The Nightmare Man
Summary: In the depths of the Ministry, there is a cell for the world's most dangerous man… and he wants out.
Warnings: Time travel, OOC-characters, Light!bashing, Twisted!Harry, Evil!Harry, violence, mention of gore. Yeah, stuff like that.
Disclaimers: I don't own Harry Potter nor do I make any money writing this.
It took a bit longer than I expected to write this chapter but I hope no one is too upset about it.
Hope you enjoy!
Voldemort visited Harrison a few days later along with Lucius, and found the Nightmare Lord, Elise and Severus outside. Severus looked much better, but rather disgruntled. He was covered in dirt and… blood.
"Do you really enjoy dirtying down yourself this much?" Severus called out to Harrison.
"Potions don't make a mess. You're making a mess."
"I've tried to tell him that so many times," Elise said, "but master is very good at ignoring some things he hears."
"Quiet, Elise, or I will make you water the garden."
"Garden?" Voldemort called out. "May I ask what are you three doing?"
Harrison looked around. "What do you mean?"
"You're placing out dead bodies on the ground. Well, in the ground. Are you planting them or something?"
"Or something," Harrison agreed, and grinned. "I'm making my new garden! You'll love it, I've had so many before but they were burnt down."
"His garden demands corpses?" Voldemort whispered to Elise.
"Yes," she replied. "The best way to do it is to cut open their chest, break the ribcage and cut open the heart, allowing it to become the core."
"Hence the blood," Severus said with a grimace. "He's enjoying himself."
"He always does when it comes to blood," Elise said.
"Stop mocking me, I can hear it from here," Harrison called out. "Now, they're all placed out. All that's missing is the seeds."
"Where do you get them from?" Voldemort asked.
"Me," Harrison replied as he came closer, brushing off his hands.
"The seeds come from me. I essentially create the seeds."
"And it looks disgusting."
"Well, it does. It looks like you vomit some black, thick… liquid."
"You've done and seen a lot of things over the years," Harrison said, "and you get grossed out seeing me vomit?"
Elise shrugged. Harrison smiled, widely, and opened his mouth. She backed away quickly and Lucius gasped. Voldemort looked over at the Nightmare Lord and reflexively pulled out his wand.
It was something black that came out Harrison's mouth. It dropped thickly down into his cupped hands. Harrison seemed to grow pale, then ashen, and sweat poured out of him. He was gagging and making a lot of strangling noises even as the oozing, black liquid continued pouring out of him. Then it stopped and he spat a few times, licking his lips and when the liquid had dripped to the ground both Voldemort and Lucius saw his hands were filled with small, black seeds.
"There we are."
"What are they made of? I felt an immense amount of magic," Voldemort said.
"Well, they're made out of my magic."
It was incredible. Voldemort had never seen anything like it. He had researched into what magic could be used for, but to actually create seeds…
"What will happen?" he asked.
"Oh, you'll see. I've made sure they can grow quickly. The more magic I pour into these," Harrison held up the seeds, "the faster they'll come up."
"What will come up?"
Harrison merely grinned and ran off.
"Surprisingly like a child," Severus said.
"Oh, you haven't seen anything yet," Elise stated. "Just watch him get a perfect body on a table to dismember, or some unlucky half-dead people to poke around in."
"In their minds or their bodies?" Voldemort wondered, following the Nightmare Lord's progress with his eyes.
"Depends on what is the most damaged," Elise replied. "How was the information master shared with you, lord Voldemort?"
"Oh, it was very nice," Voldemort said. "We've discovered where they keep some of their safe-houses, but I think they will give up some of them in fear of what the Nightmare Lord might know. Harrison said they know how long Severus has been working for him, so it's safe to assume they're quite nervous."
"That's nice," she said.
"When will it be known my lord and master are working together?" Severus asked. "Or at least that you know each other?"
"I imagine soon," Voldemort said. "It will be fun to see the looks on their faces."
Harrison was soon done, having placed each seed into the heart of every corpse, and now came back to them rubbing his hands together.
"Do you have to… water them or something?" Voldemort wondered.
"Not the first few days," Harrison said. "They like to get up on their own."
But before Voldemort could try and get more information out of Harrison he saw it. Lucius backed a few steps. Severus stared. Elise gnawed on one nail and then said:
"I'm still not watering them. No matter what."
Them in question meant what were coming up from the chests of the corpses. Twisting, gnarled things that was black, simply black. They formed trunks, thicker and thicker, until Voldemort realize they had to be trees. But what kind of tree grew like that?
Roots rose up, then tore into the ground for support. The trees began oozing a black liquid, similar to the one that had poured out of Harrison earlier. The ground sucked it up and turned the soil grey. Harrison clapped his hands.
"Aren't they just lovely?"
"You're delusional, master."
"Elise, shush now. I know we don't share the same taste, but for me they are marvellous."
The growth slowed down until it stopped. Thirty trees stood now, already two feet tall, and Voldemort noticed they weren't still. They were almost shivering. Their branches moved slowly, brushing each other, looking like they were feeling the air.
"Well now…" Severus said. "This is weird."
"Don't step too close," Harrison said. "They have a tendency to attack when so young. Later they'll learn who they can eat and who they can't."
"You mean to say they're alive?" Voldemort said.
"Not alive like us but… aware of their surroundings. They're a bit hostile at the start, but I'll start working with them soon enough," Harrison said. "Now, I heard something about revealing the fact we know each other. I like that. I think the Light should know that. It'll be fun."
"I can agree on that. Shall we just leave the trees be?"
"Yes, they need some time to adjust."
"What exactly do they do? You just didn't grow them for pleasure, right?"
"Oh, no, I didn't but they won't be able to grow what I want right now. They need to mature a bit." Harrison glanced over at the trees. "Once they're ready it will start."
"It sounds mildly alarming," Voldemort admitted, "but I can't help looking forward to it."
Voldemort Apparated into Harrison's manor a few days later, with a plan of a raid where he wanted Harrison with him and the first thing the Dark Lord heard was a… scream. A really loud scream coming from outside. He left the papers on a table and rushed outside.
Severus turned around, his arms crossed, and he nodded his head.
"Master is… watering the trees."
"What the hell is he watering them with?" Voldemort wanted to know.
"Fresh blood taken from people's necks? It's spraying everywhere."
Voldemort stepped closer, caught sight of the trees and stopped. A few days ago they had been two feet, and now they were… well, some of them were several metres already, others catching up fast. Their branches twisted and turned, a few even grabbing at bodies Harrison was holding up so that blood poured into the soil.
"Alright, you greedy lot!" he shouted. "Take him."
The body of a man, still calling feebly for help, was thrown up in the air, and caught by several of the trees. They fought for a piece and Voldemort slowly backed back to Severus.
"Am I hallucinating, or am I actually watching trees eating people?"
"You, my lord, are watching trees eating people. Now I understand why Elise doesn't like them. I don't understand why they aren't eating master."
"They don't eat me because I'm their father," Harrison told them. He was wiping off some blood on his face. "Basically."
"These are you children?" Severus asked, pointing at the trees. "Do they have names?"
"Of course they do," Harrison said, smiling. "No, only joking. They are just aware enough to know I created them, and I will kill them if they try anything."
"What are you growing from them?" Voldemort wondered. "They don't even have any leaves. The branches are bare."
"Oh, it's not the branches that carry this fruit," Harrison said. "It has started, but it takes time. I've learnt to be patient. Now, is there something special or just a social call? I'm beginning to believe you don't do much as a Dark Lord. Please do tell me I'm wrong."
"A raid," Voldemort said. "I want you there."
"Oh, I get to go on a raid? Marvellous. Tell me more."
Harrison wasn't quite sure what to expect on this raid. It wasn't a major one, merely testing the waters and seeing the strength of the Ministry and the Order. The Ministry had gotten tougher since Cornelius' return, and his obsessive searching for the Nightmare Lord across the country.
This time he wasn't going to hide. He standing next to the Dark Lord would tell the Light exactly what to expect; a joined attack by both lords, one young, one ancient but both equally frightening when necessary.
Bellatrix still glowered at him every chance she got. Harrison found it oddly irritating. His childhood and early teens he spent thinking he was worthless, never strong enough but now he knew he was strong enough. He could kill Bellatrix with a snap of his fingers and a tiny bit of magic, but he wasn't going to do that out of respect to Voldemort. Unless Voldemort told him it was alright to kill Bellatrix, the woman would remain alive.
She was powerful, so she still had her uses. Besides, even if she attacked Severus he had now been told to respond immediately to any moves made against him. She would stand no chance against the potions master if it came down to a duel between the two of them. If Severus ran out of magic, he was free to tap into Harrison's, as did all of Harrison's servants.
For now she was controlling herself, or perhaps she was too excited at the upcoming raid to do anything against him. Harrison had Christian by his side, the man not very experienced at fighting so the Nightmare Lord figured this would be a good exercise for him. His old servants like Elise and Lucian were trained, and Severus was used to it. Christian however had only served as a guard to a prisoner he hadn't seen until that day Cornelius decided to question Harrison about the Inferi moving about.
"Can I get hurt?" Christian asked. "I'm really not good at this."
"It's alright," Harrison said. "I won't let you out of my sight. Think of it as training. Don't focus so much on attacking, focus more on your surroundings. Learn to read them. Learn to see everything. If you spot an opening for an attack, go for it but only if you're certain no one else will attack you during that time your focus will be directed on the spell you're casting."
"Yes, master. Has the other servants gone through this?"
"All with the exception of Severus. He already knew it. So don't worry, you're not the first one to feel nervous. I was quite terrified during my first battle."
"When was that?"
"Oh, fighting against more than one enemy at the same time… I must have been fifteen at the time. Yes, fifteen and surrounded by morons and enemies that kept eluding me. I thought my heart would give out on me back then."
"Only fifteen years old?" Christian said. "How did you end up in that battle?"
"Because I was an idiot. You live and learn, always."
Voldemort entered the room. Harrison stood a bit to the side, but not near the actual throne. He wasn't about to tease the Death Eaters too much, or make them angry. Most appeared to remember his actions in the raid on Hogsmeade, but a few apparently were as defiant as Bellatrix. She wasn't the only one openly glaring at him.
Harrison already knew where they were going and the details so he tuned out Voldemort's words and took a look around the room. He watched Christian too, who picked up fast and was listening to Voldemort while he was looking over the Death Eaters.
"They'll be wearing masks, right?" he whispered to Harrison.
"Yes. Quite easy to spot," Harrison replied. "But as I said earlier, I won't let you out of my sight. Stay near me and it'll be fine."
The chaos could be used by Bellatrix and her defiant little Death Eaters to get a hit in on him, and the last thing Harrison wanted was a servant protecting him with their own body. Harrison had stopped using such methods after he turned a hundred years old. He had instructed every of the servants that whatever the case, they were not to throw themselves in a curse's path just to save him, and Christian was new enough to not dare tempt it. Lucian and Elise, old as they were, found it hilarious to disobey him. He wouldn't put it past them trying something like that just to see him lose his composure.
Voldemort raised his wand. Harrison smiled as he watched the Death Eaters roar. They were really devoted to their lord. Back in the old days, few dared to follow Harrison. He had no fondness for anyone. People simply feared him. Voldemort had the balance. Some feared him, some respected him. Harrison always found it easier to make people fear him. As Harry Potter he had always had difficulties at making people respect him. One second they had thought him a foolish boy, the next they hailed him a hero he never wanted to be.
So no, respect was difficult and hard to maintain. Fear was easier in every aspect. Well, a few respected him. Harrison still liked to freak people out more.
As Voldemort left the room, Harrison followed closely behind, grinning slightly at seeing the seething rage on Bellatrix's face at the sight. He felt like doing something that would make her even angrier, but Voldemort turned his head and said:
"I can feel the evil from here. What are you doing?"
"Oh, nothing at all."
"That grin says something else," Christian said.
"Shush you. You've learnt far too much from Elise in such a short time."
"You remember the place we're Apparating to?"
"Course I do. Why not Diagon Alley?"
"Because that's taking it a step too far right now," Voldemort said, exiting the manor and walking to the edge of the wards where his followers could Apparate. He, and now Harrison, where two of the few able to Apparate inside the manor.
Their target was a newly established point for wizards and witches, consisting mostly of Aurors and officials from the Ministry. The attack was probably to be expected but taking down any number of Aurors would be good for future plans.
Voldemort Apparated and Harrison grabbed onto Christian, Apparating after the Dark Lord whilst hearing the Death Eaters Apparate alongside him.
They arrived at the outskirts of the temporary camp, and Harrison stepped up to Voldemort's side with Christian just behind him.
"Want me to do the first attack?"
"What do you have in mind?"
"Same attack from Hogsmeade, so they realize I was there too," Harrison replied. "It'll make it more fun."
Voldemort grinned and swept out his hand. "Feel free. But after that I'm going in, so make sure those roots of yours doesn't kill us."
"Don't worry; I know how to control them. Christian, stay with me."
Harrison stomped his foot and the roots came through the ground, tearing forth and to the camp. Spells lit up the area just moments later and Harrison grinned.
"It's more fun when they resist," he said.
Voldemort was already off, a black whirlwind of power that approached the camp with remarkable speed. Death Eaters followed in his wake. Harrison kept track on those who didn't like him, finding their magical signals and then began to move with Christian by his side.
Aurors and Ministry officials fought hard against the attacks, better than Harrison expected. Had paranoia set in, or had they heard the Death Eaters coming? He made the roots retreat for a bit. They were easily damaged by spells due to their focus being more on destruction, and already had several of them been charred beyond repair. He let the rest dive back into the ground with a wave of his hand. He saw Voldemort. Or rather, it was hard not to see the man. He was graceful, with a raw power Harrison associated with people from the dark ages. Those who were similar to the Nightmare Lord, had potential to become him but they grew brittle with age, weak. He hadn't. Perhaps this was his chance to somehow… preserve another one like him.
He looked to see how Christian was doing. The man's eyes darted over the place, watching everything just like Harrison had told him to.
Then they were surrounded by a group of Aurors and Ministry officials. Harrison smiled easily.
"Oh, hello there," he said. "You ran out of Death Eaters to defeat? Or get defeated by?"
"You're a new face," one of them said.
"Ah, yes, most of you don't probably know about me. Unless you've seen the posters."
They looked blank.
"So either you have seen it but don't really remember, or you have no idea what I'm talking about. That's alright, that's fine. I don't mind. I don't blame you either for not recognizing me. I've been out of commission for a while."
"For how long?" one Auror sneered.
"Five hundred years, give or take," Harrison replied. "You may call me the Nightmare Lord."
Their wands shivered as the bodies shuddered, and many of them stared at him.
"Or killer if you want to. Or bastard, or evil mastermind… I've heard so many names people have picked out for me, I don't mind if you come up with something more creative. It's actually kind of fun."
They all moved closer.
"Yes, do come closer," Harrison said, grinning now. "It's no fun to chase those who run away."
He swept out with his arm and magic tore out. Harrison felt the shock of it throughout his whole body, felt the magic rip and scream inside him. He generally didn't use spells, but during the time he was locked up he had hardly used magic at all. He hadn't had time to get used to it again, and taking care of his garden had taken its toll on him. The trees needed his magic in the beginning, a lot of it. Now Harrison knew how much magic he had, but everyone had their limits. He could fight, just not as long as before. Not until he got used to it again.
Several shields sprang up to stop his magic, quite nicely done so, and he ran forward instead of staying back. Long-forgotten spells, only half-formed in his head, made their way out of his hands and towards the people. He blocked their attacks with whips of magic, shattering the magical shields that were between him and a person. Christian followed closely behind and used mainly protection spells and shields.
Harrison laughed. He couldn't help it. It came bubbling out of him as he moved. They were alert, on their toes. He couldn't relax. He had to move fast, block fast, run from their spells. It was fun. He even got physical, punching and kicking. Spells seared into his clothes, narrowly missing his body and the adrenaline started pumping.
His pupils were blown wide, and he knew he must look insane. He loved it all. But Christian was falling behind, so Harrison slowed down and grabbed onto the guard and moved. His black robes spread out, turned into shadows and he whirled across the field that was now filled with fighting people.
Finding Voldemort, he spun around the man in glee and then sent off a rare Avada Kedavra at a young woman who dodged and screamed at him:
"You bastard! You bastard killer!"
His attack didn't explain her crying, not until Christian said:
"Oh, that's Susanne."
"You know her?" Harrison asked.
"She's a friend of mine. Was a friend. She's quite hot-headed so she's not very good at defence."
"Do you want her dead?"
Christian looked at him even as Harrison kept deflecting her spells.
"Have you ever had friends?"
"Of course I have, that's why I'm asking. I killed my friends, but mostly because they wanted me dead first," Harrison told him. "I can just knock her out if that's what you want."
"She won't give up. Not to you. They probably know I'm not truly alive anymore, and not on their side so she'll want revenge. She'll just keep on fighting until she dies."
"Oh… well, I can make it quick," Harrison offered. "She won't even notice it."
"… Yes. Please."
Harrison nodded and let Christian sink into the shadows for a bit. Then he moved in on Susanne and slammed his hand into her chest. Ripples of his magic destroyed every organ in her body, shut down her heart and brain at the same time. The lights in her eyes dimmed and she fell to the ground, looking untouched, undamaged. His fingers itched to get her back to his dungeons, or have her walk again as an Inferius.
But that wouldn't be the right thing to do, not to Christian. So he left her corpse where it lay and pushed into the shadows around him, found Christian's arm and pulled him back out even as he landed by Voldemort's side.
"How are things going?" Harrison asked him.
Christian moved his wand and Harrison turned just in time to see Lily Potter, face pale but eyes filled with pure hatred. She fired off a spell, heading straight for Christian. Harrison pulled him back and raised his arm. The magic formed a shield, but he felt the force behind Lily's spell and sent it away. Voldemort had already moved towards the thicker parts of the camp, setting fire onto the tents.
Harrison gazed at Lily. He doubted she lived there. She must have come to support them. How silly of her. How very silly. He tilted his head to the side and tried to see his mother in her, she was his mother after all but it was very difficult. The ghost Lily he had seen only twice in his life was echoes from a distant past. He felt nothing for this redheaded woman in front of him. She was nothing but a nuisance if she continued to fight him.
"You killed Severus," she hissed. "You took him away."
"Get your facts straight on who killed him," Harrison replied with a smile. "The one responsible is closer to you than you think. I saved Severus."
"You turned him into your slave!"
"What is it with you people and slaves? Servant, he is my servant, and a defiant one at that," Harrison said. "Meaning he's his usual self."
"No, he's not! I'll kill you and free him!"
"Oh, if I was given a Galleon every time someone said that to me…"
He dodged her next spell, twisted around and fired off another one in response. She was quick to react and ran towards him. Harrison remembered her face, a different face, the ghost one and how she told him she loved him.
Liar. You don't even know who I am.
He grabbed her around the neck, brought her closer and said:
"Someone you hold very dear attacked Severus from behind with the intention to kill. Someone you trust betrayed Severus. I saved Severus from you traitorous lot. You don't deserve him."
He threw her up in the air and lashed out magic. She flew backwards, away from him. She got one chance. He wouldn't kill her now. If she came back… well, then she was fair game.
"You alright?" he asked Christian.
"Yes. Why didn't you kill her?"
"Oh. Personal reasons. If she attacks again, I will kill her."
Harrison grabbed onto Christian and vanished in shadows again, racing across the battlefield until he was certain the Light knew he and Voldemort was working together. When he felt satisfied he let himself to land next to the Dark Lord who was facing Dumbledore. So Lily had arrived with the Order?
"Tom…" Dumbledore said.
"Ah, just in time. Albus, I would like to introduce my ally, the Nightmare Lord. I believe you've met Albus, my lord."
"Of course. He came with Cornelius that day in my cell," Harrison said. "And I saw him through Severus' eyes not too long ago. Christian, don't be shy."
Christian peeked around Harrison's shoulder, and Dumbledore must have recognized him as one of the guards.
"So you took him."
"Yes, I did. Why not? Christian is a good lad."
"You enslaved him."
"Honestly, you people are so narrow-minded!" Harrison said. "I did not enslave him. I ensured his continued existence! Why don't they get it?"
He looked at Christian who shrugged and replied:
"Because they want to paint you as evil, and evil people don't save other people."
"Dear merciful god, I bloody well know I'm evil but that doesn't mean I slaughter little children and dance around their corpses."
"I've never done that either," Voldemort said. "It feels so… I don't know, tacky?"
"Cliché," Harrison said. "I'm not going to fall into someone's little category box just because they tell me so. Now, have we done enough damage? Or should we continue?"
Dumbledore took out his wand, held it fast, but Harrison couldn't be sure who he was pointing it at.
"No. This raid was put together as a show. The real fight will go down later."
"Sounds fine by me. Shall we get going then?"
Voldemort raised an arm, and the Morsmordre came flowing out. The sickly green colour painted the grounds around them, and Death Eaters began to Apparate out. Harrison spread out his fingers and people from the Light screamed as shadows rose. It was just for dramatic effect but Voldemort seemed amused by it.
He let the shadows come closer, come higher, and smiled gently at Dumbledore.
"We will see each other again."
He then let the shadows cover himself, Christian and Voldemort completely before they Apparated away.
It could have ended there, his little run-in with Lily Potter. That was until he woke up in the middle of the night, a rare nightmare lingering behind and one thought running through his head:
I want to kill Petunia Dursley.
It was a thought that had run through his mind several times, especially when he was younger. Perhaps it was the fight with Lily that brought it back up, for he hadn't thought about Petunia in that way for say, around a hundred years now.
But right now he wanted her dead. Painfully. He wanted to hear her scream, and plead. He wanted her to beg him for salvation, and he would deny her that. Overkill, yes, she hadn't been that bad when he was a child but Harrison didn't feel bad about it. He just wanted her in immense pain for a long time, even if she and her family was the reason why hatred had been born in his heart and made him into what he was today.
So he got dressed and slipped out of the manor, Apparating to Surrey and setting out to find Private Drive.
There was only one, huge problem with this… there was no Dursley family living there. Private Drive number four, his old prison, was easy enough to break into, but there were no photos of Dudley. The house wasn't pristine, like Petunia liked it. The cupboard under the stairs held cleaning supplies, not his old room.
The people sleeping there wasn't the Dursleys. Harrison stared down at the couple sleeping easily despite his presence, and weighed the pros and cons of killing them.
In the end he walked out and found the second bedroom that once, in some other time, perhaps another dimension, had housed him from age eleven 'till sixteen. He saw a crib and a baby's eyes on him. He walked closer. The baby didn't make a sound, just waved her little arms around.
Harrison picked her up and she gurgled, smiling with her toothless mouth and he found himself smiling back.
"Hello there. I see this room is much more cheerful this time around."
The baby cooed and he held her close, slightly awkward because he didn't know how to hold babies properly. And no, he hadn't gone around killing babies in his youth like evil people were supposed to do. He stayed away from them. They were just so… strange.
"You see, I was searching for a person. My aunt, more or less. But I guess she's safe somewhere else… meaning I have to find someone who might know where she is."
He already knew who he had to kidnap.
"Master, is that a baby?"
Christ, why Elise was even awake at this hour, and what did she mean by…
Harrison pretended very much like he had planned to steal the baby all along, and not the fact he had just brought her with him when he left Private Drive. From the looks of it, none of his servants believed him.
Well, she was a nice baby, and Severus had taken a liking to her immediately.
"Did you actually want kids?" Harrison asked even as he thought of how to kidnap Lily Potter and make her tell where her sister was.
"Maybe," Severus said. The girl was out of her pink onesie and now dressed in something black which was just typical the potions master but Harrison had to admit he liked it better too. "But with the life I had, children weren't just an option."
"Oh. I suppose so."
"How about you, master? Did you never want children?"
"I don't know how to take care of them."
"Which is precisely why you kidnapped one."
"Oh, shut up. I get it. You're all laughing behind my back because I was sleepy enough to not notice I didn't put her back. I can't exactly go back with her now, can I?"
"Why were you there in the first place?"
"Hunch. I was wrong. I don't like it when people move around unexpectedly."
Severus stared at him.
"What?" Harrison said. "Someone lived there last time I remember, but then again maybe they didn't really live there in this time… or whatever. I didn't find her."
"Hardly. I want to kill her."
"Lost lover who betrayed you?"
"No, Severus. Her name is Petunia. It's still Dursley, right? I mean, she married Vernon, right?"
Severus put the girl down in the crib Elise had produced from somewhere Harrison didn't want to know about, and he walked over to the Nightmare Lord.
"How do you know about Petunia Dursley?"
"Long story," Harrison replied. "And I mean a really long story. Please tell me she's horrible."
"Utterly," Severus said. "I was invited by Lily to a family dinner once. Petunia never stopped insulting everything we were. Vernon was even worse. He even tried to engage in a fist-fight."
"Oh, that does sound like dear Vernon when he had a few…"
"How do you know them?" Severus demanded to know.
Harrison looked at him. Then he crooked a finger to indicate Severus should follow him and walked out of the baby's room, up to the attic where he began digging around before finally getting out a Pensieve.
"They're priceless, Pensieves, and you have one just laying around amongst rubbish?" Severus asked.
"Yes," Harrison said. "I do. And it's not rubbish. This for example is a painting Rowena did. Very smart girl, but I can't say she was very talented in that area. It was actually Godric who was better at it. Helga made some nice sculptures; I have them around the manor I think…"
He was pulling memories out of his head even as he spoke, shaking them down into the Pensieve. Finally he was satisfied and gestured at the ghostly substance to Severus.
"Watch that. It makes a story slightly shorter, and involves less time of me blabbering. Come find me again when you're done."
Severus nodded and dipped his head down. Harrison felt slightly nervous, and fled the attic.
It was almost an hour later when Severus came back, or more like barging in. Harrison looked up and the baby cried out, startled at the loud sound of the door slamming open. He patted her back, rubbed the soft hair between his fingers and pressed his lips to the little girl's temple before saying:
"I'm still Harrison. If you dare to call me a Potter I will end you."
"You… they… they betrayed you, when you were… you were…"
"A child? Please, I was seventeen, I should have realized by then they weren't going to let me go once Voldemort was dead."
Severus fell into the nearest chair. Harrison continued to play with the baby, and he realized he should really name the kid by now. She couldn't just be 'baby', that would be ridiculous.
"What's a good name for a baby girl?" he asked Severus.
"That's your concern right now?"
"Should I be worried about something else?"
"You're going to kidnap Lily to find out where Petunia is."
"Yes. Shouldn't I? Do you care for Lily? I could make her tell without hurting her much. At least I think I can do that."
"She… she's Light. She can't be anything else than that," Severus said. "She hates you. Loathes you. That's enough for me to not care about her anymore."
"You sound surprised."
"Guess I am a bit," Harrison said, letting the girl grab his finger. "The Severus Snape I knew… more or less died for her."
"From what I could tell, that Snape died for you. I guess I will too."
"You know, if I wasn't so old and had learnt to hide embarrassment, I would so be blushing right now."
"How about Angel? For the baby?"
"Angel? Seriously?" Harrison said.
"Well, she's the only thing around here that actually looks a tiny bit like an angel."
Harrison looked at the child. Her hair was blonde, and her eyes were very blue. She grinned up at him, eyes scrunching up.
"Yeah… she does. Alright. Angel it is. Can we kidnap Lily now?"
Lily Potter was strapped to a chair when she woke up, groggy. Her hair was hanging around her face, and it took her a few moments to clear her head.
The first thing she saw was Severus, his focus on the cauldron in front of him. Lily stared at him for a while, studied him. The silver in his eyes had receded, and they were almost his normal black ones. He wasn't wearing robes, the sleeves of his shirt pulled up. She noticed he had no Dark Mark anymore, and he looked happier than she had seen him in a very long time.
"Hmm, this is the first time in a long time people don't really notice me even I'm standing like right next to them. Are you that interesting, Severus?"
Lily reared back and saw the Nightmare Lord's smile. She tried to lash out but when that didn't work she screamed at him. To her fury, his smile only widened.
"Shush now," he said. "You don't want to bother Severus, now would you?"
"You monster," she hissed.
"Yes, I've heard that only a hundred times. Be more creative if you insist on trying to insult me."
"I don't think that's the issue here, master. Can you hand me that jar?"
Lily stared as Severus continued with his potion, completely uncaring that she was even sitting there.
"Severus?" she tried with. "It's me. It's Lily."
He stirred something into the cauldron and set aside the jar the Nightmare Lord had handed over.
"Severus, please. It's… it's Lils."
"Aah, yes, Lils…" the Nightmare Lord said. "And how is dear Tuney?"
Lily was certain Severus didn't know, or didn't remember the nickname for her sister. She stiffened, and her eyes moved from the potions master to the old lord standing next to Severus. He waved with his fingers, his eyes amused.
"No, he didn't tell me. I knew."
"I know a thing or two. But what I don't know, and what I'm sure you do, is where dear Tuney is currently living."
Lily felt her blood freeze. She and Petunia hadn't gotten along since Lily met Severus, and found out she was a witch. They often argued when they met, and that wasn't often. But she was still Lily's sister, and Lily loved her.
"Piss off," she told him.
"Ah, I expected that. Won't do you any good though. I'll break through your little Occlumency walls and get what I want. Just so you know… I'm not good at it. I tend to break more than I need. It's not like it's my problem in the end."
Lily struggled with her bounds and the lord shrugged.
"I can give you a few minutes to think about it," he said. "We'll leave you to decide which way you want to tell me where your sister is."
Severus took the cauldron off the fire and followed closely behind the Nightmare Lord. The moment the door closed, Lily began struggling even harder. The ropes bit into her skin, breaking it but the blood helped. She began to wriggle and move her hands and finally got them loose. Getting out of the rest was rather easy and soon enough she got up from the chair.
She didn't have her wand, and no memory how she got here. She didn't even know where 'here' was, and walked over to the door. Opening it, all she saw was a corridor in what appeared to be a basement. Lily took a breath, and walked out, sprinting over to the stairs at one end of the corridor. Rushing up them she came into a hallway. There she stopped a moment to get a sword hanging on the wall.
There were no portraits, nothing that could help her. The sword was heavy in her hands, but it was better than nothing. Lily wasn't even going to question why the Nightmare Lord had it. From what she had read, he never used weapons.
Exiting this small hallway she came to what she guessed was the grand hallway, and the entrance doors, and also stairs leading upstairs. And someone was coming down them. Lily hid in the shadows of the stairs.
The Nightmare Lord came down, his long hair over one shoulder, dressed in a simple black robe. She couldn't feel Severus' magic, and had no idea where he was. But here was her chance. Her only chance.
She charged, sword held up. She expected resistance. Something that would go horribly wrong and she would die.
But no. The sword sank into the lord's back like parting warm butter, and came out of his stomach. The Nightmare Lord stumbled and fell to his knees, trying to look at her. Lily was already running for the doors, throwing them open and rushing out. Behind her, the Nightmare Lord screamed something. It wasn't a human sound. Lily wasn't about to stick around and find out what language that was.
However, just as soon as she thought she might get out clear, she spotted Dementors near some sick-looking trees. They wore no hoods, just naked shapes whose mouths opened wide when they spotted her. Their rotten hands reached out for her, and the Nightmare Lord came running with the sword still inside him.
Lily focused on her happy memories, let them fill her and felt the rush of adrenaline and glee as her Patronus came out of her hands. She had just used the spell wandlessly!
Her joy only grew as not only the Dementors reared back from her pure spell, but also the Nightmare Lord. He screamed at the light, threw his arms up and fell down. It was as if he couldn't stand Light magic, or at least this spell. He could be defeated by a mere Patronus!
"Not so tough now, are you?!" she screamed at him. "As soon as you're dead and buried, Severus will return to normal! We'll kill Voldemort, and the Light will win!"
The Dementors crowded the Nightmare Lord but she realized they weren't killing him, taking his soul. No… they were protecting him from the Patronus.
Pain tore through her abdomen and Severus appeared before her, holding the end of the sword he had just pushed into her.
"Please do not make it harder for yourself," he told her. "You're already in trouble."
Her Patronus wobbled, and then vanished, taking the light with it. The Dementors screeched and Lily sank to her knees. Severus let go of the blade and walked away from her. She coughed up blood.
"Oh dear me… I didn't quite expect she'd have the guts to impale me. Most impressive. Severus, never underestimate a woman."
Lily looked up. The Nightmare Lord stared down at her, smiling widely. Blood was staining his lips but he hadn't removed the sword. He didn't even look particularly bothered by it. The Dementors moved around him, pushing against him. He petted their heads, their shoulders and smiled down at them.
"Look at what you did. You made me wake up my children sooner than I thought."
"You think these are old Dementors?" he asked and laughed. "No… have a look at those trees, Lily Potter."
Her vision was blackening around the edges but she turned to look at the trees. There were lumps on the trunks of the trees, but now she saw what those lumps were.
Dementors. He was growing Dementors. Lily tried to get up. She had to warn… she had to tell someone… the Dementors, the lord's weakness… but she couldn't move. The pain was overwhelming.
A hand grabbed the sword and twisted. She screamed. The Nightmare Lord's cold eyes stared at her.
"We'll have to do it the hard way, I guess," he told her.
He grabbed her head with his free hand, and broke inside. Lily Potter's screamed echoed around the grounds.
When Petunia Dursley moved from Surrey years ago she hadn't been happy about it but Lily promised they were safe from wizards here. It was a calm village, and her precious Duddiekins had found new friends quickly. Her husband Vernon had a new job, a good job, and Petunia was ever the perfect housewife.
She was just glad this move meant she didn't have to see Lily, or rather Lily's freak husband, as often as before. There were no freaks in this village. She didn't have to see any of their freaky things, or hear them say their freaky spells. Here everything was normal.
The knock on the door was unexpected but she wasn't suspicious. She just put on her best smile, smoothed the white, pristine apron that covered her dress and opened the door. The smile didn't falter at first for she saw nothing dangerous.
A man stood at the door, with perhaps too long hair for her taste. Men shouldn't have long hair; they should be well-groomed and not look like rock star-wannabes. That was her firm opinion and she wouldn't be changing it for anyone. But his suit was perfect, subtle colours and nothing that made her frown. So she was ready to overlook the hair, since it was nicely combed and put up properly.
And perhaps his eyes looked a bit like Lily's and that made Petunia's judgement waver. She didn't get along with Lily but it was still her little sister. She loved Lily.
"Mrs Dursley?" he asked and smiled gently.
"May I come inside?"
She felt something inside her head. A voice, gentle but cold as steel, and the smile on the man's face was now quite terrifying. Despite this she backed, let him inside. All she managed was scraping her nails against the wall, a desperate attempt to stop her feet from moving. The man's eyes moved to her hand, and then back to her face. The smile widened.
"Oh, you have no idea just how right you are to be afraid of me… Tuney."
The door closed resolutely behind him.
I hope you enjoyed!
Next chapter: The Order searches for Lily when news of a horrifying incident sends them into a frenzy. Meanwhile, Harrison takes care of the harvest from his garden.