Chapter One. Judgment Day
Hadrian seethes barely refraining from tapping his foot in annoyance. Why is he annoyed you may ask? He is sitting here, in purgatory, with one Albus fucking Dumbledore waiting on three of his subjects to arrive. Only the former headmaster doesn't seem to be aware they're even waiting on anyone. Hadrian raises his eyebrow at another particularly scandalous story and casts his third silent tempus in as many minutes to check the time before pinching the bridge of his nose annoyed.
The dead soul doesn't even notice as engrossed in droning on and on about his former life’s mistakes as he is. As if he is some kind of Holy mind healer. As if he’s here to absolve the delusional mortal of his many crimes and failings. The man then moves on to talk about his soulbond and subsequent bonding ceremony with Gellert fucking Grindelwald. As if having a soulmate and bonding with them were even a crime in the first place.
"So, I am the Master of Death," Hadrian admits, now that Albus Dumbledore is finally done with needlessly confessing his rather lengthy list of crimes. He’s decided to say ‘fuck it’ and begin easing the old man into facing the reality of his situation without anyone else here. It's not like this will be the first time he’s had to deal with a situation like this and it certainly won't be the last. His subjects are likely busy, what with all the wars going on thanks to the man in front of him right now.
"Yes Harry, you are able to wield the Hallows." Albus Dumbledore agrees in a pitying yet envious tone. His words surprise Hadrian by the knowledge he should not rightfully have. His parents did, after all, hide their true identities during their most recent stint of allowing themselves to be reborn on the mortal plane. He has similarly followed suit. Even here in his domain, he has cloaked himself so thoroughly that even a fellow God would be hard-pressed to identify him. "The Cloak will likely follow you, and the Elder Wand may even find itself loyal to you." The former headmaster continues as though talking about the weather.
"No matter the shape or appearance of the wand I use." Hadrian agrees as he allows a slow smile to tug on his lips still toying with his ‘Elder Wand’. It has remained disguised as a Holy wood and Phoenix feather wand since he picked it back up at Ollivanders. Child of the Fates as he is, Ollivander recognized it immediately and waited until he came to pick it back up. "And the Resurrection Stone?" he prompts feigning a confused tone and refrains from glancing at the said stone where it rests safely on one of his otherwise invisible rings. He’s beginning to suspect what the old fool has assumed.
"As it has been destroyed, I can only speculate, Harry," Dumbledore said with a carefree smile as he charms his unburdened sky blue eyes to twinkle madly again.
“Humm” At least that answers the suspicion he had of the little spies following him while he disposed of one of the duplicate stones. Apparently, they managed to pass on the information to their idol before he passed. One would think they’d be more concerned with saving his life. Either that or he has a spy in his ranks. Something to look into either way. "Well, it has been... enlightening talking to you, but I'm afraid we have to get a move on now," Hadrian says standing abruptly and startling Dumbledore. “We both have places we need to be.” He instructs the deceased soul in a no-nonsense tone as though commanding one of his armies.
"Both of us?” Albus Dumbledore asks genuinely confused before putting on another one of his demeaningly indulgent smiles and standing as well. “Very well, my dear boy. Where to?" the dead soul asks curiously as he makes a show of slowly standing. Given the crimes and injustices this man has continuously wrought upon his parents chosen wielders of magic, Hadrian has always found his carefree attitude unnerving. Now is no different.
“Every soul wonders what happens afterlife don't they?” Hadrian asks instead of answering. It’s so rare for him to step in and guide someone on to their next life, or their final place of residence as is the case with this particular soul. Still no matter the eons and differences between them they always seem to ask the same question. ‘Where am I going now? What is to happen to me?’ It's becoming increasingly odd that the man before him has failed to do so yet.
"I rather thought you'd go back to the world of the living," Dumbledore admits as though continuing his earlier confession.
Hadrian blinks confused, wondering what potions the old bat’s been taking. “Go back...to the land of the living?” he asks slowly allowing his bewilderment to show in his facial features and tone of voice. Even if such a thing were possible for mortals, which it's not, the world they left behind has already been destroyed by the joint forces of muggles and a madman believing himself to be a Titan God. Earth’s magical community has long since been wiped out. Time does travel faster here in the Underworld than it does in the land of the living.
"To fight Lord Voldemort one last time. To defeat him and to make the world a better place.” The deranged soul smiles happily at the thought of his dream Utopia and gives him a meaningful look. “Although you could go on, I suppose.” he continues blandly. His tone and disapproving glare imply on no uncertain terms that he'd be rather cross and disappointed with Hadrian if he did that. Which is hilarious given that Albus Dumbledore is the one dead and at fault for most of the deaths in the magical world. It is primary Albus Dumbledore's fault there was no one left alive to stop Thanos from using the Impero in his Father and subsequently destroying earth and Midgard. Which then caused the rest of the realms to crash and die. “And this does seem to be King's Cross." the former Hogwarts Headmaster says bringing Hadrian’s attention back to him. Albus Dumbledore is giving the form Purgatory begrudgingly took for him a thoroughly unimpressed look around.
"Oh, I'll definitely be going back." Hadrian instantly replies unable to contain his gleeful smile any longer. Already he’s thinking of how the future will change with what he has prepared himself to do. It is so rare after all that a mortal messes up so spectacularly that a God has to step in to fix things. It's a bit of a chore really. But from what he’s heard, most Gods treat the occasions like mini-vacations. He absentmindedly summons the ‘train’ that will take Albus Dumbledore as he considers his next words.
No matter the amount of planning, the punishment for this mortal's crimes has never seemed to be enough. He succeeded in thoroughly destroying the mortal world with his delusions of a perfect Utopia. “Afterall I do need to rewrite history.” Hadrian continues “As for you, you will be going on. You will even be keeping Tom Riddle’s Horcruxes company in Tartarus for your joint crimes.” He decrees sealing the man’s Fate with his words as his domain, Death itself, answers his decree. Seeing the utter shock on the old goat's face almost makes his task of living as an observer to his monstrosities worth it. Almost. The mortal did use him as a puppet and an instigator of many said monstrosities after all.
“You will be granted close proximity for all eternity.” Hadrian continues as the old man gasps out unintelligible words. “You were rather invested in creating and maintaining his Dark Lord persona, after all. Besides, were you not the one to lead him on his path? You went as far as to compel him with magic to create those abominations and use the anagram ‘Lord Voldemort’, did you not? Despite both your delusions neither of you are or were a Lord or Heir of anything.” he muses aloud “Simply average mortals who became a bit too conceited and thought themselves better and wiser than the Gods."
By now Albus Dumbledore is quite pale and wide-eyed "Harry, my boy, I-"
"Shut. Up." Hadrian snaps taking a threatening step forward. "I am NOT, nor have I EVER been, your boy. As I said before, I am the true Master of Death. That is not an empty title. I am a GOD. I always have been."
"Everything I have done has always been for the Greater Good!" Albus Dumbledore erupts in protest beginning to realize the dangerous position he has placed himself in, albeit slowly, "And you can't go and do this! You have a responsibility to the Wizarding World.” Albus Dumbledore disapprovingly scolds. As though he is an errant child in need of harsh guidance.
"Your so-called ‘Greater Good’ has only ever meant misery, subjugation and eventually the extinction of the entire mortal world. Everyone is DEAD and you are one of the mortals at fault for that. I won't tolerate your interference anymore, and neither will the other Gods.” Hadrian counters with a shake of his head as Albus Dumbledore tries to cast a compulsion spell on him. Naturally, it fails to even reach him. His parents were the head Gods of Magic after all. "It will take time and I will likely even need help," Hadrian continues while politely ignoring the specter so disillusioned by his belief that he believes himself capable of controlling his soul’s own judgment.
"But I sure as hell will do everything I can to keep your bloody apocalypse from ever happening again. Things would have been a hell of a lot easier had the Norns and the Fates brought the situation to our attention sooner but I’m used to working with what I have. That's why I was chosen for this task after all.” he says with a smirk as Lord Thanatos finally arrives bringing Pharaoh Anubis and Hadrian's sister Queen Hela with him. The three look exhausted and worn out. Cleaning up an entire civilizations apocalypse does that to a person no matter how experienced and prepared you are. “Your crimes against Magic won't happen again if we can help it."
“Harry, listen to yourself! You have become as bad as Voldemort!" Albus Dumbledore scolds clearly horrified by what he is hearing and still, still not comprehending what is happening to him. In response, Hadrian unleashes a mere fraction of his power as the Master of Death and her domain. Albus Dumbledore’s face contorts in obvious shock and horror as he takes a step back slowly realizing his situation. Even for a dead spirit, he looks pale. "You would destroy everything I've spent my life working toward?” he beseeches, clearly wishing for his senses to be deceiving him.
"You bet I will. That's my fucking job. See that train right there? The one leading into mist?" Hadrian asks pointing to the seemingly endless white ‘train’ disappearing into the vast white mist surrounding them. "That's your train on. It will take you to the next great adventure’ as you have always so eloquently put it. As you don't learn from your mistakes you will be taking it on to your final adventure."
Hadrian watches as Pharaoh Anubis and Queen Hela subdue Albus too many names Dumbledore under his and Lord Thanatos’s careful supervision. Not that the old goat can escape. They're Gods and he's in their territory. Once they're done binding the loudly protesting and resisting mortal soul they work to reconstruct Tom Riddle's soul. Hadrian gives them a nod once the job is complete and turns away. He begins walking into the mist, leaving purgatory behind to the sound of Charon taking the two bound and protesting souls away. He has work to do after all.