Chapter 32 : The Real Memory
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It illuminated a wall full of pictures. Pictures filled with happy, smiling people.
These happy, smiling people looked down on the room's single occupant as he stared back up at them.
This single occupant sat in a winged back chair, lost in memories that no one else could see.
There was a light rap on the door and the occupant gave a start and looked over at the doorway. He wasn't expecting anyone, it had been a very long time since there had been a knock on that door.
"Come in," he called out with a voice almost rusty from disuse.
The door swung open silently revealing a figure in long dark robes carrying a scythe. He looked around the small room and then stepped in silently, shutting the door behind him.
The occupant stared at Death for a moment as Death stared right back at him. Finally, the occupant spoke.
"Hello, Death. It's been a long time, I was wondering when you'd appear."
"Yes, it has been a long time. In truth, I thought I would see you long before now. You truly surprised me with your choice. It is not what I saw you picking."
The occupant shrugged, "I suppose I surprised myself, but, really, this was the only possible choice. It gave me hope and the ability to make a difference."
A breezy chuckle came from Death's hood, "You did make a difference, didn't you? I didn't even know that what you did was truly possible until you did it."
"That's because, for you, it wasn't possible. You are Death, you are inevitable, but this inevitable makes you limited."
The two of them stared at each other for a moment. Finally the occupant gave a flick of his wrist and a matching winged back chair appeared across from him.
"Please sit, I'm sure you want to know my reasoning."
Death nodded before gracefully taking a seat, "Again, you speak the truth."
The occupant gave a dry chuckle that was full of knowledge, "Unfortunately, I speak the truth much too often."
"That is better than the alternative."
The two of them lapsed into silence for a while. Finally, the occupant began to speak. His voice quickly filled the small room.
"I'm not sure what gave me the idea in the first place, but I was sure that I couldn't pick one of the worlds over the others. It would've sat wrong with me. Really, how could I leave behind a world with a son I never got to meet? Or a world where my love was tortured and scared for life because no one realized she was missing until it was too late? Or what about a world where she came so close to taking her own life? Even my original world, how could I leave that behind? The world where so many had died just so that I could live."
The occupant shook his head sadly. "I just couldn't do that, so I picked what could've been the coward's way out. I didn't pick any of them; instead, I devised a plan to give everyone a happy ending. I assumed that since you were Death, you had to have an opposite. There are two sides to every coin and you were only one side. And so I moved onwards, living life after life, until, finally, I reached a world where, when I entered, I lay upon my deathbed. There was no one to save in that world, everyone else I knew had already encountered you, and so I left without a fight."
Death shifted at these words, but still, he said nothing.
"When I awoke I was here in this place outside of time and space. Here I found myself finally capable of giving everyone a happy ending. It took a little while, but I figured out how to make copies of my various souls and memories. I sent each one back to each of the worlds I passed through. There, each copy did what I would've done if I had never left. They lived out a long life, making people safe and happy. Then, when there time came to leave, they came back to me, bringing me their new memories. It helped that I live in and out of time, able to travel between years as easily as worlds."
"Is it the same? Holding the memories, but not having really made them?" Death asked, his voice so quiet it was barely audible.
"In a way, these memories feel as real to me as the ones I know I lived through, but I know the truth."
The occupant smiled a little. "Yes, the truth. That it doesn't matter if I know I lived through the memories or not. None of them are truly real."
"How are they not real? They're there, aren't they? In your mind, floating around, waiting for you to revisit them."
"Ah, but only one of them is real, and that's the one I'm making right now, as I talk to you. The rest are mere copies. The original, real memories have been lost. They are only ever real for an instant, but in that instant they are magnificent. When my copies came back they were real for an instant, and in that instant I lived a lifetime. But now, they are mere copies."
"I suppose I see what you mean, I never looked at it that way before." Death grew quiet for a moment, and then he spoke again. "What happened to the Hallows?"
The occupant smiled a little and ran his hand down the staff leaning against his chair. The staff was a silvery white with a black stone at the top of it.
"Ah, I see, so that's why you are what you are and not what I predicted."
"Do you regret your choice at all?"
"No, and I don't think I ever will. I made everyone happy and kept them safe. I can never regret that. Even now, I can continue to do this. Actually…I do believe I need to go do that now."
The occupant stood up and picked up a tall, white staff from where it had been leaning against his chair. Once his hand wrapped around it he was instantly covered in robes of pure white – robes that looked exactly like Death's, except for the color.
One black, one white, the two gods stood looking at each other for a moment. One carried a sharp, deadly scythe. The other carried a blunt, innocent staff.
Death was the first to break the silence.
"What are you going to do?"
"What I always do – go save someone."
"Ah, I think I know who you mean. It's a little boy, isn't it? He's about to be kidnapped by a serial killer. How are you going to stop me from taking him? I don't want to take him, but it is my job to take those that die."
"Yes, but it's my job to stop them from dying before their time. Right now, a detective is working hard on that case, all he needs is a little luck and he will rescue that little boy before it's too late. Just like my Police Copy rescued Ginny."
"You can't save that boy forever, he will die one day, and I will collect him."
"I know, but I can at least give him time to live and make memories of his own."
"Well, goodbye for now Death. We should do this again sometime."
"We should. Goodbye, Life. Or should I still call you Harry?"
The occupant let out a sad sigh, "Harry is gone, nothing but a memory. I'm Life now, just like you are now Death."
"That's true, but, maybe someday, you will be Harry again, just like I might stop being Death and go back to being Tom."
"So that was your name, Tom. That's a very common name."
The two of them looked at each other for a moment. Silence stretched through the small room as the wall of pictures looked down upon them. After a while the silence was finally broken.
And so, the two gods left the room in which time and space don't exist. They went about their work of saving and taking lives, but, every once in a while, they returned to that small room and talked, slowly reliving memories and making them real once more.
Author Note: Thank you very much for reading this story and appreciating it in whatever manner you found fitting. I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I'll have more stories up soon.
The first chapter of this story went from idea to complete in about an hour and during that time I planned out the rest. I scare myself sometimes... So I've never really wanted to write a HP fanfic with Harry Potter as the main because I love the stories too much to change them.
I have another story in the works and I'll have a chapter for it up soon.
Thank you again for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and understand why I ended it the way I did.