Albus Dumbledore and the Rituals of Immortality

No one wants to live forever. But no one wants to die.

“I’m telling you, Grindelwald, the horcrux route is a dead end! It’s the foulest of dark magics, and it’s horribly unreliable!”

“Let’s say I concede that it is indeed a foul ritual, Albus – although I’m not certain that killing two ne’erdowells is that dark – but in what way is it unreliable?”

“It takes one murder to create your horcrux; and then you must consume a second to return from your horcrux. And while you can try to control who will be your returning vessel – in the way that the Black Forest Lich did; by making his horcrux from a necklace handed down from mother to daughter in a distant noble family – it is always possible that your horcrux would be picked up by an innocent. Or worse, lost for ages; you could spend centuries without even the cohesion of a ghost! And anyway, everything we’ve seen on horcruxes is that the body you create is a pale, and weaker reflection of the previous body you’d had. And Death stalks you.”

“Fine, we’ll try something else. Have you had any success with The Deathly Hallows?”

* * *

It looked so innocent. Devoid of any meaningful markings, it looked more like an acorn than one of the most powerful artifacts on the planet. He probably should tell Grindelwald he had it, but he was all but certain that Grindelwald had recovered the Elder Wand, and he hadn’t shared that fact, had he?

He could already see how the Resurrection Stone worked – and why it had driven so many of its previous owners mad. It was what horcruxes were bad imitations of. Where a horcrux needed preparation, and could only preserve one soul from crossing death’s threshold, this could work on any soul, without a cost – and could pull anyone back from the other side, too.

It was too powerful for its possessor’s own good, though. Once you’d pulled a soul back, it wasn’t obvious that you’d need to sacrifice another to finish the ritual – or that having been to the other side would make any soul damaged goods. His mother hadn’t figured out the latter – poor Ariana was proof of that – but had figured out the former, to her own detriment.

He supposed you could bind the Stone in some fashion to keep your soul from ever crossing over – that might be a handy fail safe.

In fact, that thought bore some ruminating on. Old Flamel had been working on something just like that in his quest to manufacture the Philosopher’s Stone; maybe there were some hints in his research? Something that might also improve one’s health in immortality?

* * *

“Why, Albus? Why have you hid your notes from me? Are we not in this together?”

“Were we ever? How many have you killed with the Elder Wand, while letting me toil away, without access to it for research?”

“Had I given it to you, you would have killed me, Albus! We both know that it’s the only lever I would have held in our research. But since you have betrayed me, you can die with the rest of them! Avada Kedavra!”

* * *

Ow. He hadn’t been sure that’d work. But he’d reasoned it out well, and the Resurrection Stone had kept him from death. But only because it had ripped Grindelwald out of his body entirely.

And into his. Along with his power. He’d have to make sure Grindelwald didn’t have a horcrux lying around somewhere; it could be unfortunate if there were a shade of Grindelwald out there looking for the rest of his power.

He’d thought to use the Resurrection Stone to transfer bodies this way, but it was pretty clear that the host soul was too ensnared in its body to be easily dislodged.

But now he had two.

* * *

Riddle had looked promising, but he was too clever, and too smart for his own good. By his last year, it was clear he’d already created a horcrux. Well, clear to the Master of the Resurrection Stone, anyway. While Riddle’s body held power, and his soul was only loosely anchored to its flesh, he’d be too aware of anything going on inside his own body. He’d have to be dealt with. But first he could be used.

* * *

He brushed through the tavern’s main room, heading upstairs for his appointment. He quickly hid his smile as he saw that fool of a boy shift, ready to sneak up behind him to eavesdrop.

“Yes, do come in, Miss Trelawney. I hear you’d like to work at Hogwarts?”

He could barely restrain himself through the tedium of the conversation, but he had to play this right for his unseen audience. Trelawney would do nicely – the last thing he actually wanted was an effective seer near him for the next two decades.



Silent spells were so useful when being eavesdropped on.

* * *

“James, you’ll be safe here, especially with Sirius as your Secret Keeper. I need to borrow your Cloak for a few days, I have a trap for Voldemort to spring.”

And now he had three.

* * *


“Sweet dreams, Harry. I love you.”


“James? What is it?” Lily ran to the nursery door, and slammed it shut. She did not see the small bag that slipped into Harry’s pajamas, nor the dun stone it contained.

* * *

He guessed that a body growing up with two souls in it would have neither one anchored too firmly to the flesh. If he was right, he just had a few years until the ritual would be complete. Until then, the most important thing was to keep this boy away from wizards. But he had the perfect hideout planned.

* * *

The link between the boy and Riddle was wide open. That was going to be an essential part of his later plan, but there was no way he’d get away with ignoring it. He had to sabotage any effort to close that link.

“Severus, I want you to teach Mr. Potter Occlumency.”

That’d do nicely.

* * *

He’d been wearing the ring, and had triggered it to release Riddle’s soul. That had hurt a bit – horcruxes were nasty, explosive bits of work – but he’d captured another piece of the thing.

He already had two souls, so a little bit more didn’t hurt – and would certainly make occupying the boy’s body much easier, what with a familiar soul intertwined. And the injury from it gave him a beautiful idea. Severus would do anything to make up for not being able to save someone. Severus would be the linchpin.

* * *

“Do not remove your cloak. I will wait here.”

His tie to the castle told him of Malfoy’s impending approach. He had to time these three spells just right.

First, through the Stone, opening his anchor to the boy. Spiritus Relocatus. And now, to send away the Stone, to where it would come back to him. And lastly, Petrificus Totalus.

Now, all he needed was to stall for time. He could feel his souls slipping over into the space in the boy’s head he’d been making with each dip into the Pensieve; but it would take a few minutes.

“Good evening, Draco.”

* * *

HAHAHA! He’d got away with the first half of his plan, and they all thought he was dead! He didn’t even have to think about suppressing a grin as these nitwits blubbered on about his “nobility of spirit” and “greatness of heart.”

Now he just had to keep the boy alive – and away from any real wizards – until Riddle did the obvious and got to the Elder Wand.

* * *

Well, this was unexpected. He’d planned for the Death-Eater attack, it was his way to eliminate Mad-Eye Moody – but he hadn’t considered that Riddle would step in himself. There was no way Harry could defend himself.

But Harry didn’t need to. All he needed to do was relinquish just a bit of control. There we go. A grab of the wand hand, and some raw magic tossed in Voldemort’s direction, and he’d buy himself a bit of time.

* * *

Goodness, the Weasley boy was a right tosser, wasn’t he? He almost felt sorry for how he’d besotted Hermione with him, but it was important that her life keep her a tad distant from Potter’s. But he could use some space from the annoying little bint.

Besides, when he came back, he and Hermione would have too little time to notice any evolution in Harry’s personality.

* * *

Poor Severus. He hadn’t quite been looking forward to having him as a son, but a deal was a deal. Fortunately, he’d guessed correctly that Riddle would believe Severus to be the Master of the Elder Wand, and take care of that small problem for him.

* * *

Ahh, Harry. Train stations make wonderful models for the stage between life and death, if only you know which direction is which.