A/N: I have been plotting and writing this story for months. I wanted to get a healthy head start so that even if I hit a block, I could keep posting and hope that reviewers could give me the inspiration to continue. With over 2/3 the story, and 100k words already written, I think I can start posting.
I feel very proud of what I've written so far, but small characterization moments are subject to change based on reader reactions. I've long loved J.K.'s Dumbledore, but I've also loved the independent Harry stories that are out there. The common plot device is changing Dumbledore into a manipulative bastard—which is fine for what it is. But I wanted to craft a story where a truly good Dumbledore can co-exist with an independent and strong Harry Potter. Combine that element with a divergence from Horcruxes and a fun Harry Ginny romance, and I had a book-length fic on my hands. I've loved writing it, and hope you enjoy it, too!
A big thanks to ginnyvampire for the encouragement to post right away. Without further ado…
Harry Potter and the Lord of Immortality
Lucius anxiously turned the knob on the large mahogany door. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and pushed the door open.
The sight before him was disturbing and terrifying. Shuddering at the cold in the room, Lucius pressed forward, nearing his Master before him. Lying on a table before Lord Voldemort was a Dementor, its hood pulled back, revealing a ghastly skeletal head with a large oval opening where the mouth should have been. The Dementor was tied to the table; silver, shimmering bands wrapped around the monster's wrists, ankles and neck kept the beast from escaping. Then the Dementor shrieked.
If Lucius combined all of the worst sounds he had ever heard—including but not limited to a baby mandrake's scream, a mermaid shouting out of water, his ex-girlfriend's laugh—it wouldn't even compare to the horror of that sound. His body froze and shivers raced though his body. His mind became cloudy as he sought some form of refuge from the incessant noise and he lowered his head, covering his ears with his hands. He pressed so hard into his head that he thought he might pass out from the pressure on his brain, which thought didn't sound nearly as bad as the Dementor.
Mercifully, the shriek ended before Lucius passed out, and he removed his hands from his ears. The beautiful silence was replaced by another unpleasant, albeit considerably less so, sound. Voldemort's high-pitched voice pierced the air in the dark room. "Rather repulsive, aren't they? But they do serve their purpose. Just like you, Lucius."
The Dark Lord turned to Lucius Malfoy, and Lucius dropped his gaze. "You have proven yourself to be a very loyal and obedient follower, Lucius. I've been considering bringing you into my inner circle."
Lucius' heart beat more quickly in his chest. Excitement rushed though his veins. He nodded his head exuberantly and looked into Voldemort's eyes. "Yes, my Lord. Thank you, my Lord."
"I've asked you here to do something very simple. And through accomplishing this simple act you will guarantee yourself a seat at my table." Voldemort raised his eyebrows at Lucius who resumed his emphatic nodding.
"Anything, my Lord."
"Good," Voldemort responded, pulling out his wand. "Imperio!"
A sweeping emptiness hit Lucius. It was peaceful, even happy. He vaguely heard the Dementor scream again, but this time he didn't care so much. It no longer seemed to bother him. When the Dementor finished screaming, he heard his master speak again.
"Just a bit of extra security, Lucius. I'm sure you understand." Lucius nodded his head—he didn't understand, or care really. But he felt a nod was what his master wanted, so he would oblige.
"You see, Dementors take your soul—they feed off of it. Consume it whole. What would I be without a soul? An empty shell. No motivation to live, to purge this world of its foulness. I would be immortal, of course—when the Dementor takes the soul, it doesn't kill you—at least until the soul is digested. And with no soul to lose, I would never die.
"This immortality is not the kind I want, of course. I want to live forever to accomplish my cleanse, to rule a world finally pure. So I made a few adjustments on my subject here," Voldemort said, turning away from Lucius back to the table with the captive Dementor. Lucius felt that his Master would want him to turn to the table as well, so he mimicked him.
"This Dementor will merely remove my soul for safe-keeping with no ability to consume it," he continued, reaching forth and grabbing the grotesque creature's pale, gray hand, and gazing longingly at the creature. "It will still be mine, of course, and it will still guide my every desire and action. But it will not depart in the unlikely event I am bested in a duel or a traitor sneaks up in my sleep. Instead, it will stay right here in this Dementor, unharmed and untarnished."
Voldemort turned to Lucius, a smile on his handsome face. Somehow, the smile made him hideous—it was manic and did not belong. "There will be a toll on my body, of course, and I will fall forever if not awakened. That is where you come in. After the process is complete, I will need you to perform the awakening charm on me. Is this understood?"
Lucius understood completely. "Yes, my Lord."
Voldemort smiled hideously again before looking excitedly at the Dementor. "Then we shall begin."
Voldemort moved closer to the table and made a swishing movement with his wand. The Dementor cried out once more, but Voldemort paid it no mind. Instead, he took a breath, and leaned forward, nearing the creature's face. His lips neared the hole in the Dementor's skull where a mouth should have been. A deep suctioning sound replaced the Dementor's shriek as it realized a soul was coming to him willingly.
Voldemort began to cry out in pain as an ethereal smoke-like substance emerged from his mouth. The color in Voldemort's face drained slowly as his cries ran through the chamber. As if sucking more than just his soul from his body, Voldemort's face began changing form. His face seemed to elongate, its structure become more boney. His nose flattened out across his face, so slits for nostrils remained the only evidence that he could smell.
Finally, the process completed, Voldemort's cries ceased, and he fell to the ground in a heap of motionless and mangled flesh.
Lucius stepped forward obediently and raised his wand. "Expergo!"
Voldemort's eyes shot open, revealing snake-like pupils. He pulled himself slowly to his feet, examining his bony hands. Once on his feet, he retrieved his wand and summoned a mirror, with which he looked at himself. His face was unreadable initially as he examined his new look. Then that same hideous smile slowly formed on his face—only this time it didn't seem out of place.
A high-pitched laughter rang throughout the chamber and even through the pleasant fog of the Imperius curse, Lucius knew it to be a more terrible noise than the shriek of the Dementor.
"Lucius," Voldemort said, turning his attention on his servant. "You have done well! For that you shall join my inner circle. Of course, you can have no memory of this event. I'm sure you understand."
Lucius felt himself nodding again, even though he didn't understand what that meant. But the next words to leave Voldemort's mouth explained it perfectly—though Lucius wouldn't remember them being spoken for over twenty years.
Lucius Malfoy shot out of his bed. In a cell in Azkaban, he sat panting, sweating as the dream-memory flooded his thoughts. He dropped out of his bed to his knees and vomited. The air around him was cold and cruel. Perhaps it was being surrounded by the Dementors for a couple of weeks. Or maybe it was his close proximity to the event itself. Whatever the case, Lucius slowly found his voice and whispered to himself, "I remember…"