Harry looked down at the ring of his...victims. It was the appropriate word. As far as Harry knew, there wasn't a mortal wizard alive that could stand against him right now. It wasn't so much a question of being "strong" as being on a completely different plane.
If he had been unusual before, even among wizards, the only word that could describe him now was "unique". In the proper sense of the word. Harry was quite literally one of a kind.
His musings were interrupted by the approach of French aurors, speaking more of their incomprehensible language. Harry smiled wanly at them. He supposed there was some "Put the wand down and come quietly" in there, not that it mattered. There really wasn't a damn thing they could do to impede him if he chose to leave.
"What to do, what to do..."
The jumpy aurors watched closely as the slim young man, clad in an ordinary black working robe, tapped his right-hand wand on his thigh in apparent thought.
Harry was just about to leave when one of the aurors spoke up in accented but understandable English. "Pardon me, Monsieur..."
"Harry Potter," said Harry agreeably, still thinking.
There was a mutter among the aurors at the name.
'Good to know I'm infamous on this side of the pond as well...'
"You...dispatched these men?"
"I killed them, yes," Harry stated unemotionally. After his change of status, his opinion on death and killing had changed proportionately. The destruction of innocent lives was something to be mourned, avoided and prevented if at all possible, but these men had been anything but innocent.
"May I ask how?"
The auror visibly repressed a twitch of irritation at Harry's unhelpful answer.
Death, yes...as Harry contemplated the by now well-worn pathways of thought regarding that deepest of subjects, an idea sparked in his brain. His shopping trip was spoiled, but he could go anywhere and do anything now...and he was lonely. If his idea panned out, perhaps he could take care of that.
"I've got to go," he said abruptly, moving his gaze from the middle distance to the French auror. "Things to do, people to see, all of that."
"Ah, Monsieur..." Harry almost smiled. The auror was radiating so many different signals he looked constipated.
'Don't want me to go but you don't want to try stopping someone who can kill a dozen Dark wizards in a flash, eh? Smart.'
Harry felt a distinctive and familar tingle as the aurors behind the English-speaker put up anti-transport wards, along with various detection magics. Several of them were glancing at him in a "I have you now!" sort of way. He rolled his eyes.
"Yeah. Anyway. Gotta go talk to a Veil about a bird, you know how it is."
As the aurors muttered in confusion, Harry vanished, passing through the wards as if they weren't there.
The Death Chamber, Department of Mysteries, Ministry of Magic, London, England
Without a sound, deep inside the most protected part of the Ministry of Magic, a slim young wizard appeared.
Going from France to England had been even easier than the reverse. Distance meant as little as time or wards to him now, but even he had to know where he wanted to end up.
'Ah well. Now that I've been somewhere in France I can get back there easy enough.'
Harry momentarily considered travelling around the world under an assumed name, like say...Mr. Black, righting wrongs, killing evil-doers and seeing the sights, but abandoned the idea a second later. He had a feeling it had been done before and Harry liked to think of himself as blazing his own trail.
Slowly, he descended the steps of the small amphitheatre that surround the Arch, or Veil of Death, as it was called. The ragged black curtain moved slightly in an unseen wind and there was the murmur of distant voices. Harry had previously found it to be quite creepy, naturally enough. For very unnatural reasons he now found it untroubling. Which was good, in light of what he was nerving himself to attempt to do.
Standing quite close to the eerie gateway, he licked his lips nervously for a moment, then attempted, "Hedwig? Hedwig, can you hear me, girl?"
Harry's heart beat violently, then throbbed with raw emotion as he picked out a familar hoot of greeting rising above the background murmur.
Tear pricked Harry's eyes as his memory disgorged the horrible, oft-replayed loop of Hedwig's death by Avada Kedavra. With a choked sob he stepped up to the Veil and thrust his right arm inside.
A brilliant smile replaced the heartbroken expression on his face as he felt the familar bite of talons on his forearm. His heart pounding like a drum, the young Master of Death backed away from the Veil, holding his arm steady as he did so.
Hedwig was apparently as glad to see Harry as he was to see her, though her greetings involved less water-from-the-eyes and more beating-about-the-head-with-a-wing.
Once his emotions had subsided, Harry considered the implications of what he'd done. A small grin crossed his face as he appreciated how...him that was. Act first, think after.
Yes, he could probably bring back anyone he liked through the Veil. Even...Sirius. But...would they want to come? Harry had thought long and hard and had concluded that even though he could, didn't mean he should. Hedwig was an exception: bringing her back to life disrupted nothing. In the case of Sirius, he was now together with Harry's parents, with Lupin and Tonks. Harry had a deep intuition that they were all happy where they were. Not to mention the chaos that might erupt if highly recognizable wizards starting coming back to life and rejoining society.
"Hoot hoot hoot *hoot* hoot!"
Harry smiled happily and stroked his familar's feathers. "It's so good to see you again, girl. I was lonely..."
Another idea popped into Harry's head. He almost muttered something about killing two birds with one stone but managed to prevent himself before he caught another wing buffet to the head.
He looked into Hedwig's golden glittering eyes. "Hedwig...would you mind if I changed you a little? I think you would like it and it would help prevent people from freaking out when they see you with me again."
Their bond seemed stronger than ever, as Harry didn't even have to say what he intended, but he had the distinct feeling that Hedwig understood.
"Hoot," said Hedwig, nodding with a little jerk of her feathery head. She jumped off Harry's arm and glided to the stone floor in front of him.
Harry pulled out his holly wand and summoned his special power. One of his special powers rather. He was quite chock-full these days. There was no incantation, no wand waving. Snape had a point: there was a lot more to magic than the typical theatrics performed by your average wizard.
Harry focused on Hedwig, on what she was, on what he wanted her to become. As the beautiful snowy owl stared up at him fearlessly, brilliant white fire erupted from his wand and engulfed her small form. After a few seconds, all that was left was a small heap of ash.
Harry held his breath until..."YES!" he screamed jubilantly. A tiny bald head popped up out of the ash-heap and let out a melodious chip.
Hedwig had become a Phoenix.
Harry tenderly picked the tiny bird up from the cold stone floor. A few charms later and one of his robe pockets was both spacious and ever-warm, perfect for holding a reborn (newborn?) Phoenix and its ash.
Harry smiled. He had companionship, affectionate, faithful and quite possibly eternal companionship. One problem down and an infinite number to go.
As he considered his next move, another idea occured to him.
It was considerably more chancy, and certainly not something he could (or should, at least) decide on his own. But if it worked...
Harry rocked back and forth on his feet, considering. It would have to remain completely secret, but it was worth trying. Giving his Phoenix a tender caress, he closed his eyes and vanished from the Chamber as silently as he had come.
Longbottom Manor, England
AN: Wow, already got a review bitching about Harry being OOC. Yes, he is considerably different, but frankly, considering that we don't see him after Book 7 other than a 20 years later epilogue, he should be different. He died for the 2nd time, came back as the Master of Death (completely canon), lots of his friends died, he was utterly betrayed by Dumbledore...frankly I could justify a whole hell of a lot of change based on all that.
Yes, the end bit of the fight in the first chapter comes off as "badass" but I couldn't resist. I'm sick FFS. Plus Harry has a different attitude for reasons that will be explained, he was pissed at having Dark wizards interrupt his peaceful afternoon to hurt people etc.
What he does in this chapter makes perfect sense to me, if you know anything about symbolism etc. Harry's powers all make perfect sense, if you have a rather deep knowledge of magic, symbolism and mythology. If you don't then...feel free to shut up. :)
Last time I'll say it: this is an idea-fic. What that means is I'm mostly writing it to use various ideas that I think are cool. I'm writing it completely as I go, other than those ideas. It's not high art. M'kay?