It was a pretty tall order.
How the hell were they supposed to do something like that?
They had one week to decide. One week before the date and events could perfectly align and Nostiluca - Lady Magic Herself - could weave her spells and set them free.
Harry took his glasses off and laid them on the desk next to the stack of essays he was grading during his lunch break.
"Oh this one's quite good."
He looked up and reached for his glasses. Sliding them onto his face the dirty blond hair came into focus. "Can I help you?"
The man smiled kindly down at him before offering his hand. "Edwin," he said. "Edwin Scarmander."
Harry stared at him, then his hand, then him again with a frown. "I'm sorry, you've caught me at a bad time. I'm-"
Edwin smiled, delight in his pale eyes. "You've got quite a lot of fizzbies in your hair, Professor Riddle."
"Potter," he mumbled, picking up his red pen and getting back to his papers. The essay on top was one that made him groan.
"Yes... Well, technicalities and all that," the man said, transfiguring the nameplate on the desk - which clearly read Professor Harold Evans in the brass - into a stool for himself to sit. "I can wait until you're done."
"You've a long wait then."
"Take the offer, Professor."
"I've no idea what you're talking about."
"The more you lie, the worse the fizzbies get. And then you'll start attracting the humdingers, which then will attract the Nargles and no one wants a Nargle infestation on their hands, Professor."
Harry sighed and put down his pen after marking the essay in front of him - about the Failed Second Rise of the Dark, a subject he was intimately familiar with having been there - to hell and back and with a failing grade due to poor research. At least, 'poor research' was what he wrote in the margin. He simply just hated reading about himself regardless of whether or not it was factual. "Is there something I can help you with Mr. Scarmander or are you intending to sit here like a blithering idiot and talk about nonsensical creatures all afternoon?"
"Actually, I'm your replacement." He shrugged. "I say replacement but the school is going to say substitute as they'll believe you've buggered off on a temporary leave of absence. But we both know that's not true. My late grandmother told me as much this morning over breakfast. She's worried about her big brother."
"Figures you'd be from THAT branch of the Scarmanders...."
"Well," Edwin said. "We can't all be magi-zoologists."
Harry gave a long suffering sigh as he picked his pen back up and moved on to the next essay.
Death was bored.
Death was also annoyed.
But mostly bored.
He could interact with the world, when he chose to.
He could talk with people, if he wanted to.
He just couldn't touch anyone. Except for that smarmy little Gryffindor git, Potter.
Not for the first time he loathed the fact that he feared dying so much he was willing to bind himself to eternal servitude.
Though to be fair, Potter hated being his master just as much as he hated being his servant. Their arrangement - in all aspects - was merely one of convenience.
Death turned the page of the magazine, silently stirred his coffee with a bit of wandless magic used on his spoon, and waited.
It was the waiting part of his job he hated the most.
He was a Dark Lord, a man of action and great power.
Yet here he was, sitting in a muggle coffee shop in the middle of a sleepy Midwestern American town. With nothing better to do than read an old magazine and wait for his chosen method of Chaos to strike.
An advanced strain of Mad Cow Disease.
It was ingenious, really. And didn't even start in this little coffee shop, but rather the diner across the street. This was just the best vantage point to watch his beautiful tapestry come together.
"Can I get you a refill on that coffee, sugar? How was your pie? Want another slice?"
"It was delicious madame," Tom Riddle's very human face said with a charming smile, careful to keep his hands to himself. "Rather than coffee, I believe a cup of your fine Earl Grey would not go amiss." Mentally he imagined her on her knees begging for mercy as he flayed her alive for the sole crime of being born a filthy, disgusting muggle.
But he settled for what he knew was going to happen in, after checking his watch, seven and a half minutes.
He waited for her to take his empty cup and the saucer his piece of pie had been on. Ticking down the minutes, screams began across the street.
People began to flee, pursued by some foaming at the mouth with blood streaking down their fronts.
"Oh dear," Death said in mock concern as one of them headed towards the coffee shop.
Six minutes after he spoke to the woman a cup of Earl Grey was set on his table. He put a spoon of sugar in and stirred it for the next minute. Thirty seconds later he sipped his tea as the waitress had her throat ripped out by the madman that had run across the street in search of more people to bite.
"I'll never tire of watching muggle zombification," he said as blood spurted everywhere. Except himself, of course, because he was protected with a shield charm to keep his clothes from getting bloody.
Despite the mild entertainment of mindless slaughter unfolding before him, Death was still bored.
Sure murder and mayhem were still quite fun and provided him amusement. But there was no point to it all. Not anymore.
What was the point if he didn't get to lord his power over anyone?
Lord Voldemort was born to rule, not hide forever in the shadows - which was in itself fun when there was a goal or purpose in mind. He was still a Slytherin, after all. But this...
Having the power of a god and unable to flaunt it. It was maddeningly boring.
He finished his tea and left a few dollars on the table when he left. Not that anyone would be around to collect payment.
"Tom," he said when the ex-Dark Lord had returned home late that night. "We should do it."
"I just got home. Give me an hour to get a proper meal and-"
"Merlin's pants, Tom. That's not what I meant. We should take the offer."
"As loathe as I am to remain shackled to you for eternity, I quite agree. But we should decide what we will do once we arrive. I have no intention of stopping my war because you occasionally provide a good bed-warmer."
Harry waved him off. "I've been thinking," he said, causing Voldemort to snort in mild amusement.
"Gave yourself brain damage, did you?"
"Shut it," Harry snapped. "All they've asked us to do is free magic. This world is finally starting to get there, but it's not fast enough. Here in the UK restrictions have eased. More places like Godric's Hollow and Serpent's Cove are springing up. But places like China and Russia are still, well, you've seen it what with your job and all."
"Quite," Voldemort said. "What are you getting at, Potter?"
Harry sighed, taking one last time to rethink his decisions. "I think... if you change your stance on muggleborns and are willing to merge magical and muggle society together instead of slaughtering everyone who doesn't fit the pureblood ideal, it might be possible to complete the task Lady Magic has requested."
"And why should I do that?"
"Well for one given the time period we're going back to muggle technology hasn't developed to the point of matching magic in power. Not like it has here. So you'll still have the advantage where muggles are concerned. And you've seen for yourself how much more powerful half-bloods and muggleborns are compared to most purebloods."
"Yes, but the biggest hurtles are you and Dumbledore. And don't forget the Hallows."
Harry waved that off. "The Hallows aren't important. I'll still be the Master of Death. As for me... If you change some of your goals with the war, I believe we can come to an arrangement."
"I won't grovel at your feet in front of my Death Eaters, bound to your or not."
"Of course not. They'd never fear you if you did. Outwardly, you still run the war the same way you always have. I'll appear subservient to you, but higher ranking than the rest. And I won't be marked."
"In case you haven't looked in the mirror, my lord, you've been marked for over two centuries."
They decided to figure out specifics after they arrived.
Nostiluca and Corra were not surprised in the least when the two men came down the cemetery path to the Riddle graves.
Cedric was half-sitting, half-floating on the base of the giant statue.
"Well boys," Corra said. "Have you reached a decision?"
"We'll do it," Voldemort said.
"Even knowing that Cedric will still have to die?" she asked, looking at Harry.
"Well someone's going to have to be the human sacrifice and I don't think having it be Pettigrew is going to be all that helpful before snake face gets a body back."
"Quite," Voldemort said. "I will still be able to change my appearance though, won't I? I'm quite fond of having a nose and proper ears."
"So you don't mind being bald?"
"I never said that. But the nose and ears are a priority. Besides, if I must I can always wear a hair piece if necessary. But a false nose will be a bit harder for me to work with."
Harry shook his head with a fond smile, but had turned his head to keep Voldemort from seeing it before reigning his emotions back in. "Alright, what do we have to do?"
"Absolutely nothing. But given when and where you're going to end up you had better have a plan in place for getting away," Corra said. "My sister and I will be ready to begin at midnight so you had better have a plan in place."
Harry and Voldemort spent the remainder of the day and the bulk of the night crafting an escape plan. It would be hardest for Harry, given that he would have to return to Hogwarts after the fourth task and the body exchange in the graveyard.
Once they'd sorted out the plan, and got into place with Cedric's ghost watching on in mild interest, Harry couldn't help but ask Lady Magic something he was curious about. "How come I don't age?"
"Because you're dead. The dead don't age, dear."
"But I'm not dead."
"But you are. No one can survive a killing curse a second time. That's why they only really just sting you now rather than kill you."
"Well, that explains a lot."
Nostiluca smiled. "The body you'll be put in is fourteen years old. You will continue to age until you die, at which point you will be stuck. So if you'd like to be able to grow a beard, I suggest holding off getting killed for a few more years."
"As long as I don't die, I could age until I actually look like an adult?"
"But if I properly die, and end up back in that bloody white place again-"
"Then you will be frozen forever at the age you were when you were killed. Yes. And if you live to a grand old age only to die a natural death then you'll come back an old man a lot like that Dumblydoor fellow. How is this hard to comprehend, dear boy?"
Voldemort laughed. "He's a Gryffindor, my Lady. What more explanation do you need than that?"
Harry scoffed. "Says the Slytherin that begs for the sweet release of Death when he gets a spot of food poisoning, forgetting that Death can't kill itself."
Nostiluca sighed, turning to her sister and shaking her head. "The fate of all magic, in the hands of these two idiots... What was I thinking?"
Corra smiled softly. "You were drunk, dear sister. You weren't thinking."
Sirius once told Harry that dying is faster than falling asleep.
Harry begged to differ.
It was slow and painful and honestly he hated every second of it.
Lady Magic had taken them across the realms one final time and ripped their immortal souls right from their bodies, leaving the things to crumble to dust.
After dithering about the morality of stealing someone else's body, even if it was your own, Harry was reassured that in this particular timeline neither he nor Voldemort were meant to survive this night.
Because the idiot Dark Lord decided to turn Nagini into a horcrux while still a hormunculus and not after regaining a stable physical form. This, Nostiluca had said, resulted in a domino effect of each Horcrux failing because Death managed to take the main portion of soul before they could activate to keep the moron alive.
So the body that would emerge from the cauldron would be, well, a nice and empty vessel that without a soul would wither and die much like victims of the Dementor's Kiss.
As for Harry's body... he'd just die as the soul shard would be forcibly ripped away by Death, and both he and Cedric would haunt the cemetery forever.
Lady Magic talked it over with Death to let this Harry pass a bit more peacefully, as having his ghost hanging around while his body was being used by someone else wouldn't really go over too well with anyone.
Cedric's murder became a human sacrifice which allowed Lady Magic to slam the souls into their new homes.
After that, well, their fate was their own to make as they pleased.
So long as they did as she asked and set magic free.
"The great and powerful Harry James Riddle," she said, peering over the dead body of her favorite wizard's closest friend. "My how far you've come in such a short time."
"Potter," he corrected but didn't bother putting any real bite behind it anymore. "Corra. This is a pleasant surprise," he said, pulling Barty's body back up into a sitting position, piece of raw fish clinging to his dead face. "What brings the Scottish goddess of prophecies here to Japan?"
"This and that," she said, glancing at Barty again. "Pity. I quite liked him. Used to visit him in his dreams for a bit of fun from time to time."
"You naughty minx," he said. "But that's not why you've come so far out of your way to visit."
"You caught me," she said. "I came to tell you to go home."
"Why? Come to warn me of some terrible fate about to befall our kingdom?"
"No. Just... you've liberated the magical people of the entire continent. Take some time off while the Americans deal with their second civil war. Did you know the magical population there actually outnumbers the muggles? Was quite a surprise that all the squibs actually sided with the wizards over there."
"I'd heard. Hopefully we won't have to cross the ocean any time soon."
"Go home, Harry. Take a vacation."
"I can't. I'm a fighter, not a ruler. Not like Tom."
"You might be immortal, and you might be the Master of Death, but you're still human, child. My sister is quite pleased with all you've done. She never expected you to actually take the time to build the foundations for a new society before you moved on to another battle. Another war. Over and over."
Harry shrugged and reached for a pair of chopsticks. Just because his only friend outside of Voldemort was sitting at the table dead, there was no reason not to finish his dinner. He'd just avoid the puffer fish if he could help it. "Tom was the one born to rule, not me," he said. "I was born to fight. It's what I do best."
"And yet you still stopped to start each place rebuild from the battles you fought and won on their behalf."
"Just because I helped Voldemort tear down a country and build a dark magical kingdom doesn't mean I don't still have a saving people thing."
Corra smiled at him softly. "And that, right there, is why we picked you for this. Unfortunately, you're a package deal. In the end though, it'll all work itself out. Magic will be free for all again and out in the open. There will be no more Harry Potters and Tom Riddles, forced to suffer because of their magic."
"People will always be cruel, Corra. Children will always suffer abuse and hate from those that are meant to keep them safe."
She nodded in somber agreement. "True, Harry. True. But they won't be made to suffer because of their magic. They won't have to become you and Tom."
"You can't be sure of that."
"I'm a goddess of Prophecy, child. Or did you forget that? I can see the future. Every future there will ever be. Even now, as more are created I can see every line, every string and every bubble. Every smile and laugh. Every life and death." She shook her head with a chuckle. "Sometimes even I forget you were born of mortals. With magic free, there is no more struggle between darkness and light. There is only magic, and power. Good and evil still exist, certainly. They will always exist, and will change in accordance with mankind's morality." She picked up a pair of chopsticks, summoning one of the plates on the table closer to her. "Go home. Take a vacation. You were born to fight and there are still more battles ahead. But even you need to rest from time to time."
"I don't get a say in this, do I?"
"Not really, no."
"Set out on Saturday. The weather will be much better for mass apparition. And stop by Durmstrang on the way."
"Any particular reason?"
"Unfinished business," she said. "Business that you need to deal with before you'll be able to move on."
Unfinished business was right.
Hiding in the ruins of Durmstrang were more familiar faces than he was comfortable with.
When he and his forces arrived, he left the bulk of them in the valley while taking his elite unit, ex-Aurors and Hit Wizards, most of them, up to the fortress under a white flag of peace.
Despite the clear signs of peaceful intent, spells and muggle mortars were lobbed over what remained of the walls until the attempted resistance was suppressed.
Behind his jeweled mask, Harry watched as the rebels were lined up before him. Green eyes closed as he sighed, walking down the line of men and women forced to their knees.
One of his men gave a small bow after coming from a side corridor. "My Lord Moros," he said. "Numerous casualties and four dead."
He turned his attention to the man and gestured for him to continue.
"Three non-magical. One magical. Mudblood." After a glare, the wizard corrected himself. "I meant to say, muggleborn, my Lord."
Harry looked back at the line of wizards and witches.
"Which one of ours killed the muggleborn?" he asked, trying to keep his voice low enough to obscure it to the prisoners.
"Which one of my fighters killed the muggleborn? And do not make me repeat myself a third time, McLaggen."
"Parkinson, my Lord."
Green eyes seemed to light up at that. "Good. Very good. I never much cared for the pug to begin with. Send for Parkinson and have her taken to the ritual chamber. Have another bring the muggleborn. With my devoted shadow dead, I will require a volunteer to bring me my tools and remain at my back as I work."
"Yes my Lord. As you command." McLaggen hurried from his presence, and Lord Moros began to leave. However, he stopped in mid-step when he heard an angry growl from the line of prisoners.
"Isn't it enough that you've taken everything from us?!"
His heart broke but for a moment as behind his mask he hid his sorrow and his pain. Harry longed for the days when he could curl up by the fire and play chess with his best friend. Spend hours talking Quidditch with the ginger haired girl at the end of that line. Argue over who made the best chocolates with the werewolf that now glared at him accusingly.
Amber eyes watching him. Always watching him. Knowing by only the scent of the air that he somehow had survived the Battle of Hogwarts. A secret that, Harry hoped, the werewolf would take to his grave.
Shame dwelt inside him, buried deep. But it was for the best. The friends and family he could never again be part of would never understand the sacrifices he had to make. The shredding of his own immortal soul just to keep them safe. Keep them alive. He could never be part of their lives, their little world again. Not if magic was to be free again. Not if the magical people were to survive.
He said nothing. Could say nothing.
Instead, he continued on his way, quietly passing orders to confine the prisoners to comfortable quarters and ration them food and water as appropriate until further notice.
No one could understand why their jailers were treating them kindly.
Remus knew, but would not speak it.
Instead he tried not to smell it. Tried not to pick out the scent of Death itself from the air that clung to the man behind the jeweled mask. Just as he tried to ignore the wolf, that dark creature buried deep inside that longed to submit before something far darker and far deadlier than itself.
So he tended the wounded. He helped Sirius and Bill to share out the rations. Make sure everyone else was comfortable.
It was one week before the wards on the door were dropped entirely. One week before their dead comrade's body was returned.
Pale but warm.
Still but breathing.
Remus had watched from his cot, trying not to breathe in through his nose as the smell of death overwhelmed him.
The smell that still clung to Sirius when he was stressed.
To George when he was depressed.
To himself every full moon that the wolf came out to play.
"Gently. Gently now," one of the masked figures in red battle robes said after transfiguring a chair into a low cot. The other two carefully lowering the stretcher that carried the sleeping woman.
He felt Ron move behind him, rushing to be at the woman's side. But he stopped when a wand was thrust into his face.
"That's enough, Tamil. Lower your wand."
"But the blood traitor-"
"I said lower your wand. The man would like to check on his wife."
"Leave now before I report your behavior to our Lord."
The wand was lowered. A sneer was given. And then he was gone back out the door. Ron Weasley hesitantly moved, keeping one eye on the masked men before he finally dropped down beside the cot, taking the woman's hand in his own and holding it tight. Fingers seeking out her wrist, just as she'd once shown him. A stead, strong beat.
"She's alive..." he whispered, bringing her hand to his lips to brush the back with a soft kiss and whispered praise. His other hand reached out to brush the frizzy brown hair away from her serene, sleeping face.
"We will remain camped out beyond the walls and down in the valley two more days before Lord Moros bids us to march onward. You will be left enough supplies for your group for approximately one month. After we have left, you are free to continue your lives in peace. Lord Moros however does give you one warning. If you wish to remain in peace, do not return to Britannia. Instead find a new place to settle and call home."
The men gave a small bow before turning to go, ignoring all protests.
No one but Remus and Sirius noticed that the wards were never placed back up on the door until well into the night.
Harry stood on the ramparts the final day. Still drained from the Exchange he had made with Death.
The body of Pansy Parkinson had been mounted on a spike. She had managed to fight back, some. Resulting in the breaking of his mask. The two halves now hidden safely in his saddlebag along with his tent and other personal affects.
He could not lie about his feelings as he broke the woman. She had been one of his best fighters and a skilled potions mistress. That was why he mutilated her hands first. With each brutal strike of the sledgehammer Death had squealed in delight. With each wail and cry for mercy- Mercy my Lord! Please! Mercy! OH GOD HAVE MERCY! - he would crush another bone and light her nerves on fire with the glowing red tip of a wand.
For Bellatrix the torture had been cathartic. His hatred and his anger an ambrosia for the beast that had settled in his soul when Sirius had died the first time. It was with a heavy hand and a deep rooted passion to hear her scream and wail and beg that had driven him to slice the woman to ribbons. It was rage at the pride she had felt for killing her own kin that had driven him to mounting her body on a spike for all to see. Pride for the work of his own two hands.
For Greyback it had been more a methodical meditation. First he had declawed the wolf by taking his fingers and his toes. One by one with a dull muggle blade that had required much more of a sawing motion. Then he had defanged him by using a very rusty pair of pliers and removing each and every sharp tooth in his head. Because of the alpha wolf's penchant for despoiling little boys and girls before biting them, castration had followed. Piece by piece he had broken down the animal. There were still bits of skin, stretched, dried, and mounted in the study of Salazar's Hideaway over Voldemort's private writing desk. The tattoo work had been objectively beautiful and was such finely detailed that Harry could not have brought himself to utterly destroy it. Greyback's remains were left scattered as if a beast had eaten it's fill and left the pieces behind for the scavengers.
Pettigrew had been the easiest. Harry had trapped him in his own nightmares before stabbing him in the heart. Wormtail died begging for forgiveness from the friends he had betrayed and the son at who's hand he was to die so that George Weasley could return to the family he so loved.
Parkinson had been... the hardest.
Not out of guilt. He was enraged, yes. More-so than he had been at dear old Bellatrix. It was more... he was amused. And this amusement failed to disgust him. Death had certainly enjoyed watching Harry work. The muggleborn had been crushed under a pillar that Parkinson had deliberately brought down upon her. Crushing her. And therefore, Parkinson deserved the same.
It was the enjoyment he gained out of it that bothered him. The fact that the soul of a pureblood would be exchanged for that of a mudblood. An entire noble house snuffed out, bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in a necromantic ritual. Pureblood dying in such a muggle fashion.
He was disturbed from his pondering as Barty's temporary replacement came up behind him. "One of the prisoners would like to speak with you."
"Which one?" he asked, curious which of his godfathers it would be.
"The muggleborn, my Lord."
"Oh, she's awake then?"
"Yes My Lord."
"I will dine with her before we leave. Find a suitable room in the the fortress and have a light meal prepared. A soup if possible. She will need her strength but should not have a heavy meal just yet."
"Yes My Lord."
Harry had fashioned himself a new mask from a piece of polished silver he had found in the ruins of the old school. It now covered his face, molded to it like a second skin. He had chosen to keep the stag motif. Lord Moros was already known as the Devil Stag across large swaths of Europe. The Demon Deer in Russia and China. Why change it now?
The small antlers jutted out from his red hood. Only his mouth remained uncovered. The better for others to hear him, he always believed. The better to frighten them with his honest lips and cruel smiles.
The door behind him opened, and he could sense three figures. One, a man, floating a steel tray with two bowls and two glasses upon it to a table near the fire.
He waited until she had been seated, then dismissed the two others. He sat, the edge of his hood casting his mask into mostly shadow, but did nothing else to obscure his identity. No doubt Remus knew.
No doubt Remus had always known.
"Please miss. Eat. You need to rebuild your strength after what your body has been through."
"I died," she said flatly, ignoring the food in front of her. "I died and you used black magic to bring me back to life. You had no right."
He gave a small nod before picking up his spoon and began to eat his own soup.
She glared at him angrily. Hatefully. He could not meet her gaze.
"I was ready to die," she said, turning her head away to stare at the blazing fire.
"You, perhaps. But not the little one. I am sorry that I could not save her, too," he said quietly. "I did not know, otherwise... as much as it would pain me to do so, I would have let you go."
"Pain you? I know what I am to you. A useless mudblood."
"I wish you could see the world the way I see it."
"Right. You and that half-blood bastard Voldemort lording over everyone else. Using torture to ensure obedience. Enslaving the muggles and keeping them like house elves."
"Only in the beginning. After three years Voldemort and I restructured the entire country. We brought muggles and wizards together in a way that has not been seen since the days of Merlin himself. Purebloods and muggleborns live and work side by side with muggles." He set down his spoon after taking a few more bites. He sat back, careful to keep his hood up. Careful to keep most of his mask in shadow. "Magical children now begin proper schooling at age five alongside muggle children. Learning to read and write. Basic maths and normal, average children's education. Magical schools have been opened in each of the four sectors and are open to both magical and muggle students. The muggle students may not be able to perform magic, but they are allowed to sit in and learn the theory so that they do not become ignorant of the world they find themselves sharing. Ignorance breeds fear of the unknown. And it is that fear, weilded by the hands of muggles, that created both myself and Lord Voldemort." He paused, and sighed. "One doesn't need magic to open a potion's supply shop. Just a basic education and the ability to exchange money for goods. Muggles can chop, dice, powder, crush just as well as any witch and wizard. Better than, at times I've noticed. Many muggle products such as ballpoint pens and ruled paper are far better to work with than quills and parchment. Robes can be made of any fabric, and any muggle can design and make them if they have the skill. Muggle politicians serve on committees to help ensure everyone is treated fairly and justly, and to help maintain the laws that are set forth to prevent their kind from being mistreated."
She cast a hateful glare at him. "You expect me to believe that? No one gets news of what goes in in your exclusive little kingdom. But if it's anything like what we've seen you do here on the continent-"
"I have only gone where I am asked to go."
"You are imposing your beliefs and ideologies on people who do not want nor need it. Disrupting entire societies because you believe you are unstoppable. That your way is the only way."
"This building we are in used to be a school. Do you know why it is not anymore?" he asked suddenly. "Muggles here feared the wizards and witches that attended here once they learned of their existence. Viktor Krum died in these halls," Harry said. "He and I held the line so that the children could escape through tunnels into the mountains around us. Do you know why the war started here?" He waited, but she would not speak. "Viktor was teaching a student how to fly a broom while his daughter watched below. They believed they were safe here behind the wards. But no one knew that the muggle repelling ward had, over time, failed. Hunters came across little Amelia Krum as she was using innocent magic to build a snow man. She was a very bright girl for her age and had recently learned how to perform the Wingardium Leviosa charm. Out of fear of her innocent, simple magic they shot her in the back of the head. Viktor in his panic and grief killed one of the hunters, swooping in with the intent to knock them away from her body but instead his speed and momentum had caused him to impale the muggle on the end of his broom."
Harry had watched her expression as he told her the tale that Viktor had told him and Barty during the Siege on Durmstrang. During one of the longest nights as the muggle canons fired away in the dark, chipping at the stones. "Did you know that when he decided to leave Quidditch he became a teacher. Inspired by his experience at Hogwarts during he Tri-Wizard Tournament. He taught flying to first years and Ancient Runes. His wife taught potions. She was pregnant with their third child the last I saw her. She and their son settled with family near Moscow where they live in peace. Able to practice magic among the muggles without fear." He took a sip of his water, tilting his head back and allowing his hood to fall, exposing his mask in full and the wild black hair atop his head.
She gasped, taking the silver plated face. Every plane, every curve one she knew intimately. Sad, pain filled green eyes looked away before he stood. "For your safety, Mrs. Weasley, and that of your family, please do not return to Britannia. And I am truly sorry that I could not save your and Mr. Weasley's child. If it were possible for me to do so, I would have gladly sacrificed my own soul in exchange for hers. Unfortunately it is my great regret to admit to you that I am unable to die."
He was careful to step out of her reach, leaving her at the table, crying into her soup.
"Harry wait!" she called before he could step out into the hall. He stopped, one hand on the doorknob, ready to pull the door inward.
"I am sorry, Mrs. Weasley," he said. "But you know just as well as I do that Harry Potter is dead. Please, eat your soup and rest. Your body still needs time to heal."
He left her then, closing the door on her sobs and whimpers. "Zabini," he said to one of the men waiting outside. The one that had escorted her into the room. "Please make sure that she is returned to her family when she is ready. We will depart once she is settled back in. If you have any trouble, use stunners only. I do not want anyone harmed."
"As you wish, my Lord."
As promised, when Lord Moros and his soldiers left the ruins of Durmstrang, supplies were left behind. The carcass of Parkinson was left as well. Bill and Sirius took her down to give her a proper send off rather than letting her rot on the spike and set her on a bonfire. The ground was too hard and rocky to attempt an in-ground burial.
Remus sat listening to the hurried whispers between husband and wife late into the night as they discussed her death and miraculous resurrection.
When she got up for her turn on the night watch, she had the same haunted look in her eyes that he had seen in Sirius in the weeks following the Battle of Hogwarts and their release from Voldemort and Moros's dungeons.
She clung to him and cried into his threadbare sweater. Her Death scent came hand in hand with heartbreak.