Obligatory Disclaimer: Harry Potter as well as any quotes from other works don't belong to me.
"Welp, I guess I was doomed from the start," was Harry Potter's last thought as the killing curse rushed towards him.
Harry had always expected a simple fade to black during the transition between life and afterlife, so he was quite confuzzled as his emeralds of doom and gloom roamed across what seemed to be King's Cross Station crystallizing itself out of the mystickal white nothingness.
"I knew getting killed at the graveyard would come back to bite me in the arse one day," the gloriously gryffindorish quidditch sensation thought melodramatically.
He was slightly surprised when he noticed he was still carrying all three Hallows.
His ruminations were interrupted by a portal appearing on his northwest. Out of it came a pale girl dressed in black, followed by two more girls who were identical to the first one and an uncomfortable looking young man whose black shirt had the ominous inscription "tfw no gf" emblazoned upon it.
The first girl dramatically gesticulated with her arms and made to speak.
"Wait, you're not my parents," Harry interrupted her. "Also this doesn't look like it did last time. Where's the field of flowers? Where am I? Who are you?"
The raven-haired enigmatic amassment of general mysterious forebodingness shot Harry an irritated glare and cleared her throat.
"I am Death, Harry Potter," she huffed. "You are currently in what we refer to as Limbo. Also, you completely ruined my moment, so thanks for that. You're already the worst Master of Death we've ever had, and I'm not even talking about your numerous other fuck-ups, Mr. Potter of the many lordships!"
"Wait what, lordships?" Harry asked. It was fitting that he was back at King's Cross, he mused, because the Headache Express sure was coming fast today, choo choo.
"See, that's what I'm talking about!" the girl theatrically stated, pointing a deathly finger at him. Harry mentally dubbed her Death Number One. "If you'd known about them, you could've saved all those people you were supposed to save, among other things. And to top it all of, you picked the wrong girl!"
"Excuse me?" Harry exclaimed. He was starting to feel quite indignant. He'd been perfectly happy with Hannah, thank you very much.
"Yeah, you completely missed your soul bond connection to Ginny Weasley, you utter numbnut!" Death Number Two interjected.
The third girl rolled her eyes at her.
"Dammit Ainsley, you're thinking of the wrong continuum again. This one was bonded to Susan Bones during the troll event in his fifth year."
"That's ridiculous!" Harry protested. "We were aware of our connection from the very start and we used it as a tactical advantage multiple times. Which is all it's supposed to be. Haven't you freaks ever heard of the wizarding soulphone?! All of us had at least three connections going at all time, it was necessary if you wanted to survive."
"Irrelevant," Death Number One declared, "they're wrong anyway. You were destined to marry Katie Bell and have lots of quidditch playing children." She got a disturbing gleam in her eyes at that.
"That's the most random thing I've heard all year," Harry stated flatly.
Before any of them could answer, the portal opened again and another pale black-haired, black-eyed girl clad in deathly black stumbled through it and fell to the floor in a heap. She seemed out of breath and was slightly more wild-eyed than the other ones. Harry mentally dubbed her Death Number Five, although he wasn't too sure if he should count the guy in the questionable shirt.
"Harry Potter" Death Number Five squeaked in a voice that uncomfortably reminded Harry of Dobby, "it is my great honour and pleasure to announce to you that you have been selected by Fate as the first test subject for our Second Chance Program, now with free time turner! However, the bad news is you'll have to spend your new life in abstinence until Gabrielle Delacour comes of age!"
The other Deaths facepalmed. Harry saw red.
"That's it, that one went too far. I have the Wand, the Stone and the Cloak, you're all fired," he boldly declared, his eyes and nose spitting the angry fire of the righteous.
They all stared at him in shock. Harry stared right back, like the badass he was. Absolutely nothing happened.
"Yeah, that's not quite how it works," came a voice from behind him.
Harry felt dread well up in his chest and sweat erupt from his scrumptious messy Potter eyebrows. The voice had a really menacing quality to it, like a particularly aggressive blender choking on earthquakes. Harry slowly turned around and realised he'd been bamboozled. There was just no way this wasn't the real Death, he had a black cloak and a scythe and everything! Not to mention the fact that he was a skeleton.
"I am Death, Harry Potter," Death rasped. "Welcome to these hallowed halls. My apologies for testing my newly-created assistants on you, they clearly need some fine-tuning."
"You need to tell that one to calm the fuck down," Harry said, pointing at Death's Assistant Number Five.
Death narrowed his eyes at the now blushing girl, a feat he somehow managed without actually having eyes.
There were a few seconds of awkward silence, after which the assistants left, clearly realising that they were neither needed nor wanted at the moment.
"So, uh," Harry said, fervently hoping that Death wouldn't smite him into the Realm of the Even More Dead for his insolence in the face of an entity that was quite possibly omnipotent. After all, Death also controlled Time and probably Fate, a fact that all wizarding children learned in wizarding kindergarten. "Does my being in possession of the Hallows actually grant me any power over you? Like, can I tell you not to claim someone?"
Death gargled a chuckle that sounded like lava hitting water at terminal velocity.
"Once again, Mr. Potter, that's not exactly how it works. If someone is next on my list, there's nothing anyone can do to change that," he explained. "You can however manipulate circumstances to make their death less horrible than it otherwise would have been. For example, you could have arranged for Sirius Black to die of a simple killing curse, instead of being dissolved in a pool of sulfuric acid while being eaten by bullet ants."
Harry had to close his eyes for a second at the memory of his godfather's gruesome demise. Then an unrelated question apparated into his already thoroughly blown mind.
"Oh by the way, am I stuck here? I want to go to the afterlife and see my dead friends again!"
Noticing his quickly growing panic, Death chortled a gurgle that brought to mind the sound of a thousand meteors crashing down from above, twice.
"Of course you can go to the afterlife, Harry Potter," he hissed. "It's just that as the Master of Death, you get to circulate freely between Limbo and the afterlife, as well as the Soul Well, where souls devoured by dementors or damaged by excessive horcruxing get recycled. You also get a private penthouse and free access to the multiverse, including time travel, for no damn reason!"
"Wait, what," Harry stammered.
"Unfortunately, I already wasted way too much time with you," Death continued briskly, ignoring Harry's many implied questions. "I have a job to do, so I'm just going to leave you to your own devices. Don't break too many realities!"
With that, Death skipped away, his robes fluttering behind him in a display that put everything Snape had ever been capable of to shame.
Harry was so confused he didn't even manage a simple "what", so he just stumbled his way through King's Cross until his steps led him to a massively mirobolant mansion made of miraculously magnificent marble. That had to be the penthouse.
Harry definitely wanted to talk to his parents again, as well as all the friends and godfathers he'd lost in the war, but decided he'd use this opportunity to grant himself twenty-four hours of rearranging his mind first, along with a healthy sprinkle of self-pity at having died so closely before the end of the war. He'd really looked forward to finally having peace after all the shit he'd lived through in his twenty-two years. Ah well, this was still better than nothing.
Ten hours later, the sound of drunken giggling rang through the mansion, slowly escalating into a full-blown cackle. A very alcoholised Harry was currently looking at a particulary entertaining universe where another version of him had made an impact on both wizarding and muggle history. He'd already checked on his own world and noted with no small amount of satisfaction that Dumbledore and Hermione were nearly done with their crazy plan to get rid of Riddle, and now that there were no horcruxes or prophecy children left to complicate things, he gave them perfect odds of success. Oh, he'd have words with Tom once whatever was left of the bastard's soul made its way here...
After that, he'd discovered the everfull bar that apparently came with the penthouse, a bonus he hadn't expected, but hadn't complained about either.
"Pffffchrrrt," Harry snickered, "I'm so famous in this one that people are actually publishing stories about me on the internet, would you look at that!"
Harry used the kaleidoscope of realities to peek over an unsuspecting person's shoulder and started to read from their screen.
ONCE UPON A FUCKING TIME HARRY'S SECRET UNCLE TOOK HIM AWAY FROM THE DURSLEYS AND RAISED HIM AND TAUGHT HIM LOTS OF WANDLESS MAGIC AND MARTIAL ARTS AND ANDROMEDA TONKS TAUGHT HIM EVERYTHING ABOUT WIZARDING HISTORY AND PUREBLOOD ETIQUETTE AND THEN HARRY WENT ON THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS AND HELD A ROUSING SPEECH ABOUT HOW THE HOUSE DOESN'T MATTER AND THEN HE WENT TO SLYTHERIN AND HERMIONE WENT TO SLYTHERIN BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO MAKE THE WIZARDING WORLD MORE PROGRESSIVE WHICH WAS VERY AMBITIOUS AND WOULD NEED A LOT OF CUNNING AND RON WENT TO SLYTHERIN BECAUSE HE WAS GOOD AT CHESS AND THEN HARRY PUNCHED MALFOY IN THE MOUTH AT THE SLYTHERIN TABLE AND CALLED HIM A DEATH EATER AND DUMBLEDORE WAS DISAPPOINTED AND STOPPED TWINKLING AND MANIPULATED EVERYONE INTO THINKING THAT NEVILLE WAS THE PROPHECY CHILD BECAUSE HARRY HAD GONE DARK AND THEN HARRY STILL KILLED VOLDEMORT BY STABBING HIM WITH A SWORD OF GRYFFINDOR PATRONUS TO PROVE HE WASN'T DARK AND THEN HE BECAME MINISTER OF MAGIC AT 20.
"I like the part with the secret uncle," Harry chuckled to himself after he was done spraying firewhiskey through his nose. Then he scrolled through a few more realities, before stopping short as he noticed something utterly unacceptable.
"Wh-what the hell are they doin' to him?!" he exclaimed, watching a younger version of himself getting repeatedly stabbed with a crowbar by a furious Vernon Dursley. "My vvversion of the Dursles weren't that bad by a llllong shot..."
Harry scrolled his way through that particular world, searching for the cause of this worrying change. He was even more scandalised when every clue led back to Dumbledore.
"Nnnnoow that's jus' insulting..." he slurred, taking a large swig of exploding vodka that made him shoot fireballs from his ears, "Mmmy Dumbly... Dummel... Dumborder was the best most awesomest wizard ever!"
Looking at his suffering alter ego, Harry made a snap decision. It was time to drastically improve the poor guy's life. It was time for...
Secret. Uncle. Intervention.
1991, another world...
Hidden in the deepest bowels of Hogwarts, in the wretched hive of scum and villainy known as the Headmaster's Office, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was sitting in his evil chair, mapping out his next evil plan on his evil desk while eating evil candy. He was giddily anticipating the upcoming enrolling of the Boy-Who-Lived at Hogwarts and all the succulent manipulation that would inevitably follow. His evil phoenix was lovingly watching over him.
Suddenly, Dumbledore's Spying-on-Harry-Potter device exploded, signaling the boy's likely disappearance from the evil wards he'd placed around 4 Privet Drive. Startled, the Headmaster spat out a handful of lemon drops.
"The mudbloods are attacking, get the trebuchet!" Phineas Nigellus' portrait shrieked.
Ignoring him, Dumbledore grabbed his trusty phoenix and wooshed straight into the Dursleys' living room.
"Jesus Christ," Vernon Dursley yelled, "it's the damn freaks again. Petunia, get my drill!"
Dumbledore quickly stunned the panicking woman, before addressing the fuming Dursley patriarch.
"Where is Harry Potter?" he asked, putting on his best Stern Headmaster Face. Vernon wasn't impressed.
"Ah, so now you check on him. Well you're out of luck, abomination! Another one of your kind got to him first. Said he was his secret uncle from Australia or some such nonsense. Said he was going to make him into the best freak that ever lived, whatever that means."
"And you didn't think it might be a ruse by a child kidnapper?" the Headmaster asked incredulously.
Vernon laughed, his demonic baritone echoing through the house and making the walls vibrate.
"Of course we did, that's why we went along with it."
"Drat," quoth Dumbledore.