"This is all your fault."
"Probably," Harry said agreeably.
"If you weren't some horrible anomaly of nature I would never have been in this situation. I would have been great!"
"Mmhm." Harry boredly brushed away nonexistent dust from his void-black robes.
"First you get me stuck to you, now this! As if this- this stupid tiara wasn't enough!"
"I'm not the one who put his soul in it," Harry reminded calmly, watching as the silvery tiara sailed past him, not even displacing the air before it vanished and reappeared back in it's rightful place accompanied by a furious growl.
"I loathe you."
"I loathe you too, dear."
There was something to be said about the amount of rage coming from his right. The sibilant snickering coming from his left did absolutely nothing to alleviate the amount of indescribable hatred being directed at his person in that very moment. Harry casually buffed out a scuff on the blade of his Scythe, smiling distractedly at the shadowed eldritch horrors that were reflected in it's now acceptably shiny surface.
"Are you done?" He asked patiently.
A long stream of vicious hisses from his right was his answer. The snickering to his left turned into cackles.
"Of course, of course," Harry agreed. "But we all know the Grims would never eat me, so I think you need to rethink that part. Sirius would never allow it, you know. Either way, don't you think we should address this?"
"I would rather not, honestly." Harry wasn't actually certain who got the most disgusted look thrown at them; himself, or their present company.
Ah, no, definitely himself- he must have let his amusement show. His companion wasted no more time in spinning on his heel and floating away. A steady stream of amused hisses drifted after him, and then both of his companions were gone. Harry smiled pleasantly at the living beings before him, twirling his Scythe as if it weighed absolutely nothing.
Just another day in the afterlife of Grim Reaper Harry Potter, he thought as he took in the gobsmacked face of one Albus Dumbledore.
Albus figured that this was perhaps the world's greatest irony before him.
It was always interesting and risky business to deal with any sort of soul magic, even something as simple as a spirit summoning. Of course, it only summoned spirits that haven't passed on, but it did often grab spirits from other dimensions, which could lead to any number of problems. Such as time being ignored, the ghost of someone who is actually alive, and in one bizarre case, the ghost of the summoner himself!
Or in this example, the ghost of his living student, the teenage form of the Dark Lord, the Dark Lord's snake, and, curiously enough, a tiara.
As the silvery apparition of Tom Riddle stalked from the room indignantly, tiara in place and parts of his ghost looking torn or blurry and followed by a floating snake, Albus turned instead to the ghost of his student.
Harry's ghost was exceedingly different from any spirit Albus had ever seen, even the apparently normal- if not a bit ragged- soul of Tom Riddle. For one, he had color. Black robes as dark as void were difficult to look at, lest one feel like they were being drowned in the absolute darkness, and the green of his eyes seemed even brighter in death. Albus avoided looking into those eyes for very long, as they seemed to have a habit of slowly turning to baleful pinpricks of Avada Kedavra green fire set in a grinning skull barely hiding under translucent, silvery skin. As the Scythe spun, it reflected nothing present in the room.
"My, I've never met a Grim Reaper before, least of all one I could recognize by name!" Albus commented, quite unconcerned.
"Well, I'd kind of hope not, otherwise whatever Death on this side of the dimensional planes wouldn't be doing their job correctly." Harry shrugged, the silvery cloak around his shoulders rippling like mercury. "Then Tom would have even more of my paperwork to do."
"Your paperwork, my boy?" There was a note of chastisement in the Headmaster's voice. The only other living occupant in the room managed to break out his shock enough to shoot the elder a disbelieving look.
"Ah, well," Harry grinned unrepentantly. "He deserves it. Despite how much of the blame he puts on me, everything that has happened since our deaths has been entirely his fault. 17 plus years of a horcrux being stuck on you- whether you are a boy, a snake, or even a tiara- kinda means you tend to stay stuck together or something really important kind of-" He taps the end of the Scythe's blade on the back of the chair closest to him, and the three of them watched as the chair rotted and fell apart.
"And how did that happen?" Albus inquired, gesturing to the Scythe.
Harry shrugged, again. "My predecessor felt bad for me. He also wanted a permanent vacation. I only accepted because I knew eternity with Voldemort would be horrifically annoying, so I figured I might as well get some powers too and a cool scythe to match. Plus I can visit those who've passed on whenever I want, so that's nice."
"Is it-" Severus Snape cleared his throat to get the 'stunned' sound out of his voice. "Is it safe for the Dark Lord to go unsupervised?"
"Eh." Harry seemed to have developed a fondness for apathetic shrugging in death. "He's just barely more than a poltergeist. Nagini'll make sure he doesn't possess someone or try to stab anyone with the tiara again."
Severus' blank, "Again..?" was ignored in favor of Albus' musings.
"Nagini? I would have assumed she'd follow her master's will."
"She likes me better. Probably since I'm the only other poor sap who's stuck with Tom for the rest of forever."
"I feel we should also address this horcrux nonsense." Severus was sure that if he didn't take charge of the conversation, nothing would likely get done.
"Ah, yes, of course. I was quite curious myself." Albus nodded.
"You mean you haven't guessed yet?" Harry blinked at them. "It's, what, my 5th year?"
"What are you prattling on about, Potter?" Severus sneered, mostly out of habit.
"Oh no." Tom Riddle stormed back through the wall, and snatched Harry's Scythe with a distinctly annoyed scowl. As soon as he touched the shaft, the shadows in the room seemed to gain more substance, and the ghost's eyes burned with hellfire. He leveled the blade on Dumbledore. "First things first- you will tell me exactly, what the bloody hell you want, and then we are leaving," Tom practically hissed. "I refussse to put up with you any longer than I mussst."
"Gotta say I agree," Harry said, not looking even the least bothered by the fact the Dark Lord Voldemort now held a tool that could sever souls and decay life with but a touch. "Souls pass through me to the afterlife automatically, but there are some I prefer to give a... personal visit." The grin on his face was wide and fanged.
Severus stamped down the instinctual shudder and focused on what he considered the most immediate threat- after all, Death or no, that was still Harry Potter, and this was Voldemort with Death's Scythe. The fact that horrorterrors seemed to be writhing in the too-black shadows of the room that lengthened the longer they delayed simply proved him correct.
"Ah, well," Albus glanced over at Harry, who instead of paying attention to the Dark Lord, was busy grinning at a very nervous Fawkes. The bird certainly seemed to like Harry, but seemed very uncomfortable with the attention of Death himself focused upon him. "We were simply hoping for advice, about how to defeat, ah," Tom's hellfire eyes narrowed in irritation. Albus continued. "...Lord Voldemort."
"Fan-fucking-tastic," Tom growled, even as Harry turned and beamed at them.
"Well, that's kind of easy! In fact, it's the whole reason we're stuck together! And also why this world's Harry- there is a me here, right? No wait, yeah, nevermind, his souls in castle- and Tom, will also be stuck together."
"That entirely depends of if I was foolish enough to even think about coming near the anomaly of nature that is Harry bloody Potter," Tom groused.
"True, true. Say, did your Tom go after your me here?"
"Why on earth would he?" Severus asked. The creatures in the shadows crept closer as Tom twitched.
"Oh. Huh. No prophecy, then?" Harry strided back over to the others and took the Scythe out of Tom's unresisting hand. The Dark Lord seemed to be too busy being completely exasperated to notice, and the abominations slunk back into the shadows, equally unnoticed.
"It doesn't even matter," Tom interrupted forcefully. "Just hurry up and bloody tell them so we can leave."
Harry shrugged, and with an amused grin, did just that.
End. . . ?