There's a talent that some wizards can manifest - that of an elemental. They can control one of the six established spheres of control: earth, water-ice, fire, air, spirit, and light-darkness. Spirit elementals have been persecuted since they were discovered because their powers also confer upon them the ability to control life and death. Since the Ministry of Magic was established, Unspeakables have been culling the population of spirit elementals until none remain. As the ability to control one element or another is genetic, they believe that they have gotten rid of any bloodlines that could hold the spirit elemental genes. Until Harry.
I hope you enjoy the first chapter of When Spirits Call! Big thanks to the people over at Writer's Den Discord who've been putting up with my incessant questions and requests for advice regarding this story.
This story will pick up on Harry's 16th birthday in the next chapter. As this is the prologue, it is a bit shorter than future chapters will be. Any confusion or questions on how elementals work in this universe will likely be answered when it's posted.
With that said, have fun reading!
October 31, 1981
The house that sat at 479 Raion Run was blown to smithereens. The entire right side of the house was exposed to the great outdoors, jagged edges protruding from every side of the chasm. The gate had been forcefully separated from the fence surrounding it and lay several feet from its previous position.
A cloaked figure stood on the sidewalk observing the damage. The last cloaked figure to enter the house had met a rather grisly end, yet this person strode confidently onto the cobblestone path leading to the broken front door.
"Why is it always me? Bloody worse than Dumbledore, she is." A low voice could be heard muttering irritably as the person looked over their shoulder, then slipped into the house. The body of James Potter was slumped over on the floor with another figure looming over him. His wand was on the coffee table where he'd dropped it when his uninvited guest had come barging in. The new intruder removed his hood and greeted the other.
"It's always good to see prompt response times." James Potter's Reaper bowed her head to her Master, then disappeared where she stood with the glowing orb that was Potter's soul clutched in her hand.
Death shook his head fondly and proceeded up the stairs to where he knew the nursery would be located. Nothing had been disturbed, it seemed that Voldemort had taken James out without a fight. That changed when he stepped into Harry's room. There was a pristine circle radiating out from Lily's body in front of the crib, but the rest of the room bore scorch marks from Voldemort's explosive demise.
The toddler in the crib had been calling out for his mama, but fell silent when Death entered. Harry knew this new person wasn't his father. He was just as tall as James, yes, and shared the same messy black hair, but everything else was all wrong. This man was in his late-twenties to early-thirties, much older than James had been, and now older than James would ever be. The sickly pale pallor of his skin added to his not-James appearance. Not-James approached the crib, attempting to make himself look as non-threatening as possible. Harry screwed up his mouth and let out a heart breaking wail.
"Mama! Dada!" Death quickly scooped up the toddler and held him against his shirt, letting Harry's snot and tears soak into the shoulder of his cloak.
"Shh, little one." Death tried to offer what little comfort he could whilst glaring up at the stars, visible through the rather noticeable hole.
"Meddling Fate, thinks she knows everything. No morals whatsoever! It's as if he's simply a piece on a chessboard…" The angry rant trailed off as Harry dried his tears and looked up at not-James.
"Well, there you are, Harry." Death cooed at the baby in his arms. If Fate had had her way this little boy would be set up as a lamb for slaughter with nary a soul to help him on his way. He could not in good conscience let that stand. Death was well acquainted with the concept of fate and a higher plan. Many souls had their deaths marked on them from the day they were born. His Reapers took care of those souls and ferried them on their way to the afterlife. There were times, however, when that pesky little issue of free will got in the way. Free will for the humans at least. Death could not directly interfere in the going ons of mortals until their souls died - or were about to.
He had the dead woman at his feet to thank for his ability to stand here, holding her son. If he looked closely enough he could see the etchings of runes in the four corners of Harry's crib. He knelt down, still clutching Harry, and carefully pushed the left sleeve of Lily's blouse up to her elbow...yes, there it was. A rune was carved into the flesh of her forearm, white lines stark against her skin. He had to commend the ingenuity of this woman, finding the sacrificial ritual and tweaking it to her advantage. A life for a life.
He pulled Lily's sleeve back down and stood up, glancing at Harry's cherubic face. The boy was staring down at his mum, clearly confused about why she wasn't moving. Death gently placed Harry back into his crib and knelt down to be at his eye level.
"Hello, Harry. I'm here to help you succeed despite my blasted sister and her 'I am Fate and my fate will be followed' tripe." Green eyes scrunched in confusion and Death chuckled, knowing that at 15 months old a human child had no hope of following what he was saying. Oh well, he wouldn't be remembering this conversation anyway.
"You see, Fate plans to have to face off against Voldemort with a Horcrux in your head and just a spurt of talent with fire to help you. I say that's bollocks. I like you, Harry. I don't plan to see you in my realm anytime soon." With that, Death stood up and began enacting his plan, his reason for being here in the first place.
His hands rose up and his eyes glowed, looking into Harry's magical core. It was a twisting mess of undulating strands, all brightly colored and coiling around in a huge mass. He was looking for one strand in particular. His hands twitched in the air, physically moving strands around that no one else could see. As Death got closer to the center of Harry's core, he spotted a flare of brilliant red out of the corner of his eye. Snapping his head to the right, his hand jerked out and snagged the cord. Death looked down at the writhing strand of power in his hand. The boy was meant to be a fire elemental. And not a very strong one at that. That simply wouldn't do.
Death closed his eyes and his whole body seemed to glow. The bright color of the string he held began to leech out, leaving it a pure white. A smirk unfurled upon Death's face as a darker color began to saturate the strand, eventually leaving it a gleaming silver.
The newly silver strand was carefully placed back amongst the others and Harry's magical core sank back into his body, out of sight. Death crouched back down to look at Harry.
"You should have a fighting chance now if I've anything to say about it. This Horcrux, though," A pale hand reached out to trace the still sluggishly bleeding lightning bolt scar on Harry's forehead. "I can't do anything about that. That part's up to you. You've been touched by death - the event, not me." A wry chuckle echoed in the silent room.
Death retracted his hand, flicking his wrist and ridding Harry's face of any smudges of blood his finger might have made. He'd done what he came for. He'd just have to hope it was enough.
Death's hood was replaced and he took one last glance around the nursery, making sure that there was no sign that anyone had been there. With a bow to the boy staring at him from the crib, Death left the house. It would be fifteen years before the two met again.