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A Soul of Two Halves

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Summary: The gypsies did not take a soul’s rebirth into their calculations when they ‘ensouled’ Angelus… And now the owner of the broken living soul wants the rest of his soul back.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Angel-CenteredTanydwrFR1312,7441141,94726 Dec 1126 Dec 11Yes
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its associated characters, settings, etc. belong to J. K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Warner Brothers. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its associated characters, settings, etc. belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I just own this particular plot bunny.


Written because I don't think anyone has tackled the possibilities of the reincarnation of Liam's soul and what might have happened if it had been reclaimed while someone else was using it. As you can see, my thoughts on the subject are potentially dark...


A Soul of Two Halves


When Harry was first rid of Voldemort’s horcrux, he felt freer than he had in a lifetime. The constant weight, the constant drain that he had never before noticed was gone. He felt glorious.

Then, one week later, he felt a sensation he hadn’t felt since January. But when that dream had flooded him with warmth, this was not a dream. This was pain. A screaming pain that threw him to his knees, tearing at something so deep inside that the Cruciatus had never been able to touch it.

Ginny told him that his eyes had glowed with magic.

And the feeling of completeness was gone. The draining burden was back. He tried to live, but even his victory seemed dull in the face of the ache that formed in his heart. In the face of all the lives that had been lost. Every time he had before been able to push away the guilt came crashing back down upon him.

That was nothing to the nightmares of something hellish that his guilt convinced him he deserved.

It was Ginny who dragged him from the depression. Ginny with her vibrant, tear-stained smiles and sweetbitter laughter. Who tangled her body with his until he had no idea where she started and he began.

She was the one who first wondered if it was something to do with his soul, his own soul, remembering the drain and the nightmares the diary had forced on her all those years before.

“How do I find that out?” Harry asked her. “Soul magic is rare.”

“Bill’s said there’s wizards out in Egypt and Africa who look into magics like that,” Ginny suggested. “Maybe you can try them.”

It took a lot of convincing to get Kingsley Shacklebolt to let Harry leave, but when he explained the situation and his fears that perhaps he was having a delayed reaction to the destruction of the horcrux that had inhabited his body for so long, Shacklebolt encouraged him to leave.

It took him, Ron and Hermione three months and some serious new training to find an African shaman capable of reading souls. He was more than capable of telling Harry what he needed to know.

“You soul…” the shaman had murmured, pointing at Harry when he first entered, “torn it is. By dark, cursed power it is torn.”

“Torn?” Hermione asked, but the shaman did not answer, instead gesturing for them to follow.

They sat around a fire, and Harry sweated in the heat as the witch doctor forced a potion down his throat. Harry gasped and screamed until the smoke began to form images.

A young man, dark-haired, in eighteenth-century dress, arguing with his father, drinking and whoring, before stumbling down an alley and dying at the hands of a vampire.

Another young man, also dark-haired, but serious, clutching a sobbing young girl beside his father’s bed, arguing with a woman with sparkling eyes, marrying the young woman, dying in bed with the same woman clutching his hand.

A child, dying of tuberculosis before he reached nine years old.

A man, wielding a scalpel on a battlefield. The same man, his hands shaking in a small London room. Then out on the streets of nineteenth-century London, falling to his knees, groaning in pain. As his eyes glowed, a scantily-clad woman picked his pocket and left him to moan on the street. His expression darkened.

“His eyes…” Hermione whispered. “Ginny said –”

“Quiet,” the witch doctor ordered. “You must see.”

The first man, the drunkard who had died at the hands of the vampire. He was a vampire himself, feeding from a pretty, dark-haired woman.

Dark-haired men and women, calling through the dark.

The vampire’s eyes glowing as horrified pain wrenches through his body. Realisation, struggling to live with guilt. Feeding on murderers and rapists as he tries to remain with his ‘family’ of vampires. Failing, leaving.

And the doctor, the battlefield doctor whose soul had been torn apart, who had been stolen from by a prostitute as he was racked with agony…

“God Almighty,” Hermione swore, her eyes going very round. “When his soul was torn…”

“Hermione, tell me that isn’t,” Harry begged her even as the doctor savagely eviscerated a woman.

“What happened?” Hermione asked the doctor.

But the shaman only pointed towards the smoke. The doctor died, and another man was born. A good man, but cold and ruthless as he ordered death and destruction in name of his country. Saving and ending lives.

The vampire saving a woman’s pet dog. Feeding from an already dead man.

A young wizard with laughing eyes. Eyes that see a pale face with red eyes and dark hair and a flash of green in his final moments.

The vampire, crawling in back alleys and streets, feeding from rats and road kill.

A baby with green eyes and black hair – Harry. His parents’ deaths, Voldemort’s curse, the soul fragment wrestling with the half-soul.

The vampire having sex with a blonde girl. Running out into the rain, falling in pain as his eyes glow.

Harry, asleep, warming as his eyes glow behind their lids, his soul healing, whole for the first time in three lives.

The vampire fighting the blonde he made love to.

Harry dying at Voldemort’s hand, the destruction of the horcrux. His body’s comfort.

A redhead incanting a curse, her eyes glowing red with power.

The vampire falling to his knees, his eyes shimmering with gold.

Harry falling, screaming in pain, his soul fractured.

The vampire with a sword thrust through his chest, sucked into a vortex within a statue.

“It seem, Harry-Lightning-Scar, that your soul belonged to vampire when alive. The gypsies, they curse him when he kill one of their own. Bad magic, very bad,” the shaman told them, shaking his head. “They not know or not care that soul has been reborn, has moved on, is alive. They cannot take all soul, so it breaks, it tears in half. Half to the vampire, half with the man.”

“And his experiences in war, the pain he suffered, that woman stealing his money, and the loss of natural conscience that losing half a soul might cause, and he snapped,” Hermione murmured. “He took his vengeance on other prostitutes.”

“Don’t say it, Hermione,” Harry begged her. “Please.”

“This is why souls must not be reclaimed,” the shaman told them. “Some, they linger, especially with loved ones remaining. Others live again and again. His soul – old soul, lived many lives. Hero, everyman, villain. Good man and bad man.” He cracked a smile at Harry. “More good than bad. But half-soul cannot heal well. There was weakness in the curse that returned soul to vampire. It escaped, returned to rejoin the rest of its soul. But witch cast curse again, tore that half away again. You lucky. You stronger now than in that life.”

“What can I do?” Harry asked. “I cannot… I feel…”

“Experience vampire’s memories, experiences, you might. Soul-halves are closer. He has been in hell. Will return soon. Seek him out. Destroy him, and your soul will heal, become whole.”

Harry swallowed. “Can I do that? I mean, he has a life –”

“If soul leaves him, he is monster as bad as your bad wizard,” the shaman informed him. “But with more mind to think, more… imagination. He torture the Slayer again.”

“The Slayer?”

“His soul love her.”

“The blonde,” Hermione realised. “He was fighting her. She must have sent him to hell…”

“Just after my soul got torn apart,” Harry grumbled. “She couldn’t have been a bit quicker?”

“Harry!”

“What do I do? How do I find him once he returns?” Harry asked.

“In the valley. The valley of sunlight,” the shaman replied.

“What about – in the meantime? Will I – I won’t turn into – into him?” Harry asked, licking his lips.

“Not if you try not to.”

Three weeks later, Harry Potter appeared in the Ministry of Magic before Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“You’re ready to go into the department?” Shacklebolt asked.

“I still need training,” Harry told him. “Ron and I both. In how to investigate, the right spells, stuff like that. And I – I need to be partnered with Ron.”

“We usually partner younger Aurors with older ones –”

Harry shook his head, cutting the older man off. “No. You see, Ron’s promised.”

“Promised?”

“To be there. Because sometimes, with things the way they are, I might… I might need someone to stop me.”

XXXXX

It took them less than a month to identify and locate the Kalderesh clan and inform them just exactly what they had done when they cursed the vampire, now known to them as Angelus.

It was only when Ron had to stun Harry to stop him from strangling their leader that they had any inkling that a man with only half a soul can be infinitely more dangerous than a vampire without one.

Men do not need to fear the sunlight.

XXXXX

It took a further six months to find where the ‘valley of sunshine’ was. The clan had not known – those watching Angelus had died during his recent release, and they were under the impression the vampire was dead.

It should not have surprised them when they identified it.

“Sunnydale,” Harry muttered. “The Hellmouth. Of course.”

They did not leave immediately. Ginny had made him promise not to leave without her, and Harry had a feeling that he might need her there as well as Ron and Hermione. She might be able to stop him where they could not.

They arrived during an unscheduled eclipse. It took less than two minutes to find the centre of the disturbance at the high school.

The explosion happened barely minutes before they arrived – the Hellmouth did not permit Apparation.

“That’s him.”

Angelus saw Harry as he walked between fire engines. He must have recognised something in his stance, because he turned instantly, and ran.

Harry chased him, power flooding his veins. But the vampire veered towards a small group. Harry dimly recognised the blonde before her fist went smashing into his face. Instinct overcame scruples and he lashed back, a silent Stunning Spell just strong enough to knock her back. But three others grabbed him before he could continue.

“What did you just whammy me with?” the blonde demanded. “And why the hell do you want Angel?”

Harry gave a snort. “Angel? That’s what he calls himself? Even with his soul, he was a drunken idiot who didn’t appreciate his cushy life.”

“What would you know about that?” an older man with an English accent asked, even as Harry heard the familiar footsteps of Ron, Hermione and Ginny behind him.

“Let him go,” Ron demanded.

“Or what?” the blonde, the Slayer, growled.

“Or I’m up in front of a Ministry panel explaining the diplomatic incident involving the Slayer, the Watcher and a Dementor,” Hermione informed them, her voice just a touch too sweet. “You might not have any in America, but they’ve gone walkabouts before, and the Minister would just love an excuse to have them properly walled up in Azkaban until we find a way to destroy them.”

“Willow, Xander, Oz, release him,” the older man ordered, his voice soft.

The teens did so.

“Giles?” the Slayer questioned. “This guy put the whammy on me and he wants Angel. What’s the what?”

Giles held out a hand to hush her. “May I ask what your business is with Angel?”

“Fairly simple,” Harry replied. “Last January, I had a dream, felt better than I ever had in my life. Only got better in early May when I got a squatting soul-fragment properly destroyed. A week later, I’m screaming in pain with my soul torn in half.” His smile was predatory as he saw the teens and Giles process his words and come to the natural conclusion. “I want the rest of my soul back.”

“That’s not possible,” the redhead, Willow, declared. “That’s his soul, the one he had when he was human.”

“The whole soul, yes. But he lost it when he did,” Harry explained, his voice becoming alarmingly patient. Behind him, he felt Hermione wince. Apparently she recognised the same tone he used on her when he felt she was – on extremely rare occasions – being stupid. “And while he was a vampire, it got reborn. Three times. So when those gypsies cursed him in 1888, they did not take a soul from the ether, from the afterlife. They tore the soul of a London-based former war surgeon in half. You know the first thing he saw with only half a soul?” Another dark, dangerous smile. “A prostitute robbing him. It was the beginning of August.”

“Good Lord have mercy,” Giles whispered, his face a mask of horror.

“Pretty much my reaction when I discovered who my broken half-soul used to be,” Harry replied. “The next life was a general. Utterly ruthless, but at least he was something approaching a good man, and dedicated to his country’s survival.”

“Giles?” The blonde turned towards the Watcher. “I don’t get it.”

Harry’s smile was unpleasant. “When the gypsies supposedly re-ensouled Angelus, they tore a living man’s soul in half. A man who had been in war and had all the associated problems that affect your life afterwards. A man who was then stolen from by a prostitute while in the greatest pain of his life. You’re lucky I grew up with half a soul and was used to the feeling.”

“Should’ve felt better without Voldemort’s hitchhiker in there,” Ginny muttered.

Harry frowned at her. “How do you know about hitchhikers?”

“That’s what one of the books calls demons and monsters that latch onto souls moving between the worlds. You know, one of the ones Hermione got you after you made yourself you know what after you united you know which.”

“Hermione, did you ever figure out why they have a preoccupation with not naming things directly?”

“The power of names, Harry,” Hermione replied. “As well displayed by Voldemort’s Taboo. Plus a desire not to reveal to the confused-looking Americans information about a highly classified situation.”

“Ah, of course,” Harry murmured, giving a nod. He turned back to them. “It still gets me, you know.”

“What does?” the Englishman, Giles, asked him, apparently incapable of helping himself.

“See, of the two of us, I’d’ve pegged Voldemort for the reincarnated version of Jack the Ripper.”

“Holy crap!” the dark-haired boy cried.

“Oh, look, they understand now.”

“You mean, when the gypsies ensouled Angel, they created Jack the Ripper?” Willow asked him.

Harry gave a nod. “Like I said. Be glad I lived with only half a soul for most of my life. Now, where’s Angelus?”

“And what do you want with him?” Buffy demanded.

“You need to ask?” Harry’s smile bared teeth. “I want the rest of my soul.”


Finis


Author's Note:

Left open-ended. Why? Because I can’t honestly decide if Harry would kill Angel or not. Or whether the Scooby Gang would let him. (The Watchers' Council would probably help kill Angel, just to stay on Harry's good side.)

If anyone is interested in continuing this idea, or using the concept of Liam’s soul having been reborn and living as someone else at the time of Angel’s re-ensoulment, please feel free, but let me know.

I am aware that Angel was actually ensouled in 1898, not 1888, but the Jack the Ripper connection was too interesting not to use. Assume Spike was sired in 1870 and the rest of the Scourge’s acts took place ten years earlier – or else assume Angel hung around longer after he got his soul – if it soothes the canon-wound. On the other hand, the fact that Season 2 of Buffy canonically takes place opposite Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows works rather beautifully when you consider the aspects of ‘soul’ involved in that storyline.

Obviously, this Harry is darker than canon due to the trauma of having his soul made whole and then ripped apart, especially given that there was no apparent cause for it. Angel does not count as a horcrux.

The End

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