Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters, places or objects
in Harry Potter - that privilege belongs to J.K. Rowling, or, if we’re
being technical, to Warner Brothers. Any people, places or objects not
from the canonical Harry Potter universe are of my own creation, except
I didn’t invent sporks :)
A/N: If you like happy endings this is not your cup o’ java.
Warning: dark situations and consumption of alcohol ahead. Thanks go to
my friend Sunshine for her encouragement and Arabella for beta-reading.
The half-moon shone brightly down upon the otherwise dark Dursley house.
Harry sprawled out across the bed in his small room, looking dejectedly
up at the ceiling. The events of his fourth year at Hogwarts had played
over and over again in his mind for the past month and a half, certainly
not encouraging sleep. Cedric’s death. Lord Voldemort’s resurrection.
It was all his fault.
“Oh, do stop wallowing in your own self pity. It’s getting rather dull.”
Harry gasped in shock and bolted up, standing in a defensive position
on his bed. “Who’s there?” he challenged, fully realizing that if it came
to a magical battle, his wand wouldn’t do him much good – the Dursleys
had locked it up with his other magical supplies. “Who are you?”
He scanned the room warily. There didn’t appear to be any shadows to
hide in with the moonlight streaming in. Except under the bed,
he thought in alarm. Cautiously, Harry knelt down on the bed and leaned
over the side, peering underneath. There was nothing there except for
some lint, a single red and green striped sock, and one of Dudley’s
half-built airplane models.
Harry sighed and pulled away. As he came to a sitting position on the
bed, an upside-down head materialized inches from his face. Harry yelped
in surprise, his limbs falling back onto the bed in a tangle.
He got a closer look at the person – or creature – that was now flipping
itself upright in midair. Its eyes were what first struck him; they were
pure red, completely lacking pupils. Its hair was even wilder than Harry’s
and its skin had an unhealthy gray pallor. The face seemed expressionless,
though Harry could sense its escalating annoyance.
“Would you please stop referring to me as an ‘it’? I prefer to be called
a ‘he’, at least in this form,” he added, and Harry was startled to discover
that the creature did not need to move his light pink lips when he spoke.
Harry looked up at the intruder with great surprise showing in his eyes.
“How did you-?”
“Get in here? Read your thoughts? Please. Neither normal nor magical
rules apply to my kind. Let’s just say it’s a trade secret,” he spoke
with a tone of amusement. “Well, let’s get started, shall we? I may have
all eternity, but your short-lived species certainly cannot boast the
He floated down to the floor, and Harry was struck by how thin and short
he was for someone so unnerving. He was childlike in appearance, though
he certainly wasn’t human enough to gauge his age with any accuracy. Harry
sat up and gave the stranger an apprehensive look.
“Appearances can be deceiving, you know,” he said as he wagged his finger
in disapproval. “Your old professor, Mr. Lockhart, is an excellent example
“How did you-” Harry began.
If he had possessed pupils, he would have rolled his eyes. “I told you,
whatever expectations you might have of one of your people do not apply
to me. I know anything and everything I care to know.”
“Who are you and why are you here?” Harry asked.
His lips curved upward so slightly that it was barely noticeable. “Ah,
finally we get to the point. My name, as it would be pronounced in your
primitive tongue, is Sycophant.”
Still his mouth remained closed as he spoke. He held out his hand, and
Harry shook it. It was cold as ice. Harry’s eyes never left the unrevealing
face of his ‘guest’.
“As for why I am here, it is only to be of service to you, my young
friend,” Sycophant said. “I have an offer for you – one you cannot possibly
“Oh really,” Harry responded skeptically. “You’re telling me you broke
into my house in the middle of the night and scared me half to death to
“Terribly sorry about that,” he said, not sounding sorry at all. “I
didn’t mean to frighten you, amusing as it was.” He bowed, his unblinking
eyes staring into Harry’s. He levitated half an inch off the ground and
floated to the end of the bed.
Harry blinked, still not quite believing that this Sycophant creature
could do all these things without a wand or any other magical assistance.
“What are you?” he asked, his curiosity overriding his edginess.
Sycophant’s voice began to sound hostile, his mouth making a slight
downward turn. “You want me to describe myself? Why on earth would I do
a thing like that? To satisfy your mortal curiosity? I have been an enigma
for longer than your pathetic species has existed, and yet you have the
gall to believe that you could understand my complexities?”
He sighed, and it felt to Harry as if all the anger in Sycophant’s voice
was trickling away to an unknown place for safekeeping. “My apologies.
I do tend to rant, particularly when I hear the same question I’ve been
asked over and over again for millennia; you might say I’ve had considerable
experience with this sort of thing. If you must know, I am a very special
being equipped with some very special abilities that aid me in my business.”
“And what is your business, exactly?” Harry wondered.
“Helping people like you,” Sycophant said.
“And how do you plan to help me?” Harry asked as he raised his eyebrows.
“By giving you whatever you want.” He floated over to Harry until their
faces were only an inch apart. “Anything at all. Just say the word and,”
he snapped his fingers, “it shall be done.”
Harry considered the notion for a moment. “You’re saying that you can
give me anything I want? Anything at all?” Sycophant nodded his head slowly,
his face lighted by the sickening red glow of his eyes.
Harry looked the strange being over one more time and noticed for the
first time the awkward, silvery belt he was wearing. It had about a dozen
spoon-like objects hanging off of it-
Harry looked up from the belt. “What?” he queried in confusion.
“Sporks, boy, sporks! You know, part spoon, part fork – spork,” he explained,
tipping his body into a sitting position in midair and crossing his arms.
Harry hesitated. “Um, why are you wearing sporks on your belt, then?”
he asked, the word ‘loony’ crossing his mind.
“I heard that,” he spoke in the same condescending tone he had used throughout
their conversation. “I’ll have you know that I am the owner of the largest
spork collection in this – or any other – plane,” he replied importantly,
as if it was a great accomplishment. “They are truly remarkable inventions,
you know. I absolutely adore sporks. I could talk about them for hours
Harry, trying his best to keep his thoughts and actions under control,
used great mental concentration to keep from sniggering, inside or out.
“Anyway, about that wish-?”
“Oh, yes, yes…” Sycophant mumbled. “There is only one rule: I can’t change
the past. Don’t ask me why,” he shrugged. “Something about ripping the
fabric of time into shreds and such.
Aside from that, whatever you want is yours.” He restlessly moved about
in the air once again to lie on his side, his chin in his hand. “On one
condition – one I am required to outline very clearly,” he spoke seriously.
“I knew there would be a catch,” Harry murmured.
“Quite a good deal, you know – an exceptional offer. Whatever you want,
in exchange for one, minor, useless little article: your soul.”
Harry smirked. “Right. You really expect me to trade you my soul for
some material possession? No deal.”
Sycophant’s face remained impassive. “Smart boy. Of course, no material
possession would be worth that, would it? But what you don’t seem to realize
is that I can give you anything at all, not just material things.
I know everything about you, Harry Potter,” he spoke morbidly. “You could
wish for Voldemort’s death-”
“No.” Harry said. “That would just be letting him win. I won’t lose my
soul for that monster.”
“But would you trade your soul to bring your parents back from the dead?”
Harry remained still, his eyes going wide as saucers. “I thought you
said you couldn’t change the past,” he said in a broken voice.
“No,” Sycophant conceded, “but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring them back
now. Death is an inconsequential roadblock to one such as I.”
“You…you could really do that?” Harry asked. “I could really have my
mum and dad back?”
“Certainly,” he replied. “You could repay them for saving you by bringing
them back from the dead. Terribly touching, wouldn’t you say?” He drew
a handkerchief out of the air and dabbed his eyes, though they showed
no evidence of tears. “To give up something so very important; your parents
would be very, very proud.”
Harry didn’t waste another moment considering the offer. “I’ll do it.
This is the only chance I’ll ever get to do this, so I’ll take it.”
“Excellent!” Sycophant exclaimed, rubbing his hands together. “Now for
With the snap of his fingers, a long scroll of parchment materialized
in his hand, unrolling until it hit the floor. It looked very long and
boring. “Here it is.” He snapped his fingers again, and a phoenix-feather
quill appeared in Harry’s hand. “All you have to do is sign here,” he
pointed to a line in the middle of the document, “and here, and here –
with blood, naturally, for tradition’s sake. You’re not the squeamish
type, are you?” he queried with a tone of dread. “That’s the hardest part
for some people, you know. You humans make no sense to me; you’re about
to sell your soul, and yet you get all uppity about having to prick a
finger to do it.”
“I’ll be fine,” Harry said. Nevertheless he cringed as Sycophant produced
a small knife from out of nowhere and cut a tiny wound in his finger.
“That should do it. Just dip your quill in the blood and sign in the
appropriate areas,” he explained patiently as if speaking to a small child.
Harry reluctantly dipped his quill into his blood and signed the contract
without reading it. After all, I’m already selling my soul. Anything
he could slip into the contract doesn’t really matter much compared to
that, he thought.
“A good point, Mr. Potter,” he said, reading his mind again. The parchment
snapped up into his hand and disappeared. “Now that that nasty business
is over with, you can finally receive your wish.” He backed up into the
middle of the room and began waving his hands around ridiculously. “Abracadabra,
alakazam, blah, blah, blah.” He snapped his fingers loudly, the noise
echoing throughout the room with a loud boom. Harry felt a small stabbing
pain in his chest for a moment, but it quickly dissipated. “It is done.”
Harry looked around the room excitedly, but it seemed as if nothing
had changed. “Where are they?” he asked.
“In their coffins,” Sycophant replied nonchalantly, shrugging his shoulders.
“In their coffins?!” he gasped. “Where?”
“In their graves, obviously.”
“What? But they’ll die in there – again!” Harry cried. He covered the
distance between himself and Sycophant in one leap, grabbed him by the
shoulders and shook him. “Get them out, now!” he demanded angrily. Harry
immediately found himself being flung across the room like a rag doll
by an invisible force, colliding with the wall. He shook his head to clear
out the cobwebs and groaned in pain.
“Never lay a hand on me again,” Sycophant whispered, his hands coiling
into fists. He abruptly brightened up. “Now, mind you, I’m not obligated
to do this,” he said, floating back and forth across the room as if pacing,
“but just this once I’ll excuse your poorly worded, unspecific wish and
release your parents from their graves, free of charge.” He snapped his
fingers again. “There. They’ve been dug up. And to be even nicer I’ll
transport you and your lovely family right to the graveyard” He didn’t
wait for a reply before ominously snapping his fingers once more.
“My family?” Harry asked. “But-“
It was too late. He already felt himself spiraling through the darkness
of night, but to where, he didn’t know. As long as I get to see my
Sycophant remained in the room alone for a brief moment. “But you may
regret it,” he said to the empty house before disappearing himself.
Harry landed on his rear end, clad in nothing more than his boxers,
in the middle of the graveyard. Three other figures followed shortly;
Dudley landed a few feet away, his blubber protecting him from any harm
the fall might have otherwise brought; Uncle Vernon landed near Dudley,
flat on his face and automatically turning a mild shade of purple; then
came Aunt Petunia, who landed right on top of Vernon, the cucumbers from
her overnight beauty treatment keeping her blind until she finally thought
to take them off.
When all three were standing and noted Harry’s presence, Vernon
began his transformation to a dark maroon.
“Boy,” he began, barely able to speak through his puffed out cheeks.
“What have you done?”
Harry looked at his uncle and smiled happily at being accused for the
first time. “Something I’m sure you’ll thank me for later. I’m going to
be rid of you, and you’re going to be rid of me.”
“This is more of your magic nonsense! I won’t have it, do you hear me?!
I WON’T HAVE IT!” Vernon bellowed,
his voice frighteningly loud in the silence of the graveyard.
“Mummy, where are we?” Dudley whined.
“Don’t worry, Duddykins, Mummy will protect you,” Petunia smiled, patting
“I’m delighted to see that you’ve all made it safely,” said a voice
from behind a nearby tombstone. All four of them looked toward it. When
Dudley saw Sycophant, he jumped into his mother’s
arms. As he was about six times her weight, she abruptly fell down onto
“What in God’s name is that thing?” Vernon
shouted, looking to Harry for an explanation.
“I am not a ‘thing’ and I have nothing to do with God,” Sycophant replied.
He floated himself over the tombstone. “Come along, dear boy. Your parents
“His what?” Petunia squeaked.
“It’s a zombie, Mummy, a zombie!” Dudley cried.
Sycophant abruptly teleported from Harry’s side to face Dudley.
He gave him a wicked smile that showed two sets of tiny, pointed teeth
on each jaw, the second set behind the first. “Don’t you wish,” he sneered,
before teleporting back to Harry. “Let’s go.”
They had to wait another few moments, as Dudley
Harry and Sycophant led the way, with the Dursleys trailing unhappily
behind. “This is an awfully big graveyard,” Harry said, starting to feel
a little afraid as he remembered what had happened the last time he had
been in a graveyard.
“Voldemort isn’t here, you needn’t worry. It’s just a little further,”
Sycophant coaxed. Harry had no real choice but to follow.
They reached the graves. Harry didn’t need to be told that they were
his parent’s graves; it was rather obvious by the fact that the holes
were neatly dug up, and the coffins were sitting open, side by side. Reading
the gravestones confirmed this: Lily Potter, 1959-1981, James Potter,
Harry shivered; he had never seen his parent’s graves, and the coldness
of it disturbed him.
“Where are they?” he asked, frowning at the empty gravesite.
“Oh, I’m sure they’ll turn up,” Sycophant replied. He began floating
around the graves and whistling, his hands stuck into previously nonexistent
“Yes, that’s right, I can bring people back from the dead and make my
own pockets, too,” Sycophant replied to Harry’s unspoken thought, not
completely without sarcasm. “Balderdash, where are they? I’m becoming
“Look here, you,” Vernon
began. It was the first time he had spoken since they had set out for
the graves. “My family and I want to go home. This is utter nonsense.
The brat’s parents are dead and that’s all there is to it. Now-“
From out of nowhere, a sleek, grey-skinned figure jumped Vernon
from the side, sending him crashing into the ground. At closer examination
Harry saw that it was horribly disfigured and had gigantic incisors. It
snapped and hissed at its prey as another, slightly smaller creature came
out from behind it.
“Oh good, they’re finally here,” Sycophant stated.
Harry’s mouth opened and closed a few times while the two creatures
leered at the Dursleys. “They…my…?”
“Yes, yes, James and Lily, your adorable parents. They make such a nice
couple, wouldn’t you say?”
“They’re vampires!” Harry cried. He reached for his wand, then realized
that he was still clad in only his boxers and had no wand to speak of.
He turned to face Sycophant. “You lied to me! You said you’d bring them
back to life!” he spat.
“I said no such thing. I specifically remember you using the phrase
‘back from the dead’. Well, there you are! They may not be alive, per
se, but they are undead.”
“They’re hideous! Make them stop!” Harry protested. He watched his father
begin licking his Uncle Vernon’s neck as his mother stalked his aunt and
“Did you expect them to be pretty? They’ve been decomposing for almost
fourteen years. I must admit I did stick a little skin back on and give
them back their eyes to spruce them up for you. Isn’t it cute how they’re
playing with their food?”
Harry looked at Sycophant with an expression of pure revulsion. “You’re
sick,” he stated, horrified. “Stop them now!”
“I’m afraid that I can only do that if you wish to undo your wish,”
Sycophant replied, leaning against one of the tombstones and giving a
crude version of a smirk.
Harry tightened his fists. He looked at his parents. This isn’t
what they would have wanted to become, he told himself. “Fine. I wish
to undo my wish, just stop them before they kill someone!”
“Done.” Sycophant snapped his fingers, resulting in the same resounding
noise as before. The vampiric Potters fell lifelessly to the ground in
the same moment that Harry blacked out.
“At times like these, I am drawn to a line written, ironically enough,
by a human. His name was Shakespeare, I believe. ‘Lord, what fools these
mortals be.’ Dear Robin hit the nail on the head with that one.”
“I do hope that I am not included in that generalization.”
“I do not insult my employers. It’s bad for business.”
Voldemort sat back on his throne, his lipless mouth set in a hard line.
“I’m still having trouble believing that he didn’t even read the contract.
Despite his pitifully average intelligence, I would have given him more
credit than that.”
Sycophant shrugged and took a sip of his wine. “They never do, otherwise
he would have known that reneging on his wish would result in my immediate
possession of his body as well as his soul. It seems that wishes are nothing
but trouble for your kind.”
An annoyed twitch made a brief appearance on the Dark Lord’s face before
being quickly squelched, and he appeared emotionless once more. “And for
you?” Voldemort asked.
Sycophant made a tight-lipped smile. “I have learned in my everlasting
life that wishes are nothing but trouble. For instance, I could just wish
myself every single spork on the face of the planet, but then what would
I do for the rest of eternity? The chase isn’t just half the fun, it’s
the whole tamale. Most mortals, with their fist-sized piece of fluff that
they call a mind, just cannot comprehend that.”
“I suppose there truly is an idiot born every minute,” Voldemort
Sycophant smirked. “A sucker? As in only one? My, aren’t we optimistic.”
There was a short pause in the conversation as Voldemort refilled his
goblet of wine. It was as dark as blood. “He is still alive, isn’t he?”
Voldemort asked sharply. “He’s no good to me dead. Well, at least not
as much fun."
Sycophant’s smirk quickly changed to a sneer as he put his goblet down
roughly onto the table. “How dare you insinuate that I would murder! Murder
is cliché. What sort of accomplishment is it to succeed in what any idiot
could do with a shovel? And the results are so unsatisfying - a splash
of blood, a fleeting moment of pain and suffering, but then what? No sporks,
certainly. Why restrict myself to the meaningless, transient torture of
the flesh when the excruciating anguish of the soul is eternal? Besides,
I’m a pacifist,” he added.
“Give him to me, then,” Voldemort insisted.
Sycophant narrowed his eyes. “Not until I get my payment. You do have
it, do you not? You should know that I’m a very poor sport about being
Voldemort reached into the pocket of his robe and drew out a small velvety
jewelry box. He opened it and showed Sycophant its contents. His crimson
eyes lit up in delight.
It was a small golden spork, decorated with rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
“It’s simply beautiful,” Sycophant whispered in awe. “And it’s just my
Voldemort snapped the case closed. “The boy,” he demanded.
Sycophant reached into his pocket. He reached down farther and farther,
until his arm was in quite an awkward position and was stuck in his pocket
up to just above his elbow. Finally he drew out a tiny purple vial. “He’s
in here,” he said.
“How do you get him out?" Voldemort asked curiously, running his index
finger down the opaque purple glass.
Sycophant stood up and smashed the vial to the ground. A cloud of orange
smoke went up in the air. As it began to clear, Harry Potter’s small form
became visible. He looked around in confusion for a moment before quickly
locking his eyes on a very pleased Voldemort. Harry stood before his worst
enemy in nothing but his boxers, without his wand. He was helpless.
Sycophant took the spork case from Voldemort’s hand. “Pleasure doing
business, and all that,” he said before teleporting away in a flash. Harry
was left alone with Voldemort. He began backing away, but tripped on the
rug and fell backward onto the floor. As Voldemort walked slowly toward
him, savoring every step, there was a distant echo that sounded like Sycophant’s
“Silly boy. This is no fairytale: you can never win.”