Falling Inside the Black by Pseudonymous Entity
SUMMARY: The altercation with the dementor on the Hogwarts Express causes Harry to slowly merge with the Horcrux.
Characters: Harry Potter.
Warnings: Harry is merging with the Dark Lord. Do you really require more of a warning?
AN: I felt like writing something that didn't require massive amounts of research, ignoring the research I've already done (VBB, CYHMN, Rivalry, Devil...) Everyone's got a Harry merging with or somehow communicating with and learning from his Horcrux story so I thought I'd give my version of it a try. I was in a sarcastic mood with not a lot of sleep at the time. I blame that.
ANx2: I went back and rewrote the first chapter. I know I said I wasn't taking this one as seriously as the others but when I reread the first chapter I literally cringed. On that note! Here's the new and improved first chapter
I am in control, I haven't lost my mind
I am picking up the pieces of a past you left behind
I don't need your condescending words about me looking lonely, I don't need your arms to hold me
Leave me in the cold, you better run away
I'm gonna dig a hole and bury all the memories we've made
Of the voices in my head down the darkest road, something follows me
I am not alone
Harry strolled into the great hall wearily, fingers running through his soaking locks. Shoes squeaking on the stone floor, wet clothing sticking to his skin. He paused long enough to pull his robe off entirely and sling it over an arm. He was still wet but at least he didn't feel like he weighed a million tonnes. The feast was well under way and once again he'd missed the sorting. Harry didn't know why they thought he needed to be looked at after passing out. There wasn't a concussion and he was reasonably certain his soul hadn't been sucked out. Someone would probably have mentioned that. Over reaction maybe? The adults hadn't shown much concern when he was forced to play figure-it-out-or-the-dark-lord-gets-immortality in first year, nor when the students were planning to throw him in the lake as squid food in second year but he couldn't be certain. Wizards had strange ways of looking at things. Still, he didn't see why he had to sit there while the medi-witch performed every spell known to wizard-kind to ensure there was nothing wrong with him. Her suddenly pale face and muttering about power levels and puberty was annoying as well. All any of that did was bring more attention to himself. Couldn't they see that was the last thing he wanted? Every time he got attention people either stared and pointed at his scar or they squealed and parted out of his way because they were afraid he was going to some how petrify them by looking at them. Alright, the last may have been funny but the first was annoying. No sense of proper decorum, it was disgusting.
Harry paused and tilted his head thoughtfully. Since when did he know anything about proper decorum? He rummaged around in his mind for a minute, finding the information next to a blurred memory of a stack of books in the library. Probably the remnant information from one of Hermione's spontaneous and useless rants, he supposed. Harry shrugged and sat on at the Gryffindor table. Whipping his still un-dry hair and ignoring Hermione's affronted expression at being splashed with pure rain water from the heavens, honestly there were worse things he could have sprayed her with. Ron was in the process of spraying the table with his dinner. Harry reached out for an apple only to find there weren't any. Not one bloody apple on the whole god forsaken Gryffindor table. That's okay. He only got humiliated on the train by soul sucking creatures sent to find the murderous escaped prisoner the Weasley parents thought was after him. It wasn't like he needed his favorite snack to calm him down or anything. No big deal.
Wet, hungry and nearly soulless. What a way to start the year.
"Potter! Potter, is it true?"
Harry turned in his seat to see Draco Malfoy sitting directly behind him, turned in his own seat to face him, That was odd. Didn't they usually have it arranged to glare at each other from across the hall? Why were the tables rearranged? Maybe the wizarding had something against leaving anything alone long enough for anyone to gain some sort of sense of security, what with the ever changing Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers and the constant flow of new and ever more frightening threats to their lives each year.
Oh darn Malfoy was still waiting for an answer and looking a bit uncomfortable from Harry just staring at him and not saying anything like a creeper. He felt like face palming if he wasn't certain the pureblooded boy wouldn't understand the gesture.
"Oh, er, what?" What had he asked?
"Is it true? You actually fainted?" The blonde repeated.
Oh. Great the whole school probably knew if Malfoy knew. "Yes. It seems the full frontal assault on my sense of one of the worst memories I didn't know I had caused some sort of sensory overload forcing me to loose consciousness so my brain could recuperate. I didn't lose my soul though, so that's good." It really was. Harry had never personally observed someone without a soul, non-metaphorically speaking, but he thought he could confidently assume, this was something one tried to avoid given the chance.
Silver eyes blinked. Before he could answer Harry carried on, turning around completely, crossing his ankles and smiling. The blonde's bewilderment at Harry's friendly attitude made him grin internally. It was funny messing with Malfoys. At least he thought it was. He didn't think he'd done it before, but he was enjoying it well enough now.
"On that note, since you're so interested, would like to know what I see when the dementors come around?"
Malfoy's face blanked and he was quiet for a moment. Deciding Harry wasn't making fun of him he nodded. Harry noticed that for once his long blonde hair wasn't greased back, instead falling to either side with short bits lying across his eyes. Unfortunately this would do nothing but boost the boy's vanity he was sure, as he looked very good like this. Harry blinked. And enough of that train of thought, he decided.
Harry rested his hands on his knees and leaned forward conspiratorially. Malfoy shot a look at the other Slytherins who turned promptly and looked away. Harry wished he could have control over the Gryffindors like that. It would be all sorts of useful.
"There"s my father's voice telling my mother to run, he of course stayed to engage the Dark lord. There's my mother's voice begging for my safety. I think she was asking him to take her life instead. Is that common? Negotiating murders during the act of murder? Next there's the Dark Lord's telling her to move aside. Obviously she didn't. And lastly there's a scream and a bright green light filling my vision. Pain. Lots of it."
Malfoy stared at him. Then he leaned forward as well, the two of them effectively blocking the aisle. "Why would the Dark lord ask your mother to move? He tried to spare her life?" The descriptions of his families final moments not interesting the Slytherin as much as the Dark Lord giving someone a chance to escape with their life.
Biting his lip Harry thought that over. It hadn't actually occurred to him to look at it that way. Who would have thought and evil wanna-be dictator would have a sense of honour like that? Huh. You learn something new everyday.
"I seems so. I wonder why." Harry made a mental note to remember to think about that more. It seemed like it might be important.
Malfoy eyed him. "You know Potter-"
"Harry what are you doing?" The red head sitting beside him on the Gryffindor side of the imaginary line he and Malfoy were pretending didn't exist, pulled on his arm roughly. "Turn back 'round mate. What're you talking to him for? Aren't you gonna eat nothin? Har? Harry?"
"No I'm listening." he assured, "I was just re-evaluating all of our past interactions and trying to remember if you've always butchered the Queen's English like this or if it's a new development. Like how Malfoy is letting his hair grow out. If it is I have to advise you that it isn't all that beneficial. You already have that stupid, poor, blood traitor thing going on. Talking like you've never opened a book won't make it much better."
Ron swallowed his food. Harry didn't know if the cheering across the hall was related or not.
"What?" asked Ron.
Harry shook his head. "Never mind Ron. Finish eating."
"But you're not eating." Obviously. It was inappropriate to eat your food while talking with someone. Maybe he should tell Ron that.
"There's nothing I want on our table."
Ron didn't seem convinced. A sudden smile bloomed. "I s'pose I wouldn't be hungry either if I was stuck staring at his rat face." He thumbed at Malfoy who looked mortally offended. Harry turned back to Malfoy and looked him over. The Slytherin's cheeks tinged pink and he swallowed nervously.
Curiouser and curiouser.
"What are you doing Potter?" His voice was tight, body language stiff. Expecting an insult then. Harry turned his head one way, then the other consideringly, watching his cheeks grow a bit redder under the examination.
"Trying to see the rat reference." Said Harry, continuing his observation, enjoying manipulating the blonde's emotions.
Malfoy's eyes hardened.
"I don't see it." Harry decided. Partly to surprise the blonde and partly because it was true.
His gaze softened slightly, expression wary. "You don't?"
Malfoy lifted his chin. "Of course not. Malfoy's are known for being good looking. I was only expressing my surprise. I thought you would have agreed with him." Not that he was vain about it or anything.
"Why would I agree with him if I think he's wrong?" Asked Harry. He tried to think how it would benefit him to agree with Ron just then and nothing came to mind. Slytherins were a paranoid lot though so he supposed he could forgive him for judging him. It wasn't like he wasn't guilty of doing the same.
The blonde made an odd gesture. "Because he's your best mate isn't he? That's what you two usually do. Or at least, you've never said anything to contradict him before."
"Haven't I?" Harry thought about it. "I guess I haven't. To be fair I tend to tune you two out when you're fighting. It gets repetitive. Blah blah blah, POOR, blah blah blah, RICH BOY. So on and so forth." He waved his hand.
"Oh." Malfoy sipped his water in the pause.
Ron pulled at his arm again. "Harry turn around." He said this with an alarming amount of food in his mouth and Harry wondered why the boy didn't just ignor Harrya nd proceed to scarf down everything edible on the table as he no doubt wished to do. Harry wouldn't be talking to him if he was anyway so what did it matter if he faced the other way? The view was better. Less of a gross out factor.
"So I can talk to you."
"...aren't we talking now?"
"No, you're talking to Malfoy."
Harry shook his head. "I'm really pretty sure right now I'm talking to you." The pointlessness of the conversation was getting on his nerves.
"Yeah, er fine, I guess. But turn back around."
Malfoy bit into something with an enticingly familiar crunch,. While Ron blabbed on Harry stared at the delicious looking red apple in Malfoy's hand. The blonde raised an eyebrow and moved the apple back and forth slightly, smirking when he saw Harry's eyes following it. "Did they not have apples on your table Potter?"
"None." Harry breathed, watching the apple disappear bite by bite.
Silver eyes rolled. Malfoy reached a hand behind him. "Why didn't you just say something?" He pulled his arm back and tossed an apple at him. "There you go."
Harry caught it automatically. Apple. He munched it happily. Half way through it was smacked out of his hands. Harry watched it fly through the air and strike a newly made Hufflepuff in the forehead. Slowly he looked to his Right at Ron. The red head seemed proud of himself.
"What the hell was that for?" Demanded Harry.
A book smacked into the back of his head. "Language Harry."
"Yes Hermione." He replied in his fakest cheerful tone of voice. She didn't appear to notice.
"You weren't listening to me." Said Ron, as if that excused the flight of the apple.
"So? So it's rude."
Malfoy sneered. "And knocking someone's food from their hand isn't rude?"
Ron's face scrunched up. "Oi no one's talking to you!"
"Actually I was."
"No one asked you Harry."
The littler Gryffindor huffed. "Just turn around and eat."
"But I wanna to talk to you."
Ron's eyes went from Harry to Malfoy and back. "But he can hear."
"Is it a secret?" Harry cocked his head.
"Then what does it matter?"
Apparently having enough of the conversation Ron stood, gripped Harry and spun him around in his seat. Harry hissed and rubbed his arms. That was going to leave bruises.
"Fine." Said Harry, sulking.
The meal went on. Harry didn't eat anything, the loss of the delicious red apple fresh on his mind. Anything else seemed insulting to its memory. Various classmates made unlikely boasts about their summers which Harry ignored. He spent his getting insulted by an aunt he ended up blowing up before riding a bus driven by a sociopath and then getting a room at an inn courtesy of the Ministry of Magic. He didn't think anyone would believe him honestly. At some point the headmaster mentioned the dementors had been invited to wander about the grounds in their search for the murderer Sirius Black. Dumbledore seemed to think the man would be after Harry as well.
Wasn't that just comforting?
Harry stood from the bench, straightening his robes and running his fingers through his hair again in an effort to tame it. Everyone else was trying something new, maybe he should too? He pondered the merits of using a spoon as a mirror to see it if looked any better. The hairs on his neck rose. Someone leaned close pressing a cool object into his hand. He heard Malfoy's voice in his ear.
"Try not to let Weasley use it for projectile weaponry this time." Harry turned around to face Malfoy, slipping the apple into a pocket.
"Thank you." He would be examining it for poison later but he was thankful all the same. Malfoy studied him. Harry studied him back, noting in annoyance that Malfoy had grown tall over the summer and now towered above him. When would he get a growth spurt? The blonde opened his mouth to say something.
Harry felt a crushing pressured on his arm and was yanked sideways. Arms closed around him. Startled Harry looked up to see Ron. The red head glared at Malfoy.
"Leave him alone Malfoy. Crawl back to the dungeons like a good little snake yeah?"
This was getting old. Fast. So what if he was talking to Malfoy? Sure the guy might be trying to poison him but it hardly called for physically assaulting Harry. He squirmed in Ron's grip. It tightened,. Harry winced. Did everyone but him get a growth spurt? Malfoy's eyes were locked on Ron's grip on him. He said nothing at first, dismissing Ron entirely, to catch Harry's eyes. Harry wasn't sure what the blonde was searching for. Malfoy gave him a nod goodnight, then he turned and walked away.
Harry allowed Ron to drag him to the common room, mostly in an effort to avoid more manhandling. He would need to do something about this. The bigger boy was not his keeper. If Harry wanted to talk to Malfoy or sit with the Ravenclaws or pay Voldemort a call on a phone-box it wasn't Ron's business. Who was he to tell Harry who he should be talking to? Nothing even happened. They were in the middle of the great all for Merlin's sake. Not to mention it gave the wrong impression. Ron wasn't his master. Pausing in the act of getting his pajamas on that night Harry considered that last thought. Master. Why would he think Ron was acting like his master? It was sort of offensive though... The way he ordered him around. Had he always done that? He shook his head and lay down, closing his eyes. Confused and bruised. What a way to start the year.
On the bedside table a shiny red apple sat beside round rimmed glasses.
AN: One shot or keep going? I know I already have a lot of stories on my plate, but I get ideas that don't fit into any of them and they like to keep getting in the way when I'm trying to write out a new chapter. This seems to be the best way to get them out of my head.