This story at Archive of Our Own
A snippet or possible prologue or first chapter or something from a story that's been in my head for several years now. I don't know what I'll do with the idea past this, but here you go.
Also included this week:
Part of the Other Faces of Tom Riddle series: If the hat had shouted for Ravenclaw... If Slughorn had been his introduction to Hogwarts and the magical world... If Grindelwald had beaten Dumbledore...
It didn't have to be this way. For better, for worse, there are other paths that Tom Riddle could have walked, other faces he could have worn.
Unlikely: Chapter ten (Ao3 link). Harry is in Ravenclaw. Harry is in Hufflepuff. Voldemort is many, Riddle is triumphant. There are more worlds than one, my friend, more histories that could have been, and two of them are about to make a very unlikely collision. (double AU reacharound). FF.net link. Ficwad link.
The Record of Parousia
In the wake of the first war, after a part of the bombs had been launched and a part of the world had been bathed in nuclear fire, there was suffering and ash across much of the Earth.
And peace broke out among the survivors, and as for those parts of the world that had hitherto been esteemed as nothing, they were made strong, even as it is written: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
But the proud that had been brought low did remember their exalted stations from which they had been cast down, and the meek, having been made successors to the former, did likewise grow corrupt.
(And it will be sufficiently demonstrated by this and every other record of the Earth, that it is the nature of almost all humans that, as soon as they get a little power, or what they suppose to be power, that they will take it to be authority as well, and straightway they will begin to exercise unrighteous dominion, and but few can resist this snare)
And for this reason the peace that followed did prove to be only a passing rest, in the which the nations of the Earth could treat their wounds, and arrange their armies, and raise up sons and daughters to replace the fallen so that they might make a second striving,
For the fallen powers did not forget the cause for which they had first gone to war, nor the ascendant powers of the Earth forget the manner in which they had been treated previously, by the fallen and by each other.
And so it came to pass that, a generation and half a generation more after the first war, there began again to be wars and rumors of wars across all the face of the Earth,
And even as it had been before, the little wars became great, and those who did not war with each other did join together, each sharing their friends and their enemies alike, until there was but one great war across the face of the Earth.
And again the children of war, for they had all become its children, they sowed hate and reaped hate,
And the child of their hate was named Madness, which child did inspire them to scourge their world again, and bathe the Earth in nuclear fire once more, if only their enemies could be scoured off from the face of it.
And the whole world shuddered, in anticipation of the bombs that would surely drop.
And it came to pass that a great silence did fall upon the face of the whole Earth, such that no one could hear another, and in the silence there came a vision unto them, in which they saw the bombs, even every one.
And they saw the bombs, and where they would fall, and more than this they saw themselves, huddled together in the dark and waiting for their eyes to be lit up by nuclear fire, and then perish.
And they wept, for the sake of the sight that they saw, and the suffering that they saw amongst themselves and the others, the greater part of the people understanding that in this moment they were all alike, for all would share in the same fate.
And they heard a voice, even as they wept, which voice was neither loud nor harsh, but soft, and it did pierce them to their very center, and in their hearts they did hear the voice, as much as they did hear with their ears, and it said unto them, as if it were many voices speaking together:
Behold, what you failed to do before will now be accomplished, and behold, the end comes, and it comes quickly.
This is what your leaders chose, your extermination over cooperation. And this is what you chose, because you chose them, by letting them take their power and by letting them keep it.
For fear is no excuse for inaction, and now you see the price of your fear and your inaction.
This was the desire of your hearts. Are you not pleased with the fruits of your labors in your Father’s vineyard, and with the taste of the cup of your iniquity?
And the vision shifted, for the bombs were gone from their sight. And the voice, or the voices, for the people could not decide whether there were but one or many, spoke again, saying:
Nevertheless, not your will but the Father’s be done.
Awake! and rejoice, that it is for this purpose that I come into the world: to show that this universe is a universe of miracles, and its Creator, a Creator of miracles,
To save and then save again, to teach and to teach again.
Always and forever, no-one is or ever was alone.
And it came to pass that the vision shifted a third time, so that even as they still saw where the bombs had been, and still saw themselves, they did also see a figure in the air, descending as it were from above.
And the figure was not in the form of any man, nor of any woman, but it was like unto a wolf and a snake, and like unto a wasp and a shark. And its limbs were many, and its mouths likewise, but its eyes were nowhere to be seen.
And they saw that this figure was the one that had spoken unto them, for the voice came unto them for a third time, and did issue out of its many mouths, saying:
Behold, I am the Word, and the Word made flesh.
Not of the flesh of this world, but of the flesh of another world was I made.
To teach this truth did I come unto you once, as one clad in the flesh of this world, to teach that you were not alone, but had a Father in Heaven.
And to teach this truth do I come unto you now, as one clad in the flesh of another world, to teach that you are not alone, but have siblings across the stars.
And glory be to the Lord, for the Lord has made them all, and all are the children of the Lord, one like unto another, in the likeness of each other’s spirit, if not their flesh.
Even so, Behold, for I am the Word, and I am the Word made flesh,
And behold, for even as I Am, even so, you will be.