Stacked With: Hogwarts; BAON
Individual Challenges: Short Jog; Yellow Ribbon; Yellow Ribbon Redux; Gryffindor MC; Death's Inevitable Master (Y); World Hopping
Representation: Harry Potter; Kaecilius; Deathly Hallows; Immortal Harry Potter
Bonus Challenges: Nontraditional; Bee Haven; Machismo
Prompts: Invisibility Cloak (auction); Desire (365 words); Sacrifice (Insane Prompts)
Word Count: 1,558
There were many artefacts in the various sanctums around the world and they were all waiting for someone they connected to. Some of them waited thousands of years, some of them hundreds, and some only a few. It was Harry's job to keep a record of all the artefacts—when they came in, when they left and who they chose were all noted down in his book.
He was pacing through the London sanctum now, noting that all the artefacts listed were indeed still in the building and untethered to a person. It was only when he had checked off everything else that he made his way to the small alcove that held three objects.
They were still there. The ring, the stick of wood, and the cloak had not moved since he last saw them. They stirred as he approached, vibrating with an energy that was unknown in this world and only loosely related to the rest of the energy in the sanctum.
"No," he told them.
They tried to jump to him as they always did, but the barrier he had created held them back. The ring settled down, content to continue waiting. The wand buzzed angrily as it battered against the magic he had erected without its help. The cloak sank to the floor and became a puddle of fabric. Harry sighed and also sank to the floor, leaning against the wall opposite the Deathly Hallows.
"I can't. Not here. So long as you're just another set of artefacts, we're all safe." He curled his knees up to his chest and rested his arms on them. "I can't bring the same destruction on these people that I did my friends."
The cloak lifted a corner and poked at the barrier. Harry smiled at it, it had always had a calming effect on him and he loved it as much for that as he did for the fact it had belonged to his father. Silently, he shook his head in answer to the cloak's query and it sank back down into a puddle. As he stared at the artefacts that boosted his magic to degrees he had no desire for, he felt tears start to well up in his eyes.
They were the only thing he had left of his original world and he had to keep them locked away with other artefacts that were nowhere near as precious to him. The three objects he kept hidden from the world in plain sight were his family as much as his friends had been. He had had them for so many years, they had been with him through everything after Voldemort had been defeated.
But their magic was too strong and there were always those that would seek out power. Even in worlds that possessed no magic of their own, he had had to fight back against those desperate for the power the Deathly Hallows held. It didn't matter how many times Harry told them that the Hallows wouldn't obey them; they were so sure of themselves and of their ability to find a way to wield the magical power.
Eventually Harry would have to run as he did every other time. If he didn't, so many people would be caught in the crossfire. It had happened with the wizarding world he had been ordered to save. Someone caught wind that Harry possessed all three of the Deathly Hallows and then there was a deluge of wix all trying to take them from him. That world had ended in fire and water, with angry spells filling the air and power driving even the most sensible people mad.
There was magic in this world that was already capable of creating madness, Harry had no desire to add onto that. Even if it meant locking up his family and never being able to wield them again for fear of those who sought them out for their own gain. The three understood, even if they weren't happy with it.
Soft footfalls made their way to him and Harry hurriedly stood up, wiping the tears from his eyes as he did so. Kaecilius turned the corner and stopped when he saw Harry.
"Archivist," he greeted, and Harry nodded in return. "What are you doing staring at artefacts?"
"It is my job, Kaecilius. I stare at artefacts all the time."
Kaecilius hummed. "Yet not, I think, with tears. Do you desire these artefacts?"
Harry couldn't stop his eyes from drifting to the Hallows. He did, he wanted them in his hands more than anything but knew they couldn't be there if he wanted the world to survive. "I am merely a note-taker, I do not have any claim over the artefacts I put in the ledger."
"And yet you wish for them." Kaecilius moved until he was standing right in front of Harry, his face close enough that if one of them shifted forward they would be touching. "These artefacts are power, Archivist. They sit here gathering dust because no one comes to claim them. The Ancient One says the artefacts will come to those who need them. I say they are power that should be used, not stored."
The words of Kaecilius reminded Harry so much of Voldemort that it was almost as if he was standing in front of the Mirror of Erised again. There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it. Harry pushed the memory back and brought up another one.
"The artefact chooses the wielder, Kaecilius, not the other way around."
Kaecilius sneered and moved away, proceeding down the corridor as if he hadn't just tried to convince Harry to take an artefact for himself. Harry stared after him, he would need to watch Kaecilius in the future. If he sounded like Voldemort now, who knew what might happen in the future?
Kaecilius had called Dormammu to their dimension and Harry ran through the ruined building of the London sanctum cursing. He had to help. If he could draw Dormammu away with the power of the Hallows, everyone would be safe. He skidded to a halt in front of the Hallows and they all perked up instantly.
"Let's go," he said, letting down the barrier.
Instantly, the Resurrection Stone was on his left pinky finger, the Elder Wand in his right hand, and the Invisibility Cloak wrapped around his shoulders. Their magic flowed into him and he smiled at the feeling of having them with him again. Death called him to Hong Kong only to vanish as he made his way there.
He watched as time was turned back by the newest student of the Ancient One. Doctor Strange had the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto and he was using them to his advantage. Harry watched as the man flew into the Dark Dimension to face Dormammu himself. Curious at the manipulations the doctor had performed before flying off, Harry let the Invisibility Cloak activate and flew after him.
Time reset with every death the doctor faced. Harry watched him die again and again without ever giving up as Dormammu grew angrier with every loop. Eventually, he could see that Doctor Strange was tiring and Dormammu still far from agreeing. Harry decided it was time for him to step in. Just as Strange once more flew in front of Dormammu and offered a bargain, Harry told the Cloak to turn visible.
"Dormammu, I have a different bargain."
Doctor Strange stared at him in shock. "I know you," he said. "You're the archivist from the sanctums. What are you doing here?"
"What I do best, Doctor Strange. Causing destruction."
Dormammu was fixated on the power from the Hallows as he had known the being would be. Strange was unaffected currently—the power of his own artefacts protecting him from the Hallows. Harry turned away from the doctor and addressed Dormammu.
"As you know, there is far more power for you in absorbing me than there is in absorbing Earth. What do you say, Dormmamu? Care for a little game of hide and seek? Or are you too weak to defeat me?"
"I had a plan," Doctor Strange hissed.
"And I missed my family," Harry replied calmly. There were worse fates than being on the run through the dimensions and keeping the universe safe from a being intent on devouring them. "Your plan would have worked, but this is a better way."
Dormammu looked to Earth where his disciples were frozen in time. "I will take them, they belong to me," he said.
Harry nodded. "Agreeable."
"I will not break the loop," Doctor Strange said, clearly not wanting someone he thought of as an innocent to give up their life.
"Death is not controlled by Time, Doctor Strange. Go home, rest, rebuild the sanctums. Perhaps we will meet again. Dormammu, catch me if you can."
With a grin and a wink, Harry pulled him and Dormammu from the time loop and set off running. Dormammu only waited long enough to collect the souls of Kaecilius and his aides before pursuing him. Harry laughed as he ran. He should have done this ages ago! There were no people he had to worry about causing suffering to and he had the Hallows with him, no longer trapped behind magical walls.