1 Chapter 1: Wand

Beta read by Shigiya and DOOMRAIDER.

.

.

.

-Diagon Alley-

(11th January 1991)

Diagon Alley, a cobblestoned shopping area for the wizarding world, where Hogwarts students can purchase necessary supplies.

From the oldest of books to the most recent ones published by great researchers, wizards and a soon to be blonde fraud with the last name Lockhart; you could get everything here.

Some of the shops sold pets like owls, rats, cats you name it, they'll provide. 

In my eyes, this scene looked just like in the movies. The only difference being the amount of crazy things happening around! Flying books, kids getting attacked by a book with teeth and the general cacophony of hundreds of people talking loudly in such a small street!

No wonder my dad hated this place!

Yes, I did say dad.

And no, I haven't forgotten who I truly was and that all of this was just the work of a foreign god hearing my prayers and isekai-ing me for real! That damnable truck failed to pass me and I had to resort by escaping from the void's butthole as I like to call it. Indeed, I accepted the fact that I was shifted out in order to be reincarnated.

Reborn in a world of Harry Potter… I didn't know how to feel about that. I barely remembered my past with my broken memories. How the fuck do you expect me to remember a movie I only watched the first three releases in my childhood? I can't!

Aside from the first movie cause everyone remembers the iconic scenes, amnesia or whatever it is I suffered from be damned.

Who did I reincarnate as?

Jarius Malfoy… or Jo for short.

Like the name? Apparently, I was born a few seconds late to get the awesome 'Draco' name, but I didn't mind. It would be weird to call the snobby kid I used to see on TV be called Jarius.

'Hugh, why did Lucius have to choose Jarius of all names!? It starts with a 'J' so he could have been a bit more lazy and called me Jonathan! But nooooo, both his sons must have powerful names befitting their stance as descendants of the Malfoy House.'

Anyways, it's been eleven years since I've been born in this world and that meant that I was an eleven year kid.

My face looked just like my brother's, but I didn't have my hair groomed like I was going to a wedding. With both of us having the same grey/silver eyes we inherited from our father.

Though I missed my black hair, I did find being blonde interesting. Fortunately, the stereotypical of blondes being dumb didn't exist here, people generally focused on someone's lineage than physical attributes.

I was having fun, but it seemed like I was the only one.

"Hugh, this place is filthy and these people will cause my ears to deafen. Why couldn't we just send the servants to buy our supplies?" An irritated voice muttered beside me.

It was none other than my blood sibling, my technically big brother and kid with a stick up his ass; Draco Malfoy. He grew up to inherit the same snobbish attitude as in the movie, this was mostly Lucius's fault.

But I did have my own influence on his life. Even if I was reborn into a fictional world with characters I've seen on the screen, I still considered this life to be my new beginning; a fresh start. I threw away any hesitation I may have had in the beginning and accepted myself as a Malfoy and them as my family. What's the point of being stuck in the past when there is so much to discover in the future? 

I promised myself to live my life to the absolute fullest!

"My innocent and sometimes dumb brother! Where's the fun in that? There is so much to discover in Diagon Alley and you won't get a girlfriend when you're older with that attitude!"

"We're eleven." Draco said, tiredly. He had bags under his eyes and kept yawning every few minutes. I wouldn't be surprised since I dragged him away from our home without our parents noticing to finally buy something I've wanted to get my hands on for years!

A wand!

Not just any wand. 

My own wand, that belongs to me and no one else.

"Now let's see what's on the list." A few days ago, two letters came from an owl mail. Written personally by Dumbledore himself, an invitation for us to enroll into Hogwarts. Let's just say Lucius was a bit conflicted that day, on one hand he wanted to send us to Durmstrang Institute. 

Like hell I would let my chances of getting into Hogwarts go easily! Even if I knew Draco got in anyways in canon, I wasn't taking the risk now that I was born as his twin brother. He might go there but there was no guarantee that I would have.

So I just challenged his ego while acting like an innocent child. "Are you scared of the people in Hogwarts, father?" Is what I said to him.

That worked wonderfully and he went on a long speech about how the Malfoys feared no one and accepted to have both of us attending Hogwarts. I didn't miss the irony of being a kid who successfully manipulated someone who is known to be a master manipulator and tactician. Or maybe he did notice, but decided to ignore it in order to train me. 

Anyways, this was the content of the letter.

.

.

.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Hmmm, the uniform was excluded because mom already had the finest tailor in town make us some.

This was the following list.

First-year students will require:

1. Three sets of plain work robes (black).

2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear.

3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar).

4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings).

With a small note on the bottom.

'Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags.' Already got that covered with a name tag made of gold. Our parents certainly didn't hold back with the spending.

The letter also mentioned all students having a copy of one of the following books.

The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk.

A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot.

Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling.

A Beginners' Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch.

One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore.

Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger.

The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander.

"..."

That last one was suspiciously familiar to me, I felt like I heard of that title somewhere but can't seem to remember where. It could be possible that I saw it being used in the movies and just happened to forget about it.

Lastly with the equipment was a cauldron made of pewter, set of phials, a telescope, brass scales and a pet.

Oh, and a wand, of course.

Though there was a rule that baffled me.

'Parents are reminded that first years are not allowed their own broomsticks.'

That didn't make sense! I explicitly remember Harry getting his first broomstick when he was a first year. Why weren't we allowed to buy one now!? I was so looking forward to flying. Freaking main character halo giving him all the fun. 

"Here we are, stop being lost in your thoughts, brother." Spoke Draco as he stopped in front of an old two story building. "Olivanders…" I felt weird standing in front of this iconic shop. Its display consisted of a solitary wand lying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. 

I'm finally going to get my own wand! 

As I was going to open the door, I felt Draco take hold of my shoulders, stopping me from going inside 

"Eh?" I looked at him in confusion.

"Did you even bring enough galleons with you?"

"..."

"You don't have anything on you, don't you?" He gave a deadpan look which made me sheepishly laugh. 

"Hey, you can't blame me for wanting to exchange my pocket money with a few hundred pounds for future investments." Even after I begged Lucius to give me some paper money instead of the regular sickles and galleons; to make purchases in the 'muggle world'. 

'It's not like I can go to a computer shop and buy myself a Gameboy with freaking coins from the middle ages! I don't even need any wizard currency on me.'

Why? Because I had a walking bank beside me.

"Give me a tenner." I reached out my hand to my sweet brother who always cares about his family and wouldn't let me go empt—

"—No." He cut me off with an immediate response.

At least he learned to say no… if only he could say that to both our parents.

"Why?"

"Because you haven't paid me back any of the previous ten galleons I've lent you. And the previous hundreds of sickles I let you borrow!" 

"I promised to give you some of my Google shares in the future."

"The bloody hell is a Google!? Father promised us to bring us here next week to get our wands. Just wait for a bit lo…" I zoned him out and tried to think of something that'll convince him to buy our wands. Hmmm, Draco was a lot like his TV counterpart—hard not to be with our family. Some of our relatives really take the blood purity and racial superiority topic to its extreme. It showed me how Voldemort got so much support and followers in the past. 

I tried to remove the concept of mudblood from his mind, but with no muggles anywhere near our estate, it was kind of hard to convince him that they could be strong Wizards as well. 

But I still had other ways to protect his innocent mind in the beginning. First of all, I booted that accursed duo, Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe from his life. Those fools who would become nothing more than leeches and yes men were not people Draco needed to hang out with.

Sure, we still get to meet them from time to time since their parents were purebloods and even Death Eaters, but now, they didn't dare approach Draco fearing another knuckle sandwich to their faces!

I tried stirring his attention more towards other things kids his age would like. Dragons, magic spells, mythical creatures and so on. It kinda worked, he had gained a keen interest with dueling and quidditch. He read the biography of Filius Flitwick, a champion duelist in his younger years.

Though that came with the drawback of him being more interested in past strong Wizards like his aunt dearest, Bellatrix Lestrange being one of them. As much I disliked her, her dueling prowess was undeniable, still is mind you. Even with her being locked away in Azkaban, Lucius did repeatedly remind us to never underestimate a Death Eater's prowess.

Though I feel like he was praising himself that time and not our aunt. Not surprising given his personality though. 

"How about this, after getting our wands… we'll have a little duel a week later and impress dad?" Another major weakness of Draco was his fear and respect for Lucius. He always seeked his praise and acknowledgement. 

"..."

"Come on, don't be a stick in the mud and take some risks in your life for Merlin's sake!"

That did the trick.

"Fine, here!" He threw me a small heavy coin bag filled with enough sickles and galleons for an average wizard to consider it a small fortune. "You go first, I'll look around at 'Flourish and Blotts'. Happy now?"

"Very!" 

The bag felt heavy, I really should turn my focus towards accumulating more coins now that I had enough pounds in my name. Not to mention during my stay in Hogwarts, I couldn't just always rely on Draco.

After he left to do some shopping on his own, I turned around and took a deep breath of fresh air. 

.

.

.

Cough!

Cough!

Forgot the air wasn't exactly pure with all the smoke and perfume! Damn you all!

"Okay, enough wasting time." 

I marched inside the shop.

Cling~!

A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as he stepped inside.

The place looked exactly like in the movies. A small empty counter with some miscellaneous items spread all over it. Around were rows of densely packed boxes of different sorts of wands all the way to the ceiling.

This place reeked heavily of dilapidating books and that of an old library.

'Any second now…'

Bam!

A ladder slid from the corner, right in front of him.

"Good afternoon." The old man with pale white eyes softly said as he stared at him.

"Bonjour."

"..."

"..."

An awkward moment passed between us.

"I didn't expect that kind of greeting from a Malfoy." The owner of the shop, Olivander, said with a slight twinge of surprise in his voice.

"Yeah, I do try to be interesting, you should try better with your jumpscares. Try to make the place a tad bit darker with soundproof glasses, it'll give a much spookier atmosphere." I advised.

"Hmm, interesting idea, I will try it with my next customer." He got down from the ladder and approached me.

"Yes, yes, I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Dra—cough! Jarius Malfoy." He almost slipped up there. "You have your father's eyes and your mother's face. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Fourteen inches long, pliable, made of dark ebony and dragon heartstring. Excellent for curses."

"Not going to reveal my father's wand?"

"Unfortunately, your father now wields an ancestral wand passed down through generations of the Malfoy family. His old wand's fate is unbeknownst to me. But no one knows a wand better than I do. Made of elm wood, dragon heartstring and twelve inches exactly. A powerful one if I may say so myself… exceedingly competent with both curses, charms and transfiguration. It's a wand that serves only those of strong will."

Now that was something I didn't know about. I always thought that overly decorated wand was his own from the beginning. So it was a hand-me-down, huh… I wonder if he'll give it to me or Draco. In either case I don't care.

The man came close to me and carefully inspected my face with his creepy eyes.

"Are you familiar with the term 'personal space'? Cause you're a bit too close to me, buddy"

"Hahahaha! No." Well that explains it. "Now – Mr, Malfoy. Let me see." He pulled a large tape measure with silver markings out of his pocket. "Which is your wand arm?"

I extended my right arm.

He measured me from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round my head. As he measured, he said, "Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful substance, Mr. Malfoy. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."

"Then why does my dad use one which did not originally belong to him?"

"You misunderstood my meaning, Mr, Malfoy. I did not explicitly mention the power of the wand being weaker for another user. It's rather your hands, the grip you have on your original wand will never be outclassed by anything else. Ever."

The tape measure, which was measuring between my nostrils, was moving on its own. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves, taking down boxes by the dozen. Even if his office was a mess, he did carefully drop every box as if they were fragile items. I could see that he put a great amount of care and passion inside these wands.

"That will do," he said, and the tape measure crumpled into a heap on the floor. "Right then, Mr. Malfoy. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Ten inches. Nice and flexible. Just take it and give it a wave."

I followed his words and made a small gesture.

Crack!

Boom!

A vase of flowers exploded into countless shards. The man was quick as lightning and snatched the wand from my hand.

"Elm and Phoenix feather. Nine inches. Quite whippy. Try—"

Swipe!

I couldn't even get a hold of the wand as it went sailing past the man and embedded itself on the wall behind like a dagger.

"..."

"..."

"Wands, right? So picky, hehehe…" I tried to act cool but failed miserably.

"I must admit, that was new… I honestly expected that it would suit you perfectly."

And so, we continued this cycle for literally an hour. The inside of the shop looked absolutely horrible and looked like someone robbed the place. Olivanders was worse off with his clothes burned in some areas and even having many cuts. But the man didn't even look bothered and just kept bringing wands after wands.

There was even a mountain of boxes piled up at the back!

I was beginning to feel miserable here. Why wasn't I getting any wand to work for me? Was it because I was a foreign in this world? Or was it because my talent in magic sucked ass?

"..." Olivander suddenly had a conflicted face. "It can't be… but I must try, yes, why not, unusual combination; holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple."

I felt tense when he brought another box from the shelves.

He didn't even get down from the ladder when he saw my reaction and put the box back.

"No… not this one as well. Which only leaves me with one. Unusual but possible. Here, Black walnut wood, dragon heartstring core, very pliant and thirteen inches." 

I took the wand. And suddenly felt a sudden warmth passing through my fingers. It felt comfortable, relaxing… as if… I couldn't really explain this particular feeling. My heart for a moment when I saw a small candlelight blue flame appear on the tip of the wand. My memories flashed to the image of bringing souls back in the void. 

'No… this isn't the same flame.' Slowly, the fire fizzled away leaving me with a complicated feeling inside me.

"Strange… indeed, very unique as well." Ollivander said.

"What is?" 

"I have sold many wands in the past, in uncountable amounts. What I've learned is that a wand can sometimes be the reflection of its user. It can become their greatest weapon, but it can even cause their downfall."

"..."

"Black walnut is a very handsome wood, but not the easiest to master. It has one pronounced quirk, which is that it is abnormally attuned to inner conflict, and loses power dramatically if its possessor practices any form of self-deception. If the witch or wizard is unable or unwilling to be honest with themselves or others, the wand often fails to perform adequately and must be matched with a new owner if it is to regain its former prowess. Paired with a sincere, self-aware owner, however, it becomes one of the most loyal and impressive wands of all, with a particular flair in all kinds of charmwork."

I see.

"Basically, if I ever turn emo or a puppet to my own emotions and past, then everything is done for me, right?"

Ollivander blinked in confusion, "I'm not familiar with this… emo word. But yes, that is the general idea."

A grin appeared on my face.

That ain't so bad, after all, I never planned to lay low or live in fear of future enemies and challenges that I'll face. Will I get killed earlier with my reckless actions? Probably. 

'But in the end, it's all about having fun and living life to the fullest! To live the way I want to and for once, caring about myself first!' 

I felt the want grow warmer in my hand, like it had agreed with me.

"You know… I don't know why people don't do this. But I'm going to name ya! Jonathan!" I can't be hung up on the past, but I can use it to pave a road for the future.

"Hoh, naming your wand? Interesting indeed. A wonderful customer you were, Sir. Malfoy. Take great care of your wand."

"Don't worry, I'm sure it won't break if I accidentally sleep on it."

We both laughed, I liked this Olivander guy, he had a wonderful sense of humor. I thanked him one last time and paid seven gold Galleons for my wand, and he bowed them from his shop. I informed him that my brother would come next.

For a magical wand which can cause more destruction than some bombs, this sure was cheap. About thirty pounds in regular Muggle currency, basically anyone can get one.

The late afternoon sun hung low in the sky, painting the entire alley with a golden sheen of light. With little to no people and a less crowded street, I sat on a bench munching on some chocolate frogs and waiting for Draco's return.

He came back carrying a bag filled with trinkets and miscellaneous objects related to dueling. I even spotted a box of chocolate, as expected from my brother, we both had a rather big sweet tooth. From posters of famous duelists to even a book on a beginner's guide to dueling. On the other hand, he was carrying a cage with an eagle owl inside; it must be his new pet.

"Someone was busy." I commented.

"You're done?"

"Yup, even got a cool ass wand!" I showed him Jonathan and smirked at his amazed expression. "Looks cool, right?"

"Aside from your crass vocabulary, you indeed got a beautiful wand."

"Sure, now stop chatting, leave your stuff to me and go get yourself a wand!" I forcefully grabbed everything from his hands, startling the owl and pushed him towards the shop.

He gave me a major stink eye before huffing and walking inside. 

I eagerly waited outside and focused my ears.

Bam!

"Waahh!!!" Draco's scream of fright reached the outside and I fell on the streets laughing hard.

"Hahahaha! He got him!" 

Some of the witches and wizards were casting me weird looks which I ignored them all.

Haaaa, good times.

I can't wait for my first year of Hogwarts to start soon. 

As I was laughing, I couldn't help but reminisce how I got to this world.

{Break}

-(Flashback)-

-???-

Alright, whoever said that the afterlife is a peaceful heaven, filled with everything we could ever desire, can go fuck themselves.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGHHH!!!!"

Do you hear that?

That's the sound of my neighbor, a soul who once used to be a guy called Henry. From the stories he used to tell me back when he was sane, the man was a World War 1 foot soldier who apparently died while fighting in the battle of Verdun.

Great guy, really swell… that is if you forget the many instants of rapes he's committed back when he was alive.

"So, got any more stories for me?" I asked the guy's soul beside me, burning in hellfire… or at least that's what I called them. There was no brimstone, lava lake, and a red-skinned guy carrying a pitchfork walking around poking us in the ass. "It's not every day I get to talk to someone from such an old time period. Hey, are you listening to me?"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGHHH, MAKE IT STOP!!! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP…" And he continued shouting the same thing while being burned… alive? Dead? Anyway, aside from his screams, this had been going on for a while.

But there has been nothing much to do around here.

"Nothing, huh? Well, damn Henry, you're gonna kill me with boredom here and it's considered rude to not answer someone's question. If you're in pain… just stop burning mate, Hahahahahaha!" I swear that I'm not crazy.

.

.

.

Or at least not entirely.

I was just on the brink of becoming one.

Now, I know this looks bad. Like 'Hey! Why are you besides this guy? Are you also a criminal scum!? Sentenced to burn in hell for all of eternity!?' was what many would think about if they found me lurking around this person all the time.

"As if." I snorted. "I don't even know if this is hell or something else."

Basically, I was a long-time resident in this dark void. Hell, Underworld, Niflheim, and whatever you want to call it; I've been here for a long time.

Every few years, someone would come by, like good old Henry here. At first, they would be fine, and we would talk, have a conversation about our past lives—bits and pieces of my life, that is if I was in the mood for it—and continue bonding like so for a long time. And indeed, the soul that came would slowly go insane with time and, for some unknown reasons, begin burning with a hellish blue flame.

I remember when I first saw this, terror flooded my being. Thought about how I would be the next to be burned alive by the demonic-looking flames.

Fortunately, it never happened.

Don't ask me why; I stopped questioning it after a few hundred people got burned afterwards.

In the end, aside from the conversations we would have, I would also find another form of entertainment by watching them burn and scream for help or beg for someone to end their suffering. Ahhhh~ watching souls burn slowly became like stargazing for me. The beautiful color of the flame would never get boring… much.

I realized that this revelation did not help the case of me not being crazy.

Speaking of souls, I used to be indeed a living person before. And was not, in fact, an entity created by the void.

The name is Johnathan Hill; most used to call me Johnny, John, or Jo; you can call me Jo. I do, in fact, remember my father and mother, though my early childhood memories were scattered entirely around, as well as the next few decades after that. What remained was just mashed-up bits and pieces scattered inside my consciousness and not my brain since I don't have one. I would sometimes remember specific memories and reminisce on them.

I remember dying after being rammed by a truck. Yes, I indeed got a visit from the infamous Truck-kun.

It was a hard truth to swallow at first. Unlike many people, which is sad, I had a loving family and a peaceful life. Aside from my parent's divorce in my earlier years, life was okay afterward. We weren't the most financially stable family, but we got by, food got scarce at times, but we always had something during those times.

Never got to finish my studies and started working at an early age. But as long as I could return to my father and little brother, I was happy with them.

The funny thing is, the first thought that came to my mind was the worry of how much the funeral might cost. I worried that my death would be an additional burden to the family. Part of me wanted them to just bury my body somewhere in the forest and not spend a coin on any unnecessary arrangements.

A messed-up way of thinking, but one that suits someone who hates himself. A feeling that emerged at the beginning of my parent's divorce, where I used—no, I still do think that it's solely my fault that they separated.

Logically, I knew that this wasn't my fault, but my heart just wouldn't accept the truth. Logic and emotions rarely coincide, which is why I felt that way.

Don't worry, I ain't going to drop the bomb on me for being emo or some shit like that. I had friends, a social life, and even was part of the tennis club back in school. It was just something like a side feeling that stuck with me for as long as I remember… never caring about myself. I was always worried about my family, only being happy when they were, which would explain why I pushed my brother out of the streets with no hesitation or fear when I noticed that truck was driving full speed without stopping.

Who am I kidding? Anyone with love for their family would do the same. I just didn't care whether I died then or at a later time. My priority used to be them and never me.

"As long as they are okay and healthy, I wouldn't mind rotting in the void for eternity." Did that make me suicidal as well? Who knows.

Now that I had enough time to reflect on myself inside this timeless void, I thought to myself. I should enjoy life for myself when I get a second chance. Sure I would care for other people, but I would always put myself first. I had a wrong way of thinking, and I wanted to fix it, even with my current circumstances.

"Wait, do I get to keep my memories if I get reborn?"

No one answered my question, and Henry still kept screaming his imaginary lungs out. Hang in there, bud; in just a few moments, you'll vanish just like the others.

"It's sad that I didn't get isekai'd…." Now that was a bummer; I had read enough of those mangas and watched anime in my past life to always find the idea of being transported to another world fun and interesting. Call me basic, but that shit was cool and funny as fuck. And I even fulfilled the requirement of getting squashed by that damnable truck! Wasn't that all it took!?

Like, come on, Truck-kun! Do your freaking job properly for me, at least. Maybe that's why I'm stuck here because someone either messed up or forgot about me.

Shhhhrrrrrr

The blue flames began dying down, and Henry here no longer had the strength or will to continue screaming.

"Help… me… Jo… please… you… are… my… only… frie… n…d…"

Oof, the despair hit quite hard in this one's voice.

"No can do, dude. Honestly, you ain't the worst that came around these parts. Ricky, who came before you, apparently was a killer, rapist, and cannibal. So his flame burned the brightest and probably was the most painful one as well. Yours was visually appealing at best. Don't know what version of hell you might be sent to or if you'll reincarnate afterward, but you'll definitely have a better outcome than Ricky, for sure." This was a cycle I became used to, wandering around here for the rest of my existence and encountering the worst people imaginable.

"Find some peace now that you will cease to exist. I don't know what the future holds for you or if you'll even continue to live, but don't become an asshole in case you reincarnate, okay? Live an honest life; if things get hard, I believe burning for such a long time would be a good deterrent." Again, that is if he remembers the painful experience.

Maybe that was my role.

To accompany the dead in their final moments, guess even the evilest part of humanity would get such luxury before being incinerated. I was their last friend, their last pal, listening to their life story and experience. To what led them to become as they are now, the countless tragic backstories were somehow perfectly remembered and cataloged in my mind.

The remaining cinders of his soul lingered around for a few more moments before disappearing completely. And just like that, Henry was no more.

"Haaaa, now I wonder who will be next…." With how much I talked with such people, I was confident to become a certified psychologist or listener for villains, if that was a thing. Like Harley Quinn, before she fell in that vat of acid… except for me, I won't be becoming a nutjob obsessed over a psycho.

Ohh, you killed an entire family in cold blood? Let's talk about it.

Do you like the taste of human flesh? Try some of these Swiss brand chocolate in your next life; it'll make you an addict in no time.

Caused a massive war to erupt between two countries with millions of casualties? That's rough, buddy.

I'm sure many of them wouldn't have ended up as criminals if their situations were better.

"Honestly, I know that I'm dead and all. But can't I get some sort of salary or benefit? Being able to use the internet would be much appreciated; I have a lot of series to catch up on. Haven't even started watching the Witcher series on Netflix." With a helpless sigh, I continued wandering around the dark void, searching out any other new arrival and my next 'patient' who would also double as my sole source of entertainment.

"Hm?"

I caught something shining in the far distance. Curious, I decided to check out what it was. Usually, the only source of light here was either the souls or the blue fire. So for something else to shine in the darkness, which didn't look to be a soul, really made me intrigued by its origins.

With each passing second, I increased my speed. My curiosity grew by the second and thus forcing me to travel faster. "Hohoho, I can't help but get excited here!" It was something out of the norm, so I got pumped up.

"Haa… haa… haa…."

After what felt like an eternity, holy shit, was that source of light far away! I didn't even know that souls could get tired from floating too fast! I really should work out in my spare time.

Low and behold, the source of the light and the thing that caught my interest was nothing more than a…

"A crack?"

In the void of nothingness was a small crack from which white particles of light escaped. There was no wall or floor, so this phenomenon happened in open space. There was no sound, no sensation of hot and cold. But just like any curious person out there, I was tempted to get near it and touch it.

The closer I got to it, the more I began hearing sounds. Some of which I hadn't heard since my death.

Chirp

Chirp

"Birds?" If I had a body right now, you would have seen me shaking like a leaf at the thought of what might be on the other side. Along with the chirping, I could hear the wind blowing and the shaking of the tree branches. Noises of cars and people honking. "Am I dreaming? I take back everything I said! I don't want to stay here; I'm not okay with this! Fuck you void, and hello freedom!"

Tremble

The void shook as it came nearer to the light. Scared, I backed off immediately, and the shaking stopped. "Hm…"

I got closer once, and shaking happened once again.

I floated back, and it stopped.

I went back and forth a few more times to confirm my suspicion.

"It doesn't want to approach this crack, which might be a portal to the outside world." I tried going even closer than before, ignoring the shaking. "Let's see if I can escape this place…." When the edge of my soul went through the white light, the shaking grew worse, and I felt like it was about to break.

Fwish!

To my horror, the blue fire started appearing everywhere and engulfed everything instantly.

It was making its way towards me!

"Oh shit! Like hell, I'm staying here!" Throwing any hesitation to wind, I forced myself through the white light and escaped just in time to feel the lick of a flame slightly singe my back!

"Holy moly, that's painful! No wonder those people went crazy—wait. Of course, they would go crazy by being burned whole! Stop being a dumbass myself!"

Kreeeeeeeee

A horrifying screech came from the disappearing darkness behind me.

"Nope! Nope! I'm not fucking with whatever that is!"

I didn't bother looking back and risked getting scared to death by whatever crawled out from the shadows and wanted to drag me back in; I continued flying through the white tunnel.

Until…

The soul, who once wandered the void for an innumerable amount of time, being stranded for so long that even memories of the past started becoming blurry, finally made it to the outside world.

"I… I did it." For what felt like an eternity, I finally laid my eyes on the Sun, illuminating the sky, a blue sky which I once gave up hope to ever actually see again. Feeling the sun's heat was way better than the blue flame. It felt like liberation, like I could breathe for the first time after being locked up in an air-tight container for a long time.

I could feel the cold wind, the sound of birds chirping, and the sight of a dark manor surrounded by a large forest which gave off an eerie feeling.

"Hahahaha! I'm the best! Who's the best!? I'm the best, bitch!"

If I had an actual body, I would be balling my eyes out while screaming my lungs out. Might even kiss the ground while I was at it.

.

.

.

Wait… a manor?

My jubilance was replaced with curiosity as I didn't expect to end up somewhere so middle-aged European-type place. I was used to modern architecture, so this caught me a bit out of the blue.

Just where did I end up?

And why did that manor look so familiar to me? Like I had seen it somewhere in my past life. Weird, I tried to remember, but my mind was still a mess of broken memories that faded over time.

Did I perhaps visit this place or see it on TV? Considering my family didn't have the means to travel abroad, the second option seems more likely.

"—!" Suddenly, my entire being started being pulled by an unknown force. Like an invisible rope tangled around me and pulling me downwards, I was frightened and tried to resist but couldn't muster enough strength.

"It's the manor!?" I finally realized where I was being dragged off to.

The force got stronger each second to the point that I was approaching the manor at Mach speed. Is this what those ghosts in the Ghostbusters felt when they got sucked in those vacuum cleaners!?

"Ah, come on! I just escaped prison, and now you want to lock me up in another? That's not fair!"

I closed my sight, instinctively fearing for my life as the image of me getting splattered on the roof played in my mind.

While forgetting about being an intangible floating ball of light, I just passed through the roof and entered a luxuriously decorated room with two people sleeping on a king-sized bed.

It happened so fast that I didn't even have time to see their features and was absorbed by one of them.

'Where… where am I?' I couldn't see; I was back in the darkness.

No, not really. The surroundings felt different. It felt warm.

'I feel so… tired.'

My consciousness turned hazy, and I started feeling extremely sleepy.

'Just… what happened… to me?' It was my last thought before I slipped into a coma which, at that time, I didn't realize would last for the next few months.

-------

The next 4 (soon to be 5) chapters are already available on my p@treon at /NimtheWriter. Also find my other works with some commissioned art works there.

Next chapter