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Harry Potter And The Game of Death

Level 1

Chapter One: Death Approaches

Dementors swooped through the chill night air.

Terror preceded their flight. Horror was left in their wake. While their desire, their overwhelming thirst for mortal souls, filled the air itself as they plummeted towards their helpless targets.

Harry tightly grasped his wand as he watched the creatures draw close, summoning every scrap of will he possessed to defy them. Nearby, his best friend, Hermione Granger, knelt over the bloodied form of an immense canine, the transformed body of Harry's godfather, Sirius Black. The young witch had her wand out, slowly moving it over the large animal's body as she assessed the damage.

But while she handled Sirius, it was up to Harry to handle the Dementors.

Their terrifying aura washed over him, causing his entire body to shake in fear. But he pushed back, refusing to let it overwhelm him, and thrust out his wand. "Expecto Patronum!"

Silver sparks of magic sputtered forth, forming a thin veil of protection which dulled the Dementor's powers.

"Come on! Why won't you work!" Harry muttered harshly as he gave his wand a shake. "Why can't I cast a true Patronus?"

The hazy shield currently created by his magic was keeping the Dementors back for now. But a true Patronus would have chased the creatures away. And unless Harry was able to cast a fully formed Patronus, instead of the pathetic sparks he was currently making… then all three of them would soon die the moment he ran out of magic.

Desperate, Harry tried to focus as his professor Lupin had taught him. He searched his mind for the sort of happy memories which were supposed to form the core of a Patronus and bring it into being.

But no matter how hard he tried, or what memory he used to base the spell, a true, corporeal Patronus failed to form.

Harry grit his teeth as the Dementor's baleful aura strengthened. It washed over his skin, sucking the heat from the core of his being, while in his mind he began to hear the dying screams of his parents.

Memory after memory flashed through Harry's brain as he threw his entire being into the fight. Flying on a broom for the first time. Winning his first game of Quidditch. Eating a birthday cake at the Burrow. Freeing Dobby from the Malfoys. Receiving an album of pictures from Hagrid filled with photos of his parents. Seeing Hermione wake up from the Basilisk's petrification. Arguing over the latest Quidditch news with Ron. Joking with the Weasley twins. Ginny's tearful face as she thanked him for saving her life.

None worked. And as the failures continued to mount, the protective light from Harry's wand grew ever more dim.

It was no use. Harry wasn't strong enough, wasn't happy enough, to save those counting on him. He was a broken fraud, worse than even Lockhart, and he deserved to have his soul devoured by the creatures which surrounded him.

Confidence broken and his magic weakening, Harry's wand began to dip. Then a voice snapped him out of it, reminding him that he wasn't alone.

"You can do this Harry. I know you can."

Hermione's confident, beautiful voice broke through the clutter that filled Harry's mind as she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"But how?" Harry desperately fought to keep his voice under control as the fear of failing took hold on him. He twisted his head to look at her. "The spell isn't working!"

"It will, Harry. Trust me, it will!" the bushy-haired girl said with a tremulous smile. Top in their class and, arguably, the entire school, the genius who was his best friend was not to be denied. "I've seen you leap onto the back of a giant troll, armed with little more than your courage, and I've never doubted you since. You've faced far worse things than this, Harry, and you've managed to overcome them all!"

Hermione paused, breathing deep. Then she started to sway on her feet, face pale and skin covered in sweat as she fought to finish her words. "I know that… that you are an amazing wizard, Harry… one who… who will face even greater challenges in the future. So do… what you must… and… and protect…"

"Hermione!"

Harry's worried shout went unheeded as the girl's words cut-off mid-sentence. Her body slumped to the ground, thrown into the grips of forced slumber due to the Dementor's that circled ever closer.

"No. No. No!" The young wizard screamed in pained rage at the creatures surrounding them. "Not Hermione. Not her! You can take my life if you want, but you can't take hers! Never! Not while I'm still here!"

With renewed strength, Harry eyed the creeping forms of the Dementors. He gripped his phoenix-core wand and summoned forth every bit of magical energy he possessed, digging it out of his body and shaping it to his will. He might not possess a memory happy enough to power a proper Patronus Charm, but what he did possess was a potent well of magic far beyond what anyone his age should possess.

For the first time in his life, it was time to let loose the floodgates that held his magic back and see what might happen.

Thrusting his wand at the shadowy creatures, silvery light flared into being once more, raging forth in a torrent of magical power. In a stream thicker than the Womping Willow's trunk, it impacted the shadowy forms of the Dementors like a battering ram. And for the first time that evening, the creatures flinched, frightened by the sheer power contained within its glow.

Harry felt a grin stretch the corners of his mouth at the sight. "Yeah, that's right," he hissed triumphantly. Reversing the tables on the blighted creatures felt good! "Can't get us now, can you? Even if the spell's not complete, it's complete enough to hurt and make you back off!"

His words were met with silence as the Dementors retreated into the shadows. Bathed in the light of his spell, Harry was finally able to glance at his two companions.

Beside him, Hermione's face was twisted in a pained grimace as the girl whimpered, caught in the grip of a Dementor fuelled nightmare. While Sirius' bloodied body heaved and shuddered as the transformed man struggled to draw breath into his weakened lungs.

They looked terrible. But both were alive, and that was what mattered most.

After all, help had to be on the way! Whether it was Headmaster Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, or some other member of Hogwarts' skilled professors, surely someone had to be coming for them! Heck, at this point Harry would be relieved to see even Snape arrive, though the man bore no small amount of blame for the situation happening in the first place, what with his refusal to accept Sirius' innocence in the death of Harry's parents.

But as the minutes began to stretch… and no one came... hope began to fade. Until eventually, it became clear that no one would be coming to save the day.

Cold sweat dripped into Harry's eyes as he began to despair once more. His body began to shake. His chest heaved. All while the torrent of magic pouring out fell to a mere trickle unable to hold back the ravenous horde.

The Dementors swooped in, spectral hands reaching out to grab the humans and devour their souls.

Harry shut his eyes, waiting for his inevitable and violent end to arrive.

But it didn't. Instead, a feeling… one produced from deep inside Harry's own body… began to stir. And with it, Harry felt himself begin to change.

Born of need and desire, it came from within the furthest depths of his flesh, his blood– no, his very soul! The feeling began to rush through his body, bringing with it a distant, wordless melody. It was a song, a magical one, and it entered Harry's mind before he knew it.

Once there, the change within him began to quicken.

Who Harry was before this change, and who he would be after it finished, were different than who he was right now: an older him, a current him, and a younger him, all existed simultaneously. Yet he was also none of them, as each changed and morphed from moment to the next in a constant state of flux.

Somehow, the song bridged the gap between them. It combined every version of Harry's self into one, all the possibilities both present and past, creating a perfect version which stretched across his entire being. Only to shatter his essence into pieces and drive them apart as it remade him yet again.

A groan passed Harry's lips. His knees buckled, and his arms began to grow slack. Whatever this tune might be, and whatever end it sought, it was consuming Harry's already depleted stores of magic. Neither his body nor his reserves could sustain the song's power. And if it continued, it would kill him as surely as the Dementors whose hands neared his flesh that very moment.

Then it ended.

Time froze.

And a page of mysterious text floated into existence before his eyes.

Welcome, Master, to the Game of Death

Would you like to play?

Please Select

Yes or No

A/N: A few major points for new readers which explain what lies ahead:

This story is an Alternate Universe (AU) fic. MANY things such as character ages and sexuality, Quidditch rules, past events, organizations, the mechanics of magic itself, it being a slow-burn harem story with seven lovely ladies (eventually) being paired with Harry, and far more have been changed to fit my own vision of how this new world operates. I also use a British grammar check for this story and like to show accented English when certain characters are speaking. So, keep in mind that some scenes will have grammatically incorrect English on purpose make an appearance.

Additionally, this story is not a hardcore game fic, which means that the Game of Death and its mechanics will not dominate every chapter and may go multiple scenes without being used or referenced.

Beyond that, read on, and thank you for giving this story a shot.

Until Next Time,

~Elsil