Disclaimer: The story belongs to me, the characters do not.
A/N: Ms. babyowl: This is G2dK777's entry for the Forgotten Darkness contest for Hogwarts
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. " - Ecclesiastes 1:18
Ignotus looks at his two brothers stoically for their choices. A wand that defeats all wands, a ring with the power that rivals necromancy...What to choose, what to choose? Why must these two try to make it so difficult for me? He told himself, as Death asked "And you Ignotus Peverell, what is it that you wish me to give?"
Ignotus ponders for a moment as his two brothers watched him, wondering what he would pick.
- flashback -
Antioch, Cadmus and Ignotus were carefree young men of their time from dueling, challenging each other in tests of magic, strength and the mind. Naturally competitive, they always tried to outdo the competition, and each of them did stand out. Antioch eventually became the strongest magical dueler in the town, Cadmus became strongest in physical duels and Ignotus unrivaled in his studies of magics.
Their carefree world and their perceived invincibility were to be shattered so harshly that nothing will be the same after that day.
It was a beautiful summer day and Cadmus was visiting the prettiest girl of the nearby village, to ask her father for her hand and to be wed the next month. In his joyous spirit and his competitive nature, he also decided to bring his brothers with him "Elise, oh sweet Elise, I can't wait to finally hear your voice saying I do!" Cadmus exclaimed with a goof grin on his face, then a slab of meat hit him in the face "As I was saying before our frustrated bard decided to sing, I'll be in charge of the feast, well finding the large boar that is." said Antioch, who dodged the projectile from Cadmus effortlessly, which made Ignotus laugh hard at their antics.
When they made their way into the village, their hopeful expressions of festivities were interrupted, as they saw a commotion at their destination. A young man was also at the door, banging on the door, shouting "Elise, I demand you come down here and marry me. Your father is of no consequence, I will make sure of that." The Peverell brothers rush down and ran towards Elise's house, Antioch and Ignotus' wands and Cadmus' broadsword drawn.
The young man stopped as he saw the three with their weapons drawn. He took out his wand and faced them with a sneer on his face "So you are the 'great' Cadmus Peverell. Not quite what I expected from what I've heard. I thought you'd look better, but all I see are three mangy peasants. I, Magnus Tramenis, will take what is rightfully mine." The drawl on his voice irritated Antioch, leading him to shout "You arrogant buffoon, I shall show you what defeat means. Leave him to me."
In their duel, the other two respected Antioch's wish to duel Magnus alone. The magic displayed was a sight to behold. Spell after spell, the two were seemingly evenly matched, but to Magnus... He was only playing around. Antioch Peverell. Pity,such a dueler they exclaimed to the heavens in those inns, but I know I'm better. Magnus thought as his gaze became intense, shocking Antioch with the power and force bearing down at him. And just as quickly as it had began, the duel ended with Antioch bloodied and worn down, lying on the ground. Magnus stepped on Antioch's chest, wand trained on Cadmus and he whispered "Bombarda!"
Ignotus tried to shield his brother from the first spell, but was knocked away from the force, leaving only Cadmus with his broadsword. Cadmus' eyes grew cold and he charged towards him. Another bombardment spell and a body was lying on the ground, staring at the sky.
"ELISE!" Cadmus shouted running to his beloved, cradling her in his arms. Magnus ran away in fear of her father's wrath and his spell that felled what was supposed to be his bride. Elise smiled softly but looked bravely into Cadmus, her injuries so severe that they knew it would be a lost cause. But I have to try. They all told themselves, Ignotus and Antioch making their way to their brother's beloved.
Cadmus carried her to her bed, her father in shock after hearing what happened. The aged giant of a man staring out the window as Ignotus tried desperately to heal Elise from her injuries. Days passed, and the state of Elise was certain, but Ignotus resolved himself to hope beyond hope, like men of his age to do the impossible, entertaining the idea of cheating death.
Cadmus sat grimly at Elise's bedside, as the lady looked into his eyes with love, not even being able to speak, lest she suffer more.
Antioch muttering violently to himself, looking out the window with mixed emotions of humiliation, anger, regret and sorrow. Sorrow hidden so well through his driving rage.
Ignotus trying his hardest, sometimes with tears in his eyes to find solutions to her predicament. He could only find ways to prolong her life with potions and spells. His cheerful disposition replaced with stoic finality, his hope to defeat death vanished.
The chime strikes 2 and the dreaded time came when Elise held Cadmus' hand for one last time and expired, her face serene, peaceful in its entirety. Cadmus broke down in tears, Antioch emotionless save rage, and Ignotus a face of stoic acceptance. The youngest understood finally that death was a part of life, an ounce of wisdom for a pound of sorrow. He admitted to himself
Out of the house, from three cheerful boys to three worn-out men went out with Elise's death, their motivation in choosing death's gift.
- end flashback -
Death asked "And you Ignotus Peverell, what is it that you wish me to give?"
Ignotus was ready. "A way for me to move about without being followed by you." he said in a quiet voice so that only Death and he knew. Begrudgingly, death gave him a piece of his cloak and the three Deathly Hallows were born out of rage, sorrow and wisdom.