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Lily Dying

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Summary: Micah is someone else and Harry is dead. HP/ABVH

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: Harry Potter
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: Anita Blake
(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR1515,80532398,98731 Oct 0631 Oct 06Yes
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Anita Blake.

A/N1: If this is the wrong category, please tell me so. I'm a bit confused about this.

A/N2: I wanted to save this for Sunday, but I'm impatient. As such, this is entirely unbeta-ed.

A/N3( The only one you really have to read): This is sort of my baby. I've fed it for months and bit by bit it turned into the most psychodelic and psychotic piece of fiction I have ever written. It's one of my personal favs though, mostly because of all the work I've put in it, but I realise that it's.... weird.

So I'd be really, really grateful for your honest opinion on this, please.







+

Lily Dying

+

a

It’s not really a conscious decision. It’s more a question of what needs to be done. Harry always did what needed doing. It started with chores back at the house - never, never a home because home is where you’re safe - and it ended with merciless, mindless killing in fields of dirt and grime and blood. There are days when he showers for hours on end and still the water is tinged pink, because some stains never go away.

In the end he can kill a man pleading for his life, begging, clutching at his clothes, tears in his eyes and he doesn’t feel a thing when he does it. And that’s when he knows that he needs to leave.

Voldemort is dead, the war over, his world a red ruin.

He takes his things, those that are too precious to be allowed to go to waste and he leaves the house, setting fire to it with a flick of his frail bone white wrist. He rings Luna’s doorbell an hour later, smiling faintly as she opens the door wearing a men’s shirt that vaguely resembles one of his favourites that went missing the last time she spent the night. She allows him entrance wordlessly, taking a long look at the sky outside before closing the door.

He hands her the carefully wrapped package containing two photo albums, one invisibility cloak, one map and his wand. Not that he needs it anyway these days. She accepts it all silently, because that’s just how Luna is. She’s known he’s leaving, probably before he did. There’s nothing left for him here and she’s not enough to hold him. She knows that, too.

He kisses her on the cheek once, very chaste, very final and turns to leave again.

“Where are you going?” Her voice stops him. Anyone else he would have ignored fearing that one day, they would come looking for him, dragging him back, unwilling to let him go. But this is Luna.

This is Luna and he doesn’t look her in the eye as he says, “I’m going home.”

“Where’s that?” She sounds insolent, somehow.

He shrugs. “I’ll write you when I find it.”

Her laughter follows him out into the dull grey morning like a young bird, flapping happily. It feels almost good.

+

b

America is the logical choice, because he is powerful, but powerful does not mean genius and it takes him three days anyways to charm his accent into something acceptably American. The thought of putting a whole new language into his head makes the world spin. The name isn't all that hard. He just takes a newspaper and keeps looking until he finds two names he never heard before. They even sound reasonably good together.

And so Harry becomes Micah and the last Potter vanishes from the face of the earth, hopefully forever. Funny, hopefully isn't a word that he’s used lately.

+

c

When he wakes in the hospital and they tell him that he is going to be a monster at the next full moon, he almost laughs out loud. He’s always a monster; he doesn’t need the moon for that.

But he’s Micah and Micah isn't a monster and so he tells the nice policeman everything he knows, even when the doctor tells him he shouldn't talk. It’s too painful. Man has no fucking clue what pain is, Micah thinks and slowly drifts off into a dreamless sleep.

+

d

Merle is a cool guy, all in all. He doesn't ask questions, except one. Three months after the first change he asks why Micah never wakes screaming from nightmares. Micah shrugs and says, “I don’t have nightmares, Merle.” Because there’s nothing left inside of him.

His horrors are all out there, surrounding him, always there, always now. No, Micah never dreams, because Harry is too empty and they bleed the same. They bleed monster.

Merle is his Nimir-Raj, but there are things that Merle doesn’t have to know.

+

e

Caleb pukes his guts out as soon as he wakes after the first change, horrified and shocked and disgusted by the memory of eating, no feeding. Micah enters the bathroom on silent cat’s feet, handing the scared kid a glass of water.

“How do you stand it?”

His hand goes to his forehead, searching for a scar long gone, a connection long broken. Then he shrugs. “The alternative is not an option.”

It was though, before. Before Harry became Micah and Micah became only one of many monsters and there were others around. Others that are almost enough to live for. But now? No, the alternative is not an option.

Caleb grows colder with time, learns to stand it, learns to deal.

+

f

When Chimera shows up Micah is the only one not shaking with silent terror. He’s seen it all before, after all.

Torture, pain, insanity; they swim to the surface of long repressed memories almost effortlessly and Micah is at war once more.

He refuses to torture, to cause pain, remembering how Hermione begged him to kill her, her voice broken by too much screaming and her eyes hollowed from the agony of it all. Merle is the only other one strong enough to refuse dealing out pain, but he’s not strong enough to take it.

Micah is, because for him there lies no strength in pain. It’s only a trip down memory lane to hidden places, dark places. So he takes as much of the others’ punishment onto himself as he can, never screaming as the snake men rape him.

Merle cries as he watches. He doesn’t know that Micah has done this before.

+

g

One night, after Chimera leaves him broken and half dead, after the pard bundled him into a hot bath and healed him as much as they could with their bodies, Merle watches him.

He sits on the closed toilet lid looking like he wants to be anywhere but here, while Micah watches dispassionately as faint traces of pink float through the bath water. His legs are broken, but healing fast, his face a swollen mass of bruises and his ass. He’d rather not think about his ass. Seamus used to pinch that ass, hoping to one day get a reaction out of his friend. He died before he succeeded.

“You need anything?” Merle looks anxious, not a good look on him.

Micah thinks for a moment, before nodding and saying with a quiet chuckle, “I could use a cigarette.”

The Nimir-Raj frowns, because Micah doesn’t smoke. Micah doesn’t even like it very much when people around him smoke, but he gets up and finds some cigarettes somewhere, handing his second in command the pack and a lighter. Micah accepts with a shaky smile, and starts fumbling as the other man retakes his seat.

His hands shake so badly he needs three tries to light his smoke, but when he inhales the first hit, it’s nirvana. He leans his head against the edge of the tub and smiles at the memory of Draco trying to look sexy while chain smoking.

“Five years, I haven’t had a decent fag in five whole years.”

“I thought you don’t smoke.”

Micah smiles and shrugs and says, “I don’t. Not before people start dying. But tonight’s special.”

Merle looks at him funny, maybe because of the dying people, or because he thinks that tonight is special because of what happened. It’s not.

Tonight is special because tonight Ron and Hermione’s daughter would be six, if she’d lived. If she’d seen the last five birthdays. The smoke rising from his cigarette is a silent tribute curling towards the heavens for Lily Jane Granger-Weasley.

Suddenly Merle asks, “How do you do this?”

“Do what?”

“Endure all this pain and then act like it doesn’t matter.”

“It’s just pain and it doesn’t matter. We’re all still alive, aren’t we?”

Merle shakes his head and repeats, “Are we?”

Micah shrugs, “Better me than the others. It would break them, but it won’t break me.” Can’t break what’s already broken, after all, can you?

Merle closes his eyes, nods, shakes his head. “He’ll come back. He’ll always come back and he’ll want more.”

“I know,” Micah whispers and watches as the butt of his first cigarette in five years drowns pitifully in the pink water.

But Merle isn’t done yet. “He’ll come back and want more. He’ll demand more blood, more flesh, more pain. I don’t think I can do this, Micah.”

And Micah sits motionlessly, watching as his bones mend and bruises fade and he repeats, “I know.”

Then he waits until the other man opens his eyes and he states, “I can.”

Merle doesn’t know he’s done this before.

+

h

And so Micah becomes Nimir-Raj, leader of his people, just like before. Sometimes, late at night, he lies awake in a pile of warm bodies and beating hearts and he wonders if this time will end like the last. But then he hugs Gina or Violet close or slaps Caleb’s wandering hands off a body and he shakes his head in the dark. He can smell their fear even as they sleep and he won’t allow their nightmares to wake them, screaming. He’ll keep them safe.

And so he takes their pain, refusing to hurt others, because sometimes someone’s hair flashes red and he thinks of Ron, on his knees, fighting the curse, fighting so hard and failing. He thinks of looking down his wand and killing him like he killed Hermione only minutes before.

Micah is glad that he dreams only in black these days.

And when the order to infiltrate the Blood Drinkers Clan of St. Louis comes, he does as he is told, because survival comes before anything else. As long as you live, you can fight. The dead don’t fight.

+

i

The trouble starts as they arrive to find the local Nimir-Ra not half as dead as she’s supposed to be. Caleb is close to chickening out and Merle keeps wringing his hands in that funny way of his that makes Micah want to suggest he start smoking. It’s why he did, after all. At fifteen there were only two choices left. Either start killing people randomly or give his hands something to do.

He never really believed he’d get old enough to die of lung cancer. Now he can’t anymore.

Micah calms them down with his knowing silence. He keeps his cool.

The Nimir-Ra is still alive? Then they’ll work with her. Work with what they have. He never knew that you could build a bomb out of wood, a lighter and some wild magic until he tried. The thing tore Nott’s face right off, leaving his skull blank and white in the moonlight for a moment before his body collapsed.

+

j

When Anita wakes she’s… different. Asleep she was soft and warm. Awake, Micah sees a little of a teenaged Harry in her. They both burn. They burn with a bottomless rage that eats at them from the inside.

Micah found a way to live without the rage fuelling his every movement. Anita is twenty six and she burns brighter than the heavens. But her magic is death and smells of cold places. It can’t harm the living.

Silently, Micah wonders if it can harm him.

And then they fuck and it’s like it used to be, back then. Back when Ginny was still alive, walking around with that look in her eyes that said, “Hurt me, bleed me, fuck me. Make me feel alive.”

And just like he did back then, he complies, because Anita needs this as much as Ginny did and he doesn't want her to look like Ginny did. Her hair, like fire caught and spun was the only thing they still recognized and Percy went on a suicide mission less than twelve hours later.

He wants no-one to end up like Ginny did.

+

k

As soon as they set foot into the circle of the lupanar he feels like he did at age 11 when he entered Hogwarts for the very first time. He feels the magic, then and now, wash over him, seep through his skin and into his flesh singing an age old song of blood and pain and pride and family. He feels it singing inside of him, painting his veins in mystery and power, crackling along his soul.

A single word, a single movement. He could kill with a thought here because the magic is so old it’s sentient and it recognizes its master, recognizes that he has what it takes to wield four centuries of sacrifice and rage. Hogwarts was older and he wielded her power until her stone walls crumbled and her children lay dead. And he felt every last one of them, just like he feels them now.

The old leader, dead beneath that tree, drowned in blood and anger. A girl, a child still, scared and alone, killed across the clearing by the Lupa for tempting the Ulfric. Seventy three years ago. A man, lying in front of the throne, killed by his challenger. One hundred and fifteen years ago. The ground, the trees, even the rock throne are soaked with centuries worth of blood and memories and they all whisper to him, eager to share their secrets after such a long silence.

A single word, a single movement and they would all be gone. It’s tempting to bleed them all because there’s this part inside of him that’s still at war, that still kills shadows and buries phantoms. It’s the part of him that wants to kill.

He shakes his head, uncurls his fists at his side, forces life and feeling back into his eyes and shoves the power back into the ground.

I can’t, he whispers.

The power weeps.

+

l

He touches Anita, looking to her to ground himself after the rush of power, but it’s too soon. The power leaps and clings to those around, connecting them, showing their innermost. He sees memories of others flashing past, of Caleb and Merle, Zane and Nathaniel. He feels panic welling up inside of him as he senses Anita probing his mind, wanting to see his piece of this, his memory.

And he refuses her, refuses to let her inside. She can’t see. No-one can see. His Occlumeny shields slam into place like steel and velvet, stopping Anita dead without her knowing it. She is redirected, led astray and he knows that he could keep her there forever, inside his head. A part of him is tempted to do it. To keep her and show her all his horrors. To have someone feel the disgust and grief he is unable to feel anymore. But he knows the power is still speaking in him, still crying for him to wear it like a cloak and he won’t.

The memory he shows her is harmless. It’s Micah’s, not Harry’s, bloody but not deadly.

Still, she flinches.

She flinches like he did before the rage took over and he realizes that she isn’t like young Harry after all. She carries her morals and her conscience with her like a tattoo. His washes off, paint and illusion.

But that’s alright. She can flinch. He’s ruthless enough for both of them.

+

m

Richard reminds Micah of Neville.

Neville who didn’t want to be a killer. Didn’t want to lead, to murder, to freeze inside. Who wanted to be a godfather to Lily and a husband to Luna, nothing more. He wore his heart on his sleeve and died with it. But he died alone. Richard will take half of his people with him because he’s too angry.

He glares at Micah, his eyes a mute challenge, a scream of rage. “Fight me,” those eyes yell, “I’ll be the monster!”

Micah returns the look, calm and collected on the outside. But his eyes yell back at the Ulfric, green and dead and loud.

“Angry child”, they say.

Richard doesn’t have it in him to be a monster. He shrinks back from those cold eyes, backs down. No, he’s no monster. His blood is still red.

+

n

Jean-Claude’s control is thin as ice as they meet for the first time and then his teeth are buried to the hilt in Micah’s neck and everything is like it used to be. Pain, pleasure, desperation. Micah can taste the hunger, endured for so long, inside the vampire. He can taste Draco in the pull on his blood.

Silly, naïve, jaded Draco, smoking too much. They spent nights between soiled and stained sheets, hiding in each others’ bodies, forgetting the horrors outside, hurting each other just to feel, to not be dead. Pain and pleasure and desperation is what beats inside Jean-Claude’s veins because Anita has denied him for so long. She walks with the monsters, but she’s like eight-year-old Harry, hiding from the truth in the cupboard. Hands over her ears, eyes closed, lips pressed into a thin line, just wait, waitwaitwait and the bad man on the other side of the door will go away.

But Micah bleeds monster and he knows the language of the vampire’s scream. He frees himself, shove, twist, jump (the known song) and he slashes the vampire’s throat with claws candy coated in blood. His own blood, such a familiar sight.

Next time this better be foreplay.

And he looks into Jean-Claude’s eyes, into Asher’s eyes and he knows that they understand. They are dead after all. Dead like him and they understand the language in a howl, a growl, a hiss.

They hear the abyss in his soul with every word he speaks.

+

o

Anita defeats Chimera, kills him with her death and her magic. She takes Micah home. Takes him home like he’s weak and helpless and he allows it.

Afterwards he dresses and walks around the house, slow and cautious. His pard is settling in nicely, living again, going back to the lives they once had, somewhere else. And Micah fights, fights so hard to push the war out of his heart, to bleed the violence from his veins, but it doesn’t work.

He’s stuck on war and this time he doesn’t think he can run. The memory of the power still ghosts through his thoughts late at night and sometimes, when he comes too close to the woods, he can hear it weep. Weep for his rejection and the pain it causes them both.

But he’s not Harry and he will not wield another one’s magic to the death ever again. Images of Hogwarts’ ruins and the bodies of dead children flash in front of his closed eyes and his resolve strengthens.

But the memories are closer than ever and the sound of faceless magic crying in the dark never fades.

+

p

One evening Nathaniel manages to sneak up on him from behind, without intention. Micah has him up against the wall a heartbeat later, claws ready to tear into the pretty throat, a spell on his lips, magic on the tip of his tongue. His eyes shine a brilliant green and Nathaniel’s fear smells of ashes and battlefield soil.

But the war is over. It’s over and everyone is dead, except for Luna who still waits, somewhere, for his letter that will probably never come. They are dead, Chimera is dead and he shouldn’t be pulling on magic this naturally. He shouldn’t.

But he does.

He lets go of Nathaniel, watches him slide down the wall in a helpless heap and he forces the magic back.

Nothing’s right.

It never was.

+

q

The memories come and sleep goes and more often than not he finds himself awake in the dead of the night, staring down at sleeping bodies, faces peaceful or twisted in some unknown pain. He wonders if any of them can match the things that keep him from his rest like they did a lifetime ago, half way around the globe in a world where people lay down in turns, not sleeping, pretending not to hear the others breathe, love, hate, fuck, despair.

But then Gina wakes and she’s crying and Micah holds her close and lulls her back to sleep.

Back then, no-one had any tears left.

+

r

Six months after Chimera, six months spent in the dubious safety of Anita’s arms the nightmares start.

Images that haunted his waking hours now invade what little sleep he gets and he can feel himself slip back into that place he never wanted to go again. That place where no-one lives and everyone only survives. He’s tired of surviving.

Merle stops him one evening with a hand on his shoulder, pretending not to feel the tightly bunched muscles under his palm. Even the most oblivious has noticed by now that Micah doesn’t want to be touched anymore. He can’t help it. There is still the child in him, the unloved boy that didn’t know what touch and comfort was before he met Hermione Granger. And he’s slipping back into old patterns.

Merle wants to talk outside and so they walk a bit until Micah stops, a safe distance from the forest.

“What’s wrong, Micah?”

He shrugs, “Nightmares, is all.” Lily falling, her little body burnt and twisted, hitting the ground with a hollow crack, staining the ground red, soaking into the dirt, forever gone. In a way, he feels relief. Beside him Lavender vomits into a pool of fresh blood, shining redredred and Lily is dead.

Merle frowns, his face a familiar mask of old pain and confusion. “You don’t have nightmares.”

He looks at Micah and the smaller man knows that he sees a broken and twisted man sitting in a bathtub, facing hell and shrugging, carelessly. He’s seeing a boy, newly infected, take all the change and pain and disgust he’s faced with, with otherworldly calm. He sees Micah.

But Micah doesn’t have nightmares.

“A little boy dying in a cupboard does.”

He knows that he should not say these things because they are over and done with, but he’s so tired and worn.

And the power still howls of seductive darkness.

+

s

Anita is Micah’s match but she isn’t Harry’s match. Micah realises that as he watches her watch him. She’s weary of him, angry. They all are because he is jumpy and easy to anger. Instead of having sex with her he fucks her raw and he never sees her eyes when he does. Instead there is fiery chocolate and red hair now, or steely grey and watery blonde. Never Anita.

“You’re different,” she says one evening, looking at him intently, her fingers working through the tangles of his hair. He was bald once, hair all gone, thoughts naked. He’s grown his hair ever since he escaped there.

And now he sits up, pulls away in a move too fast for her to see. She’s not used to him being anything but compliant. At least outside bed.

“Go to Richard,” he snarls at her, needing to lash out at something that’s still alive for once. “He still bleeds red.”

She looks stricken and confused, doesn’t understand what blood has to do with it all. He bleeds red too, doesn’t he?

No.

And this is what it all comes down to: blood. Blood on his hands, long washed off but never gone.

There is more humanity in Richard than there ever was in little Harry, wanting nothing but to be loved.

He sleeps at the Circus that night, Anita’s accusations still ringing in his ears almost loud enough to drown out the screams of children dying. Almost.

But he still dreams and Harry is coming closer.

+

t

Arson is tall, black haired. There is no soul shining from his green eyes and he doesn’t bother to hide what he is. He wears his fangs with the same pride that another boy – man – like him wore his red eyes. He looks like Tom, looks like Harry once did. Three children with angry hair and sparkling eyes, all dead in their own ways. But unlike the others, Arson had centuries to perfect his evil ways.

He stalks through the Circus like he owns it, all glamour and arrogance. It sets Micah on edge, makes Harry howl deep down, with the need to kill before he is hurt yet again. An animal cornered.

Anita has not talked to him in weeks, giving him nothing but angry glares and cold looks. Everyone else is cowering before him, afraid of his temper, knowing that he can best them all. It feels like it did a decade ago in fields of death and war, where he was the leader not only because there was no-one else left, but because they all feared to oppose him.

And so history repeats itself and he walks alone through the belly of the Circus when Arson - bright and dark, fiery and dead – Arson walks up to him, pinching his ass, whispering naughty things in his hair. Promises of pain and pleasure and Micah feels the magic rising in his throat. And for the first time in years he lets it.

It draws the others, Asher and Jean-Claude, who brings Anita. Anita, who never would have felt the magic on her own. Anita who walks blind in a world made up of colours. Little Harry, singing nursery rhymes in the cupboard, Arson whispering, Tom laughing hoarsely at the back of his mind and the power howling inside of him to be freed.

And Arson flies across the room in a whirlwind of visible power, crashes into the wall hard enough to crack plaster and break stone. There’s blood dripping from mouth, ears, eyes, nose, painting a mask of familiar things. He crumbles like a puppet with his strings cut, the power fading as fast as it came leaving - once again - broken things in its wake.

And Micah turns to run.

+

u

Anita blocks his path with her anger, her gun and her attitude, thinking she can stop him. And she does because Arson was an accident and still Micah clings to what he built. Clings to the man he made himself into.

The others: Humans in a coat of fur. He: A monster in a coat of human skin.

“Get out of my way,” he grounds out, lips drawn back over fangs that glisten in the dim half light. He’s slipping.

“I have no idea what you just did, but you’re a coward if you run now, Micah.” She grabs his arm as she says it, expecting him to act like an obedient child, like Petunia did. Go back in your cupboard, boy. She has every right to. The man he made himself into would have followed, would have given in because he is weak. Weak and human, forgetting about red hair and heavy books, smell of old stone and laughter of children, children dying. Lily Jane Granger-Weasley, a voice in his head hisses. It’s a mantra.

But this time he doesn’t. He’s let himself drift for too long, has hidden for too many years. So he digs in his heels and hisses, “I’m not running from what I did. I’m keeping my self from painting you all in red.”

She stops dead at his strange words, looking at him like she has never seen him before. She hasn’t.

“Then for fuck’s sake, Micah, talk to us!” But she is still Anita, still furious and strong and so very fragile. It makes him want to tear out his hair in clumps as he watches her think she can weather everything, when she has seen nothing. She was 23 when she killed for the first time. He was eleven.

“What the fuck do you want to know? What?” He growls, darkness rising, power howling, Harry crying, wand in hand ready to kill, “Do you want to know where I got all those scars from? What hell tastes like? How it feels to be eaten alive by rage? What it feels like to wake up caked in blood that you spilled? Burying your friends three per grave because there is no time to do it properly? What it’s like to have infinite power howl at the back of your mind for you to killkillkill every second of every day since you were sixteen? What, Anita? What the fuck do you want from me?”

There is only horror on her face, like he knew it would be and he leaves with a crack of displaced air, his eyes wide and dead.

+

v

The power welcomes him with a prickle down his back and a warm embrace. And then it enters him, through his every pore and something snaps into place that has been wrong since Hogwarts fell and he explodes. All those broken promises and dead children, the ghosts hissing along his skin. He never wanted to wield magic again, but who the hell is left to care? He certainly doesn’t and he wonders why he fought it for so long.

Maybe, he thinks, because he still does not grasp the futility of resistance. He’s programmed for war, not peace.

He explodes into a thousand pieces, a new world, a new universe, setting the night alight with cold fires and burning magic. Trees around him bend, rocks crack, animals flee in blind panic and everything is new and old and gone and reborn, four centuries here, a thousand years in Britain, it all comes back in a rush of light and Micah is Harry and ten years of built up whatever break loose.

And everything goes black.

+

w

When he opens his eyes everything is different and he knows without having to look that his eyes glow Avada Kedavra green once more. He sees the world through magic again.

Everything around him is dead and burnt, yet it feels more alive than it has ever before because the very breath of nature is gurgling in his lungs, and there is magic, so much magic rolling through his veins, replacing his blood, ensuring that he will never, never again abandon and deny the howling power. It’s a roar in his ears, a melody in his head, a battle cry in his heart and yet, above all that he can hear two heartbeats.

They are slow and lazy, like water trickling through a frozen landscape, like immortality in a millennium, without hurry, without eagerness. They exist, one on either side of him, planets to his sun, moons to his earth.

And then they are there, cool hands and long fingers, touching, embracing, feeling, grounding him, making him real through all the fantasy and memory.

The dead have come to collect him and they feel no fear. Lily was eleven last week. She would have gotten her Hogwarts letter by now, he thinks, if he hadn’t wrapped the castle and death and decay, fighting a war that could never be won. Fighting like he was taught to because, in the end, what else did magic ever teach him but ruinations in red and green?

Inside him, the magic weeps.

+

x

Asher pulls him to his feet and Jean-Claude wraps his arms around him and they carry him through the air like he weighs nothing and he doesn’t because he is the wind through trees now and the rain, falling like tears crying over the lives he took, the lives he avenged, the lives he denied while foolishly pretending not to be who he is.

He can’t escape, never could. Luna should have told him.

He feels lips against his ear, soft and smooth, and a whisper, “So much magic, mon chat. So much power.” The wind blows cold around them, but he doesn’t feel it as Jean-Claude’s sad voice adds, “So much death.”

They understand. They understand what it feels like to be rejected by death, to be spat back into the world, new and different yet doomed to never change, to always live five minutes behind, an hour too late. They recognize the death inside of him, smell the decay. They feel the magic that is sparking through his veins, replacing the monster that replaced the red.

And they do not judge.

+

y

He wakes to the feel of their hands on him, their bodies beside him on a giant bed. Anita, he feels, is long gone. Only a faint trace of her magic and her rage linger like a bitter taste in the back of his mouth. She never was right and she was never here. Around him the air dances in streams and ribbons of light and colour.

“We sent her away,” Asher murmurs, throwing a leg over Harry’s thighs, pressing even closer. They wrap themselves in his warmth like he is wrapping himself in their death, children lost in the dark forest with no bread crumbs left. He never believed in fairy tales anyway.

“No,” Harry answers, “She was never here.”

He remembers wrapping his hands around the throat of Tom Marvolo Riddle, remembers eyes drilling holes into his soul, a rage that burned brighter than heaven. Harry was Tom and Tom was Harry and they both died as one twisted violently and the other dropped dead.

They were dark haired children with no love in their childhoods and rage biting holes into their hearts. Their eyes were molten death and they were the same. Anita was never here, never tasted true power, never took it inside herself and felt it taint her precious soul. It’s better this way.

Jean-Claude kisses a trail up his neck, open mouthed and hungry.

“It’s better this way.”

+

z

The next time he wakes they are entwined, never to be separate again and they are both dead. Their bodies cold and stiff, their faces empty. It doesn’t bother him.

Later, he thinks, he will write Luna a letter. Much later, for now he rests with the dead and for the first time in his life he feels something akin to peace, here in the tomb of those that time does not accept.

And so he lets the ebb and flow of the magic lull him back to sleep as it hums a lullaby that only he can hear.

Somewhere far away, Lily laughs.

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The End

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The End

You have reached the end of "Lily Dying". This story is complete.

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