Disclaimer: Just taking the characters out to play!

WARNINGS: This fic contains slash, graphic violence/torture, character death, explicit sexual content, and profanity. Please read at your own discretion.

Pairings: HPLV

A/N: Here we are, another Harrymort by me. This one is almost completely finished already so let me know what day of the week you want to see it updated and I'll post it weekly until it's done, if that sounds good to everybody. I've already written about six chapters and I think it'll have about ten. Anyway, on with the fic!

And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?

Only a cat of a different coat,
that's all the truth I know.

In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.

And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that Lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o'er his hall,
with no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall,
and not a soul to hear.

Chapter One: From These Beginnings – House Smallwood

It had begun quite suddenly. Their capture. Being brought to Malfoy Manor. Draco recognizing them. Certainly it was only an hour, maybe less. Still, this space of time, however small it might have been, marked the beginning of the changes in Harry's life.

Lucius and Narcissa kept asking Draco if he was sure. If he was positive in his accusation that Harry was really The Boy Who Lived. While Draco did seem somewhat reluctant to commit, he swallowed down his insecurity with a resound nod of his head, and Voldemort was summoned.

Only moments before, Harry knew Voldemort to have been interrogating Grindelwald. He hoped that the distance between Nurmengard and Malfoy Manor was adequate enough for him to make an escape. But again, everything was very sudden. All participants were in constant motion, even Hermione who was being quite still. Harry knew the cogs in her head were turning rapidly. Bellatrix Lestrange stepped into the room sheer seconds after her Lord was called and Harry would remember the look of sheer terror that had come over her face for a long time. She was staring at the Sword of Gryffindor as if haunted by it, and Harry thought to use her distraction as an opportunity. After all, for now, she was doubtlessly the most dangerous person in the room.

He ducked, rapidly, trying to keep a hasty pace even as his forehead started to inflame with agony. He didn't let himself wonder if that meant that Voldemort was coming or that he was close. He could only hope that the persistent horrid burning of his scar didn't already mean that the dark wizard was here. Harry rolled hard to his left and hurled his curled up body at Draco, wincing at the pain from contorting his already swollen face.

Draco was not ready for the physical attack, and allowed his legs to be swept out from under him, falling to the ground, where Harry was already crouched and ready to land another blow. Ron and Hermione must have been suitably distracting the three adults in the room, because Harry managed to yank Draco's wand out of his hand and point it at him. Once he had gained the clear advantage, he stunned his rival and stood back up quickly, turning to see how his friends were making out.

What he saw made his blood run cold.

Voldemort was there. Standing. Simply standing. He had a calm hand raised towards Lucius, presumably having stopped the Malfoy patriarch from interfering with Harry and Draco's tussle on the floor. Hermione and Ron were being held by the Black Sisters, Ron with Narcissa's wand against his neck and his own in her other hand, and Hermione on the ground with one of Bellatrix's heels dug into her back. How had he been such an idiot? To think he could best three death eaters and not get his friends hurt…

He raised Draco's wand and cast a cutting hex at Lucius – the only person he could take down without running the risk of missing and hitting Ron or Hermione. Well, the only person aside from Voldemort. Harry's nemesis seemed to be content just to watch for now, and he planned on giving quite the show, if he could.

His performance was short lived. A quick flick of the wand and Harry's spell dissipated before even hitting its target. He didn't even know which of them had done it. He tried to think of a spell that could safely get his friend's out of their tricky positions, all the while firing every curse he could think of at Lucius, who was standing still, watching as Voldemort and Bellatrix seemed to be making sport of which of them could vaporize Harry's attempts faster.

Bella was cackling, apparently past her earlier distress over the sword. Her laugh rang harsh and hot in Harry's ears and he thought of her at the ministry, after she'd killed Sirius. Suddenly, he turned away from Lucius, taking a furious step forwards.

"Harry don't!" Hermione pleaded, her eyes wide open and watering. She whimpered when Bellatrix dug her foot in harder.

Harry understood what it was that Hermione didn't want him to do. She didn't want him to stoop to their level. She didn't want him to become merciless or cold or cruel or violent. He had told Hermione about how he had tried to Crucio Bellatrix at the ministry. Told her about the swell of power in his chest when he'd spoken the word, but how even then, he hadn't wanted to inflict such pain onto another human being. The intent behind the spell was not enough to truly damage her. He would probably never be sadistic enough to do to Bellatrix Lestrange even half of what she had done to the Longbottoms.

But he was not opposed to trying.

"Crucio!" He hollered, brandishing Draco's wand almost as if it was a muggle gun, and feeling every single piece of hatred that he held for this woman.

It was Hermione, and not Bellatrix who screamed. She shook her head frantically and tried to wiggle out from under Bellatrix's shoe. Harry could see the blood on her back from the way the heel dug into her, but he could also hear Hermione's soft begging. "Please, Harry, no, no…"

Voldemort laughed, and the sound distracted Harry so thoroughly that he didn't throw up a shield in time when the red-eyed man disarmed him. He shot a non-verbal binding spell and Harry felt his limbs stick fast to his body as he fell back to the ground.

Voldemort stalked over to him, and crouched down so that he was eye level with his captive. "Do you know what the Mudblood is asking of you, Harry?" He inquired casually, "I have just looked into its mind. Would you like me to tell you?"

Harry could feel his heart beating too quickly against his chest. He was at a loss for action. What could he do? His thoughts couldn't keep up with his pulse.

"How about you, Blood-Traitor?" Voldemort looked at Ron, "Are you interested in the final thoughts of Hermione Jean Granger?"

Harry was for a moment quite preoccupied with the notion that Voldemort's obsession with him was thorough enough to include knowledge of the full name of his best friend. Then he wondered if maybe Voldemort didn't actually obsess over him more than anything else. The man seemed to obsess over everything as if there was nothing in the world that he could simply do – instead it all had to be plotted and fixated on.

When Harry recovered from his mental getaway he fully realized what it was the Voldemort had just said. Final thoughts?

"NO!" He shouted, panic so thorough that he was able to thrash slightly against the binding spell, although it wasn't enough. Voldemort gave a simple nod of instruction, and Bellatrix grinned wide, pointing her wand at the back of Hermione's head, and with two elated words – bathed her notoriously bushy hair in green light.

Her weeping ended. She was still.

Dead. Harry's mind supplied. She was dead. One moment alive, and the very next, gone. The pure magic of the Killing Curse left a heady energy in the air, and he felt like he was choking on it.

Ron, in his fury, managed to escape Narcissa's hold, and sprinted halfway to Hermione's body before he was also felled by a flash of green. This time, it was so quick that it almost didn't happen, and Harry realized that it had been Voldemort to cast the curse.

Harry felt numb. Grief was washing over him in waves, and at the same time he felt none of it. He was completely in shock. How had it happened so quickly? One second, semi-safely looking for ways to destroy Horcruxes alongside his two best friends… and now this. Both of them dead in front of him in an instant. He was probably next.

"I want to know," He forced out hoarsely. "I want to know what Hermione's … final, thoughts were."

Voldemort turned away from Ron's too-still body and looked at his captive with eyes so empty that Harry almost envied the man his complete and brutal apathy.

"The mudblood was thinking that the three of you were all about to die no matter what, and that it didn't want it's last memory of the world to be of you losing yourself to dark magic."

Harry felt the life being sucked out of him piece by piece as the truth of this situation surrounded him. Ron and Hermione were dead and here he was still alive and talking to Voldemort of all people. He was suddenly very angry, but it was a slow anger. Soft and sluggish, moving thickly through his veins. It didn't make him want to fight the dark, it made him want to burn up the whole house, and himself in it.

"She was a girl, not an it. Her name was Hermione Granger. She's dead now, thanks to you. You could at least show a small bit of respect for the life your cause stole from her." Harry didn't yell it, nor did he whisper. It was a statement that escaped his lips almost like a plea. His eyes looked imploringly up at Voldemort's and he himself did not even understand what it was that he was asking for. Surely, not his own life. He wanted to die. He didn't care anymore. Didn't care about the war or anything else – or at least that's what he told himself. Dumbledore was dead, Hermione was dead, Ron was dead. Soon Harry would be dead too, and with him, all knowledge of Horcruxes. All hope was lost and the light side didn't even know it.

Voldemort did not offer him any words in response. What Harry received instead was a familiar wand pointed at his face. He mused for a moment that he was, right then, the only person alive who had seen this wand pointed between their eyes so many times. It was the last thing he thought before his world went black.

Fortunately, or unfortunately for Harry – his world did not stay black for long.

A/N: I know it's not one of the best opening chapters, but I originally intended this fic to be a one-shot, so it does start a little slow. The damn thing started getting ridiculously long and I realized I would have to break it up into a chapter fic, so I put the breaks where they fit best in the story, though it may not necessarily seem that way yet with only one chapter out.

Anyway, thank you to anyone who favorites/subscribes and big kisses to anyone who reviews!

Love you all for reading!