Author: deepthoughtz PM
Alternate Universe. Harry Potter, the Saviour, is now Minister of Magic. Although he killed Lord Voldemort years ago, the Death Eaters haven't ceased their campaign of terror; there are whispers of a dark return... and only he stands in anarchy's path.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Suspense - Harry P. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,047 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-04-08 - Published: 03-01-08 - id: 4106738
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own, nor do I admit to ever have owning, the Harry Potter universe. All the characters you recognise belong to J. K. Rowling.
... Lucky her.
Whatever you don't recognise is mine, though.
Summary: Alternate Universe. Harry Potter, the Saviour, is now Minister of Magic. Although he killed Lord Voldemort a decade ago, the Death Eaters haven't ceased their campaign of terror; there are whispers of a dark return... As the nation slips closer to the edge of anarchy, Harry must now hold on to himself as something tries to corrupt his very identity from within... for there's a price for any power, and there are two sides to every sky.
He didn't scream as he woke up.
The room was dark in places, his sleepy eyes dazzled by the streaks of light falling on the bed through the half-open curtains. He breathed in, his throat dry and clogged. The body beside him shifted, and he squinted to see her better. She was breathing deeply, her long hair a rusty red blanket on her breasts. He took away the covers gently, caressing her back with the gentlest touch he could manage. She smiled in her sleep.
He got up slowly, cursing in a soft voice as he glanced at the bedside clock. He took a quick glance at the bed behind him, listened to the even breathing for the briefest of moments, then made a quick gesture with his right hand. His eyes narrowed in concentration as the curtains slowly spread themselves open, letting the morning sun flood the room with light. The sleeping girl made a little annoyed noise of protest at the intrusion. His mouth quirked up a little at the corners as he went to the adjoined loo.
The girl was sitting up when he came back shaved and dressed in a navy blue two-piece. He smirked as the girl gave an appreciative smile.
"Don't tell me, you have to go to work."
"I'm already late," He answered. "I have a meeting today with the boss. And I'm late. Because of you," He added pointedly. "You didn't let me sleep much last night."
"You seemed up for it," The girl grinned back. He snorted.
"I'll have to go now. Really, I'm late. The boss won't be happy."
"Will you be in trouble?" She asked apprehensively.
"Nah." He waved her concern away. "He won't make trouble. Not if he knows what's good for him, anyway… want me to take you home?" He asked as the girl started to get up, not bothering to cover herself. He whistled and she blushed, starting to gather up the clothes spread all around the floor. He looked appreciatively at the girl, barely eighteen, her body shining with a youth he himself barely remembered.
"No, I don't," She answered. "I don't want daddy to think that I'm sleeping with a thirty-year old guy."
"Yes, all right. But I don't want you to take me home. That'll be something. If Dad sees you with me – "
"He won't." His eyes glittered. "I know magic, remember?"
"Whatever." She snorted. "I can get home by myself, thank you."
"I keep thinking I should go over to your home one day and introduce myself," He said. "We're neighbours, after all."
"Daddy is curious about the house," The girl replied. "He was saying that he'd seen you in the shops last week. He said he wanted to come over and chat," She rolled her eyes. "But couldn't find you somehow after that."
"Yeah, I saw him too. But I was in a hurry." He admitted.
"Besides, even if you go and see him, what're you going to tell him? About us, I mean?" She arched an exquisite brow. "You don't even tell me what you do, for God's sake."
"I'm pretty sure I have," He smiled. "About a hundred times."
"And I haven't believed you once." She sniffed. "You are as much an accountant as I'm – I'm – one of those witches you always talk about."
"I know witches too." His smile widened. "Here once was a witch of Willoughby Wood, and a weird wild witch was she, with her hair that was snarled, and hands that were gnarled, and a rickety, kickety knee…"
"I sometimes can't help thinking you honestlybelieve in all the paranormal crap," She snorted. "Anyway, aren't you late? I need to go home, Daddy's bound to wake up soon." She stopped at the door, looking back at him. "Harry?"
"Yes?" He went to her. "What's the matter, honey?"
"Take care of yourself, okay?" She bit her lips. "I don't know why, but I keep having these feelings – "
"Feelings?" He frowned, looking into her eyes.
"Yeah, like – " She fumbled for words. "Like something's going to happen – something bad. I know it's ridiculous, but… just be careful. Promise me you will." Her eyes shone with some emotion he could scarcely identify.
"And here you were telling me that all that paranormal stuff was shit. Okay, okay," He said, seeing the anxiety in her eyes. "I'll take extra care of myself if that's what you want." He kissed her, hard, crushing her lips. She responded, and he had to concentrate on his schedule to stop the ideas flitting through his mind. He broke off the kiss with not a little regret.
"We both need to hurry, I think," He said. Her face was flushed red, and her hands tightened on his for a moment before she stepped away from the embrace.
"I'll go out to the back, like always," She said, her breaths slowly evening out. "Will you be home tonight?"
"I plan to." He grinned. She blushed again. "I'll see you at ten."
He stood at the door, listening to her footsteps on the old staircase till they faded into the mute silence. He looked around then, his eyes slowly moving over the cracked and old walls. The house seemed empty, its silence an oppressive lonely absence that tried to weigh him down. He shook his head, trying to clear the cobweb of memories best forgotten. It was then that the mirror in the wall attracted his attention.
His eyes were red, red as fresh-drawn blood.
His mouth stretched into a smile that had no humour in it. He stretched his palm out, a gesture that blurred into a long thin shape of wood. He raised the wand before his eyes, murmured a word that distorted the air for a brief moment. The wand hissed, and he pressed its tip to his forehead. His skin rippled, then changed.
He looked at his reflection in the mirror again, the red eyes a stark contrast to the pale white skin, the nose flat and slitted like a snake. The breath hissed out of him.
"Stupid bitch," He whispered. "You stupid bitch. You don't even know what danger is." The red reflection mocked him from behind the cracked glass.
"Abeo," He snarled, watching as his wand let out a little shiver. The power spread across his face, seeping into his skin, the charms of a change, the intent dark deceit. The skin darkened to a more normal shade, the nose filled out. The eyes faded, changed to a muddied green.
Only one thing didn't change, one scar. It had never changed.
He looked at the lightning for another moment, turned away. He took a cellphone out of his pocket, his wand vanishing into thin air as he flicked it in a casual motion.
"Mr. Jameson!" The voice on the other end was young, young and excited. "I was going to contact you today, sir! We've found another location that may be of interest – "
"Send me the details," He replied. "I will need another place to stay next week."
"And the current one, sir? Are you planning to stay there till – "
"No." He cut the young man off. "I will leave tomorrow. Contact me on this number if you need to know anything."
He cut the connection, not listening as the voice at the other end stuttered something. He frowned at the contraption for a moment.
He dropped it, not caring as it disintegrated and vanished into a puff of smoke. "Rinny."
"Master Potter?" A small gnarly shape popped out of thin air, clad in tattered rags. Big wide blue eyes looked back at him in apprehension.
"Pack my things and take them to the usual place for the moment. We're moving again. If you're attacked there, you know what to do."
"Yes, Master." The house-elf bobbed her head.
"Get to it then," He said. "And take care not to leave anything behind." He twirled on his feet, and the room vanished around him in a rush of air.
"I have told you before and frankly I probably shall have to tell you again, Minister Potter, but there has not been any change in his condition." He didn't like the way the young Healer looked at him, the glaring disapproval in the narrowed black eyes a sour taste in his mouth. He tried to sift through the feelings spread out like a rainbow to his eyes, sniffing out the truths and the lies as he delved deeper into the mind before him, desperate for even the smallest glimmer of hope in the dark.
Nothing. As it had been nothing all these months.
But failure was something that had never angered him less the second time.
"They say you are the best Mind Healer in Britain," He sneered. "In Europe, they claim. And in all these months you show no progress." He curled his lips, a gesture of disdain that came with practiced ease. "One wonders just how much of your fame is… deserved."
The beetle-black irises narrowed further, the anger in them a dangerous gleam that whispered power to his Reading. But he had lost his fear of power a long time ago, in a field that walked with him now. A field washed with blood.
"I'm going to tell you once and for all – "
"No, you aren't." He interrupted with a vicious snarl. "You aren't going to tell me a damn thing, Healer. Instead you are going to go back to your lab and do some more of those experimental tests. And you will get results, Healer." He stepped forward, smiling as the young man shifted his stance, the slight defensiveness making his senses scream at him to go for the kill.
"Do you know why it's going to be that way, Healer?" He asked softly, his whisper a promise of eager violence. "I'm going to tell you anyway, so I suppose the point is moot. We are in asecure location, Healer. That means nothing goes in, and nothing goes out." He felt his smile go taut. "Or no one, I suppose I should say. Few know we are here, Healer. And I know all who know. Do you understand?"
"You dare threaten me?" The young wizard was blustering, but the fear was there, a deepening hue of black violet that stank of raw meat. "I am a Ministry-appointed Healer First Class – "
"Am I threatening you?" He laughed harshly. "My apologies, Healer. Nothreat was implied, I assure you. I'm sorry for any…misunderstanding."
"I… see," The Healer replied uncertainly, looking suddenly a lot less confident in his pristine white robes. Mind Healers had to have some sensitivity to subtle currents, he supposed. "It's all right then."
"Don't worry about it." He clapped the man in the back. "Just make him better. That's all I ask." And the man never once looked at his eyes.
"He's dead, you know."
The patient was lying on the bed. He called up a chair with a slashing gesture of his palm, almost hoping to be rebuked for careless conjuring again. But hope seemed a distant memory these days, and the patient never stirred.
"My scar doesn't hurt any more. I know he's dead." He continued softly, hoping to be heard, understood. "I killed him, Albus. I killed him. I remember every fleck of blood I saw that day, every moment of fear. I see it every time I close my eyes."
The aged body lay on the bed. Unmoving. Unmoved. He suppressed the sudden and insane urge to tear out all the covers and shout Murder!, for insanity was something he could no longer afford.
"The Change is getting more prominent, you know. I keep trying stronger illusions, better ones. Darker charms, morphing rituals, spells of shaping. But the magic keeps disintegrating against the Change. And the eyes always show up first." He waited, trying to be patient. Waiting for a reaction that he suspected would never come.
"You don't care, do you." He gritted his teeth, resisting the mad rage that was trying to shatter his shields. "You don't care about what I'm becoming. But maybe you will care about this." He leaned forward, whispering in the ancient wizard's ears. "We arelosing."
Was there a twitch… no, he berated himself. The hallucinations are just a part of the Change. Don't give in. Never give in.
"Yes, that's right." He went on, trying to control his tone. "It's anarchy, Albus. The people think you're dead. The Death Eaters are rearming. More and more murders are happening, abductions, muggleborns now raped in some cases before killed. The smuggling of Dark Artifacts is the highest it's been in a decade." He swallowed to clear his throat. "He's dead, Albus. And he's still winning."
Not one single movement, something in him raged. Not one.
"The Ministry is on the verge of crumbling. Most of the Order are dead. And there's no one – no one that I can trust. Not one single person, Professor. I keep sleeping in strange places, places where no one can or will find me. I keep sleeping with muggle girls – and leave them as soon as I can. Do you even know how that feels?" He hissed at the sleeping form. "Do you know how it is, not having a single person who can share your secrets?" He laughed a little laugh, the sound ugly and bitter. "You being you, you probably do." Something beeped within the folds of his robe, and he took out a small watch from his pocket. It let out a tiny shriek.
"Well, seems I'm out of time for today." He told the patient. "Story of my life, these days… " He got up slowly, vanishing the chair with another flick of his fingers.
"I hope you can hear me, Professor." He spoke, struggling against the sense of futility. "I can't hold on to Britain much longer. Not without you." He smoothed some of the white hairs of the old man, feeling younger again for a moment, remembering the lessons and the friendship that now belonged to the past.
"Come back soon, Professor," He whispered. "I really hope you come back soon. For both our sakes."
The winds were shrieking again, and the air was full of gold and indigo sparks. He ignored the sensations like he always did, and apparated out.