you right?"
Death nodded and then Harry watched as his eyes brightened as the woman came over with the requested pie slice a few minutes later.
Harry waited until the woman was gone then went to asking questions again. "What in the name of Merlin is a wraith?"
Death picked up a fork and dipped into the pie, taking a bite. "Oh, this is good."
"A wraith is someone who can reanimate the dead."
"Like... a zombie?" Harry enquired, starting to worry now.
"No. The people he brings back are fine, normal," Death murmured, groaning at the taste. "Though, if he touches them again, they fall back dead permanently. And one other thing, if he lets them live then another person dies in their place."
Harry reached out a hand to run through his hair tiredly. "What the hell was the first management thinking? Giving that kind of power to a muggle... Ugh. It must be such a burden on the poor man. Were they out of their minds?"
Death grimaced for a second then smiled at Harry. "I certainly didn't like my previous masters. They were not at all as good as you."
Harry chuckled then turned to glance over at the kitchen. The man and the woman were gone and were now standing in behind of the cash register, looking for all the world like they were eavesdropping. And of course, their expressions were very bewildered, for the second that Harry had started to ask questions, he had put up a silencing charm around the two of them.
Harry sighed, looked between the man with light brown hair and the blond woman then looked back at Death.
The deity took his last bite of the pie then glanced up at Harry. "If that's all, I really must be going. There are some souls in this city that are just about to go toward the light."
Harry nodded distractedly then blushed when Death leaned over the table and placed a light kiss on his cheek then stood up and left the restaurant.
"That's new," Harry whispered, bringing his hand up to touch his cheek.
He dimly heard Death chuckle then vanish on the spot.
He canceled the silencing spell and scooted out from the booth and walked over to stand in front of the register. Harry glanced between the piemaker and the woman and smiled softly at the two of them.
"Was your pie good?" the man asked hesitantly.
"Yes, it was. Thanks," Harry replied then decided to hell with it.
"I have an offer for you," Harry directed at the piemaker, making eye contact with him.
Harry watched as the man's eyes widened. "Offer?"
"It pertains to your... um, ability," Harry replied.
"If you can call it that," he muttered a second later.
"My..." The man gasped, unconsciously taking a step back. The woman glared at him but for the moment Harry ignored her, focusing on the wraith, as Death had called him. "I think you have the wrong man."
Harry sighed again and he would probably sigh again tonight. "No. Unless you know of another person who can bring back the dead?"
The man paled and started to shake.
"Whoa!" Harry exclaimed. "No need to... Hey!"
Harry was quick enough to step around the counter and catch the guy in his arms as he passed out.
"Easily scared, huh?" Harry whispered. "I don't blame you. Though I probably shouldn't have done that, put it that bluntly."
"What do you want with him?!" The woman scolded.
"I just..." Harry trailed off. "Is there somewhere we can talk in private?"
The woman sighed then went to flip the open sign on the door to closed. "Come on, follow me."
Harry maneuvered the man into his arms, effectively cradling him and followed the woman.
"You won't hurt him, will you?" The woman called back as she led him to the back of the restaurant.
Harry shook his head then realized that she couldn't see him. "No, of course not. I take it you know about him then?"
"Yes, I learned a few years ago."
Harry followed the woman through a door then up a flight of stairs. "So what are your names?"
The woman turned to stare at him. "You don't even know our names? And yet, you know of Ned's ability?"
"Ned, huh? No, well, it's complicated," Harry replied as the woman looked at him, shook her head and led him up the stairs and through another door. Harry glanced down at the man in his arms and spooked a little when Ned kind of curled into him.
He smiled hesitantly then followed the woman through a hallway and stopped at a door.
"My name's Olive, by the way," the woman remarked, opening the door with a key.
Harry followed her through the door and was met by a golden retriever. He chuckled when the dog sniffed at him, barked then backed up to let him through.
"That's Digby," Olive said, glancing between Harry and the dog. "You can set Ned on the couch over there. This is his apartment so it'll be familiar to him when he wakes up."
Harry strode over to the couch and gently lowered Ned down onto the couch. He stared at him for a minute then turned to properly greet the dog. Digby raced over and met him with doggy kisses. He loved dogs and could never keep himself from meeting one.
He could feel Olive staring at him then heard her make a noise of approval. She bustled off somewhere and Harry went to sit on the chair across from the couch and waited.
Ned groggily woke up on his familiar couch and opened his eyes, only to see the stranger that had caused this sitting across from him patiently.
"Finally awake, huh?"
Ned sat up and stared at the man. He had a strangely shaped scar on his forehead, one that looked like a lightning bolt and light green eyes.
"What did you mean by 'offer?'" Ned asked, a little tentatively as he kept an eye on Digby. The dog was sitting at the stranger's feet with his head in the man's lap. The man was of course, stroking a hand through the dog's fur and of course, Digby was wagging his tail. Ned wished he could do the same but that would result in there being a dead dog in the room. "And what's your name?"
"Oh, I forgot to tell you two, didn't I? My name's Harry Potter," The man replied in a cheery tone.
"And offer... How to put this..." Harry remarked, scratching his temples in thought.
Ned blinked. "And how did you learn about my... ability as you put it?"
"Ah, here we go. I'm a wizard," Harry said.
"A wizard?" Ned repeated, thinking he had heard incorrectly.
Harry nodded. "A wizard. You know, like... Gandalf in Lord of the Rings? Or Merlin?"
"Wizards are real?" Ned asked incredulously.
"Well, what do you expect? When you have the ability to bring the dead back to life?"
"I suppose I can believe that," Ned started. "So you can, I don't know, sense what I am?"
"Yeah, but I'm probably the only one who can do that," Harry replied. "I'm kinda... the Master of Death?"
"Master of Death?"
"It's complicated but I can sense what you are," Harry answered. "And back to my offer. I can 'cancel' out your ability, if you want."
Ned stared at him with wide eyes. Would he be able to kiss, actually kiss Chuck again? And pet Digby? "Would that mean...?"
"Yes, that would mean that you would be able to touch people without killing them again. But, it would mean that you wouldn't be able to bring anyone back from the dead anymore," Harry replied softly. "It's been a burden for you, hasn't it?"
Ned started to laugh, a little hysterically if the worried expression on Harry's face was anything to go by. Then he felt tears start to roll down his cheeks and he heard shuffling footsteps then he felt a dip in the couch.
"Hey," Harry whispered. "It's okay."
Through blurry eyesight, Ned saw Harry reach out a hand as if to comfort and he hesitantly nodded. Ned felt a hand come up to rest on his cheek and a thumb swiped underneath his eye to wipe the tears away.
"I'm... sorry about this," Ned murmured, gaze on the very interesting floor.
"You don't need to apologize about this kind of thing," Harry whispered. "I understand. So is that a yes?"
Ned nodded. "Yes, that's... it's a yes."
"Okay, let me focus a minute here," Harry murmured, taking his hand away and standing up to go sit on the chair again. Ned saw him close his eyes and he startled when the man started to glow.
Ned looked up, only to see Chuck and Olive coming through the door. Digby went to go welcome them enthusiastically.
"Olive came and got me," Chuck said, coming to sit by him.
Ned turned to beam at her. "I... I'll be able to touch you in a few minutes!"
Then he turned red. "That came out wrong."
Chuck laughed excitedly. "I knew what you meant. Is that what he's here for?"
Ned saw her pointing at Harry and nodded. "He's a wizard."
"Alright," Harry said. "I'm ready."
Both Ned and Chuck gasped when Harry opened his eyes. Every part of him was glowing.
"Don't worry; this is natural," Harry responded, gesturing at himself. "I just need your hand for a minute or two."
Harry held out his right hand, palm up.
Ned put his hand in Harry's and gasped when the glow from Harry's body inched over to cover him.
Ned heard Chuck inhale sharply then he blacked out again, the second time this day.
When Ned woke up again, Chuck was leaning over him with worried eyes. Digby too had come to sit in front of the couch to stare at him. Olive was standing over him too.
"Did it work?" Chuck murmured quietly.
Ned hesitantly, very hesitantly reached out a hand to lightly touch Digby's fur. When that didn't have an effect, he stroked a hand over Digby's head. And when nothing came from that, he smiled.
"It worked!" Ned exclaimed and then found himself attached to a pair of soft lips. He groaned and surged up into the kiss. Chuck was laughing delightedly and Ned reached up to wrap his arms around her.
When Ned and Chuck came up from their delighted laughter and kissing, Harry was gone. But they were too busy touching and holdings hands to really think about that.