Chapter 1: ch1
Disclaimer: don’t own HP or Rise of the Guardians
He walked to the lake and looked into the icy depths, frowning. He had been drawn to the lake by a death and yet he could sense the power in the air…all coming from the moonlight as it shone on the frozen water. How dare he? He looked up at the moon, knowing he could not be seen, and scowled. This was not his domain! The Man in the Moon had severely overstepped in attempting what he was, but the process was far enough along that to interrupt could cause damage to the soul he had come for.
For now, he would wait after all, Death was nothing if not patient. He left to attend to duties elsewhere, knowing the soul was safe under the frozen ice.
The next night was the full moon, the light shining even brighter and he watched as the ice began to crack, a body rising from the water to land on the surfaces as the cracks sealed. The newborn Spirit stared up at the Moon in awe and then clouds rolled in, covering it. Perfect. He pushed back the hood of his robe and stepped forward even as the Spirit picked up a staff, watching as frost spread. He purposely stepped on a twig, the snap causing the Spirit to turn in his direction, brilliant blue eyes wide.
He was Jack Frost? He wanted to ask, to know more, but clouds covered the Moon and the comforting feeling of his light went away. He took a step, toe nudging a stick, and he watched in awe as it frosted over. He picked it up and laughed as frost formed on the ice. He turned at the sound of something snapping, staring wide eyed as a cloaked figure stepped from the trees.
“Hello Jack,” the young man greeted with a gentle smile.
“You know me?” Had the Man in the Moon sent him to help him? Jack found himself walking towards the other, unable to stop himself, drawn to him. A hand came up to gently rest against his cheek and Jack leant into the warm touch, trembling.
“Oh Jack, I’m so sorry. He shouldn’t have done this to you,” he whispered.
“I don’t understand.”
“I know. Come, it’s time to go home now,” a hand was held out to him and Jack took it, seeing how white his skin was compared to the soft tan of the others hand.
“Who are you?” Jack asked nervously as he was gently pulled closer to the cloaked body.
“My name is Harry.”
And then his world went black.
Harry stared sadly at the young Spirit laying on the bed. He was trapped between life and death, with one foot in each realm. Manny had really made a mess of things this time. He had tied the still living Soul to the dead body, making him unique even among Spirits. Harry could separate them, send the Soul on to the rest it had earned, but in doing so he could cause damage thanks to the magic saturating his body.
He had checked the records, Jackson Overland had drowned/frozen to death in the lake after saving his little sister from that fate. The transformation had vastly altered his looks, his skin as white as snow, his hair a soft silver/white, and his eyes an inhuman brilliant shade of blue. Fitting for a Winter spirit but very different to the human he had been. Until he woke again, there was no telling the damage his death had caused, though he had spoken and understood Harry which was good, and his motor skills appeared unaffected.
Winter Spirits were hated and despised by the others, but he would keep Jack from that as much as he could. He would have a home here in the realm of the Dead with Harry. He would teach him to wield whatever powers he had safely before allowing him to travel between the realms. And if he had any talent in Death then perhaps Harry would finally have someone to help him in his duties.
He could have created helpers at any time, altered the souls of the dead or something, but it had never felt right. Harry had been doing the job alone since the very beginning even if technically he had been born in 1980, centuries from now. It was a good thing time was fluid when it came to Death.
He looked down as Jack began to stir, slowly opening his eyes to look around without any fear. Good, he shouldn’t be afraid here. Harry gently brushed Jack’s hair back off his face, curious eyes watching him, so he smiled, and Jack smiled back shyly. “Welcome to your new home Jack, this is your room.”
“My room?” Jack sat up slowly, looking around at the massive room. Harry had furnished it simply, with things from the current time, so as not to overwhelm him. He could introduce him to television later. “I…I don’t…”
“Shh, it’s alright Jack,” Harry soothed, offering a hug and Jack leant into him. “What did Manny tell you?” he asked.
“He told me my name’s Jack Frost,” Jack murmured, and Harry frowned.
“That’s all?” he asked, and Jack nodded against his chest. Was that because of the cloud cover, because he had used too much power to make Jack, or for some other reason? It better be one of the first two otherwise he would make his existence a living hell. “What do you remember before that?”
“Before?” Jack sounded utterly lost and Harry sighed, so his death had caused damage. “It…it was cold and dark.”
“You died,” Harry told him, and Jack tensed in his arms but didn’t pull away. “Manny brought you back as a Winter Spirit but because you died it has damaged your memory.”
“I…I was someone before?”
“Your human name is Jackson Overland, Jack for short. He kept that much the same at least. Though, you look very different now than you did before.”
“I don’t know why he brought you back, only he can answer that. What he did took a lot of power though so it may be a long time before he can answer,” kinder than to tell Jack he might simply be refusing to answer. “The change in name is normal for those who become Spirits, though they still know the name they were born with. Names have power Jack, so you need to be very careful about who knows your human one. As to your change in appearance, becoming a Winter Spirit did that, thankfully you still look and act human.”
“Will I ever remember? Did I have a family?”
“You could remember and there are methods to help with memory restoration. There is even a Spirit of Childhood Memory who may be able to help. You had a family; a Mother and a younger sister.”
“Can...can I see them?”
Harry hugged him tighter at the stuttered question. “If you truly wish it, I will take you but Jack…they won’t be able to see or hear you. Only the dead and other Spirits can. For a human to see you, they have to believe in you, Jack Frost.”
Jack was quiet, obviously thinking about it, before he sat up and Harry let go. The younger male wiped his eyes, revealing frozen tears. “Please?”
“Alright. First let’s get you cleaned up; it’ll help you feel better.” Harry stood and motioned for Jack to follow him, showing him the attached bathing room.
The dead had no need of such things technically, but a nice bath or hot shower was always relaxing. He showed Jack how everything worked and left him to it, going to track down the Overland family home. If seeing his family could help him than Harry would do it. He would also keep a firm block on Jack’s own powers while they were there, no need to scare his family or worse.
He wasn’t at all surprised by Jack’s reaction to him, the dead were naturally drawn to him so that he could help them peacefully move on. Jack was just unique because he wouldn’t be moving on. Vampires were technically undead, but it was very different to Jack as well. Harry would give him the physical comfort and assurance the teen needed but he would be careful as well. It would be far too easy to see more in it than there was, to get too close, and end up hurting Jack or breaking what was left of his own heart.
Jack held onto Harry’s arm as everything shifted around them and then they were standing in a small wooden house. He looked around curiously and then he saw them, a woman and girl seated before the fire, crying. He glanced at Harry who nodded so he walked closer, kneeling to get a better look. There was nothing, no familiarity, just…sadness at their grief. The little girl kept sobbing that it was her fault and he just knew it wasn’t. Whatever had happened to kill him, he didn’t blame her.
“Her name is Emma and she is eight years old,” Harry told him, and Jack slowly reached out, hand hovering over hers. Harry had said he would pass right through her and he didn’t want to do that.
“It’s not her fault.”
“Guilt’s a funny thing but with time, she’ll accept that it was your choice.”
“What did I do?” he looked up at Harry who was leaning against the wall.
“She was on thin ice and you saved her but in doing so, you ended up on that section in her place.”
“I saved her,” he whispered, and Harry nodded. He then looked at his Mother, seeing her grief.
“Her name is Sarah. Your Father, James, died five years ago. His soul has long since fully passed beyond or else I would take you to see him since he would have been able to see you.”
Jack nodded, though he wasn’t entirely sure what Harry meant. “Will they be alright?”
“Your Mother is smart and resourceful and the blacksmith, Edward, has been courting her for the last six months. He is a good man and will look after them.”
Jack rested his hand over both of theirs and then backed away. He looked around the small house, but nothing was familiar. He walked back to Harry, there was nothing for him in the house, not anymore. “Thank you,” he whispered and then took Harry’s arm again, not looking back.
Harry watched as Jack played with Fluffy, the massive Cerberus acting like a puppy as he chased the teen around, tail wagging. Jack spotted him and ran over, grinning happily. It was good to see him so happy and playful rather than shy and withdrawn. “Having fun with Fluffy?”
“Fluffy?” Jack looked back at the three-headed hound in disbelief.
“A good man once had the mortal version of a Cerberus and called him Fluffy, so this Fluffy was named in his memory. Couldn’t help it,” Harry shrugged, and Jack laughed. “Want to know his favourite game?” Harry offered and Jack grinned.
It was nice, relaxing and playing for the sake of having fun.
Jack rolled out of bed and stretched, walking through to the bathroom and turning on the tab to the tub. He stripped off his nightwear and got in once there was enough water, sighing happily as he soaked in the warm water. When he was done he dried off and headed for the closet full of clothes in more styles than he could have ever imagined. He dressed in loose black pants and a blue shirt before leaving to find Harry.
Harry was working in the garden, Fluffy snoozing nearby, and Jack settled down next to Harry, watching him work.
“Yes Jack?” Harry glanced over at him and then set aside his tools as Jack fidgeted with his staff.
“Why am I here? I mean, why did he make me a Spirit? Am I…meant to be doing something?”
“I was wondering when you’d start asking,” Harry smiled at him. “I don’t know why he chose you, there would have been many easier options for him to pick from. You are a Winter Spirit Jack, so there are duties you can take on if you choose to. There is…also the possibility you can take on duties linked to Death.”
“Because I died?” Jack asked and Harry nodded. “How will I know?”
“We train and see what powers emerge as you learn.”
Jack nodded, he guessed that made sense. “When do I start?”
“Now,” Harry stood, and Jack followed him back inside.
Jack thought he could live here a million years and still be finding new nooks and crannies. There wasn’t really a ‘house’ or an ‘outside’, but it was easiest for him to think of in those terms. Harry had said that it was how his mind and very being interpreted the realm or something. So the big empty room Harry took him to, wasn’t an actual big empty room. “What now?” he asked, and Harry smirked.
Chapter 2: ch2
Disclaimer: not mine
Glad people liked the start!
Anyone know why ffnet is having ads pop up part way through chapters now? Very distracting and annoying. Keep them to the top and bottom!
Some real world events referenced here to help establish the timeline
Jack carefully set the small plant into the soil, patting the excess soil back into place. Once that was done he concentrated and then snowflakes gently fell onto the soil, melting immediately. Learning everything he could do now had been gruelling but fun and Harry always encouraged him to think outside of the box, to push his limits.
He didn’t know what would have happened to him without Harry, it wasn’t really anything he wanted to contemplate. He’d learned all about how Winter Spirits were generally treated, and it wasn’t right. Winter was a necessary part of nature and it was beautiful too. Every season had its own kind of beauty to him.
It was hard to keep a track of time, he didn’t know how long it had been since he woke in the lake, but he didn’t mind, there was so much to learn and do. At least here, Harry could see him, so could the dead souls who passed through. It was amazing to see people of so many different times and cultures and he would talk with them, learn from them. Seeing children was sad but he would play with them, cheer them up, so that they passed happily into the beyond. Harry said that was a sign he held some powers of Death. Just like how Harry’s presence had called to him that night, comforting him when he’d been so lost and confused. He didn’t mind being tied to Harry at all.
Harry stared at Jack and then laughed, pulling him into a hug.
“What…did I do?” he asked, bewildered.
“You used one of Death’s powers,” Harry answered, smiling proudly. “I can become totally invisible to everything and it seems you can too, except for in my case. Since the power comes from me that makes sense though.” The fact it could keep Jack safe was definitely a bonus.
“Really?” Jack asked and Harry nodded, Jack grinning and whooping for joy. He was glad that Jack was happy to have gained powers from being partially dead. If anyone learnt of that, of his ties to Harry, they would likely fear and despise him even more than his Winter brethren.
Harry also wasn’t trying to keep his powers from Jack which would explain how he had used it without trying. He could cut Jack off, but why would he? It was…nice, and the closest he would ever come to having an equal. With time perhaps Jack would become to Winter what Harry was to Death. Anything was possible with magic and Spirits. He never tried to tell Jack what should be impossible since that would limit his growth, he had to find out for himself what could and couldn’t be done and if he ended up able to do things others believed impossible then it was their fault for limiting themselves.
It was nice, always having someone to come home to, to talk to. He had really come to care for Jack over the years. Despite his status, the other immortal teen was always so happy, ready to laugh and play but he could be serious when needed. He was even better than Harry was with the Souls of children, probably because he’d been a much happier child than Harry had ever been.
Soon Jack would be ready to leave his realm and see the living world for himself and Harry wasn’t looking forward to that. What if Jack preferred it and never came back? It wasn’t his choice to make though, it was Jack’s. he would never try to lock Jack away like so many people had done to him.
Harry carefully settled the hooded cloak over Jack’s shoulder. The cloth was soft to the touch but impervious to everything he could think of, the dark blue cloth embroidered with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows over a large snowflake. As soon as it settled over Jack, frost patters formed along the edges, getting an eye roll from Jack. Despite his control of his powers that always happened. Under the cloak Jack was wearing dark brown pants in the same style as the ones he’d died in and a loose white shirt. Staff in hand…he was ready to go.
He was also fidgeting nervously, and Harry smiled at him. “You’ll be fine. Your powers are under control and you have learned to fight from some of the best to ever live.”
“I’ll be able to come back?” he asked, and Harry hugged him, enjoying the slight chill of Jack’s body.
“Whenever you want, you know how. Just remembered, your body,”
“Will be different in the realm of the living, yeah.” Jack took a deep breath. “Right,” he whispered and the tapped the air with the crook of his staff, a glowing portal opening before him. With one last look at Harry, he stepped through, the portal closing behind him.
Harry forced himself to go tend his garden rather than tail Jack, he had to learn to be fully independent at some point.
Jack perched on a spire, staring in awe at the city sprawling beneath him. It was amazing! Where should he even start? He took a calming breath and stepped off the spire, landing lightly on the street, joining the crowd while being careful not to run into anyone, he didn’t want to be walked through. Harry had explained what the sensation was meant to be like for Spirits and it sounded horrible. Lucky Harry didn’t have that issue since he wasn’t actually a Spirit.
He spotted a discarded newspaper and picked it up, able to read the language easily. It was a power he was very happy to have picked up from Harry, the ability to understand any language that was out there. The paper was dated March 15th 1881…which meant he had been a spirit for a bit over a century and a half! There was a war being fought by the British and Boers of the Transvaal. Good thing Harry had insisted he learn history and geography, or he’d have no clue where any of that was! The big news though, was the assassination two days before the paper was printed of the Tsar of the Russian Empire Alexander II. That explained the hushed nature of the city and the feeling of fear, not to mention all the men in uniform.
He set out to find the children, hoping to give them some joy under such bleak circumstances.
North pulled hard on the reigns as a blur nearly collided with his Sleigh, looking around and then he spotted a cloaked figure turn back, flying near the side of the Sleigh. The hood was pushed back to reveal a young face, not much passed a child himself.
“Sorry!” the boy called, clutching a staff in his hands. “I didn’t see you. Are you okay?” Bright blue eyes looked him over then the reindeer and Sleigh.
From his looks and the cold wind, it was easy to determine he was a Winter or Ice Spirit, he seemed too powerful for a mere Sprite. He didn’t deal much with Seasonal or Elemental Spirits, they came and went rather swiftly normally. As a Guardian, none would try to mess with him, but he had seen enough of their work that he did step in and stop them when they went too far. This one though…there was something different about him, and not just his apparent young age. The boy was nervous but…yes! There was genuine concern in those ice blue eyes. “Sleigh more likely to damage you than you damage it. Are you injured?”
“Bah! What is this Sir?” He shook his head, chuckling and the boy offered a hesitant smile in return. “Names are good.” He motioned for the boy to come closer and he hesitantly alighted on the board that ran along the side of the Sleigh.
“But I don’t know your name.”
Well, that was a first. The boy had been human before becoming a Spirit based off his looks, surely he knew of him then? How new was he? “Nicholas St. North, call me North. Perhaps you know my name among the children, Santa Claus?”
The boy frowned in confusion before his eyes lit up. “Oh! You bring toys one night a year?” he asked and North nodded. “I’m Jack, Jack Frost. It’s nice to meet you.” Young Jack seemed content to hold on, so he allowed it, perhaps the boy needed a rest from whatever method of flight he used.
“And how old is Jack Frost?”
Jack thought it over, perhaps he was older than he first appeared? “Around 180 years as a Spirit? Plus seventeen years as a human.”
North blinked, startled and the boy laughed.
“You thought I was younger, didn’t you?” Jack shrugged. “I lived with Harry till 1881 so I haven’t been around in the open very long.”
North wondered who Harry was, another Spirit obviously. Perhaps one like Jack who had taken him under his wing. “Are you Elemental or Seasonal?”
“Not entirely sure?” Jack shrugged slightly. “Harry thinks I might be both. I spread frost but I can also make snow and sort of help snowstorms? I just mostly travel and help kids have fun.”
“Bringing joy to children is worthy cause!” he cheered, and the boy grinned, relaxing more. “Are you going somewhere now?”
“Scotland, got a snowstorm scheduled.”
“Come, sit. I will use shortcut for you,” he patted the seat and Jack studied him before vaulting over the side to perch on the seat in an easy crouch. North grinned and pulled out a snow globe, shaking it. “I say Inverness.” He threw it ahead of the Sleigh and the portal opened. North laughed as he heard Jack’s whooping in delight.
Jack laughed and looked down at the city below. “That was amazing! You saved me hours of flying, thanks!”
“Your welcome Jack! I did almost run you over after all.”
Jack grinned and shook his head, lifting up into the air. “Nice to meet you North!” he called and North waved back.
“Safe travels Jack!” He called after the boy, hoping he would see him again. The world could use more Winter Spirits like him.
Harry looked up as Jack practically blew in, spinning and laughing to drop down where Harry was sitting. “Having fun?”
“I met Santa!” he grinned, acting like a child and Harry smiled. “Well…okay so it was more I collided with his Sleigh in mid-air, but no one got hurt and he gave me a lift to Scotland, saved me hours!”
“Did he give you sugar too?” He teased and Jack stuck his tongue out at him.
“No…but he thought I was a kid.”
Harry sighed. “My fault I suppose. Time doesn’t really pass here for you so while you’ve learned and grown, you haven’t really aged. Plus your only company is Fluffy, me, and the dead, you aren’t used to socialising with those in the living world.”
“Don’t care,” Jack shifted to lie beside where Harry was sitting.
“So, what’s Santa like?” he asked, and Jack launched into a retelling of the whole encounter.
Jack sighed as he pulled up his hood and walked out into the black night, the clouds blocking all light, but that was okay, he didn’t need it. He left no footprints in the fresh snow and even if he had they would have been filled in within minutes. The entire country had been suffered from a freezing cold winter, much colder than normal, he should have realised it wasn’t natural sooner. Ice floes were not meant to flow down Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. It definitely was not meant to snow in places like Tampa! He’d already dealt with the group of Sprites responsible and the blizzards were slowly calming, but now…he had to deal with the victims.
The four day blizzard had covered much of the country and many people had been caught unprepared. He could feel those who still lingered, knew Harry had worked during the storm to collect those who died while he was working to disperse it. Now he would help those who still lingered. He came across a young man first, barely breathing, frozen tears sealing his eye lashes shut. Jack could hear his heart struggling to beat, and reached out, cupping his face in one hand, the killing cold emanating from his own skin, and within seconds he was dead. It was kinder to do it quickly than let him linger, the Soul in pain as it fought for life. Jack saw the Soul take form outside of the body and gently sent him on to Harry’s realm. Usually he would talk to the Soul but there were too many out there who needed help to take that time.
Finding a child whose head had been pierced by a large, very sharp, shard of ice almost made him sick. The woman in the river would likely give him nightmares of his own death even though he didn’t remember it.
To Jack, the later named Great Blizzard of 1899 felt like the biggest failure of his existence. The official death toll was one hundred souls, he and Harry knew it had been higher.
North landed the Sleigh, stepping out to look around. He knew the blizzard that had covered most of America had not been natural and so he had come looking for Jack. He did not believe the boy responsible, but he did hope he may have heard something. Finding him…well that was not at all easy. But finally, the tracking spell had led him here. It was much harder tracking a non-Guardian, especially one he had only met once and briefly at that, a good thing he had taken him through a snow globe portal, or he never would have managed to track him.
He settled his coat and walked into the trees, miles from any town. He paused as he heard something…singing? He turned and walked in that direction and then he saw Jack. the boy was sitting in the snow, cloak spread about him and…a child in his arms. He saw the child’s lips move but was too far away to hear, saw Jack nod, and then he pressed his lips to the child’s forehead…and the small body went still. Jack held the body close, rocking, head lowered and shoulders shaking. His first instinct screamed that Jack had just murdered a child but…something held him back. There was something here he was not seeing.
Jack stopped shaking and stood, the child cradled to his chest, and then he began walking on top of the snow, in the direction of town. Once he was a safe distance away, North used a snow globe to reach the town. He saw Jack walk in over an hour later and approach a house. He gently laid the child before the door and used his staff to knock on the door, standing with bowed head as the door was opened and a man cried out in grief. The child was carried inside and Jack turned away, their eyes meeting. Even at a distance he could see the frozen tears on the boys face.
Jack looked away, walking back the way he had come, and North followed, walking silently back into the woods. Jack slowly pushed his hood back, leaning tiredly on his staff and now he looked his true age.
“Are you alright Jack?” he asked, and the younger Spirit blinked at him, surprised.
“Tired,” he admitted after a minute. “It’s been…a bad week.”
“The storm,” North nodded. “Is why I was looking for you, I hoped you might have heard who was behind it.”
“They’ve been dealt with already. There was no reason for this storm…it hit areas totally unprepared for a small snowfall let alone this.” He ran a hand through wild white hair before looking back at North. “Go ahead, ask.”
“Was beyond saving but not beyond pain. Any season can kill but Winter… nothing could have saved him, so I ended the pain. He was six years old and he died for a bit of ‘fun’,” Jack spat angrily before taking a deep breath. “I need to go, more work to do.” He pulled his hood up and vanished, startling North. He looked around but there was no sign of him, so he returned to the Sleigh. He would not speak of what he had seen with the other Guardians, Bunny did not think kindly of Winter Spirits, and he did not want them to think of Jack as a killer should they ever meet.
He paused as he saw a young man in a black cloak much like the one Jack wore, emerald green eyes meeting his. He felt a shiver right through his being at the presence he had. Who…or what was he? “Jack does not kill,” the young man who appeared about the same physical age as Jack said. “He eases the passing of the dying and helps their Souls move on. It is a burden that must be carried by some or else the Souls would remain trapped in the world of the living. It is a burden I wish he did not hold and yet your precious Man in the Moon caused him to because he meddled in things he should not.”
“You are Harry,” North guessed, and the young man nodded.
“Unlike your benefactor, I could not leave him alone in a world he did not understand. I am sure you are aware of how most see Winter Spirits; I did not wish him to be alone. He likes you, Nicholas.”
“I like Jack, he is bright but now I see he is also strong and burdened. The name Jack Frost is on neither Nice nor Naughty list. Where should deliveries be made?” he asked, seeing a flicker of surprise on Harry’s face.
“There is a town called Burgess, in the woods there is a lake that is frozen year round, the birthplace of Jack Frost.” Harry nodded, pulled up his hood, and vanished, just like Jack had.
North got in the Sleigh and returned home, he had much to think on and gifts to plan with little to aid in his choices. It was a good thing he still had ten months till Christmas.
Harry held Jack as he cried for everyone he had helped pass into Death. Perhaps it was cruel for Jack to help him, but Jack had insisted on learning to use his powers. He ran his fingers through fine hair and rubbed his back, not to quiet him but simply to offer comfort. Eventually the tears stopped, and Jack lay quiet in his arms. When Jack finally moved he surprised Harry, lifting his head and pressing his lips to Harry’s. Oh…he really should have seen that coming.
Chapter 3: ch3
Disclaimer: not mine
Harry smiled as he watched an awed Jack carefully open the present North had left at the lake. Inside was an intricately carved chess set.
Jack laughed and held up a piece. “It’s me!”
Sure enough, what should have been the white King was done to look like Jack, staff and cloak included. Then he held up the Queen and Harry chuckled, it was him and rather well carved too. It was all very high quality materials and the board was decorated with snowflakes. In the package was a small carved amulet with a note, if Jack was in trouble all he had to do was let a little magic into the amulet and it would alert North. That was a very big display of trust and Harry saw a single frozen tear fall. He knew Jack had been worried North would hate or despise him because of what he’d done.
Harry was surprised to also receive a gift, the same amulet and also a nice pair of boots. He hadn’t realised he’d been observed so thoroughly as to notice his boots needed repair, now he had a new pair that were of the best quality.
They hadn’t celebrated Christmas before, but he had the feeling they would be from now on, he didn’t mind, especially when it made Jack so happy. They were taking things slowly, they had forever after all, and he didn’t want Jack to do anything he wasn’t ready for. Part of him still figured Jack had only latched onto him like that because Harry was the only one he interacted with regularly. Maybe in a few decades he’d really believe that Jack wanted him like that and not just because he was the only option.
Jack grinned as he entered their house, spotting Harry relaxing. He flew over as quietly as possible, hovering over him, before dropping down on him, kissing him. He felt Harry’s hands grab his waist as he let out a quiet oomph before relaxing again, gently responding to the kiss.
Jack knew why Harry was so tentative and it hurt a little, but he knew Harry didn’t actually doubt him, he knew enough to know he’d never had any luck with relationships and was understandably wary. Jack didn’t know if he’d been with anyone as a human but for him this was his first relationship and he only had what he’d observed among humans to go off.
“Have a good winter send-off then?” Harry asked when Jack sat up a bit, straddling his waist and Jack grinned.
“One last good frost,” he answered before kissing him again. He was very glad that being half-dead didn’t stop him enjoying things like kissing. In Harry’s realm, he might as well be fully alive, it was when he left that things changed.
Out there he didn’t need to eat or drink or even breath, though he could do it. He couldn’t even drink a full cup or eat a whole sandwich and there was barely any flavour. Harry had taught him all about the human body and Jack knew his nerves had to be rather fried from the icy dip, which was why sensation was muted. It had its good points, he could last a lot longer in a fight, take injuries most other Spirits couldn’t. But…it’d be nice to really feel the grass under his feet, the sun on his face; he could feel it all here at home, but since he knew it wasn’t ‘real’ it wasn’t the same.
Even if there was a way to ‘fix’ him, he wouldn’t take it, this was his home.
Jack sat on the rooftop, watching the happy crowds below, grinning as he felt Harry drop down beside him to watch, taking his hand. He’d missed the turn of the century last time; hadn’t been aware it’d passed till he had left home. This time they were watching as the people celebrated the start of the twentieth century. As the clocks struck midnight, Harry kissed him, a hand in his hair, the other on his shoulder and Jack smiled, kissing him back, holding on to him too.
“Happy New Years!” Jack laughed and then leapt off the roof, Harry following him, weaving in between the streams of golden Dream Sand. Jack occasionally let his staff trail across buildings, spreading trials of frost about the city. Other Spirits were out and about too, some working, some celebrating but none could see them.
Harry stood on the battlefield, staring at the rows of trenches that littered the landscape. He’d heard of the Gallipoli campaign before but as a child had never imagined seeing it with his own eyes. He thought he had become immune to the horrors of war, to what humans could do to each other, but he’d been wrong. It wasn’t all bad, the battles also brought out the best in some people as they gave their lives for their comrades, ignored personal danger to help another, but he was glad Jack was nowhere near Europe at the moment. Jack had seen enough death without having to deal with this, even though Harry knew the next war would be even worse, especially since there would be a Wizarding war at the same time.
Jack pushed himself up shakily on his arms, looking around, they were gone. He’d…passed out? That wasn’t good. He tried to open the way home, but his magic was all but gone and he was having trouble focusing. He had to…he flopped onto his side, shaking fingers gripping the small amulet.
North looked up as the door opened, grabbing a sword and following Phil out to the main room, seeing the flickering light. He frowned and then his eyes widened in alarm, it had been decades since he had seen the Winter Spirit, though he left gifts at the lake every year and had even found one in return when he would leave them. It was very thoughtful, no one ever thought to give him a Christmas gift outside of the other Guardians.
He went and grabbed his coat as well as a snow globe, using the spell tied to the alert to get the location. The first thing he saw was snow…some of which had an odd tint to it…like old blood. He shifted his grip on his swords and made his way forward. “Jack!” he called in alarm when he spotted the familiar cloak among the snow. He knelt and carefully rolled the boy over, grimacing at the sight of the burns and other wounds. As carefully as he could, he lifted the limp body and used another snow globe.
As soon as he appeared the Yeti saw and went to work, getting the infirmary readied and then they began tending to Jack. His clothing was removed as carefully as possible to avoid further harm and all North could do was watch as they did their best to heal him. This was not the way he would wish any Spirit to come and visit the Workshop.
Since they had it under control, he returned to the scene of what had obviously been a fight, trying to work out who had harmed Jack. the burns told him it was not another Winter Spirit but as it was winter currently, no other seasonal should be there. A Fire Spirit? No…Jack was too strong, but perhaps a group? Anyone could be outnumbered.
When he returned, Phil met him, explaining they had done what they could to heal him and that the rest was up to Jack. He also mentioned the fact Jack did not seem to breath or have a heartbeat and North frowned.
“Perhaps a method to conserve energy when badly injured?” he suggested, and the Yeti shrugged.
Waking up hurt. He wasn’t home, he was still in the realm of the living, he could feel it. What had happened?
“Ah! Good, you’re awake,’ a voice called, and Jack slowly forced his eyes open, blinking.
“You used the amulet, a good thing too. Who did this to you Jack?” He held up a glass, but Jack shook his head, trying to sit up, and then North was there, easily lifting him so that he was sitting up against the pillows.
“Don’t know…” he grimaced slightly, how badly had he been hurt to be actually feeling it and this long after the fight? Honestly, he hadn’t been entirely sure the amulet would work…that North would actually come for him, would ever want to see him again. If he’d had his cloak closed then he wouldn’t have been hurt but it’d been open and the hood down, leaving him vulnerable. “Sorry?”
“For what? Getting hurt? Calling for help?” North shook his head and then reached out to gently clasp his shoulder. “This is why I gave you that gift. You are a good boy Jack Frost, not like other Winter Spirits. Ah, and since you are here, I can give you your Christmas present early but in person and you can take Harry’s when you go.”
“Thanks,” he whispered, and North patted his shoulder.
“Rest more,” North told him before leaving and Jack closed his eyes. It was funny, he was mostly dead, but he could still sleep in the living world, especially if injured.
Harry walked through the halls unseen, worry driving him forward. He walked through the door and found Jack asleep in a comfortable bed, staff and cloak propped up against a chair, the window open to keep the room cool. He walked over and ran his fingers through soft white hair, seeing the bandage peeking out from under the loose nightshirt he was wearing. Jack shifted, blue eyes opening slowly.
“M’okay,” he mumbled.
Because North had found him. The odds of Jack actually fully dying were so slim as to be all but impossible, that didn’t stop Harry from worrying about it happening. “How do you feel?”
“I’ll take you home,” Harry whispered, and Jack nodded sleepily.
“North left…presents,” he drifted back off to sleep, after indicating the dresser and Harry saw the packages. He sent them and Jack’s things home before conjuring paper and pen to write a note explaining he had retrieved Jack, that he would heal faster at home, and giving his heartfelt thanks to North for his aid. He lifted Jack from the bed, and they vanished.
North read the note and smiled, glad that Harry had come for Jack, though he wished the solemn young man had stayed long enough to say hello. He had his theories on just who or what Harry was but no proof and it changed nothing, they were both good boys who had incredibly difficult jobs, especially at the moment.
Harry sat beside Jack’s bed, watching as his wounds healed even faster now he was home. Part of him wanted to go after those who had dared to harm Jack and teach them to fear Death before ending their existence…something he hadn’t felt in a long time, not since Sirius... Jack had changed him as much as he had changed Jack but that was how life was meant to be, people grew and changed, often influenced by those closest. He still hadn’t expected it though, neither of them was really alive after all. He gently took Jack’s hand, holding it in his.
He had barely seen Jack since the war broke out, kept very busy in Europe. He hadn’t wanted Jack to see what was happening there but… Jack deserved to make the choice for himself, Harry could not protect him from everything. It just hurt to see Jack in pain from so many deaths, but Jack could also bring them peace and happiness.
He felt Jack’s hand twitch in his and then blue eyes opened, Jack smiling when he saw him. “Feeling better?”
“I’m okay,” Jack tugged on their joined hands and Harry looked down in confusion. “Get up here,” Jack told him, and Harry stood, carefully laying down beside him, smiling when Jack curled close, resting his head on Harry’s chest. “Better.”
Harry chuckled and kissed the top of his head. “Jack…”
“I didn’t see them,” Jack cut in before he could ask. “I…I didn’t have my cloak done up and I dropped my staff with the first hit,” he admitted, ashamed.
“It isn’t your fault,” Harry told him firmly, running his fingers through soft white hair. “They had no reason to attack you and from your wounds they are the ones who were in the wrong part of the world out of season.” They lay quietly for a while. “Do you want to come to Europe with me?”
Jack sat up, straddling him, staring down at him with wide eyes. “I thought…you didn’t want me there?”
Harry reached up, resting his hand against Jack’s cheek. “I would keep you away from the horror of war forever if I could but…that isn’t fair to you. I can’t control you, I hated when people kept things from me for my own good. I don’t want to do that to you. You’re more than old enough to make your own decisions.”
Jack stared down at Harry, he ached a little but that was fading away thankfully. Did he really want to see what the war was doing to people? But…if he could give them even a little happiness or peace…how could he not? He leant down and kissed Harry, balancing with his hands on Harry’s shoulders even as he felt Harry’s hands move to his hips. “I love you,” he whispered against Harry’s lips, feeling the hands on his hips tighten before one moved to the back of his neck, the kiss deepening.
It took a few weeks, but Harry eventually tracked down those who had attacked Jack without provocation. People died every minute of the day, worldwide, and it gave him information beyond what most others could dream of, the dead able to see and hear Spirits and Sprites, eagerly telling Harry all they heard. He did not kill them, Jack wouldn’t want him to, but he made sure they learnt their lesson and would never dream of harming another. He didn’t care if killing them would upset Mother Nature or anyone else, except Jack. Death was a part of life and some beings were beyond redemption, something Dumbledore had never understood and so many good people had died because of that.
He sent North a note to let him know Jack’s attackers had been dealt with and that Jack was fully healed and off spreading winter joy. There was also a thank you note for the gifts and one for North in return.
The second World War was far worse than the first. Jack had worked hard during the Depression to brighten lives, especially for children but it wasn’t easy. And then the war had broken out, making them both exceedingly busy. This time, Jack was involved from the start. It hurt to see but he was determined to do what he could. It was also his first real introduction to Wizards. He wasn’t impressed which amused Harry. They were no more able to see Jack than any other living being which saddened him a little, if anyone could believe in him, surely it’d be someone who could do the impossible themselves?
Harry watched, invisible, as Albus Dumbledore duelled Gellert Grindelwald in what was to be the final battle of their war. He’d kept an eye on his old Headmaster since he was young, and he hadn’t liked what he saw all that much. The Elder Wand knew he was there, it was a part of him, and he could sense that it hadn’t fully taken to the man wielding it, then again the man had stolen it, not won it in a duel. He wished he had never had to create the thing, but he was trapped by the creation of the Hallows as claiming them was what had made him Death. It was in a way a self-fulfilling Prophecy, a paradox in time. Without their creation, he never would have become Death, and then never given them to the brothers so long ago.
He shook his head when Dumbledore merely captured his enemy, if he had killed the man, Riddle never would have been able to question him on the Elder Wand and gain precious information. He turned away to deal with those who had died in the battle between Grindelwald’s followers and the forces of the combined Ministries.
Jack sat on a rooftop, watching the kids below play in the snow. It had been around twenty years since the last world war ended and the world had mostly recovered. There had been wars since, but nothing to that level, for which he was very thankful. He was glad he’d missed the American War of Independence and the Civil War because he’d been in training still.
He never tired of watching kids play, of helping them forget their worries for a while to just have fun. Kids had a lot more free time now, not working in factories or anything like they used to in cities. He liked England, and not just because of Harry’s accent. There was so much interesting history and the kids loved snow days.
He glanced down to see two girls playing in the snow. They looked so different and yet from what he could hear, they were sisters. The younger girl looked up and he gripped his staff tight…he knew those eyes…Harry. How could she have the same eyes as Harry?
“Lily Evans, born 1960…she will die October 31st, 1981, defending her only child from the Dark Lord Voldemort,” Harry whispered in answer to Jack’s question. “Her son, Harry James Potter, will willingly walk to his death on May 2nd, 1998.”
“Harry….that was you, wasn’t it?” Jack asked and Harry nodded.
“I’ve been avoiding England for a reason, maybe it’s cowardly, but to see them, alive and happy…” he admitted and then Jack was hugging him, kissing him.
“No, it’s not cowardly. To see her alive and well when she won’t see you and wouldn’t know you even if you did reveal yourself, no one should go through that pain. I’ll visit if you’d like, give her happy winters.”
Harry leant against Jack, marvelling over how much Jack had matured since his death. “I love you Jack,” he whispered, holding on tight.
Harry entered the cottage silently, cloak wrapped tightly around himself. He had told Jack he wanted to do this alone, so he was giving Halloween a frosty touch in America. He watched the happy young couple on the couch, wishing he could spare them what was coming but he couldn’t alter his own past. He felt Riddle’s arrival, how could he not with the way the man had mutilated his own soul, wanting to claim him there and then rather those he would have to.
He saw the realisation and terror, his Dad yelling at his Mum to grab the baby and run. He saw James Potter stand up to Riddle, duelling him, trying to buy Lily time to scape and then a flash of green light claimed him, and Harry stepped forward.
“What? What happened?” James asked and then stared in horror at his own body.
“It’s time for you to go,” Harry told him, becoming visible to the newly dead soul.
“Who are you?” James demanded.
“Death.” It would hurt to give his name, for his parents to know. “Come, yours is not the only soul I will collect tonight,” he glanced up the stairs.
“No…please not Lily and Harry,” James begged, and Harry looked away even though his face was hidden by his hood.
“I do not decide who dies, I simply collect them. Your sacrifice will not be in vain, you will ensure a decade of peace for the Wizarding World.”
“How can you know that?” James demanded.
“Come and see.” He stepped onto the stairs and James followed. They entered the nursery as Riddle raised his wand against Lily who stood before the crib, defending her son with her life.
“Lily…” James whispered, and Harry gently rested his hand on his Father’s shoulder, having to reach up to do so. Malnutrition had ensured he was shorter than his Father, though a little taller than his Mother. They watched as Lily Potter was killed, Harry moving in to help the woman’s soul and then they watched as the wand was turned on the wide eyed toddler. A third flash of green and the room exploded around them. When everything settled, Harry was crying, and Riddle’s soul was fleeing.
“Oh Harry,” Lily whispered, reaching for her son but unable to touch him.
“It’s time to go,” he told them.
“Will live,” he cut James off. There was no point telling them more and giving them that pain. “Come now,” he whispered, drawing them away from the mortal realm.
Chapter 4: ch4
Disclaimer: not mine
Jack wrapped his arms around Harry, holding him tight, and Harry slowly relaxed in his arms, turning to face him. Jack leant in and kissed him softly, happy when Harry responded, holding him in return. “Are you okay?” he asked gently. He couldn’t imagine having to collect the souls of his family.
“I never knew them, I think it’s more the idea of what they could have been that hurts,” Harry admitted, and Jack nodded.
It’d been like that when his Mother and then sister had died. Harry had personally collected them for his sake, before letting them meet. His Mother had cried and hugged him, not flinching from his changed appearance. She’d even threatened Harry for him! Emma had clung to him as if she was still a child, despite being a woman over forty years old. His memories were still all but gone but he’d had glimpses over the years, most focused on her. He could try approaching the Tooth Fairy, but he didn’t see the point, he knew enough.
Jack watched the small boy in the oversized clothing, heart in his throat. Harry…he wished he could do something to make his life happier, but he couldn’t. It was hard to imagine this tiny child would grow to be his Harry but there was no mistaking those eyes. He couldn’t even scare the other boy into leaving him alone since little Harry would get the blame for anything strange.
Harry smiled as he watched Jack practically dance through the air, snow following him, dusting the land below. He loved having time to watch Jack work, it was obvious he loved it and he was very good at it. Harry had never seen a Winter Spirit like him, and he’d seen a lot of them over the millennia. Harry laughed as Jack grabbed his hand, pulling him into his dance.
Jack saw the looks of shock as he ripped control of the storm from them, nudging it further from the town while also beginning to make it dissipate. He gripped his staff as he glared at them. This wasn’t the first time he’d had to do something like this, the last big one had been in the late 1960’s but there had been others. Blizzards were a part of nature yes, but not at this time of year!
North did not often listen to rumours, but he’d noticed the changes to winter, ever since the storm of 1899. So he decided to listen, chuckling as he heard the stories of the strange Winter Spirit that no one ever really saw, but who would keep them from having their fun. Freezing storms were stopped in their tracks, Spirits and Sprites vanishing after or becoming far better behaved. No one knew the Spirits name or even what he looked like for sure, other than he had inhumanly brilliant blue eyes. He knew who it was, Jack Frost.
He was proud of Jack, for standing up for what was right against others of his kind. Was that Harry’s influence or something the young Spirit would have done regardless? He was very powerful but with a strong sense of right and wrong, good Guardian material…
Harry let his hands gently explore exposed pale skin, learning what made Jack feel good as he did. Today was technically his eleventh birthday and Jack had given him the best day he could, ending with them in bed together, clothing slowly being removed. They kissed, touched, held each other, even slept in the same bed, but they had never had sex. It seemed Jack was intent on rectifying that and Harry definitely wasn’t going to complain.
Jack’s cool hands felt good on his own skin as they ran over his back and sides even as Harry leant in to kiss him. Even ‘alive’ in this realm, his body was cooler than human normal due to his powers, but Harry didn’t care. He pulled back enough to reach for Jack’s pants and Jack lifted up so he could pull them down even as Jack reached for Harry’s in return. Soon they were naked, hands and lips wandering over every inch of exposed flesh, learning each other’s body until eventually Harry settled on his back pulling Jack down on top of him, obviously surprising him.
North opened the letter and smiled as he read the contents. Jack had seemed even happier the last few years and he could guess the reason why. Harry was more than just a mentor to the younger Spirit, and it was obvious, at least to him, that Jack’s feelings were reciprocated. It was good they had each other, especially when he seemed to be the only other Spirit they interacted with in any way.
Jack had admitted to his amnesia a few years ago, and North had suggested he see Tooth, but the young man didn’t seem to care all that much about them. It was good that he did not dwell on his past, but it seemed strange that he remembered nothing, except a few flashes of a younger sibling.
Then again….what had Harry said at their first meeting? That the Man in the Moon had meddled in things he shouldn’t to create Jack. Why would Manny create a new Spirit and not tell them? And one so different to the rest of them? Was Jack meant to be a Guardian one day? Manny had been silent for years…his eyes widened as it hit him, since the time Jack Frost had become a Spirit. If his suspicions were correct and Jack had died, then perhaps his silence was due to a lack of power after bring Jack back. More evidence that Jack was meant for more.
He set the letter aside and began work on this year’s gifts for the two, perhaps this year they would meet him when he delivered them. He would like to see them more often but all three of them were very busy. The Yeti would also like to see Jack again, to see for themselves that he had healed from that attack.
“Harry let me go,” Jack put his hand over Harry’s and the older male hesitated.
“Jack what’s going to happen tonight is bad and you can’t interfere.”
“I know, but I can do this, and you shouldn’t have to,” he argued gently. Tonight was when things had really begun to change for Harry, and it wasn’t fair to make him watch again. Harry had insisted on going himself at for Quirrell but collecting an enemy was very different to seeing someone die he had once looked up to.
“Alright,” Harry agreed after a minute, kissing him gently. “Make sure you do your cloak up.”
“Learnt that lesson,” he promised. He kissed Harry and then went to get his cloak and staff, heading for Little Hangleton. He wasn’t looking forward to watching the re-birth of the self-named Lord Voldemort, but he wouldn’t leave young Harry alone to face it, even if the mortal boy would be unaware of his presence.
Jack appeared in the graveyard, looking for the grave Harry had described, it was hard to miss once he spotted it. He settled in to wait, perched atop his staff, blue eyes scanning his surroundings, looking up towards what had once been a stately home, knowing Riddle and the traitor within. It was hard not to go and end everything there and then but then he would be changing his Harry’s past and who knew what that would do. All he could do was wait and observe, he was there to collect a soul, not interfere in the coming fight.
Not long after sunset, two teens appeared, haggard and stumbling. The smaller fell to his knees, clutching his head and Jack jumped down, moving closer, listening as the older asked what was wrong.
“Kill the spare,” a high pitched voice called, and Jack’s hands tightened, knuckles white, around his staff as he watched the jet of green light slam into the taller boy. He didn’t look at Harry, not yet, not if he wanted to do his job. He moved to the side of the deceased teen, Cedric Diggory and knelt down, helping the disorientated soul up.
“No…” Cedric gasped, staring at his own body.
“I’m sorry,” Jack offered, and Cedric focused on him, backing away.
“Who are you? Is that…am I…”
“Dead? You are, I’m sorry. My name is Jack and I’m a Reaper, it’s time for you to go Cedric.”
“But Harry…” He looked to the younger teen, obviously worried which was nice.
“You can’t help him…but I am only here to claim one soul if that helps,” he offered the little comfort he could under the circumstances.
“My family,” Cedric whispered.
“Will grieve for you and miss you but nothing can change that now.” He held his hand out and Cedric hesitated but then took it, fading away. Job done he finally turned to see Harry, watching as the rat tied his unconscious form to the grave for the ritual. He moved to stand behind him, resting his forehead against the stone. “I’m here Harry, you’re not alone,” he whispered over and over, hearing him beginning to stir, even though he knew Harry couldn’t hear him.
All he could do was watch as Harry fought for his life, proud of how well he did with so little training, watching the shades emerge from the wand and urge him on before Harry managed to grab Cedric’s body and the Cup to return to the relative safety of the school. By the time he returned home, Cedric’s soul had been sent on the rest of the way and he dragged Harry to bed, stripping them both off to curl up together, comforting each other. They both knew next year would be even worse and Jack hated that he couldn’t do anything more for him.
Jack hesitated but then landed on the balcony, a Yeti quickly emerging to check and then motioning him inside, so he followed, looking around. He’d been unconscious last time and hadn’t seen anything except the infirmary. he’d put off returning, unable to help being worried how North would react now Jack was healthy. His letters, presents, and Harry had all continually said that North had accepted what Jack did but it was hard to make his head understand that. He was Jack’s only…friend?...outside of Harry and Fluffy and he was scared to lose that. The Yeti knocked on a door and then opened it.
“Yes?” North called and Jack stepped cautiously into what was a workroom filled with creations of ice. “Jack!” North called, having turned and seen him. “Good to see you!” He moved forward and Jack gasped as he was yanked into a rib cracking hug but then wrapped his arms around North in return. “It has been far too long,” North chided gently, ushering him towards two armchairs, letting him take the one farthest from the fireplace. “Is too warm?” he asked in concern.
“It’s fine, thanks,” Jack smiled at hearing the concern. He curled up in the chair, enjoying the soft fabric and what he could feel of the warmth from the fire. He could take a certain amount of heat just fine; he knew being Harry’s helped protect him since Death existed in all seasons.
“How have you been? Things with Harry are well?” Blue eyes twinkled with the last question and Jack was very glad he couldn’t blush in the living world!
“Easy to see if one looks close enough. You are happy, yes?” he pushed, and Jack nodded, smiling softly.
“Very happy,” he admitted and North nodded.
“Good, very good. So, what brings you to finally visit?”
“I…I just…there’s stuff going on right now and it hurts and Harry’s trying to act like it doesn’t bother him, but it does. I’m doing what I can to help but…”
“Death is a hard being to help,” North offered, testing his hypothesis, seeing Jack freeze, eyes wide. So, he had been correct in guessing young Harry’s identity, well, perhaps not so young. “He said that day, that Manny meddled in things he should not. Did you…die?” he asked, because that was all that made sense but was he correct?
“I…” Jack looked away and North reached out to rest a hand on a cold arm. There was no warmth of life in the younger spirit and he had not aged at all since they had met. The majority of Spirits aged, even if it was so slowly as to be all but unnoticeable, but Jack had not changed at all. Jack glanced up at him, eyes searching his face, and North waited patiently until finally Jack nodded. “I drowned in the lake. It was winter, we’d gone skating, and Emma got ahead of me onto a section that was too thin. The only way to save her was…”
“To take her place,” he finished quietly, and Jack nodded shakily.
“I don’t…I don’t remember it. I came out of the ice and the Man in the Moon told me my name but then there was too much cloud cover. If Harry hadn’t been there… he took me to see my family, but I didn’t remember them. I’ve had a few small things come back, mostly about my sister, but that’s it. I died to save her, that’s all I need to know.”
“You were seventeen?” he remembered the first time he’d met Jack and the boy had admitted to seventeen years as a human. Still a child by modern standards, though likely considered an adult during the time he had lived. Too young either way. North patted his arm and sat back. “So what help does Harry need?”
“You can’t tell anyone,” Jack warned, face becoming very serious and North nodded.
He could keep secrets and the secrets of Death were not ones that should be shared. North listened in awe, the first truly living Spirit to ever learn the truth of Death’s existence. There was little he could do to help but offer a supporting ear and advice. He knew the name Harry Potter, a child who had alternated lists a few time but was usually on the Nice List, unlike his nasty cousin. The last few years he had been on neither list and now he knew why, because he remained in the Wizarding World as much as possible. Very few Spirits knew of the hidden human world and even fewer could work within it. If a child believed very strongly then they may appear on his lists, otherwise they were outside of his influence.
Jack held on to Harry’s hand tightly as they watched the fight, children against full grown adults, terrorists the lot of them. And then the Order of the Phoenix finally showed up to help. He heard Harry take a shaky breath as his mortal self fought beside Sirius Black in front of the Veil. The Veil was a direct route beyond, they would not be able to speak to or guide his Soul. There would be no reunion or final goodbye, no closure.
“I’m here,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around Harry.
They saw the spell leave Bellatrix’s wand and strike Sirius, saw him falling back, young Harry’s yell, Lupin rushing to restrain him… and for a second Sirius looked right at them, eyes wide with recognition as he stared at Harry who reached a hand out to him but there was nothing they could do as he fell through.
“He…he saw us,” Harry whispered in shock even as young Harry took off running after the madwoman who killed his Godfather.
Jack pulled him away, knowing there would be no more deaths that night, taking him home to curl in bed together, Jack holding him tight to his chest.
Jack laughed as he dumped snow on Harry before taking off, goading him into a chase. He’d dragged Harry to the Southern Alps to get his mind off Sirius’ death and what was to come the following school year. New Zealand was a neat country, especially up in the mountains in winter. He’d have to take Harry to Antarctica next since he very, very rarely ever went. Not many people went there anymore, except scientists and the like and they were always very well prepared for the extreme climate and so deaths on the continent were rare, mostly due to aircraft accidents or shipwrecks, though those had become less common over the centuries.
Jack perched on a wall, watching the teens below. He wasn’t jealous or anything as they kissed. This wasn’t his Harry, the boy struggling with so much was very different to the one who he had known for all of his existence as Jack Frost. The redhead had spirit, though her resemblance to Lily Potter was a little off putting (Jack thought Lily was the prettier of the two by miles), and some of her behaviour he definitely didn’t agree with. Still, she’d given Harry some peace and happiness when he so desperately needed it.
He spotted Snape approaching and smirked, dumping a load of snow on the man, practically burying him in it, giving the teens time to get away. The man may say he was working for the light, but he was not a good person, not by a longshot. If adults were on the lists, he would be permanently on North’s Naughty list. He mentally tortured children and it wasn’t right.
Harry stood on top of the Astronomy Tower, waiting for the soul he was there to collect. Jack hadn’t liked him coming alone but he had much to speak with the old man about.
He saw the Dark Mark appear in the sky and part of him wanted to go inside, to spare Bill his coming scars, to take down some of the nastiest Death Eaters, but he could not. He could feel the battle bellow as students and staff rallied against the invaders. Soon enough, he spotted two brooms approaching, settling in to watch as they landed even as he heard Draco and the group on the stairs. He watched as the younger him was bound, silenced, and hidden. The door burst open and he ignored the speeches, he remembered it all. Instead he spent the time studying their souls, curious. Some were blacker than black, but Draco really wasn’t as bad as he once thought. Tonight was a major turning point for the boy, had he survived the Final Battle? He’d find out next year either way.
Snape emerged, pushing the others back as Dumbledore seemingly pleaded for aid only to receive a Killing Curse to the chest. Harry vanished and reappeared on the ground, seeing the body hit hard. Good thing he was already dead because that would have been a painful way to die.
Albus stared at the black hooded figure before him before looking down to see his own broken body on the ground, at least he hadn’t felt that. He looked back at the figure. “Death I presume?”
The hood nodded. “I am here to see you on to the beyond since I’ve spent the last century cleaning up after your messes.”
Albus frowned, his messes? “My dear man, what messes?”
“Would you like them chronologically or by death toll?” was the cold response. “Your crimes are many, but I am not the judge you will soon face. Though I would not expect a warm welcome were I you.”
“Everything I have done has been for the Greater Good,” he argued. Yes, people had died or been unhappy, but it had all been done to ensure their world survived.
“I recently claimed the soul who coined that phrase so do not try that with me.” The figure pushed back his hood, revealing a very familiar face. “Then again, as one of your greatest victims perhaps I simply see through the dragon dung you’re trying to peddle.
“Harry?” Albus gasped in confusion only to receive a nod.
“One year from now I will walk to my death because of you, the holder of all three Hallows. And now I have existed since life began because all that lives eventually dies. For billions of years I have watched the worlds, alone, only having the dead for brief company. All because of you. Be glad I am not your Judge. I have watched you all your life Albus Dumbledore and you disgust me.”
He staggered back from the being; he had done this? “No,” he shook his head, staring into cold green eyes. A hand gripped his arm and the world faded away.
Harry walked into the bathroom and ran a hot bath, curling up in the water, not flinching when the water moved and then familiar arms were wrapped around him, Jack kissing his throat.
“Are you okay?” he asked, and Harry sighed, nodding.
“It’s done. Dumbledore…the whole time he kept trying to justify everything as if that would absolve him of his crimes,” he shook his head, relaxing fully against Jack. he closed his eyes as hands began to wander over his body, obviously trying to take his mind off what had happened.
North looked up at the two figures on the balcony, welcoming them inside. The two eternal teens pushed back their hoods, smiling happily at him. He was pleased they had agreed to come for a Christmas party with him and the Yeti. It was easy to see how events of the last few years had been affecting the two and they needed the break. It would all be over by mid-year at least. The deaths hopefully, clean up among Magicals would likely last for much longer. Gifts this year were meant for fun, making even Harry laugh which had been the idea behind them.
Jack took on as much of the work in Britain as possible, sickened by much of what he saw with Voldemort effectively ruler of the Magical World. Camps of Muggle-born children brought back memories of the last World War. He didn’t understand the hate and ignorance that caused such things and he didn’t want to. Britain had a much milder winter that year, his effort to keep those on the run and in camps as healthy as possible, though localised snow often appeared where children could play.
Harry pulled his cloak on, but then pale hands moved in to carefully clasp it and he smiled at his lover, tipping his head up to kiss him. “It’ll be alright. This has already happened and I’m right here,” he promised softly.
Jack nodded and stepped back, picking up his staff. “I love you,” he kissed him again and then vanished and Harry smiled before vanishing as well.
He moved across the grounds of Hogwarts, seeing the damage already caused, seeing Jack in the distance. They worked separately to send on the dead, comforting the Defenders. Harry walked towards where he knew the first person he was close to was to die, seeing the wall explode. He knelt beside the body and gently drew his soul out. “Hello Fred.”
Jack watched as Severus Snape died from the snakebite, young Harry dashing away with the offered memories. He yanked the soul out, not being all that careful.
Severus Snape looked down at his own body and then at Jack who stared back coldly, hood down for once.
“Most times, I try and comfort a passing soul. You don’t deserve it and I wish I could watch your Judging for everything you have done, every crime you have committed. I hear Dumbledore’s Judging was very amusing with his so-called ‘Greater Good’.”
“I don’t know who you are boy,” the man began, and Jack cut him off.
“I am Death’s Reaper,” he used that title since it was the relevant one. “His Righthand. He was going to come for you himself, but I asked to do this, to let him deal with those who were actually worth his time.” That obviously upset the man, but Jack didn’t care. “You willingly served a genocidal madman and only switched sides when the woman you ‘loved’ was specifically targeted. You bullied and harassed children for years, destroying the dreams of many for no reason other than your own pettiness. You took out your anger on the Father on an innocent child who had actually been looking forward to your class and proceeded to help make his life hell for the next six years. You let that boy walk off with your memories to push him into basically committing suicide. You make me sick!”
“What do you care about that boy?” Snape sneered. “There’s no other way!”
“There are six ways to remove that soul piece without harming him!” Jack snapped and black eyes went wide. “Your precious Headmaster never found them because he was the Great Albus Dumbledore and knew everything,” the sarcasm was thick enough to be cut by a knife. “Because of you lot that boy will go through millions, billions, of years alone.”
“What?” that obviously confused him.
“Harry holds all three Hallows. I am his Reaper,” Jack smirked and then grabbed Snape, taking him straight to where he would be judged before returning and getting back to work. He felt a bit better after getting to confront the man. Yes, he’d done some good things, but he had still been a petty, nasty, man.
They stood together in the clearing filled with Death Eaters, both able to feel the approaching souls guarding a teenager as he made his way through the dangerous forest. Jack had a death grip on Harry’s hand as the time drew ever closer. The clearing went silent as Harry Potter moved into view, dropping the Resurrection Stone before anyone could see it. Jack flinched as the spell slammed into the young, mortal, Harry, seeing the green eyes go wide before his body dropped lifeless to the ground. There were gasps as energy arched over the body and then the Stone flew back to his hand, the wand ripped itself from Riddle’s hand, and they all vanished.
“It’s done,” Harry whispered before turning to Riddle and extending his hand, the Ring on his finger glowing as he ripped the magic made body apart, claiming the soul from it and the nearby snake. It had taken the entire time of life existing, but the Prophecy was now fulfilled. They had both died at the hand of the other. The two watched as the Death Eaters began screaming, clasping their Dark Marks, before collapsing, following their Master even in death, Jack was willing to bet he didn’t tell them that bit before Marking them.
They left the forest, going back to the battlefield to collect the last souls.
Chapter 5: ch5
Disclaimer: not mine
So, I’m playing the FFVII remake. You know the hardest fight so far? The only one I really struggled with? Dancing!! The Honey Bee Inn dancing bit was horrible. Kept hitting the button at the wrong time or the wrong button, very frustrating.
They stood together, watching the one year remembrance of the war and both felt sick, even though part of Harry had expected such a thing. Despite it all, nothing had truly changed. Riddle’s heritage had been made public and had backfired on those who had fought on their side, the Pureblood factions putting it all on him being a half-blood, leading innocent Purebloods astray.
“Nothing’s going to change, is it?” Jack asked and Harry sighed.
“Did anything really change after the World Wars? Any war? Human nature is the same whether magical or not.”
Looking out at the crowd he shook his head at the fact people like Hermione weren’t doing anything. What had been threatened to make the Order and DA back down? The ones he’d known would have taken the fight to the Ministry to change their world or…had he been the driving force? If he’d been there as a rallying point would things have been different? He was surprised someone wasn’t trying to use him as a martyr or something.
“Come on, let’s go,” he tugged Jack’s hand and they walked away.
Jack paused and then dropped down, landing on a branch, blue eyes searching the darkness, staff gripped tight in his hand. He’d definitely seen something that didn’t belong but where was it? he sensed movement and made sure his hood was up, concealing his identity, though it didn’t really matter since only North knew him. He took off, running across the branches. There! He crouched down, staring down into the small clearing. What was that? It was like nothing he’d ever seen before, some kind of horse…but not. It suddenly collapsed and slipped away on the air…black sand? That was very odd.
Harry laughed as they rolled through the grass, playfully struggling, and then Jack shrieked as Harry’s fingers grazed his side. Soon he was squirming and laughing too hard to try and fight back, Harry pinning him down. Fluffy barked and then they went flying when the Cerberus tried to join in the game, both of them laughing as they rolled apart.
Jack kissed Harry as the fireworks went off over Sydney Harbour. It was the beginning of a new millennium, the first when Harry would never be alone, and Jack thought that was something very worth celebrating. Harry laughed into the kiss but happily returned it, before they turned back to watching the celebrations.
At least the crash of the worlds computers or whatever they’d all been panicking over hadn’t happened. The world, human and spirit alike, happily rejoiced at the beginning of a new year.
Harry’s knowledge of events to come was over, they were as blind as the rest of the world now. That idea was kind of scary but also exciting. They didn’t have to be careful to preserve the timeline now but at the same time, they would have no warning of catastrophe’s or wars.
Jack laughed when Harry swiped some alcohol, not like they could get drunk, he could barely drink a cup full in the living world after all. Well, maybe it’d keep those humans from getting too drunk?
Harry watched Jack as he slept, head resting on Harry’s chest, both of them naked. Looking at Jack now, he hadn’t aged at all since the night he came out of the lake. There was only one change, his hair was a little longer, that was it other than his clothing. He still wore browns, whites and blue but in a far more modern style, other than his cloak.
It was a relief, to know he’d never loose Jack, never have to send his soul on, but sometimes he wondered if Jack would have chosen to exist the way he did if given the choice. Would he have chosen true death over becoming a Spirit? Jack had never asked him to try to separate his soul from his body, would he tire of eternity one century and ask? Would he be willing to risk that kind of damage in order to pass on?
Something was coming, he could feel it, but what? Did it have something to do with those strange black sand creatures they’d been seeing more of as the years passed? They hadn’t managed to catch one to see what it really was which was annoying. They’d warned North but he hadn’t seen any of them, and that was plain suspicious. Someone didn’t want one of the Guardians noticing something which likely meant none of them had. He knew of their old enemy, but the Spirit was elusive, even to him. Was he finally making another move after all of these centuries? Or was it something else entirely?
The Man in the Moon had been silent since Jack’s creation, he’d drained far too much power to bring him back. It was only recently that Harry had noticed his power returning in any real way, another sign? If it was…had he meant for Jack to be one of his Guardians? Well, Harry was not giving up his claim on Jack as his Reaper and partner in everything. If Jack wanted to work with the Guardians then he would never try to stop him, they protected children after all.
He worried for Jack if he did, because he knew how judgmental a certain Pooka could be and if they found out about Jack being more than just a Winter Spirit… they couldn’t harm him physically so long as he wore his cloak and even if they did manage, they couldn’t kill him, but they could do damage emotionally. He knew North would side with Jack because the man had seen the truth and understood their work, their roles.
He ran a hand through wild white locks, Jack was such a loving person, he never wanted to see him hurt in any way, but maybe they would accept him?
Jack paused, looking around, hearing something…off…he took to the air, flying over the houses, eyes searching and then he saw it. one of the tiny Tooth Fairy’s was flying as fast as she could, dodging and weaving through the air. A flicker of power and he became visible, flying for them, seeing her eyes widen in shock and then he scooped her up, slipping her safely under his cloak even as he brought his staff up and around, slamming it into the hungry predators jaw, sending it flying. He could leave it there, but he didn’t recognise the creature, it was obviously predatory, and it had attacked one of the little Tooth Fairies! Who knew what or who it would go after next.
“Hang on,” he murmured, feeling a tiny hand grip his shirt as he spun his staff around to point at it, the temperature dropping further.
The creature screeched in anger and came at him. A blast of ice slammed into it, sending it flying back again. It came again and this time the ice was colder, the kind of cold he used to ease the passing of the dying. He let it get close and then slammed his bare hand into its chest, flooding it with that cold and it screeched, flailing, but then slowly went still. He waited until he was positive it was dead and then froze the body to show Harry later to identify. He sent it to him and then took off, finding somewhere safe before reaching into his cloak again.
“It’s okay, it’s safe now,” he murmured, carefully drawing the little fairy out. “Are you hurt?” he asked, and she stared up at him with wide eyes but slowly shook her head. “Good.” He gently set her down on the top of the chimney. “Be careful, okay? Don’t know what that was but there may be more.”
She stared up at the Spirit who had saved her life. He hadn’t even hesitated to grab her, hiding her, before fighting that…thing. She couldn’t see much, his face hidden in the shadows of his hood, except for the brightest blue eyes she’d ever seen. She peered closer and he blinked, before pale hands rose and slowly lowered the hood, revealing messy white hair and snow white skin. A Winter Spirit? But Winter Spirits were mean, and he wasn’t. Was it a trick?
“Be careful, okay Baby Tooth?” he smiled at her. He reached out and gently ran a cold finger over her feathers before he leapt into the air, the wind dancing around him. He waved and then he was gone.
She looked around carefully before taking off, heading home to tell her Mother about the creature and the Spirit who had saved her.
Harry stared at the creature Jack had killed and sent him, what had it been doing in the non-magical world? Not to mention a long way from Germany. Erkling’s were under the strict control of the German Ministry and had been for centuries. It was good that Jack had dealt with the horrid little thing. Who knew how many kids it had literally eaten during its life and would have eaten before MACUSA realised and reacted. Perhaps it was more than just Britain having serious issues? He may need to speak with the ghosts around the world, get them to keep an eye on things. Even he had limits on what he was allowed to interfere in, but he could work within those, the last thing the world needed was the Wizarding World exposed or collapsing or even having another war.
Tooth listened carefully as her Fairy explained what had happened. A Winter Spirit had saved her from some form of creature. Why? Did he want something from her? Though…there were those rumours, of a powerful Winter Spirit who had stopped others from causing mayhem. If they were true, perhaps this Spirit was him? She spread the word to her girls to be more careful and to keep an eye out for the Spirit, curious about him.
North laughed and ducked only to be nailed in the face by a snowball from the other side, finding a smirking Harry there. The three of them played for hours and it was the most fun he’d had in a while. “All on Naughty List,” he grumbled when they ganged up on him and where once Jack would have been worried he was serious, the younger Spirit just laughed now.
It was a relief that Jack could be so relaxed around him, it had taken some time and he understood his wariness. Most learning that he was not just a Winter Spirit but the sole Reaper of Death, well, they would not take that well at all. Death was as much a natural part of the world as everything else though. It wasn’t like they went around killing people, they eased the passing of the dying and ensured souls moved on, it was a noble duty.
Harry had become much less solemn and quiet around him over time. He could be as much the trickster as young Jack, but he also was not someone North would ever wish to anger. Harry was possible the oldest being in existence and yet he could still play like the teen he appeared to be; it was good. And it was obvious that he loved Jack deeply which was heartening to see. It was rare among their kind to form a lasting relationship, the centuries wearing on any couple, but he had the feeling they would make it.
Had that been part of Manny’s plan? Had he realised what he was doing to Jack, had done it to give Harry a companion in friendship at least? Or was it just a luck that had made things work out so well?
Hearing their tales of the black sand horses, of increasing breeches between magical and non-magical worlds, it was obvious something was coming. Their old foe or something else?
Jack bit his lip as Harry gently cleaned the wound, refusing to show how much it hurt. An Erumpent had somehow ended up in California and while his cloak had protected him, apparently the explosion caused by their horns was enough to damage even protections from Death.
“Almost done,” Harry murmured as he kept working and Jack nodded, all of the debris and remaining fluid had to be cleaned out before he healed. Finally it was over, and Jack relaxed on the bed, breathing heavily. “How do you feel?”
“Like I got blown up,” he muttered, and Harry chuckled, running his fingers through messier than normal white hair. Jack pressed tiredly into his touch and Harry shifted to lie down, holding him. Jack also got sleepy when injured, healing as fast as he did took a lot of energy.
“Sleep, I’ve got you.”
Harry was getting beyond frustrated; more and more incursions were happening, and he couldn’t work out why. For once, the various governments seemed to actually be doing their jobs, working to find out why and stop it but they weren’t having any luck either. The way things were going, the Statute was going to be broken within a decade at the most. He’d even gone to Mother Nature, but she had no more answers than he did and was just as frustrated. The incursions of magical beings were they didn’t belong were causing imbalances in nature after all. She was sure that Pitch Black was not the cause of them, though if he was moving, it was possible that whatever he was doing was causing issues as a side effect.
North hummed along with music while using a chainsaw to sculpt the ice before him. His supply was better than it ever had been, thanks to young Jack. he ensured North had the best ice to work with, ice that was even more receptive to his sculpting. “Still waiting for cookies!” he called out in a pause. He hummed and chuckled as he began using smaller tools to finish the small train. He put them down and then grinned, taking two cookies from the plate the elves were carrying. “Ah! Finally! Mm mm!” Delicious as always!
He blew off the dusting of ice and carefully set the train on the tacks, laughing as it began to move, speeding through the loops only to take off into the air, flying. The door slamming open ended it, the trains shattering on the heavy door.
“Ah!” Phil cried in horror.
“Ahh!!” North stared in horror, all that work! “How many times have I told you to knock?” he demanded angrily, and Phil quickly answered, gesturing wildly, North’s eyes going wide. “What? The globe?” Were Jack or Harry in trouble? Though, what could trouble Death? He grabbed his sword and left for the main room. “Shoo with your pointy heads! Why are you always under boot?” he grumbled as he shooed the elves aside. He stopped before the globe, frowning as he watched the lights flicker and shift. “What is this? Have you checked the axis? Is rotation balanced?” he asked, just to be cautious, but the Yeti had already checked everything.
Black sand and shadows swirled up, forming a far too familiar shape before a chuckles echoed through the Workshop and then it all disappeared. Black sand…
“Can it be? Dingle!” he called, and four elves stood at attention with bells jingling. “Make preparations. We're going to have company.” He pulled on the handle set into the control panel, twisting it, before pushing it back in, multicoloured lights spring up around the globe before heading up into the atmosphere. In that minute, he felt ever century of his age.
“My fellow Guardians, it is our job to watch over the children of the world, and keep them safe, to bring wonder, hope, and dreams... And so, I've called us all here for one reason, and one reason only: the children are in danger. An enemy we have kept at bay for centuries has finally decided to strike back! We alone who can stop him.”
He would not call upon Harry and Jack, not with the trouble that had been increasing due to magical animal incursions. There had been three deaths that he was aware of because of them and he knew Jack had been wounded in one as well. They had dealt with Pitch before and would do so again.
Jack dropped, the dragon fire passing harmlessly above him. He sent a blast of electrical ice at it, trying to herd it away from Berlin. The last thing anyone needed was a dragon attack on a capital city! What was a Chinese Fireball doing in Germany? The world was going crazy! He sent another ice blast, lowering the temperature. Berlin was about to get an out of season cold snap but he had to get the dragon to want to leave.