Disclaimer: This is a fan written work based on the works of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan. It might possibly also have some elements of a number of other works, like the anime Hellsing. There is no money being made from this, it is merely a work meant for the entertainment of myself and the masses. This is merely for fun, and no profit. I repeat: I am not making any money out of writing this.
Warning: OCs OOCs Sues, and some crack. You have been warned.
Note 1: AU.
The wind was more than a little bit chilly that night, it was below freezing that's what it was. There was no way for him to tell just how cold the night air was, as all he knew was that the north wind was biting him to the bone. He could feel the cold all the way down to his very soul, pulling, tugging, and also attempting to rip it to shreds, he'd have given anything for his nice warm bed in his cupboard under the stairs. Anywhere was better than the snow covered alley that he found himself laying in, exhausted from walking this way and that searching for his relatives. His aunt and uncle had ordered him to purchase a box of matches and come right back or else he'd have nothing warm to eat for the rest of the winter, not that he had ever really had anything warm to eat for that matter.
He could only recall one winter where he was warm, but it was a rather fuzzy memory, his mind wasn't one of his strong points in life, probably because he was constantly told how stupid and pathetic he was, as well as how he would never amount to anything significant in his life. He'd been told that he would probably end up like his parents, drunks the two of them, out each night drowning in booze, and ending up dead by way of car accident after drinking far too much. He had never bothered to ask anyone else, since who else can one trust more than family. But he knew deep down inside that his supposed or so-called family cared not for him.
Which was how he found himself slipping away while being covered in the snow, during his first real white Christmas, as it was his first time actually sleeping in the cold snow covered ground.
He had the box of matches, but the warm granted by the fire of the match sticks only lasted for so long, each one having gone out seconds after the warmth was felt. No one seemed to notice him in that alley, as if it had been blocked out from the view of passers by. His alley was a void in the vision of the people passing by, even his cries for help had gone unnoticed by the pedestrians.
He was cold and alone, and on his last matchstick, he needed to make it count. He lit it and warmed himself the best he could, but it was useless. Just like the other previous tries with the other matchsticks, he guessed that it was a kind of act of kindness on his relatives' part. They gave him the money for the matches, nothing else.
He only barely recalled the warmth of another human heart, he was now alone, matchless, and slowly slipping off into oblivion in the snow. If any would find him, the chances of his body still retaining some warmth was rather slim, but he hoped against all hope that there would be someone that would come for him, that someone would care.
The sound of snow parting, the sound it makes when someone tramples on it, was heard by the youth that helplessly lay in the snow, his eyes already closed to the world around him, the only senses remaining to him were those of his ears and nose. His skin had lost all feeling, having gone numb from the abject cold, his eyes were shut, it was less taxing to keep them closed. His tongue, well how would he be able to taste anything if his mouth was covered in snow, and his tongue itself numb within his oral cavity. He only had his nose and ears to him.
He heard the footsteps, the sound of an approaching soul, he also smelt something surrounding the person, for it must have been a person. It was also quite unnatural, who in the world would be able to smell like licorice and strawberries in the midst of winter, in the midst of a snow storm in December. The youth had never encountered such a person.
"...didn't...get...in time," an echoing voice spoke near the youth, he heard the speaker crouch down beside him, and felt even colder hands touch his skin.
"...still conscious...weak..." another voice spoke, the youth didn't think there was more than that one man with an echoing voice like whisper, this man smelt of peppermint.
"...kill them...You didn't...please?" a third speaker made his presence known, the sound of the voice was inhuman to the youth's ears, he also couldn't help but think of burning pits and anguished cries, the smell of sulfur also attacked his nostrils.
"Take him," the second speaker spoke, and the youth felt the first speaker's hands on him, lifting him up, and covering him in some sort of cloth, "Go."
"With pleasure," he clearly heard the third speaker reply to the statement, and felt warmth pass over him for a brief second, then it was gone, and so was the smell of sulfur.
He had lost consciousness after the smell of sulfur had vacated his immediate area. When he next woke, he found himself in a comfortable bed, as he opened his eyes he had to shut them once more as they were not used to how bright and how white the room he found himself in was. Yes, it was a room, and not his tiny cupboard, or the alley in which he thought he was to die in, or had he died and was actually in the waiting room of the next life. Wherever he was, he had a feeling that he would be getting all the information he needed, and even yearned for, soon. Oh so very soon.
Once he was finally able to stand all the brightness of the whiteness, he opened his eyes and took a good look around the room, and noticed that on the one side there was a terrace over looking what must have been some sort of hallucination, as he had never encountered something so majestic in his life, there wasn't anything like it even on the boob tube when his relatives accidentally allowed him to watch it.
He got out of the bed and noticed that he was in white sleep clothes, and even had those socks with pads on the bottom so they could be used as slippers of a sort. They too were white, as white as the clothes he wore. Due to the feeling that all the answer he sought would be revealed soon, he decided to forgo staring at himself in wonder at his nice clean, and, as he believed them to be, new clothing, and simply walked over and out onto the terrace and marvel at the view.
The view was more than simply breathtaking, if he could chose to die, he would have gladly chosen right then and there as the view in itself was heavenly. Green on the ground for miles around, and the sky, oh what a perfectly blue and clear sky it was. The sun was shining down on him, but he could not pinpoint where, and at the same time could not seem to find it in himself to really care. It was beautiful. There were even small signs of creatures lurking within the lush and cheerful green forest that lay beneath the balcony of wherever he was, and he spotted something with what looked like wings flying in the distance. Even the breeze was welcoming, as if there was something in it that was hugging and caressing him tenderly.
He felt at peace, and that was how his gracious host found him, leaning against the railing smiling at what he was seeing. Rejoicing at all the life around him, without naught a worry in the world.
"Good morning," a man much older than the youth said, startling the young gazer of grandeur, "I apologize if I startled you."
For indeed the youth was startled, he had nearly fallen over the railing had it not been for that comforting presence in the winds. He even managed to grab at his chest as if suffering a mild heart attack like most would like to act out when surprised by a sudden intrusion in their own private little worlds, or personal space as it is sometimes referred to as.
"I..." the youth began to apologize for being out of bed and admiring the view.
"No need to apologize," the man said, "Its quite normal and natural for one as young as you to be quite inquisitive and attracted to the view from way up here."
The youth knew that when he went out onto the terrace there had been no furniture, no chairs, no table, and no food for that matter, only an open and empty terrace. Which was why his mind stopped for a moment upon seeing the table, chairs, and food there, the man offering a chair to him, while sitting in the other one.
"Come and join me," the man said invitingly, "I'm sure you must be starved, how 'bout you join me for breakfast."
The youth hesitantly moved toward the chair, and sat down as the man encouraged him to. He was a bit wary of the man, having heard tales, more like threats from his uncle, about older men that had a liking to little boys. A horrible thought for one so young to have, yet it was there in the back of his mind, and slowly making its way to the forefront of it.
"Ah!" the man exclaimed in mild alarm, but his expression was that of suddenly remembering something of importance, "Where are my manners," the man said, "I apologize for not introducing myself. I am," he vanished a new looking folder from his lap, "Magus Iunctio, a rather symbolic name I might add. No need to introduce yourself my young friend, I already know who you are, as well as what you are. It was quite unfortunate that we caught up with you in that alley."
"My relatives.." the youth began to explain what he was doing there, but raised hand stopped the words from spilling forth, which for some reason he was grateful for.
"I am sure that you heard my companions and myself speaking before you truly lost consciousness," Magus said, "There was the echoing whisper of the first, and the frightful one of the second. They are my cousins of a sort, there are more of us, you being another one of my beloved cousins. I really must apologize for not being there for you all those years, had it been possible, I would have taken you the moment you lost your parents."
"Cousin?" the youth asked, "We're cousins?"
"Yes," Magus said, "Distantly related, it would be possible to recreate our family tree, but that would be something I would not advise as it would be really long and rather confusing. Just know that we are family, and that I am here for you now. As for your uncle and aunt, they have been dealt with, their treatment of a child such as you is clearly against the law."
"Who were the other two with you that night?" the youth asked, "If you don't mind my asking."
"I don't mind at all," Magus said, "It is better that I introduce them to you, instead of them performing their own introductions, as that might send you over the edge of insanity, having to deal with those two."
"Insanity?" the youth asked a bit frightened of the other identities of his other saviors from the cold.
"The concepts behind their...professions for lack of a better term, might scare you had they come as they were," Magus said, "This is the form that I have chosen to wear, it is quite comfortable being an old man in dark blue and purple clothes, I find it quite refreshing since I normally don't look or act my age. But we're getting off topic, the first voice that I am sure you heard, the voice that belonged to the one whose hands you felt upon your person. His name is...well he has several of them, but in the form which he took while with us that night he was Death."
"So...I'm dead?" the youth said, trying to wrap his mind around what he thought was the answer of the predicament he found himself in.
"Dead? What? No! Poppycock! You are no more dead as I am," Magus said, "No, you are not dead. He may be Death, but at the same time he is also a part of life, its rather confusing some of the time remembering all the responsibilities and powers each one of us cousins holds."
"Ok..." the youth said, forcing himself to believe that he wasn't dead, and reluctantly believing that he wasn't in some form of heaven.
"You are a bit mistaken in your thinking that where we are is not some form of heaven," Magus said, clearly being able to read the youth like an open book.
"So...I'm not dead, but I'm in heaven?" the youth asked perplexed.
"Where we are is a kind of cross roads that some souls encounter when choosing to undergo reincarnation," Magus explained, "This villa we find ourselves in, is more of a clubhouse, as well as a vacation house, where we cousins sometimes go for some needed rest and relaxation. On the other side of the mountain we are on, lays a fortress, but I really don't need to go into who and what lives there. Just know that it is there, and the one that lives there is more or less in charge of this world, this little patch of heaven...and hell..."
"What do you mean by hell?" the youth asked.
"I mentioned earlier reincarnation, didn't I?" Magus said.
"You did," the youth said.
"Good and evil, light and dark, everything has the choice...normally anyway," Magus said, "It is heaven for the beauty, but should you venture out into the forest unprepared, it could really turn out to be hell, what with all the creatures living within the forest, jungle, desert, and whatever else there is out there in this wide world."
"Oh," the youth said, not knowing what else to say.
"Moving on," Magus said, "The other cousin with us that night goes by the title of Devil, one of his titles for that matter. He is the Emperor of the Afterlives, as well as the Master of the In-Between."
"So...not only did I meet Death, but the Devil as well," the youth stated, "Let us not forget that I am now in heaven. So what is your special role in existence."
"I?" Magus said, a bit for dramatic effect, "I am Magic himself, normally I'd say itself but I am not an it."
"Magic can't be.." the youth began but was stopped when he felt an unseen force slam into him shutting him up for but a moment, then receding.
"Do not finish that sentence," Magus said with a deadly undertone, "I will not have such a lie spoken in my presence. You may chose not to believe in me, but that is your choice, but I would rather not have to endure one of my family members utter such nonsense. Do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal," the youth said, a bit frightened at the sudden presence then absence of the unseen power.
"Do you need more proof to the authenticity of my claim?" Magus asked.
"No sir," the youth said.
"No 'sir', call me Magus, we are family after all, cousins even," Magus said.
"No, Magus," the youth said, "I'm sorry for having upset you."
"Its alright, we are all entitled to our own beliefs," Magus said, "Now finish your food, not that it'll get cold or anything of the sort, but I'd rather discuss with you the terms of your stay here once you've filled your belly on something nutritious for once in your life after the untimely demise of your parents, may their souls continue to rest in peace along with mine, and the rest of us cousins'."
The rest of the meal was spent in silence, not a tense one, but a comfortable one, where every now and then Magus conjured a new folder and vanished it straight away, as if simply doing such out of boredom or something like that. Possibly anxiety or anticipation. To each his or her own quirks and all that.
After the meal, Magus led the youth back into the bright and white room, then to the closet, and pulled out some work clothes looking white clothes. Why everything had to be white, the lad did not know or bother to really question.
"Its all white since you are still a clean slate, unlike myself, Death, and Devil, who have already painted or printed or even chiseled much on ourselves," Magus said, "Your story has yet to be told, just as mine has yet to end, yours has only begun."
"Story?" the youth asked, "What story? I'm no writer, I don't write well."
"That's your relatives talking," Magus reprimanded, "You haven't tried to write yet, but the story of which I speak is not one you yourself write or have started to write, but simply put your life itself. Each action, choice, new experience, or event, are the words that fill the pages of the book, the new book, which is where all those folders I was playing with comes in. I was locating yours actually, your new folder, its for the draft pages before the publication, where the pages before and they lived happily ever after are kept."
"Ok," the lad said, "So...a little privacy please?"
"Righto," Magus said before leaving, "I'll meet you in the kitchen, we'll talk more there, just ask orbs of light, or the wind, or anything for that matter for directions on how to get there. There is magic in everything, living or non, remember that."
"Alright, see you later," the lad said, as Magus left him not quite alone in the room.
As the youth entered the kitchen, having found out how to get there after finding out that the presence in the wind was a wind spirit that had a thing for young boys with the potential of becoming quite handsome, he couldn't help but smile at the homey feeling that the area had to it, as well as the smell of food being prepared. What he wasn't prepared for was who or rather what was preparing the meals. There were of all things cyclopes at the stove, cutting board, juicer, and whatever else tools were used when it came to cooking, most of which the youth was intimately familiar with, having lost some of his fingers to the cutlery, which miraculously grew back, after a good night's rest, as good as a rest as he could get back in those days that is.
"Good, good, you're finally here," Magus said, "And I must say that that jumper is really fetching," he then noticed the lad's apprehensive look, "Kidding, just kidding, can't a kid take a joke?"
"Ehm..." the lad said intelligently.
"Down to business, while these one-eyes prepare lunch, and no there's no mutton or men in any of those pots," Magus said reassuringly, the lad didn't really get the joke, "We each, us cousins, have a particular story, a flow, a pattern of events, uniquely our own, as well as a certain set of abilities that go along with our chosen...profession, there I go again using that word...its only work when one doesn't enjoy it."
"What exactly is expected of me?" the lad asked.
"You are expected to live out your life the way you chose to live it," Magus said, "But at the same time, make an adventure out of it, I know for a fact that you long for some form of excitement."
"Who wouldn't?" the lad responded.
"Indeed," Magus said, "Though I can think of five men that aren't too fond of going on personal adventures, just short romps."
"Really?" the youth said disbelievingly.
"Really," Magus said, "We've gotten slightly off topic now. Back on track then...I am unable to tell you how your life may potentially go from here on out. But I can tell you that you now have two choices, either you learn your lessons the slow and hard way, or you go through the short cut. Each choice has their own benefits, and each have their own downsides. You have until after lunch to decide. I really am sorry about the short notice of it all, but...well...I wasn't really given much of a choice in the matter myself...just strange coincidences happening one after another, random strangers popping out of the wood work, and in a case or more those strangers trying their hand at making me almost lose my life."
"Were you scared?" the youth asked.
"Terrified," Magus said, "But I secretly loved every minute of it. The only part I don't like is the part that says I can't physically be in my home world, the world where time moves ever so slowly, and the same world where I can see my family, but they cannot see me due to circumstances beyond my control. But at least I do get to have those scarce few days or moments that we are able to be together."
"Oh, sorry," the lad said sympathetically.
"Its alright," Magus said, "I still get to see them, and on those rare occasions, spend some time with them."
Lunch finally arrived, and they spent it in the kitchens, eating the feast laid out before them along with the chefs for the season, or so the lad had been told by the one eyed men. It was just as delicious as breakfast, but he couldn't help but feel as if something was changing within him, something was happening to him for the better. He knew that his timely escape in the arms of Death, was already one good thing, but he felt something within himself changing with every breath he took, and every bite he ate.
The years of his relatives not treating him as they should have were raveling and were reshaping themselves within his mind and body. His soul, luckily was still intact and needed no form of treatment in the form of food, Magus was sure that Devil would not want to part with any of his precious soul pearls. Years of malnutrition were rewinding and reweaving themselves in the proper way, in the more healthier and right way. The lad was regrowing everything that was not right within him. Piece by piece everything was being made right. The only things that could not be healed, repaired, or made better, was his personality, his character, his attitude, his personal self, as those were aspects of his being that only he himself could fix, and it would take some time too, no matter which choice he chose.
"Your choice?" Magus said, once the table had been cleared of all the mess from the meal.
"What did you put in my food?" the youth asked.
"Vitamins and minerals," Magus said, "Lots and lots of them, to make up for what was denied you through the years."
"Ah, I figured as much, or something along those lines," the youth said.
"Your choice?" Magus repeated.
"I chose the long and arduous journey which lays ahead of many a man," the youth stated, "Thanks for boosting my brain though."
"Your welcome, though that wasn't my doing entirely," Magus admitted, "I was merely a part of the enhancing process that your mind went through."
"So how do I proceed from here?" the youth asked.
"You are eight years old, and your mind was already advanced well beyond your years when we had found you," Magus said, "You had simply not bee consciously using all of its faculties. For the next two to three years, I shall be cramming into your head everything that you would have studied in grade school and high school, and if you so chose college as well."
"What happens in two to three years?" the youth asked.
"You shall attend a boarding school, a really old one," Magus said, "There you shall learn some of my art, some of my secrets, as well as travel a path most traveled. You may also opt to supplement your magical education with the college level studies, but only do with discretion, we wouldn't want those that were supposed to have kept an eye on you, know your secrets now would we."
"I don't think I can trust these so called watchers of my well being, after having been treated the way I have these past few years," the youth said.
"Very well," Magus said, "The room you found yourself in, is now officially your room, for the time being the name plate shall remain blank, until such a time as you find your own true name, as I have...even though I have several names which I go by."
"Alright," the youth said, "When do my lesson start?"
"Tomorrow," Magus said.