A/N: Hello everyone, I'm back with a new fic and its going to be a little different. This actually started off as going to be a oneshot, however, it was it occurred to me that it was going to be a bit too long so I decided to change in to 4-part fic. This is like nothing I've ever written before and it is a highly descriptive piece, there is dialogue but its not filled with it and it is a Dark!Fic. So, that's it for now, and I hope you like it.
Warning: High mentions of abuse, blood, gore, torture and swearing,
Disclaimer: I'm not J.K, but the idea is mine,
Fractured: Part one;
This was unexpected, the Dark Lord mused as he looked upon the cottage the Potters had taken refuge in. They were, the last time he had checked, an Ancient and Noble House so this couldn't be their only option for a hide out. If anything, this was the worst place possible. If it had been him, the Dark Lord was sure he would make his hide out the last possible place anyone would likely look – actually, he had; the Riddle House. No one but his elite knew he had bought it and often stayed there, not even the old man that tended the gardens, and to the outside world it looked like a decaying manor. That was not the case, it had been fully restored to his standards and there was a team of elves that kept it so.
The only people that entered the house were him, his elite, and when he called his inner circle they were only permitted to enter the ball room where they would apperate straight in and leave from that room – the outer circle never even entered the house, those meetings were held at Malfoy Manor. But that was beside the point. The Dark Lord was surprised at their choice of hiding place. Of course, there was the small problem of the Fidilius Charm that had kept him searching for 15 months, it was, when looking for someone, a horrible charm to overcome and he glared darkly at the cottage for wasting his time. It had been a bright evening for him when the snivelling rat had come to him with the news that they had switched secret keepers. It would have been the perfect ruse, no one in their right minds would have thought Pettigrew would have been selected for something so important, but Pettigrew was his spy and he had come running straight to his master. The Dark Lord smirked, it was a pity the Potters hadn't agreed to join his cause, they were both powerful and, as disgusting as her blood was, the mudblood was more so and she would have made a brilliant death eater.
Such a waste.
He would try to spare her, one of his most loyal had begged for her life, and she had interested him enough to do so. He glided towards the cottage and smirked, it seemed they had been relying on the charm to keep them safe because there were no wards minus the basic alarms surrounding the property. No matter, it made his job much simpler. He flicked his wand and erected an anti-portkey and an anti-apperation ward to surround the cottage, it wouldn't do to have them slip away from him when he had finally found them. With another flick of his wand, the Dark Lord blasted the door down and stepped in.
"Lily, it's him, take Harry and run. I'll hold him off." A male voice sounded and James Potter ran out to face him, under his hood the Dark Lord raised an eyebrow at the fact he was wandless. Potter seemed to notice because he went pale and was quickly swallowed by a flash of green light, from the corner of his eye, the Dark Lord saw a flash of fiery red hair ascending the stairs and sighed. Surely the most logical thing to do would have been to run out the back door and not up the stairs where there was no way out. He followed her up at a swift pace and blasted open the door, he walked in to a nursery where she had barricaded herself in. She was stood in front of the cot shielding the child from his view, he rolled his eyes; as if that would truly work.
"Not Harry, please not Harry." She begged him, green eyes looking at him in fear.
"Stand aside, girl, you need not die." He commanded but she shook her head, she had the audacity to say no to him; the cheek!
"Please, not Harry! I'll do anything, just don't hurt him."
"Step aside," He told her again, but this time with more ice.
"No, no please, not Harry!"
She refused to step aside and the Dark Lord's patience ended, the killing curse sped towards her and she crumbled to the ground. The Dark Lord stepped towards the got to look at the child prophesied to vanquish him, it was absurd really and he really didn't condone the harming of children, but he could not have such a threat, however unlikely, hanging over him.
The war was practically his for the taking and all of the repressed traditions and shunted dark races would come out of the shadows, if he could guarantee his victory by removing this one child then so be it. He couldn't have someone as powerful as him taking him on when no other could, it would destroy so much. He would make it painless; the child did not deserve pain when it wasn't his fault. The boy was a strange one, he had not made a sound since he had arrived and now he was gazing up at the Dark Lord with too bright green eyes, they were obviously from his mother but they were much brighter; almost the shade of the killing curse he had just cast.
"Already so powerful," The Dark Lord mused, he could feel the magic in the small body and it was like a intoxicating. "Such a waste," he levelled his wand and cast the killing curse for the third time that night, but then the impossible happened. The killing curse struck the child's forehead and rebounded back towards him, the Dark Lord twisted out of the way and the curse missed him by millimetres; he could feel the heat of the curse as it passed him. He looked at the child completely stunned, this child has just survived the killing curse, what in Merlin's name?
There was a disturbance outside and the Dark Lord immediately removed his wards, he had to think quickly, this was an opportunity for him to regroup and, honestly, he needed to work out what just happened. He conjured up some robes and left them scattered on the floor with some ash, he cast one last look at the child now staring at him and apperated away; he has some information to be searching for.
Albus Dumbledore observed the scene in front of him through his half moon spectacles. This was not what he had expected but it set up his plans perfectly and he wasn't one to turn down a gift on a silver platter. The boy needed to be shaped, there was no doubt in him mind that Voldemort would return and the world needed a hero. A hero that would willingly sacrifice himself for the good of the world and for that, the boy needed to be groomed to do so. He had the perfect place for the boy to grow up and for that Black needed to be removed, it was simple enough to do, a word from the Great Albus Dumbledore stating that Black was the Potter's secret keeper should be enough to push Crouch in to throwing him straight in Azkaban.
Then, in the mess, the Potters' will could conveniently go missing and, as Chief Warlock and greatest wizard in the world, could sweep in and assure the masses that he had placed their saviour in a safe, loving environment for his protection from the Death Eaters. Because that was what the boy was, he had survived the killing curse and Voldemort was no more, he would begin spreading the word of a moniker: The Boy-Who-Lived. The public needn't know the truth of what the boy would face, it was for the Greater Good after all, and that was what that mattered.
Dumbledore nodded when he saw Black hand over the child to Hagrid and apperated away, he could spread the word and be at the boys new address in time to meet Hagrid. Dumbledore made a few crucial stops in the magical world, speaking of the child who destroyed Voldemort and survived the killing curse. People began celebrating, imagining the peace and success while mourning the passing of two great people. Albus apperated to a quite street in Surry, he used his dilluminator to remove the lights from the posts and walked towards number 4. He saw a cat sat on a wall and sighed, he should have known Minerva would be here, he had mentioned searching for relatives and she knew Lily more than most. The cat changed back in to its human counterpart and Albus put on a benign smile.
"Good evening, Minerva,"
"Good evening, headmaster." She returned the greeting, "Are the rumours true, Albus?"
"I'm afraid they are, Minerva. The good, and the bad."
"And the boy?"
"Hagrid is bringing him,"
"Do you think it wise to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?" McGonagall questioned, alarmed.
"I would trust Hagrid with my life." Dumbledore answered simply.
"I don't suppose you are going to tell me why you are brining him here, of all places?"
"I am placing the boy with his only living relatives."
"You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore - you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"
"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."
"A letter, you are out of your mind! You cannot do such a thing, what are you thinking?" She exclaimed, and Dumbledore muted a sigh; it seemed that she would be much more challenging that he expected. He performed a wandless compelling charm to make her see it his way, nothing too mind altering, just a helpful push.
"He will be famous, it is better he grows up away from all of that." Dumbledore told her, and he saw her resolve crumble under his charm.
"Yes, you are right of course."
It wasn't long before a roaring noise filled the silence and Hagrid touched down on a flying motorbike, he walked over to them with a small bundle in his arms and handed him over to Dumbledore.
"Fell asleep while we were flying over Bristol." He told them. They could see, under a tuft of inky black hair, a curious shaped lightning bolt scar.
"Yes, he'll have that scar forever." Dumbledore said, he had made sure of that too, the public would need a symbol of hope and something to rally around. Dumbledore placed the baby on the doorstep and tucked a letter in to the blankets, he had weaved many spells in to the ink and the parchment to serve his purpose and it would take start effect as soon as the letter was opened. He stepped away,
"Let us leave," He said, "There is nothing more we can do here." Hagrid got back on the bike and flew away while McGonagall cast one last look at the baby before apperating away. Dumbledore reset the lights and shook his head, he knew that the boy would suffer because of what he had but there was nothing to be done. He would need to be hated, shunned and toughened up, and then, when he was ready, he, Albus Dumbledore, would come in and save him and show him a better world.
It had to be like this, for it would was the only way in which the boy would rely only on him, he needed to be the one to guide the Boy-Who-Lived. Then, when the boy sacrificed himself in battle against the evil Dark Lord, he, Albus Dumbledore, could sweep in and finish the battle leaving him the greatest wizard alive. Dumbledore's expression changing in to something no one would expect to see on the old man's face;
"I will see you in 10 years, Harry Potter."
Petunia Dursley woke up to find her nephew on her doorstep with a letter tucked in with him, it was a horrible way to discover that her sister had been killed and she was gutted. She looked at the little boy who had eyes just like hers and suddenly Petunia was reminded of how much of a freak her sister was, she shook her head; that didn't matter anymore, Lily was dead and she was sad about that. But then, she told her sister what would happen if she got involved with that riff raff that she would get herself killed, so it wasn't her problem. Look what had happened, Lily and her mangy husband were dead, and she, Petunia, was left to deal with their, no doubt, freaky kid.
Well, the brat would have to deal with whatever he got and not affect their decent, hard working lives. She picked the child up and looked away from its too bright eyes, she dropped it in the cupboard under the stairs and shut the door. She would have to explain to Vernon what had happened and show him the letter, he would understand, he didn't like anything of that freakishness anyway. They had ten years with the boy, maybe they could stamp the freakishness out of him… that was a brilliant idea; she would have to suggest it to Vernon.
The Dark Lord sat on his throne before 9 people, 8 of them were his most loyal and strongest Death Eaters, his elite, and the final person was his personal healer and a dear friend. They were all friends, despite popular belief, he did get on very well with his elite, it was the rest of his Death Eaters that he appeared to be the cold, untouchable Lord. It had been a week since his attack against the Potters and he had found absolutely nothing to explain the phenomenon of Harry Potter surviving the killing curse.
In that week a lot had happened, the news of his 'defeat' and everyone in the 'light' had been celebrating his fall, it had only been his quick intervention that had saved four of his elite taking an indefinite trip to Azkaban. Unfortunately, some of his inner circle had not been so lucky and there had been losses. Izar Nott's son had been killed after an epic battle with Moody, Karkaroff had been captured and there were rumours that he was about to spill his guts to save himself. Rowle had been incarcerated during the same raid as Mulciber, and he had lost 12 outer circle members to the Prewett twins; only Dolohov had escaped that. One of the biggest losses was to Evan Rosier, one the missing figure of his elite.
The Dark Lord didn't know what he was thinking, but he chose to battle Moody and, while he had caused significant damage to the auror, he had been killed. The other missing member of his elite missing was Regulas Black, Marvolo had absolutely no idea what happened to the youngest Black brother but he had vanished and no one had heard anything else about him. It was a loss, but there was nothing to be done because no one knew anything, Bellatrix and Narcissa had taken it the worst but they understood that until they got a lead they could not do anything either. Wilkes, from the inner circle had gotten caught but he knew Avery had slipped away, he wouldn't be surprised if there was an imperius plea coming out of his mouth if he was caught.
He had allowed the rumours to spread, he would change his war front and takeover from the shadows. With them believing he was destroyed they wouldn't be on their guard, the ministry would relax and it would allow him to move his people forward. He would have to organise his Death Eaters before they all fell apart, he'd halt all raids and fall back solely in to the shadows until they were everywhere. They'd be in every department, in every office, in every communication system until the British magical sector fell to him, and he would rule over them.
"We are not in a meeting, Lucius." The Dark Lord said,
"Marvolo, what's going on?" Lucius asked, correcting himself on the name. The Dark Lord rose and walked towards them, he waved his wand to conjure up so chairs for them to sit.
"As you are all aware, I went to the Potter hide out. Whilst there I was met with very little resistance, James Potter tried to stop me without a wand." They all took a moment to marvel at Potter's stupidity before Marvolo continued, "I tried to convince the girl to stand aside, she would have been a values to our ranks but she refused. The boy, a curious little thing, is powerful."
"They are saying he's still alive and that he survived the killing curse." Nott spoke slowly, scepticism lacing his tone.
"Both are true." Marvolo stated,
"If I was not there and it was not my very own curse, I would not have believed it. However, I did witness it, the curse rebounded of the child's head and back at me." Marvolo told them,
"How is that possible?" Dolohov asked,
"I do not know, I have been searching for an answer this past week and I have discovered nothing. There have been no other reported cases of anyone or anything surviving a direct killing curse. Of course I am not yet done with my search, but it is still highly irregular." Marvolo said thoughtfully,
"What are we going to be doing?" Lucius asked,
"We are going to use this to our advantage. Dumbledore believes me gone, the ministry will relax and many of our own are in prime positions to move our agenda forward." Marvolo said, "Severus, take up the position the old fool has offered you. You will be inside the castle, you will be our eyes from right next to the old man; he trusts you."
"Of course, I will begin teaching as the potions master when Slughorn retires at Yule." Snape said, his voice his usual silky drawl. He was surprised that the Dark Lord had actually tried to spare Lily, but he couldn't say he was surprised that she refused to step aside and allow her son to be killed.
"Good, Lucius, start working your way up the ministry. Bribe, blackmail and buy your way up, I don't care how you do it."
"It will be done,"
"Izar, you'll be in the wizengamot building up momentum for our cause. We need allies willing to vote for what we want, and we need people willing to counter whatever Dumbledore and his light spewing sycophants are trying to put through."
"I've made connections with Greengrass, Davis, Smith and McLaggen on the neutral front. I'll see who else is willing,"
"Very good, Rodolphus, Rabastan and Bella, clean up your image, only then can you work on our ministry front."
"We'll start with donations and maybe a ball." Rodolphus suggested and Marvolo nodded,
"Barty, despite you hating your father, use his connections. He wanted you to be an idea heir, become one. Use your acting skills to aid our cause."
"I can do that, I'll appeal to my mother. She will force his hand." Barty said, smirking.
"Dolohov, try to infiltrate the either the DoM or the Department of International Magical Cooperation, use your connections to Russia and Germany and expand our ideas."
"I can get in to the magical cooperation, I believe. I have a cousin who works within the Russian Ministry, I can start there." Dolohov said,
"Narcissa, look in to the Black dealings and see who is in line for the Black seat. I am unaware if the latest Black named an heir, if not, take up that seat and use it for our cause."
"I'll go to Gringotts in the morning, Marvolo,"
"What are you going to be doing?" Nott asked,
"Research and trying to find what Dumbledore has done with the boy. I need to know how he managed to survive the killing curse, and I want to know if he is being trained. I felt his magic and it was practically swarming him," Marvolo answered,
"I can see if the old man is free with that information." Severus volunteered, "He would have, no doubt, told McGonagall something that may lead to the boy's location."
"That will be helpful, I don't doubt that the old man will be monitoring the location, I just need to know where it is." Marvolo said,
"It is possible that Dumbledore has passed him off, if that is the case it should be easier to track the boy." Nott mused,
"Whatever is the case, it will be something underhand; this is Dumbledore." Marvolo said, "Be that as it may, there is one thing that needs to be done before we begin from the shadows."
"I have created a spell to disguise your marks, I was meant to cast it once the Potters were dealt with, however that went astray. This is so, should Dumbledore pull out accusations, you can illustrate his lies." Marvolo explained. As one, they bared their arms and Marvolo tapped each one of their marks with a muttered word of #concelo#, they watched at the Dark Mark bled away in to unmarred flesh and they looked on in shock.
"It is like it was never there." Lucius whispered,
"Only I can remove the spell." Marvolo told them, "It will still act as it did before, the only difference is it is completely invisible to everyone."
"I'd love to see Dumbledore's face when he demands any of us to bare our left arms." Bellatrix said gleefully, "He won't know what hit him." Marvolo smirked at that, he didn't want any of this elite to suffer the throws of Azkaban and they wouldn't be questioned under Veritaserum unless there was a plausible reason, and without the Dark Mark there was no reason.
"I'll organise the ranks, get them in to order before they fall in to complete disarray. We lay low, we use the damage we've created to slip in to their systems, we take over from the inside and, when they least expect it, we'll rise again and they will not stand a chance."
~ TIME SKIP ~
It had been nearly 10 years since Albus Dumbledore began his plan to groom Harry Potter and he had to admit he didn't believe it would have gone as well as it had. Sirius Black had been the first obstacle and that had been dealt with easily, the fool had gone after Peter Pettigrew and had been thrown in Azkaban for killing him and 12 muggles without him having to intervene. Better yet, Pettigrew had screamed that Black had been responsible for the Potters death. No one even asked to confirm it, he was chucked in a high security cell and left to rot.
With the fall of the Voldemort, there had been many death eaters tracked down because they had become reckless, that meant the ministry was in disarray so the placement of their new 'saviour' had been ignored. They just assumed that he was placed where he was supposed to be and when the odd question was raised, he, the Great Albus Dumbledore, assured them that the boy was safe and was receiving the best possible care. No one questioned it. It was perfect really, he didn't even have to admit he was the one to place the child in his current housing. Of course, not all the death eaters were rounded up, many pleaded imperius or bought their way out of prison.
There were some, like the Lestranges, that simply managed to avoid capture and, to Dumbledore's astonishment, become some of the most respected people within the community. Antonin Dolohov had worked his way up to become the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation and he had secured links with Russia, Belgium and Bulgaria. Izar Nott had half of the wizengamot on board with his ideas, it was everything Dumbledore could do to even everything out, he made full use of the Potter and Black seats. It had been too easy to get them, James had given him permission to use the Potter ones and, as Black had named the Potter boy his heir, the Black seats feel to him too.
The Longbottom seats were with him, after he had 'saved' Frank and Alice from a planned attack, they had become his biggest supporters. In actual fact it had not been Dumbledore who had forcefully dragged the attackers away, but he swept in and cast a few spells and he was a hero. He had managed to pull the Prewett seats back in to play after the death of the Prewett twins, and he had also pulled up an old legislation which allowed Arthur to take back the Weasley seat so he had both of those on his side too. There were many changes in the world as the time passed, Cornelius Fudge had been elected minister and Lucius Malfoy had managed to become Fudge's left and rights hands and there was nothing that went through Fudge that Lucius hadn't already heard about. Barty Crouch Sr had continued to be the Head of the DMLE with Amelia Bones as head auror, she had thrown herself in to the auror corp after the death of her brother Edgar and Merlin was she formidable.
Crouch's son, Barty Crouch Jr, had appeared on the scene sometime after the fall of Voldemort, he remembered the boy during school. He was a bit of a loner and was in Ravenclaw, he was incredibly smart and seemed to be willing to do anything for his father's approval. He finally seemed to have it because he had become none other than the Junior Undersecretary to the Minister himself and Crouch liked nothing more than to point out what a successful heir he had. Dumbledore didn't like the fact that many of the most powerful people within their world were those he suspected as death eaters, he couldn't prove it, he had tried when the Lestranges began making their moves but his accusations had been pushed aside through the lack of a dark mark. Dumbledore had found himself stumped, he was sure Bellatrix Lestrange, at least, was a Death Eater; rumoured to be the most powerful and vicious of all Voldemort's followers. There was nothing he could do, and so he had turned to his school.
As headmaster he had been able to subtly groom the minds of countless generations of witches and wizards and watch them grow to where he wanted them, it was a rather difficult task actually, but he was a highly skilled man. He even had his very own pet death eater, Severus Snape, a highly respected potions master, the best in Europe, possibly further than that, and he was teaching at his school. Snape would be useful, when Voldemort returned the potions master could return to his 'master's' side and pretend to be a faithful spy – it was all so simple. By that time, young Harry would have been groomed by him for some years, he would have the perfect attitude of a humbled hero, struggling in this world and yet always saving the day. Relying on the advice of the Great Albus Dumbledore, and following the light and then, when the time came, he would sacrifice himself in the final battle where Dumbledore could finish it.
It was, by his own modest opinion, an amazing plan and it had been going so well. He had been monitoring the boy for the past ten years, he had connected all of his spells to his monitors so he could watch his health, the wards, his high magical outbursts and where he had been. Dumbledore knew that his compulsions and compelling charms would have held so he had no worries about that, it was just working out the correct time to go and 'save' the boy. It had to be done correctly so he was seen as the kindly grandfather/mentor that told him of this new magical world and guided him through it, Dumbledore would be the one that the boy would go to, the one he would rely on, the one he would follow. He would go on the boys birthday, it would be seen as an extra positive and the boy would look up to him even more so. Yes, he liked that idea. The boy's birthday was on the 31st of July, that gave him 6 months to prepare for the boy's arrival and how he was going to work the situation.
It was perfect.
Severus Snape sighed as he cast a stasis charm upon his potion, Dumbledore was calling yet again and he wondered why it was him that had to deal with the old fool. It had been a long 9 years since he had taken up the position since he had taken up this post of potions master of Hogwarts and everyday felt like a year to him. He was no longer free to explore his potions as he so wished, well, he did still experiment with his potions, just not as much as he would like and only when he was at Marvolo's manor.
And he supposed that he may have used his spare time and the school labs to brew some extra potions, but that was beside the point. He was stuck in a school teaching brats an art that was potentially lethal, how in Merlin's name Slughorn did it for so many years and still kept his cheerful disposition Morgana only knew. It also didn't help that Severus was not the most mild tempered men upon this planet, he knew he had a short temper, high standards and was a highly sarcastic individual, if you threw that in to a room full of students that did not appreciate the are that he practically worshiped; well it was understandable why he was the most disliked teacher in Hogwarts.
There was one thing he relished in, the students were terrified of him, it was a small boon, but it was one he did take copious amounts of pleasure in. Rumours spread to each new first year and by the time they got to his class they were already trembling in fear, he would never actually harm a child, never in a million years even think about it. But he had found that when the students feared you enough to follow your every word there were fewer mistakes. Lucius called him a sadist, Bella thought it was hilarious and Marvolo just rolled his eyes at all of them. The man told him to stop whining and get on with it; let it be known that the Dark Lord, friend or not, was not the greatest person to give out sympathy.
He supposed it wasn't all bad. He was able to keep an eye on what Dumbledore was doing and discretely pass it on to the Dark Lord, Dumbledore never questioned him because according to the old man, the Dark Lord was no longer in existence. Severus has told Marvolo that Dumbledore was waiting for his return, it had evoked the man to go on a hunt for something and return puzzled, they still didn't know what he had gone looking for but they knew better than to ask. A lot of things had changed since he had taken up the job as potions professor, the world was subtly changing and Dumbledore was powerless to stop it, it was amusing to watch the man mutter furiously to himself but there had been times where Snape had actually began to worry. The man was hiding something and he was keeping all information close to his chest, it was something important Severus was sure, his instincts were telling him to keep all senses alert but he could not gain a scrap of information.
It wasn't the only thing the man kept close to his chest, for the life of him he had not managed to get any information on the Potter boy's whereabouts from the old man. There was no record of his placement anywhere, even within the Ministry because Lucius had checked. The Malfoy Lord could not even raise question about it because suspicion would then be on him for looking for Harry Potter in the first place. Marvolo had been displeased, but there was literally nothing they could do about it unless they compromised their positions and where they were was just too important to lose over one child. The boy would be at Hogwarts soon anyway, they had to wait until September and the Snape could keep eyes, ears and trackers on the boy until Marvolo had made up his mind on what to do. He still hadn't discovered how the boy had survived the killing curse, no one had although there had been many speculations over the years.
Some ranged from the plausible, Lily Potter using an ancient curse/family magic to protect her only child, to the down right insane, Harry Potter conjured a shield of pure death magic which drew the power from the killing curse and threw it at its creator. The Lestrange brothers had laughed themselves stupid at that one, they could barely tell Marvolo what they heard through their hysterics and it was only when Snape had spelled a calming draught in to their systems were they able to explain. Severus cast a tempus and left his lab, he waved his wand to apply the usual glamour of greasy black hair and sallow skin before leaving his quarters, it was what he was famous for and so he really didn't want to change it.
It was absurd how much common sense people often lacked, he was one of the most renowned potions masters in the world – his status had grown with his perfected version of the wolfsbane potion – and people believed he could not create something to protect himself from the effects of brewing. He shook his head. Snape walked through the familiar corridors and came to a stop outside the gargoyle guarding the head office, he could have floo'd through, it was flashing and it was how he knew Dumbledore wanted him, but he liked to make the man wait and took it as a small victory each time he did so.
"Ice mice," He muttered with a sneer. The moment Dumbledore was out of this castle, he would make sure that there was never a sweet as the damn password again. Severus pulled up his Occlumency shields and climbed on to the moving staircase, he rode it to the top and knocked on the door.
"Come in, Severus," the old man called, and Snape entered the room. It was the same as always, a large circular room with portraits lining the walls and books littering the shelves, there was the phoenix on its perch with his head under its wing and the odd spinning silver instruments, that had been in the office for as long as he could remember, puffing smoke in the corner. Severus did note that one of the instruments seemed to be breaking, cracks could be seen and the smoke was a little thicker than usual, he chose not to acknowledge it as it was Dumbledore's instrument and if the man hadn't yet noticed it was his fault.
"Ah Severus, you were longer than I expected." Dumbledore said from where he was sat behind his grand desk, the man was dressed in gaudy red and purple robes that were an insult to Severus' eyes.
"I was brewing, headmaster, I could not leave at such a key point." He drawled, refusing to offer the apology Dumbledore was fishing for. He didn't know why the man still bothered, for the 9 years he had been here Severus didn't think he had ever fallen for that trick.
"Very well," the man relented, "Have a seat." Snape sat in the chair opposite his desk and face the man, he kept his eyes just about the headmasters own out of habit and waited for him to speak. He wasn't worried about the man breaking his Occlumency shields, Merlin knew many had tried and failed, but it was a habit he had picked up and didn't care to break it.
"You must be wondering why I called for you, Severus." Dumbledore began when it became apparent that Snape was content to just sit in silence.
"It has crossed my mind," Snape said, biting back the sarcastic comment of no shit that was on the tip his tongue.
"It has come to my attention that in the next school year, Harry Potter will be coming to Hogwarts." Dumbledore continued, and he now had Snape's full attention. It wasn't often that Dumbledore mentioned the boy, if at all, so Snape was interested in anything the man had to say, it was 8 months until the boy arrived so the old man must be planning something. Severus was in two minds about the boy, half of him wanted to hate the child, it was the spawn of Potter and it was the reason Lily refused to step out the way and save herself, however, the other have of him couldn't hate the child because it was Lily's child and that would mean hating something Lily produced. That and the fact he was pretty sure that if he dared treat the boy with anything but the utmost of care Lily would flay him as soon as he reached the afterlife, he may be one of the best death eaters around but he would freely admit an angry Lily Evans would always terrify him.
"Yes, he turns eleven in July, does he not?" Severus said, mindful to keep his voice and expression blank.
"He does, and because of that I need to make sure he is collected at the right time." Dumbledore said and Snape blinked, the right time, what?
"The right time, surely you are able to retrieve the boy whenever, headmaster. I thought it was you who placed him in his current residence."
"Of course, of course, the muggles are doing a splendid job of raising him just how I asked." Dumbledore waved him off and he didn't notice Snape paling slightly. He couldn't believe his ears, the man had left the supposed saviour with muggles! Oh Merlin, Lily would be having a fit. He shuddered at the thought.
"The boy has grown up the muggle world." Severus confirmed,
"Yes, it was the only place where my plans would be followed." Dumbledore muttered absently, and Severus got a foreboding feeling in the pit of his stomach. "That is irrelevant, I intend to collect the boy on his birthday to introduce him to the magical world and explain everything to him. I believe it would be beneficial for you to accompany me, Severus, as I do not want the boy to grow arrogant like his father was before him." Dumbledore added that little part knowing Snape's hatred of Potter Senior, if all went to plan then as soon as Severus saw the boy he would hate him and it would make Dumbledore seem like an even better person when he 'saved' him. Severus, on the other hand, couldn't believe his ears, he had left the Potter boy with muggles and the boy was ignorant of the wizarding world; people would not like this.
"I am able do so, headmaster." Snape agreed, he would have to see for himself what the boy was like before reporting to Marvolo, this could cause many problems and he had a feeling that was exactly what Dumbledore wanted.
"Very good," Dumbledore said brightly, "I new I could count on you,"
"Now-," Dumbledore's next words were cut off when the instrument that Severus had noticed earlier exploded in a puff of thick smoke and a shrill alarm. Dumbledore rose to his feet and Snape noticed he was pale, his usual twinkling blue eyes were icy and cold, he waved his wand over the instrument and his eyes narrowed.
"What is it, headmaster?" Snape asked, he had never found out what those instruments were for.
"The wards monitoring Harry Potter have fallen." Dumbledore told him, "We must leave immediately," Snape had absolutely no qualms on going with the man, he took the offered arm and was apperated out of the castle. Apperating through the castle wards was not pleasant, but he caught himself before he stumbled away from the headmaster. He followed Dumbledore at a quick pace down the road, it was a horrible street they had arrived at, all the houses were identical and there was absolutely nothing to tell them apart.
The reached number four and Severus hit with a feeling of dread, there was something in the air that didn't bode well and he suddenly wanted to be anywhere but here. With a wave of his wand, Dumbledore unlocked the door and pushed the door open and the pair of them stopped short. There was blood everywhere. It was splattered up the walls and dripping from the ceiling, it was soaked in to the carpet and sprayed on the doors and the house was utterly silent. With caution, Snape stepped in to the house and his eyes were taking in every detail, the blood was fresh, he noted, and there was barely a surface that wasn't covered. He took in the pictures on the wall and saw that not one of them had anything that resembled Potter in them, he did recognise Petunia Evans however and his stomach dropped even more.
He knew Petunia Evans and she was not a pleasant person, she was awful to her sister and hated everything to do with the magical world. To think that Harry Potter had grown up here sent a shiver down his spine. With the amount of blood splashed around it was highly unlikely that anyone was alive but Severus still cast the human revealing charm and was surprised to find that there was life, he hoped it was the boy.
"Search the house, Severus, and find the boy." Dumbledore ordered, Snape bit back his snappish retort at the order and headed for the kitchen. The first thing that entered his sight was the mangled body of Petunia Evans, her eyes were opened wide and she had a look of utter terror upon her face. He moved in further and a movement caught his eye, Snape looked around and found an enormous sized man gutted on the floor, he was wearing the same expression as Petunia and his limbs were left at awkward angles. But that wasn't what made Snape's eyes widen and his jaw drop.
There, sat not to far away from the body, with the intestines wrapped around their neck like a scarf, sat a tiny figure calmly drawing pictured on the white tiled floor with the blood. The figure looked up and it was only years of control that stopped Snape making a sound as he saw who it was. It was Harry Potter, of that he was sure, but he was so different from anything Snape could have pictured. Despite being almost 11, the child was no larger than a 6 year old child, his features were elfin and his frame unnaturally tiny, his black hair inky and curled down to the small of his back in natural waves.
His skin was deathly pale which made his bloody red lips stand out, but the most prominent feature was the too bright green eyes that gazed up at him in the exact shade of the killing curse. They were piercing and unhindered by glasses as they looked up and Snape, the gaze was unnerving in the least and Severus felt Dumbledore step up behind him. He heard Dumbledore's muted gasp and couldn't say he was surprise, Severus couldn't wrap his mind about what he was seeing, the boy was too small, too silent and too calm about the mess around him. He had intestines around his neck for Merlin's sake! Severus felt his breath catch as the boy smiled up at them, it was so innocent and so sweet that it should be protected, it wasn't often that Severus Snape was speechless but this was one of those times.
"He needs to be taken to Hogwarts." Dumbledore stated, "He needs to be cleaned up." there was something in his tone that set Snape on edge but he wasn't conscious enough to acknowledge it, the headmaster flicked his wand and vanished the blood and Severus saw the brief frown that flashed across the child's face as he looked down and saw his pictures were gone. It wasn't the right reaction to one seeing magic for the first time or that of and eleven year old, he walked slowly over to the child and his trained eye picked up on things that made his heart drop.
He could see marks on the boy and he had seen enough cases to know when abuse was in place, that plus the boys size, the lack of speech and the young mindset; he was hoping he was wrong. The child followed his movements keenly but didn't move once, he was too still, like he knew not to move when someone was coming toward him and Severus didn't like it. As he got closer he realised he could see the bones in the child's wrist and he could see a protruding collar bone from where the oversized t-shirt had fallen down the child's shoulder. It wasn't looking good. Snape went down so he was knelt in front of the child, he made sure to keep his movements slow and cautious as not to startle him and made sure to look the boy in the eyes.
"Hello child," He spoke softly, and watched as the boy tilted his head slightly before smiling and waving his hand in a somewhat childish greeting; he still didn't speak. "Is your name Harry?" the child pointed at himself and nodded, the action was very childish and Severus grew even more worried as he continued.
"My name is Severus Snape, and I am a teacher at a school called Hogwarts. It is a school of magic." Snape told him and Harry's eyes went wide, he looked around as if looking for someone or something before bringing his hand together and conjuring up a ball of light. Severus couldn't stop his eyes widening at the sight of wandless magic from the child in front of him, he nodded his head to show the child was right and was given a bright smile in return.
"I would like to take you to Hogwarts with me, do you want to come?" Snape asked, Harry pointed to himself with a questioning look on his face and Severus nodded, "Yes you," Harry lit up and nodded eagerly, Severus smiled slightly and stood up again, he watched as Harry got unsteadily to his feet and he was alarmed to see that the child was truly tiny. Yes, Severus was a tall man, reaching a respectable 6ft 2" but there was no reasonable answer to why an 11 year old child only reached his waist. He gently lifted the boy and set him on his hip, he was immediately alarmed at just how light the child was and he could feel everyone one of his bones. Severus swiftly left the room and stepped outside to where Dumbledore was waiting, he raised an eyebrow at the sight of Severus carrying a child but chose not to say anything.
I shall meet you at the gates." Dumbledore said before apperating away, Severus was somewhat amused as he watched Harry's reaction.
"It is a method of magical transport, it is called apperation." Severus explained, "I need you to hold your breath and close your eyes," Harry complied with the instruction and Severus disappeared with a light crack, he appeared in front of the great castle and immediately checked that Harry had had no adverse affects to apperation. The boy looked fine, if a little green, and then the child's eyes were drawn to the castle and they went wide. He didn't make a sound even if his jaw did drop a little and Severus carried him forward and through the wards, he swiftly followed the headmaster in to the castle and watched Harry's reaction to the castle itself. His eyes were bright as he took in everything, he smiled and waved as the portraits cooed over him and Severus couldn't help but smile slightly. They entered the hospital wing and Poppy bustled out, she raised an eyebrow at the child in Severus' arms and motioned to a bed. Severus set Harry down carefully and stepped away,
"Harry, this is Poppy Pomfrey, she is a school nurse and she is going to see if you have any injuries." Severus told him, keeping his voice soft and explanation simple. Immediately, by the tone of his voice, Poppy knew exactly what Severus suspected and her heart dropped, no child deserved abuse and the one in front of her was such a darling little thing. She waved her wand to cast a relatively simple diagnostic charm, it would show all injuries that had occurred within the last year in chronological order. It took a few seconds for the magic to scan his entire body before a sheet of parchment appeared and the injuries began, it should have been too many, it was only a yearly review but she felt her heart drop when the sheet kept growing and growing as every injury was listed.
Severus was watching as the parchment grew and with each new injury he felt like he was drowning, this wasn't just abuse this was extensive abuse and he looked towards the headmaster to demand an explanation only to stop short. Dumbledore was watching the scene with indifference, there was not a scrap of shock or surprise in his expression or his eyes and Severus was hit with the startling revelation that Dumbledore knew about this. Severus thought back to the conversation in the man's office and his blood ran cold when he remembered what the man had said; the muggles did a splendid job of raising him just how I asked. The man had wanted this, he had put the boy in this situation, Severus was stunned. He turned back to Poppy and was relieved to finally see the parchment had stopped listing injuries, the matron was looking at the parchment with blatant horror and then at the child.
"Severus, I am going to need lots of potions to correct this." She whispered, "I'm going to need a restorative draught, skelegro, blood replenisher, Infection clearer, advanced nutrients, numbing potion, musclegro, an antidote to blood poisoning, a system flush, bruise salve and advanced anti-scar treatment." She listed of the potions and with each one Severus felt he was getting kicked in the stomach, he didn't think he wanted to see that list at the current time and he thanked Merlin that it was currently the Yule holidays meaning he had time to work on these potions.
"I will get to work right away." Severus told her,
"I will have to put him in a magical coma and place his body in stasis or his organs will likely fail by tomorrow. His magic was sustaining him and keeping him alive, but it shows that he recently had a huge outbreak of violent accidental magic." Poppy explained, and they explained the dead bodies Severus mused. He didn't blame the child, he knew he would have snapped if he had to go through half of what was on that list. Severus had suffered abuse when he was a child but his didn't even scrap the surface of this, he didn't know what they had done but if they weren't already dead he would have killed them in the most painful way possible. He noticed the dark expression that crossed the old man's face when it became known that Harry was responsible for his abusers death.
"Is this really necessary, Poppy?" Dumbledore asked and Severus felt sick, this man was more disgusting that he could have ever guessed.
"Do be quiet headmaster, you are not a healer and you will never be one." Poppy snapped, and Severus bit back a smirk at Dumbledore's put out expression.
"Very well, I shall return when he is well." The headmaster swept from the room leaving them in silence, Poppy turned to the potions master with a dark expression.
"Please tell me that the ones responsible will never do this to another child?" She said and Severus nodded,
"They were dead when we found him, it seems as if he finally had enough."
"Good," Poppy stated, before turning back to her patient, "Hello sweetheart, I am going to have to put you to sleep to make you feel better." Harry tilted his head as if confused and then, slowly he pulled up one of his sleeves to show freshly bleeding cuts that spelled the word FREAK. Poppy couldn't hide her gasp of horror and Severus only just managed, the mediwitch waved her wand to seal up the wound and Severus summoned a jar of anti-scar from the cabinet. She pasted it on and it removed the marks merely leaving it red, Harry looked down at it in awe and then gave her a grateful look and nodded his head.
She waved her wand again and a spell washed over him, his eyes dimmed before he slumped backwards asleep, she switched the rags in which he was dressed in so he was dressed in loose fitting pyjamas and gently brushed his hair back from his face. Poppy gasped when she caught sight of the famous lightning bolt scar and slowly turned to face Severus, her face a mask of horror.
"This is Harry Potter, Severus." She breathed and Snape nodded sadly.
"This child is supposed to be 10 years old," She said, "He is not bigger than a six year old boy."
"I don't know what they did to him, Poppy, but I think its effected his mind too."
"I noticed he doesn't speak."
"He acts like a small child, pointing and waving, and allowing himself to be carried around." Severus sighed, "I shall get on to those potions, you need them as soon as possible."
"Thank you. I shall monitor him around the clock and keep him hidden, he doesn't need to be crowded even if he is not aware of it." Poppy said. Severus nodded and used her office to floo to his own rooms, he had taken the copy of the medical scan she had held out for him and he would read it when he didn't have so many important potions to brew.
It was going to be a long few days.
Severus winced for the third time within the last 10 minutes, he had been brewing practically non-stop for the past seven days, only resting when his own body all but gave out and then he only caught a few hours before he was back in the lab and drinking a pepper up potion. He had brewed half the potions, but some of them needed to be given in stages and Poppy had sent down a second list when she discovered that the child's organs were in much worst condition than first thought. The boy had been pumped full of restorative draught and they had to fight to stop his own organs from poisoning him even more, the child would have been in agonising pain and yet Severus hadn't seen him so much as twitch since they had retrieved him.
The nutrients potion was also being spelled in to the boy regularly and Severus was happy to note that the child's skin didn't look as stretched as it did when they first collected him. He was currently working on 4 different potions and they were all ones that could not be left, the reason he was wincing was because his dark mark was flaring and he was ignoring the call, it was the forth one he had ignored in three days and he knew Marvolo would be pissed at him when he eventually got to the manor. At the current time however, Severus could not care less, there was a child in the hospital wing that could die unless these potions were finished. Thankfully, these were the last doses that he would need for the time being, of course, the child would need to be monitored regularly, but he would be out of the danger zone and should be on his feet by tomorrow.
If he could walk when he was so injured, Severus had no doubt that the child would be fine when he was healed. With the musclegro, it would help strengthen him, Severus admitted that he may have tweaked a few of the potions to strengthen the potency of them and to help the child's recovery period; he couldn't help it. He was hoping that when the child woke they could discover how badly his mind was damaged from the abuse, it would be crucial for them to know and he wondered if the wandless magic was a one off or the child knew how to use it. He also wondered what happened to the child to stunt his growth so badly, he had never seen it so severe before but if the yearly review list was that bad then he would hate to see a full history. Severus had found himself having to worry about Dumbledore too.
The man had placed the boy with muggles to be abused, it was something he couldn't quite grasp even though the evidence was slapping him in the face. Why would he do such a thing? What would he possibly gain from something like that? He didn't understand and he wasn't quite sure he wanted too either. When his mark seared yet again Severus bit back a yelp and glared at it, the damn man would have to wait, the potions master summoned a jar of numbing salve and pasted it on bare looking skin, the pain immediately dulled and he sighed in relief. It wouldn't last, but it would have to do for now, he was nearly done and with the potions and he had a child to monitor. When he had some spare time he would see about a long term fixture because he had no intention of leaving the child currently, he remembered the eyes that reminded him of Lily and knew that she would hate him if he left her son now. He would have pitied Dumbledore knowing Lily would skin him when he finally died, but he remembered that Dumbledore was the cause of the boy's abuse and then couldn't wait for it to happen.
Snape pulled his first potion of the heat and allowed it to cool while he stirred the final dosage of the blood poisoning cure and threw in a tentacula leaf in to the restorative draught and left the skelegro simmer. He waited until the restorative potion when green and took that of the heat and looked at the skelegro which would be the next to finish. It finally went clear and could be removed, the blood poisoning cure was last to settle on a deep red and left to simmer. Severus bottled up the other potions and labelled them and when he was done with that task the cure was finished, he took it off the heat and allowed it to cool as he boxed the potions up. Once everything was bottled, labelled and boxed, Severus waved his wand to clean his stations and left his lab, he headed straight to the hospital wing. He wasn't surprised to find Poppy sat at Harry's bedside, she looked up when she saw him and smiled.
"Thank Merlin, I was hoping I would be able to wake him today." She said to him, relieved. Severus echoed her feeling, he just didn't show it as much as she did, he handed over the potions and stepped up to the other side of Harry's bedside. Poppy began administering the necessary potions clinically, they had been doing it all week and Severus remembered the times where Poppy had been cursing up a storm when she had caught sight of the other carved words on the child's body. Severus had to forcefully keep himself calm during that time and they had managed to get rid of the scars with the potions Severus had tweaked. All of the cuts, bruises and scars the child had were practically gone, there were some that would need treatment but eventually they would fade in to nothing which was the idea.
"I think he will be stable enough to wake now." Poppy said as she checked the scan she had just ran, "His organs are no longer in danger of failing and his bones are all healed, I can say nothing on his mental state however."
"Very well." Severus said, "We shall have to discover that for ourselves." Poppy waved her wand to counter the spell she had placed on him and they stood waiting, both of them were extremely tense as they watched for any signs of life from the child before them. Severus released a breath he didn't even realise he was holding when Harry's eyes snapped open and the child blinked a few times, the boy flew up in to a sitting position and seemed to take an inventory of his body. He tested his arms and then his legs, he flexed his fingers and toes and then pressed his hands to his ribs, he looked at them with such a surprised look that Severus felt his dead heart break and he knew that Poppy was crying. Harry pointed to them both and then back at himself,
"Yes child, we healed you." Severus said, guessing that was what the boy meant and was proven correct when Harry positively beamed at them both.
"Are you feeling better, sweetheart?" Poppy asked and Harry nodded happily, "Would you like something to eat?" Harry looked at her shocked and then pointed to himself, Poppy nodded and Harry blinked a few times as if he couldn't believe it. Severus was cursing many things in his mind, he locked his Occlumency shield up in full before he spoke.
"How about we get you something small, so you don't get sick," He suggested, and Harry nodded somewhat hesitantly. Poppy called for a house elf and asked for some chicken broth and some bread and Harry looked at the elf with wide eyes, he pointed at it and looked at Severus in question.
"That is a house elf, Harry. They cook and look after the castle, we like the house elves and make sure they are well looked after because they need our magic to survive." He added the extra part so Harry didn't confuse it with anything, the child seemed to be taking in the information and looking at the elf closely when it popped back in, he must have seen something because he nodded and then smiled. The elf placed a small bowl of broth in front of the child with some bread before popping away, Harry looked at the bowl with wide eyes and then pointed at himself as if he was making sure it was really for him.
"Yes, it's all yours." Poppy confirmed, "Now, I want you to eat as much as you can, but as soon as you start to feel sick then I want you to stop. Is that ok?" Harry nodded and then carefully started to eat, he was very neat as he ate his food and not one drop of it spilled anywhere even when he dipped the bread in. He managed one slice of bread and about half the broth before he shook his head, he had done better than Severus had expected and the elf collected the remains before vanished.
"Well done, Harry." Poppy told him and he smiled at her, he had such an innocent and sweet smile that it was almost painful when you thought of how much the child had suffered. "Now, there isn't much you can do at the moment as you have to stay here, but is there anything that you want to do?" Harry tilted his head and he looked up at her through his fringe with his bright green eyes, he imitated drawing a picture and then looked at her questioningly.
"You want to draw some pictures?" Poppy asked and Harry nodded brightly, Poppy hid her reaction by summoning some parchment and asking an elf to bring her some colouring quills. She laid them out on the tray for Harry and he looked at the things in front of him in shock, he picked up the quills individually as if testing them and then he smiled brightly as he began to draw. Poppy stepped back a bit with Severus so they could talk without him hearing while still watching him,
"I think, Severus, his mind has reverted back to that of a small child." Poppy said worriedly, and Severus sighed,
"I was afraid of this," He murmured, "And there is nothing we can do?"
"Not with something like this, he would need to see a mind healer, but then building the trust it would take to get someone in to his mind would be practically impossible. We just have to make sure he gets looked after."
"Merlin," Snape breathed, "They've… broken him?"
"To put it bluntly, yes," Poppy agreed, "We can but wait and see just how badly he's reverted." It became apparent that they were not alone in the wing when Dumbledore walked over to them, Harry hadn't looked up from his colouring and Severus had to bit his tongue so he didn't say anything to the headmaster.
"I see he is healed." Dumbledore said to Poppy, keeping his voice quiet.
"Yes, he is out of danger now." Poppy told him, "It was a close call."
"Nonsense, you're skills are brilliant." Dumbledore waved his concern off, and Severus forcefully stopped himself glaring at the old man, Poppy had no such qualms and glared at the man fiercely but didn't say anything. The three of them sat back and watched Harry, Severus was surprised to see the child using wandless magic to suspend the quills in the air in front of him. He would place the quill down and it would float in the air as he picked up another and continued to colour in his picture, it was amazing to see the almost absent control the boy had on his magic. Severus was under the belief that the boy didn't realise he was doing it, Poppy wandered over to her office so she could write up her report while others were watching Harry.
Dumbledore was eyeing the child speculatively, his mind working furiously, the child was already perfectly broken and could be made in to the perfect weapon and as he could already use his magic then it wouldn't be too difficult. He could be trained to listen only to him like the original plan was, but it would just be a different way. The child was much more mouldable in his current state, and it was ingrained in to him to follow orders. Yes, this was a brilliant turn of events. Of course, he would have to be punished for using such violence, it wouldn't do well for the public to find out their saviour was a killer. No, the boy would have to be taught not to react in such a way and he had to prove that he could stand whatever was thrown at him with no reaction. The boy would learn, he was sure of it, and with that Dumbledore nodded to himself and swept from the room.
He had to summon one of his reliable aurors, one who would not dispute this method. Unbeknown to Dumbledore, he had been muttering his plans out loud and most of his ideas had been overheard by Severus, the spy watched as the headmaster left the room and mentally cursed repeatedly. He didn't like what he had heard but he didn't know what Dumbledore was going to do, he would have to observe for now and then plan and then he winced. Right now he had a numbing slave to enhance to stop him from going insane.
Dumbledore sighed as he watched the boy yet again ignore the instructions he was given, Dawlish was a brilliant auror and had no qualms on using such force when it came to getting the desired result. He had briefed the auror on the situation and explained the results he wanted, it should have been a simple plan really, the boy was broken and mouldable. Only, it was not as it should be. They had started the training three days ago, it would have been sooner but Poppy had refused to allow the boy out of her sight for an entire week, and as of yet, the boy had not paid one bit of attention to what he was being told. It went against everything the boy had been trained to do, but the instinct didn't seem to have been ingrained as yet. It was a shame, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed. Dumbledore continued to observed the training session, it wasn't as if the boy couldn't do magic, but he used it for such trivial things. Somehow, the boy had accumulated many stuffed animals and was using his magic to play with them, he had managed to animated them to run around him. It was a spectacular piece of magic and yet the boy refused to cooperate with much simpler pieces of magic. Dawlish left the room with a huff and walked up to Dumbledore.
"I don't know what it with him, he refuses to listen." Dawlish grumbled and Dumbledore frowned,
"I know, it is most unusual, he has been trained to listen to commands." Dumbledore said, "I suspect we will have to use force."
"It seems to be the only way. If he refuses to listen then he won't be much use to anyone." Dawlish agreed.
"Punish him for not listening, and add one in for unnecessary violence. I don't want him believing it is acceptable to hurt people." Dumbledore told him, Dawlish nodded and re-entered the room. They didn't notice, but there were not alone while talking, Dumbledore seemed to forget that Severus Snape was a Slytherin, and a highly accomplished spy, and because of these facts, he was very good at masking spells. He had wanted to know what Dumbledore was doing with the boy, he was worried because the child had only just come out of a healing coma and the headmasters muttered plans were not reassuring. The child was always back in the hospital wing and unharmed, but there was something about how Harry looked at Dumbledore that told Snape that it wasn't anything nice.
For that reason he found himself following the headmaster and yet again ignoring his dark mark, it was reaching blinding intensity of pain by this point and if it wasn't for his expertise in potions, Severus believed he would have been unconscious due to the pain. He listened to the conversation between Dawlish and Dumbledore in disgust and knew something needed to be done, Dumbledore had harmed the child enough and Severus still had no idea why. He shifted his position just enough so he could see through Dumbledore's viewing charm and watch Harry. The child had taken all the toys he and Poppy had given him and had made them run around him, one of them, the snake that Severus insisted he have, was slithering around and playfully snapping at the other animals. He could see that Harry was enjoying himself, and yet the child still made absolutely no sound.
It was alarming in the least, but Severus guessed that the boy had trained himself to move around in silence as to stop himself from being noticed. It was a shame, no child should be like that, but he doubted it was a habit that could be broken, he himself still moved around in silence. It was something that drove Lucius utterly insane because, despite numerous hours of training, he still could not move around as quietly as Severus. He shook his head and focused back on the room, he marvelled at the wandless animation that the child had managed and watched as Dawlish stalked over and yanked the boy up. Snape grit his teeth to stop himself reacting, and he clenched his fists as Dawlish shook the child, he was hissing something but Severus couldn't hear what. He saw as Harry's face completely closed off, it was like everything from the child he had been watching over the last few days had completely vanished and a shell was in his place. He also felt the magic build in the air, he saw ice begin to build on the walls of the room Harry was in, Dawlish slapped the child across the face and Severus very nearly took a step forward.
Harry's eyes narrowed and Dawlish stumbled back from the boy as if he was burned, the child glared up at Dawlish and he swiped his hand viciously through the air. Severus couldn't stop his eyes from widening as Dawlish collapsed when his abdomen was split open and his guts spilled out, Harry's expression cleared and he smiled brightly at the blood on the floor. He wandered over and dipped his fingers in the blood, using the blood like paint and paining on the floor. The feeling of stifling magic had disappeared when Harry smiled again and Severus blinked, he had just witnessed a child gut someone without so much as a blink, he didn't know whether to be alarmed or not. He looked towards the old man as he heard him mutter a curse and saw that he was glaring at the boy,
"This won't do," Dumbledore hissed to himself, "This was not part of the plan. He was not trained to kill, he was supposed to be trained to die. I wanted him malleable." The aged headmaster shook his head, "He needed to be taught a correct lesson, I should have realised that I would have to train him properly. Pain is nothing he isn't used to, I'll reintroduce it. That will bend him, the little brat." Dumbledore entered the room to clean up the mess and scold the child, Severus saw the man cast a powerful stinging hex to the same spot where Dawlish had slapped him and he didn't think he had ever wanted to kill a man more than when he saw Harry's eyes tear up slightly at the sting.
One of the child's tiny hands came up to cover the spot and he looked even smaller because of it, Dumbledore gave him some parting words and stalked from the room. Harry sat in the middle of the room with his head down and Severus made a decision right then, he knew that Dumbledore was responsible for the abuse and he knew that the man intended to cause more harm to the child and he could not allow him to do that. That left him with one option and it wasn't something he was fond of, but he didn't have any choice. Severus melted back in to the shadows and stalked down to the dungeons, he entered his rooms and sealed them shut, he waved his wand and his most precious items within the castle walls immediately began packing themselves. Most of his true valuables were either at Marvolo's manor or Malfoy Manor, they were the two safest places where he could access them at will, anything sentimental or any heirlooms that he did have were kept in one of his vaults in Gringotts.
He had one under the name Snape which is where most of his potions money went and his salary went, the second one was under Prince and it held his substantial inheritance and the other half of his potions money. When everything was packed, he shrunk it down and put it in his robes, he checked everything to make sure and the emptied his potions store manually, there were things in there that he rather no one find. It didn't take him long and once it was sealed and shrunken, Severus left his quarters of the past 9 years and headed back to the rooms where the boy was. He kept to the shadows and the portraitless corridors, he finally reached the room and quickly made sure that he was alone with the child. Snape entered the room and Harry looked up quickly, he relaxed when he saw who it was and offered Severus a somewhat hesitant smile. Snape kneeled in front of the boy and remembered to keep his voice soft and steady,
"Do you want to come with me? I am going to see a very powerful man and he can keep you safe from Dumbledore." Snape told him, Harry pointed to his chin and then drew his finger downwards, "Yes, the man with the beard." Harry brightened at the thought before he bit his lip, he pointed at his toys and his colouring in question. "You can have more of them when we get there." Snape assured him, Harry's eyes light up and he held his arms up allowing Severus to pick him up and set him on his hip. He left from the room at speed and used many passageways to get outside the castle, he knew that he couldn't floo because Dumbledore could trace that, but unless the man jumped him then there was no way to track apperation. He left through the great doors and darted across the grounds, he had cast a notice me not charm on himself to stop them being noticed but it didn't stop him breathing in relief when they reached the gates. He slipped out and walked a few steps away to make sure he was clear of the wards,
"Remember what I said about apperation?" Snape said to Harry, the child held his breath and closed his eyes as Snape apperated away. He landed in a grand entrance hall and Harry peaked his eyes open, they went wide as they took in the new area and he looked around in astonishment. It held black marble flooring that glistened in the low light, the walls were decked in a deep green and were lined with portraits, some of which were empty. Severus almost sighed when he felt his mark stop burning now he was at the manor, he removed the notice-me-not and pulled out his mask to place on his face.
"I need you to stay very still and make no sound until I tell you to, ok?" He said to Harry, the child nodded and stilled all movements; Severus couldn't even feel him breathing anymore. He cast an overpowered notice-me-not on the boy and made sure his cloak was covering him, it was lucky he was so small in this case, when he was sure Harry was as concealed as possible he walked towards the meeting room and took a breath. Severus drew himself up and entered the room, the inner circle parted instantly when they took in who it was, he didn't get his reputation for not illustrating his power and he stalked in with his cloak billowing behind him in his usual style. Severus bit back a wince when he felt the bloody eyes of his friend and Lord burn in to him, he was hoping that everything went ok because he had very few places he could hide from both Dumbledore and Marvolo and he couldn't allow any more harm to come to the child; he owed it to Lily.
"You have a lot of explaining to do, Severus." The Dark Lord hissed, and Snape closed his eyes at the fury he could hear in the man's voice.
"I must speak with you immediately, My Lord." He spoke in his usual drawl, but trained ears within the group could pick up on the wariness of his tone, "I am afraid it really cannot wait." The Dark Lord's eyes narrowed as he took in the form of his spy, he had been absolutely furious when Snape had missed his call not once, but several times. He did not like being ignored and to think one of his most trusted, one of his friends, was ignoring the call wasn't something he took lightly, and he knew that Severus was ignoring it by choice and not by duress because he could feel it.
He had been the one to create the dark mark so he could feel the difference between the two, he didn't know what would make him ignore it and for a moment he had began to fear the Severus may have switched on him. He had been a spy for so long and Marvolo was worried that they had lost one of their own to the old man, he didn't voice it because he didn't want to anger or worry his elite but it had plagued him. He was surprised when he saw the man enter in his usual fashion and Marvolo expected a damn good answer to his extended absence, it was not something that would just be let go unless there was something that was more important; something Marvolo doubted.
The Dark Lord blinked at the strain he could hear within Severus' voice when he spoke, Severus Snape had some of the best Occlumency shields he had ever seen so for even a touch of wariness to enter his voice was something to note. Then he truly looked at his spy when the man said it couldn't wait, Marvolo was shocked to see that Severus looked tired, the man's whole posture screamed exhaustion and now Marvolo wanted to know what in Merlin's name had happened.
"Very well, you are all dismissed. This will continue at a later date." The Dark Lord told them, the inner circle bowed and apperated out leaving the elite and their Lord. They all took their masks off and looked at Severus in question, the potions master drew away his mask and they looked at him startled; the man was paler than usual and he was drawn, he looked exhausted and there was something in his eyes that told them they were not going to like whatever he was about to tell them.
"What has kept you away for so long, Severus?" Marvolo questioned, his voice held equal amounts of accusation and concern.
"My Lord, Marvolo…" He trailed off and swallowed, the reality of what he had seen hit him now he was in the safety of those he truly trusted. His actions alarmed his friends and Lucius took a hesitant step forward, he was the closest to Severus and he had never seen the man so out of it.
"Severus?" He said, his voice worried and he knew he wasn't the only one in the room.
"Dumbledore has done something truly unforgivable." Severus told them, and it was taking everything he had to make sure his voice didn't waver for a second. If he didn't have the child on his hip right now, he may have believed it was some hideous joke, but the child was there and there was no mistaking what had happened over the past week and a half.
"What is it, Severus?" Marvolo asked, dreading the answer. Anything to do with Dumbledore was usually bad, but to shake up Snape was something very rarely seen. Severus took a deep breath to calm himself, he was certain Harry was safe now because if there was anything he was sure of it was Marvolo's hatred of any child related crimes, especially abuse, and his hatred of anything Albus Dumbledore.
"Dumbledore saw fit to purposely put a magical child with abusive muggles." He said, and it was as if the temperature of the room had been turned down. Everyone froze at his words and almost as one, the entire elite turned to face their Lord and friend. Marvolo had gone very still when he heard Severus speak and he couldn't quite wrap his mind around what had been said, he abhorred child abuse, it was the only thing that he could not condone. Anyone who dared violently attack a child found themselves killed in the same way by his hand, if children had to be killed, and the times were limited, the use of the killing curse was the only acceptable method. Anything else was a death warrant and all of his death eaters knew that.
His elite knew the extent of how much he hated abuse however, and they agreed with him. Children were meant to be cherished, and magical children were a blessing, so any acts against them that were not nurturing or caring were unacceptable in their eyes.
"Excuse me?" He whispered, not daring to believe what he had heard but having a sinking feeling about it.
"Marvolo, he left him with muggles to be abused." Snape said and the room went icy.
"Explain to me how you are privy to this information, Severus," Marvolo ordered.
"He was monitoring this particular child and a ward fell alerting him that something untoward had happened. I went with him to retrieve the child and we found him with his dead relatives, it was a massacre scene and when I found the child I saw the signs almost immediately." Severus took a breath to control himself, it was him that dealt with the muggleborns that were abused every year so he had had enough practice to spot abuse over the years.
He had students coming from all houses and all years, he healed them unquestioningly and his one regret was that he wasn't there to continue. He took out the parchment that contained Harry's injuries from the past year and closed his eyes, he had been carrying it around with him since Harry had arrived, he hadn't read it yet but he knew it was not going to go down well.
"I, of course, took him to see Poppy as soon as we were back in the castle where she performed a simple yearly review. Marvolo, I cannot read it, but it is like nothing I have ever seen." He levitated it over to the Dark Lord and the room fell in to silence as the powerful man unfolded the parchment and began to read. It wasn't a good sign when the sheet was longer than his arm, but it only got worse when the man didn't even get halfway through the sheet before his magic was crackling angrily around him.
By the time he was finished Severus was sure that there would be a few deaths in the near future. Stiffly, Marvolo held out the parchment to Bellatrix as she was closest, her eyes roamed over the words and her hand went to her mouth to muffle her gasp of utter horror. She wasn't the only one to have such a reaction and it was a few moments before any of them could speak.
"This was just a yearly review?" Izar Nott asked, he and Lucius looked the worst and it was understandable. Lucius had a son of his own and Izar was raising his grandson like his own, anything child related tended to get to them more than the others because of that.
"Yes, the child had to be placed in a coma. I thought we were going to lose him, I brewed potions for a week straight and it was still touch and go. The child's own body was poisoning him where his organs were failing, he would have been in unimaginable pain and the worst thing is that he didn't even show it." Severus shook his head, remembering it brought a shudder to his spine.
"What do you mean?" Rabastan questioned,
"The child had absolutely no reaction to any of the pain he was in, make no mistake when I say he was in a lot of pain it would have been crippling to a fully grown adult, but if you had been looking at him you would have never guessed. He didn't flinch, cry out, whimper, Merlin, he didn't even blink." Severus answered,
"You haven't explained everything." Marvolo noted and Severus swallowed again, it was the worst of it and he didn't know how they would react.
"You are correct, Marvolo," He agreed, before steeling himself, "The abuse has stunted the child's growth more than I have ever seen. But that's not all. The child does not speak, I haven't been able to work out if this is voluntary or a past injury, because of this I have been unable to come to any conclusions over the final problem."
"And just what is this problem?" Marvolo asked, he had a feeling he knew what had happened but he was praying he was wrong; something he didn't think had happened before.
"The child's mind is broken, Marvolo, it has reverted back to that of a small child. Things that are common with young children, like colouring and drawing keep the child amused for hours along with toys and stuffed animals." Severus didn't need to be looking at the Dark Lord to know the man's knuckles had gone white and his eyes were flashing.
"It is odd, however. The child has a high aptitude for wandless magic, I have personally seen him animate the toys he plays with to move and play with him. And the child has a complete lack of reaction to killing and blood." Severus explained.
"How do you no such things?" Bella asked, confused.
"Dumbledore has plans for the child, he intended to harm the child in the intention to 'fix' him and he was using Dawlish to 'train' the child. Dawlish struck the child and I saw as the child gutted him with a slash of his hand. He didn't even blink as the blood sprayed everywhere and then he sat and drew pictures with the blood. I will admit it was slightly alarming." Severus told them, and he wasn't alarmed by the actions, merely at the fact that the boy looked so innocent while doing so.
"What are Dumbledore's plans for the child?"
"He wanted to make the child in to the perfect weapon, and I overheard him saying he was being trained to die." Snape said and then winced, the Dark Lord was actually shaking in an effort to control his rage. It had been a long time since the man had been so mad that his magic was on show like it was currently, and Snape almost pitied Dumbledore; almost.
"I wish to know the identity of this child, Severus." Marvolo stated and Snape bit back a sigh; this was the part he had been worried about.
"It is Harry Potter," He answered and a resounding silence met his words, "I know it is not what any of us thought, but the boy has suffered so much. He already has an aversion to Dumbledore and-,"
"Bring the child to me, Severus." Marvolo ordered, cutting the potions master off. Snape shifted on his feet slightly,
"I have already taken the child, Marvolo. I saw Dumbledore cast a strong stinging hex to the boys face and threaten him, I feared the man would harm him again this evening." He explained, and their expressions darkened at the thought.
"Where is he?" Marvolo questioned. Severus opened his cloak and cancelled the charm, he gently lifted Harry from his hip and placed him carefully on the ground in front of him facing the Dark Lord. The gasp that echoed around the room was completely expected as all eyes fell to the child in front of him, everyone in the room could not, for the life of them, stop their jaws from dropping; even Marvolo. The Dark Lord looked at the child in a stunned silence, he couldn't believe his eyes as he looked upon the tiny little thing in front of him.
"Harry Potter is ten years old, Severus." He said in a voice barely over a whisper when he regained the ability to talk again.
"Exactly, Marvolo," Severus said, and the reality of the abuse fell on to them all, the Dark Lord blinked a few times.
"The child barely looks seven," Marvolo said, and his voice showed his disbelief. None of the elite had managed to take their eyes of the tiny figure stood in front of Severus, the boy was looking at them all in childish curiosity and they were all struck silent by his elfin features and too bright eyes.
"What have they done?" Bella breathed in utter horror. No one could answer that question because they didn't believe it themselves, they were all called monstrous as death eaters and yet they had a case of true monstrosity in front of them and it was no death eater that committed such an act. They watched as Harry continued to look around at them all, his eyes were shining with curiosity as he took them all in. Too bright green eyes met startling crimson and the child tilted his head cutely at the Dark Lord, it was such an innocent gesture that it was almost painful to watch knowing what the child had been through.
Marvolo had never been particular fond of children, yes he was completely against child abuse and child attacks, but he had never quite gotten over how loud or messy they were and so he usually stayed away from them. But when he looked upon the tiny little thing in front of him he had the mad urge to protect him, it was completely absurd but he was never one to go against his instincts. He rose from where he was sat upon his throne and approached the child, he was well aware that his every move was being followed precisely and he knelt gracefully before the boy making sure to keep his movements slow as not to startle him.
"Hello, child," Marvolo spoke in soft tones too, it would be no good if the child was terrified of him from the off. "Do you understand?" Harry nodded his head and Marvolo felt a tiny smile curl on to his face at the action, "Do you know who I am?" He watched as the boy tilted his head for a few seconds before Marvolo felt something slip past his Occlumency shields, he didn't show any outward reaction accept for blinking but he was stunned that the boy was able to do something like that. He focused on what had been pushed in to his mind and saw it was Severus telling the child that he was a powerful man, Marvolo nodded.
"Yes, that's right. I am a very powerful man, I am the Dark Lord and these are my elite death eaters." He told the child and saw his eyes light up on the word death, Marvolo felt something else enter his mind and couldn't stop the blood thirsty smirk that came to his face when he saw the image of three mangled bodies. He nodded his head in confirmation before continuing, "Yes, just like that. Would you like to stay here with us?" Harry looked as if he was thinking and Marvolo was thrown some images of toys, colouring and bloody pictures, the final of which made him extremely pleased, and he nodded again.
"You can have all of that, child, if you stay here." Marvolo told him and Harry titled his head again and looking at Marvolo as if he was evaluating him. He must have seen something he liked because he nodded his head and gave the Dark Lord the brightest, sweetest, most innocent smile he had ever seen. It made him look positively adorable and Marvolo blinked, he gave the child a soft smile and waved his wand to conjure up the same toys he had seen in the images the child had given him. The boy's eyes widened in delighted shock and he looked at the toys on the floor and then back at the Dark Lord, he pointed at the toys and then at himself,
"Yes, they are for you." Marvolo confirmed and was rewarded with a happy grin, the child sat down with his legs crossed and began playing with the stuffed animals. The Dark Lord was impressed when he saw them all become animated and interacted with the child but he was somewhat alarmed by the complete lack of sound, he didn't like the fact children were loud but even adults made some sort of noise.
"Bella, fetch Narcissa immediately, she has a new patient to be looking after." Marvolo commanded,
"Where will the boy stay?" Lucius asked and Marvolo walked back to this throne.
"He will have to stay here," He said after a moments thought, "This is the only place where he will be completely secure at all times and there is always someone here – usually more than that." Severus seemed to breathe in relief now he knew the child was completely safe and Marvolo looked at him,
"You need rest, Severus, you have saved the child's life and made sure he is protected. Go to sleep and tomorrow you can give me your memories, I wish to see exactly what happened." Marvolo said to him and Severus nodded, he kneeled down so he was on Harry's level to speak to him softly.
"I am going to go rest now, and you are going to stay here with Marvolo." Severus told him, Harry pointed at Marvolo in the throne and Snape nodded, "Yes, that is him, you'll be safe with him." Harry nodded to show he understood and Snape left with a nod of his head, he had a room within the manor that he intended to make full use of because he was exhausted.
Bellatrix Lestrange apperated to the entrance hall of Malfoy Manor, her mind was working furiously as she tried to comprehend what had just happened. When Severus had not appeared for multiple calls, she didn't have any idea as to what had kept him away. However, when he did appear and explain his absence, nothing could have prepared her for what he had to say. Abuse of any kind was not something she agreed with, she may have been one of the most vicious death eaters within her Lord's army and she may not have a maternal bone in her body, but her heart went out to that tiny child that was before them. He was just so small. Bella couldn't have her own child, she had been cursed and her womb irrevocably damaged, so it was beyond her how anyone could think to hurt a child.
She couldn't quite get that the child was supposed to be ten, for him to be so small she didn't even want to think what had happened to the boy. The year review was bad enough. She shook her head, she walked through the manor with practiced ease and she found Narcissa in the sun room with Draco. When she saw the size of Draco and realised that he and the tiny child back at the manor were the same age it made something clench within her; it just wasn't right.
"Bella? What are you doing here? I was under the assumption that there was a meeting today." Narcissa said in greeting, rising to her feet to meet her sister. Bellatrix kissed her sister on the cheek and pressed a light kiss to Draco's head.
"Hello Cissa," Bella returned, "Yes, we are in a meeting, but I am afraid I do not come here with good news."
"Draco darling, would you please floo over to Izar's and stay with Theodore. I need your mother." Bella said to him, the boy looked slightly put out but didn't argue.
"What is going on, Bella?" Narcissa asked,
"We discovered why Severus has been away, Cissa." Bella told her, and Narcissa looked interested.
"He has returned then? I was starting to worry."
"Dumbledore has truly gone beyond all redemption," Bella said,
"What has happened? Is Severus ok?"
"It is not Severus, but he discovered that Dumbledore left one of our children with muggles to be abused."
Narcissa's eyes widened in horror and Bella nodded,
"Harry Potter, no less."
"The supposed 'saviour'?"
"The very same,"
"What has this to do with Severus?" Narcissa wondered,
"Cissa, it is like something I have never seen. The child, he wasn't just abused, he was tortured. Severus had to work to save the poor things life." Bella said furiously, "Here, look at this. It is but a simple yearly review." Bella passed her the parchment and watched as her sisters pale skin went a startling white.
"Oh what monsters."
"What is worse is Dumbledore did it on purpose. According to Severus, the man intended to harm the child even more." Bella spat.
"Has the child not suffered enough?"
"It gets worse." Bella warned,
"How could it possibly get worse?" Narcissa demanded,
"The abuse the child has gone through, it's…Cissa it broke his mind. He's reverted back to that of a small child." Bella exclaimed, "Do you remember when Draco used to play with his stuffed animals, and he was obsessed with drawing pictures?"
"Yes, he was 6 years old and Lucius went mad when he discovered a picture of a dragon on his study door."
"Well, the boy is just like that. And with how much his growth has been stunted, you would never believe he was ten."
"Severus, obviously, took the boy. He's at the manor now, with Marvolo and the others. Marvolo requested your presence immediately, you'll need to monitor the boy. Severus said they only just managed to stop the boy dying from blood poisoning." Bella said to her and Narcissa rose to her feet straight away, she and her sister walked quickly through the manor and she barked out an order for a cloak. An elf met them in the entrance hall and handed over a blue cloak, the pair apperated away and landed in the entrance hall of the Riddle House.
Bella led the way to the meeting room and they walked in, Bella noted Severus was now absent and guessed it was because he had been told to go to sleep; the man was ridiculously stubborn sometimes. The others were sat discussing something lowly and Bella spotted Harry sat on the floor playing with some toys, she heard Narcissa's muted gasp and knew she had spotted the child also as they walked in to the room.
"Ah Bella, you've returned." Marvolo noted, "I assume you have told Narcissa of the circumstances?"
"Yes, she was, as we all were, appalled." Bella said and Marvolo nodded once.
"You'll need to monitor him, his condition is shaky at best." Marvolo said, "He will be staying here for safety."
"I can do that." Narcissa said, "Severus will have to give me the list of potions he had used."
"Harry," Marvolo's voice turned softer as he addressed the child, Harry's attention snapped up and he looked at Marvolo in silent question. "Come here, Little One." with surprising grace for a child, Harry got to his feet and walked over to Marvolo, his every movement as silent as ever and he stood in front of the man. Narcissa came over with Bellatrix and despite them coming next to him, his attention didn't stray from Marvolo; it was curious.
"This is Narcissa Malfoy, she is going to be your healer. Do you know what a healer is?" Marvolo got an image of Pomfrey healing the cut on Harry's arm where it said freak, he had to stop any outward reaction to the visible sign of abuse and calmly nodded. "Yes, that's right. She makes you feel better." Harry smiled at that, "Are you going to say hello?" Harry turned to Narcissa, offered her a positively adorable smile and waved sweetly. Narcissa felt her heart melt when she saw that and slowly came closer to the child,
"Hello Harry." She greeted with a smile, "Will you let me scan you to make sure you are ok?" Harry looked at her seriously before nodding, she waved her wand and he was surrounded by a green glow, Narcissa nodded somewhat relived breath.
"Everything is in order." Narcissa said to Marvolo before looking at Harry, "You are fine." Harry smiled, and then turned to Marvolo with a questioning look.
"We should find you a bedroom to sleep in, shouldn't we?" Marvolo said to him, Harry tilted his head as if he was confused, he pointed to himself unsure. "Yes, you need somewhere to sleep." Harry pushed an image of the cupboard under the stairs and Marvolo's eyes flashed. "No, you shall not be sleeping in a cupboard." Harry blinked at that, he held out his hands as if to say where else am I supposed to go?
Marvolo mentally added forcing Dumbledore in to cupboard like cell on his list of things to do to the old man as he took a steadying breath. He carefully lifted Harry up and set him on his hip, marvelling how easy it was to handle a child; he had never held one before. He watched as the child's eyes seemed to go extra wide and his little mouth dropped open in shock, Marvolo raised a questioning eyebrow and the elite watched amused as Harry peaked over at the ground and then looked back at the Dark Lord with excited eyes. He pointed at Marvolo and held his hand as far above his head as he could, Marvolo chuckled at that,
"Yes, I am very tall." He agreed, Harry seemed absolutely fascinated because he kept looking at the ground and then back up at Marvolo as if he couldn't believe his eyes. The elite were muffling their chuckles and Marvolo rolled his eyes amused, he waved his wand to vanish the chairs and toys and turned to his elite.
"I shall be placing in the room opposite to mine, if there are any problems then I am able to see to it as, no doubt, Severus is unconscious by now."
"I will return in the morning to speak with Severus," Narcissa said,
"We'll be back too, that way he can get used to us all." Bella said,
"And we can plot Dumbledore's eventual demise." Izar added,
"Oh, Izar, when you return to your home, please send Draco back. Bella sent him over with Theodore because I had to come here." Narcissa said,
"Very well, until tomorrow," Marvolo said, his elite apperated away. He looked towards Harry and smiled slightly at the child's fascination, it was such a simple delight. "As I have never looked after a child before, this will be an enlightening experience for the both of us." Marvolo told him, walking from the meeting room. "But I do not believe you shall be too difficult to look after, will you?" Harry shook his head seriously and Marvolo chuckled, "No, I didn't think so." He carried Harry up two flights of stairs and along the corridor, he walked past many bedrooms to the very end where there was a set of intricately decorated double doors on the left and a set of plain double doors on the right.
Marvolo opened the plain doors and stepped in to a large room, it was decorated in neutral colours and the furniture was dark wood. There was a large bed set between two Victorian windows and the carpet was thick, there wasn't much in the room, a nice chair in front of the fire and a low set table. A bedside cabinet sat each side of the bed and there was a wardrobe opposite the fire, there was a separate door which led to a respectable sized en suit. Harry looked around curiously and Marvolo carefully placed him on the bed, Harry looked at him in question.
"This is your new bedroom." He told the child, Harry blinked a few times and pointed at himself then at the room, "Yes, all of it is yours." Harry looked so shocked that it was hard to comprehend. "Now, tomorrow I will have Narcissa get you some clothes. For now, we will have to improvise." Marvolo flicked his wand and transfigured Harry's clothes in to simple black pyjamas, on a whim he placed green snakes on them and made them slither around the material. Harry's eyes widened and looked at the pyjamas in awe, he followed the snakes with his fingers and then looked back at Marvolo with big excited eyes.
"It's time for you to go to sleep," Marvolo told him, "The bathroom is just through that door there, ok?" Harry nodded, Marvolo waved his wand and created a soft glowing ball of light to float above the child as he was in a new place. "When you wake up, I need you to stay in this room until I come and get you or you might get lost." Harry nodded again, he climbed cautiously under the covers and led down.
He looked even smaller than before led in the huge bed, Marvolo conjured his stuffed animals up and set them on the bed with him before leaving the room. The Dark Lord went straight to his rooms and headed for the shower, he hadn't showed it in front of his elite or the child but he had a whole lot of guilt sitting in his gut. He let the hot water wash over him and closed his eyes, he could see the child in his mind, the tiny little thing with a mind to match his size, broken and tortured for as long as he could remember.
The list of injuries, from the past year alone, was something that he believed would remain in his mind forever. And he remembered the innocence the child held and it made everything worse. Severus' words replayed in his mind, they had had to save the boy's life because his own body was poisoning him, and despite the pain he was in he showed none of it. Why? Oh it was Dumbledore's doing, of that there was no doubt, but it wouldn't have been possible without him killing the boy's parents. He had been the one to orphan the child allowing Dumbledore to break him, it was him that took away the boy's safety and he was responsible for that alone.
For the first time since he was six years old, Tom Marvolo Riddle cried.
There we have it, the first part of Fractured and I hope you liked it. I would be extremely pleased if you could drop me a review and tell me what you think, I'm working on the second part as we speak.