Summary: Harry never asked to be trapped in a new world filled with heroes. And he certainly never asked to be reborn as a clone of a hero. Slash.
A New Dawn
Two hours, Harry muses as he checks the time on his new digital wristwatch.
A small gift from Wally so Harry would – in the redhead's words – 'know when things start'. Wally's personal but polite way of saying 'stop being late to meetings' and 'you're too damn slow'. Harry took the gift with an amused thank you. Now it rests snuggly around his left wrist. Harry thinks it to be an interesting feat of technology. Scratch that. A confusing piece of technology. After all, what function does a watch need other than telling time? But this watch, with a slide of his finger, can show messages, give weather forecasts and even create health reports. Does Harry truly need to know the hours he sleeps or his average heart rate? He thinks not. So, he keeps the screen on the time and nothing else. There is no need to complicate things. All he hopes is that it does not explode when magic is used – the memory of his uncle's, Vernon Dursley's, television crackling up coming to the forefront of Harry's mind.
That was not a particularly nice day, but at least he improved upon his reflexes with the copious amounts of objects thrown at him.
This memory soon fizzles out of Harry's thoughts in the same way smoke from the TV dissipated when windows were open. What replaces it is the vision of the mysterious blonde-haired woman. He still, for the life of him, cannot remember her name. Harry is sure he had heard it after the breakout at the laboratory, but it escapes him. Truthfully, he can barely recall the names of most members of the Justice League. He will also be lying if he says he remembers their faces, too. A lot of that night is now a blur – a mixture of shock and bewilderment at his sudden change of circumstances caused faces to mesh together. It was as if a muggle camera took an out of focus snapshot of the moment, costumes merging and expressions looking like something out of Edvard Munch's The Scream.
Paints quite a horrible picture, Harry thinks.
He wonders if their 'superhero names' – and how strange to say that. Superhero names – are as unusual as their costumes. Not that Harry is judging. The flamboyant fashion styles within the wizarding world leave no room for him to laugh. Luna for instance. The last time he saw her, she was dressed in orange robes and had carrots hung around her ears and neck. She had just returned from finding a new breed of magical snakes. One that strangely found the colour orange calming. So she took to wearing orange every time she worked with them. Something Harry found himself joining in on. The smile Luna had upon her face when he first wore the colour made the stares he was getting worth it.
Which reminds Harry – will he have to choose a name?
His teammates already have, leaving him the last member without a title. But what can he call himself? Nothing comes to mind. But that's the thing, isn't it? That's if he chooses to be involved. To be a hero. Here, in this world, Harry has a choice. For the first time, Harry is struck with a sense of weightlessness, as if the stones of past promises no longer rest upon his shoulders. A freedom he has never felt before. There is no prophecy, no crazed killer he is bound to, and no obligation he must follow until the end. The realisation makes the very air he breathes feel different, easier to take in. It is like his lungs have finally relaxed restricted passageways which were once on the verge of closing.
He can breathe.
Maybe a little too easily. Harry can sense the beginnings of an oxygen high.
Two hours, he reminds himself. He has two hours to spare before he must meet the nameless lady.
He decides to sit up on his sofa seat, no longer resting like the spiders in his old bedroom cupboard. The ones which curl up into balls when the light beyond his small door would flicker over them. He would spend hours counting how long it would take for them to uncurl and resume building their webs. It was his only form of entertainment, until the letter changed everything.
Bones pop back into place as he stretches. He has been sitting in the same position for the past thirty minutes, speculating what to do next. Conner had already left for Metropolis and M'gann did not exactly say what she will be doing but hinted that it was of utmost importance. He did not ask any questions as her eyes lit up with excitement while her expression attempted indifference. It was just another thing to add to the list of what confuses him about M'gann. Like in the way she tries hard to mimic phrases one would hear from Aunt Petunia's favourite sitcoms. Not that he watched them, but he would hear it if the volume was loud enough to reach his room. From what he understood, M'gann is not human, yet she tries very hard to be accepted as one. It is as if the idea of rejection will cause her great harm, so she does her best to avoid it. The first mission with the group proves that.
Her adverse reaction to rejection only shows one thing to Harry; she has already been rejected once before and in a way that caused her pain. It may also be the reason why she is here. On Earth. Away from her home. This is pure speculation on his part, but she has never talked about her home. About her family or even friends. She tends to redirect all conversations when the spotlight is on her.
And what can he do?
Nothing is the answer.
Not his business or his place to ask something so personal.
The library, pops into his mind.
There is a library in this place. On the second floor if his memory is correct. Maybe there is some information on superheroes or even the current state of the world. There might even be something on magic. Or so he hopes.
Standing up, Harry takes the first step towards the library.
The library, Harry notes, does not hold a candle to the one at Hogwarts.
He does not think it's because of the sleek, modernistic style that makes it look like something from a futuristic setting. Somewhere in time in which endless white walls no longer cause people to blink several times to adjust to the severity of the brightness, or how the pale blue furniture look as if sitting on one will cause his spine to bend with its unusual shape. It isn't even because of how there seems to be more space for computers than actual books. No, these are not the reasons for Harry's frustrations with the library.
The catalogue system is the main culprit.
On each side of every bookcase, there is a sheet of paper encased in plastic with words written on it. An example being World History – Global Politics: 820.500 – 830.500. By looking through the bookshelves, Harry observes number stickers attached to the spine of each book. With this, he can deduce that the numbers 820 to 829 are solely for history. British history, for instance, is placed under 822.914, but to find a specific author, subcategories come into play. Like how the books by Thomas Jameson,such as Britain: Post-War or Re-building Britain, is placed under 822.914.09. Thankfully, the numbers do not extend further than that. The system in Hogwarts was a lot easier because…
Because magic made it easier.
He is beginning to understand why multiple features on the watch exist. It's for the sake of convenience, having as many things as possible in one place. He commends muggles for that as Harry can no longer imagine a life without magic. It is a part of his every being. To lose it now will be to lose a part of himself. For this reason, he is glad Death allowed him to keep his magic in this world. He would have felt significantly more lost without it.
Turning back to the shelves, Harry starts to compare this world's events to his previous one. Skimming through these books, a lot of them seem to hold the same information he already knows; the two world wars, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the American Revolution and more. The only thing that stands out was the names of kingdoms or countries he has never heard before. A lot of them with names Harry is afraid he will butcher if he tries to pronounce them. The Kingdom of Markovia being the simplest to say.
In between two paperbacks about East African history is a thick leather-bound book with no sticker attached or a title written across the spine. However, there seems to be designs Harry has never seen carved on it. Strange circular symbols that interweave. Could this belong to a member of the League? That is the most plausible answer. But the amount of questions it creates seems to have no answers of their own. With sparked interest, Harry pulls the book from the case with care, more carvings exposed as the front cover is revealed. The book, more like a grimoire, is heavy enough that Harry has to use both hands to carry it.
This raises the first red flag.
Harry's new strength is something he is still getting use to, so why would a simple book be heavy?
Unless it is not. Simple, that is.
He carries the book over to one of the many desks and places it down with a soft thud. Then takes a seat as his fingers trace the patterns. From experience, Harry knows to leave peculiar, hidden books alone. The memory of Ginny and the diary always being his first thought. But Tom is not here. No one like Tom is here. Well, mostly… So there will be no reason to have Harry deliberately stumble upon this. The true reason for his existence kept a secret by Death herself. Thus, this can only be something to do with the League.
Harry opens the book and –
There is nothing.
Confusion sets hard within his bones. There are no words as he flicks from page to page. No pictures. Nothing. Just blankness. Harry leans back in his seat as a small inkling of disappointment bubbles up. He may have been hoping for something interesting. A revelation about this new world. Although, this is a good thing. Trouble seems to find Harry no matter what he does. This time is not the case. Harry moves his hands to close the book.
The lights flicker as he rests his palms on the corners of the page.
Harry hums in awareness but continues to shut the book.
The lights flare, momentarily blinding him, before darkness envelops everything.
That's when the cold hits his skin. It is not a typical cold one would feel as they walk through the streets of London under a grey sky. This kind of cold is the type that burns the surface of skin and locks limbs in place, leaving many unable to move. And right now, Harry cannot lift a finger, especially when someone is behind him. How does he know this? The steady beating of the person's heart is the obvious clue. Harry tries to calm his own erratic heart in response.
He opens his mouth and imagines his warm breath creating puffs of mist as he speaks.
He is greeted with silence. So he tries again.
"I know you're behind me," he says with a slightly raised voice. "I can hear—"
"What did you see?"
The voice is like nothing he has ever heard before, and Harry has heard voices of humans and creatures alike. This peremptory voice cracks in the same way non-oven glassware does when intense heat is applied. A sound he knows well as a result of cooking failures, but one he has never heard on a person. The oddness of the sound scrapes against his eardrums, making him flinch.
"What did you see?" the voice repeats.
The book, Harry realises. He – Harry guesses a man – is talking about the book.
For a second, Harry contemplates lying but decides against it. He is the one frozen in his seat with a man who can most likely kill him. Yes, it is best not to lie. Not when he has already died once before.
"Nothing," Harry admits. "I saw nothing. The pages are all blank."
Silence falls for a few seconds before Crackles – Harry chose to give him a name. He was not going to keep calling him the man – spoke up again.
"I'm not surprised," Crackles replies with a tone of dissatisfaction. "When my sister brought you here, I saw an anomaly within my book. A blank page in a sea of written words. A blank page meaning to be your future."
"Sister?" Harry repeats while trying to create the sensation of movement in his body. He fails, still frozen in place.
"Death has a brother?!"
Harry cannot help but blurt out the words, shock evident in his voice.
Crackles laughs. A noise that makes Harry want to cover his ears to protect them.
"Several brothers, in fact. But I am the eldest."
"I'm sorry," Harry says, politeness somehow not forgotten, "who are you?!"
"I am Destiny. The first of the Endless. I am here because I cannot see your future. It is hidden from me. I presume a work of Death. She seems adamant to protect you. Leaves me wondering why. Who are you that my sister is willing to go through such lengths?"
Harry presses his lips together. He will not say a word.
Crackles scoffs. "No matter. I shall find out soon."
Warmth seeps back into Harry as the lights blaze on.
His leg muscles spasm as movement returns. With this, Harry shifts his body around to face the so-called brother of Death.
No one is there.
Harry turns back to the book.
That, too, is gone.
Hello! Been quite a while.
First of all, thank you guys so much for the birthday wishes. I had a lovely birthday with friends over Animal Crossing while social distancing.
A lot of other things have happened, too. I finished my dissertation and graduated university with 1st class honours (the highest you can get in the UK). So really proud of myself. I then suffered from writer's block since I was so burnt out from doing my dissertation, but hopefully, that is over now.
I did say that Robin would be in this chapter. I meant the next chapter haha. Really sorry. And you will also find out what happened to Conner then.
I made a tumblr, so feel free to contact/talk to me there. The name is wiseskylightfanfics.
Thank you so much for your patience. I hope everyone is doing well in these hard times.